Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Christmas Season has officially begun!

I put the tree up today and so Christmas has officially begun!

I have to get a new tree skirt because I took ours out today only to discover that apparently the cat had vomited on it last year and I hadn't done anything about it.

Tim has been working super hard all week on getting the baby's room painted. He finished today, except for touch-ups (like where the brown meets the pink). It looks awesome, we both think it's the best color combination we've ever come up with. Now he's working on art.


I took the picture at night, so it's a little hard to see, but that is a pinky cream on top, a bright pink in the middle and a deep chocolate brown on the bottom. Yum!

Family, family, family!

Look, all three of us have our eyes open, are looking at the camera and are smiling!

We're enjoying some down time after a week filled with lots of family that began last Friday. We had a wonderful time with everyone, but are ready to be anti-social for a bit. Last weekend we were in Houston for Tim's Grandmother's 90th birthday. On the way we stopped at Dairy Queen for some ice cream and Stella had her first brain freeze:





She did not like it one bit. But now we know she takes after her father and not me. (I get throat freezes, not brain freezes.) Saturday night was the dinner party and Stella donned the "new" red velvet dress I got for her at the Pumpkin Patch and her new patent leather Mary Janes.


Monday night, after we returned, we tried a Korean restaurant we'd never eaten at before, Shilla and Stella discovered a love for Miso soup. That girl's tastebuds really impress me. I didn't eat anything unless it was covered in ketchup until I was about 10.



Wednesday night we had Tim's family over and got the younger set addicted to Rock Band. It was soooo awesome and definitely a tradition I think we must continue. I see Rock Band being brought out again at Christmas.




Thursday was a delicious Thanksgiving meal, of course, but it was two hours late due to turkey mishaps, so Stella did not get to share in the deliciousness because dinner did not get served until 9pm. But it was worth the wait. Just sad there was no Thanksgiving for Stella:(


Yesterday in the car, Stella treated us to a spontaneous rendition of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star", which she is learning at school for their Christmas pageant next Sunday. It was the cutest thing ever, even if she only seemed to repeat the same words over and over again and in the wrong order. This was after a trip out for ice cream. Yes, we ate ice cream two Fridays in a row. One time was my idea and the other was Tim's, I swear it wasn't all the pregnant lady's doing!


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22 weeks!

I call this one sunny belly. This is sort of early in the day so it hasn't reached its full potential yet.

Friday, November 28, 2008

My New Addiction

The Teacher and the Student

I dreamt of scrapbooking Wednesday night. Seriously. I had two dreams about scrapbooking and I actually spent time thinking about layout while I was lying there awake. I have my dear sister-in-law Christine to blame thank for my sleep interruptions. Wednesday she took me to a bunch of scrapbooking stores and I collected piles of paper and stickers to make a baby book for the new baby. My attraction to scrapbooking caught me totally unawares. I expected to pretty much just get a pre-made book and she had said she was going to show me some basic pages I might like that had a place to write and then a bunch of places to put pictures. Then I started seeing all the ADORABLE ephemera I could get to make my own baby book and I was hooked. I even drove out to Cedar Park so we could go to the mother of all scrapbooking stores, Archiver's. I am on their mailing list now. Seriously, it's scary. Christine and I scrapbooked Wednesday night and then for like 6 hours straight yesterday. It went by in a snap. I had to be dragged away to go to Thanksgiving dinner!

I'd always been a bit opposed to scrapbooking because a lot of the scrapbook pages I had seen look like people put everything and the kitchen sink on the page. You hardly even noticed the photos or the text, which are of course the reason for the scrapbook. Christine said that's called "sticker sneeze". I tried to mostly refrain from that. Tim said perhaps I could start a modern scrapbooking movement. I have to say, I'm pretty proud of what I've done so far. I don't think I'll ever get to the point of Christine, who generously shared her suitcase full of supplies with me, because, as Tim says "You're too cheap." I did find out that the Archiver's store has a room where you can use their supplies, so perhaps I can go there if I can't wait until Christmas to scrap with Christine again. Please indulge me as I share some of my favorite pages with you. Keep in mind I won't be adding photos until BabyBean makes her grand appearance, of course. I think the pages got better as I went along, which makes sense of course.

The album cover, which I had nothing to do with, of course:


I think this might be my favorite page. I found paper that is the same as the fabric for the baby's room with slight tweaks. I'm using it for the welcome home page:

I would post more, but Blogger is being a bastard and won't orient my pictures correctly. So you are saved from more boring pictures of my scrapbooking skills. But don't be surprised if I corner you and make you look at it IRL!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Agreement!

So Tim was not as enamored of the crib bedding set I found as I was. That's what I get for asking him his opinion while he's trying to program! So we looked some more on Saturday and Sunday trying to find the perfect set with no luck and I've finally decided just to sew a crib skirt and curtains and buy a solid colored sheet that coordinates. Really, it was RIDICULOUS to pay $160 or more for a bedding set when we really just wanted the crib skirt. And we'd still have to buy the curtains on top of that. Plus, Tim came up with the great idea to just velcro the bed skirt panels to the board under the mattress. This is really cool because we can move the velcro as we lower the crib to make the bedskirt the right length. So no ridiculously short crib skirt! I hunted through fabric stores yesterday and found oodles of fabric I loved, and even Tim agreed with me on some of them. We found one we both could love. It has tons of colors we want to use, as well as many motifs we can repeat in the room. This is the fabric we chose:
You'll have to tilt your head to the right. for some reason, even though it's oriented correctly in my file, Blogger keeps turning it to be wrong.


All five yards came in at $22.50.

Oh no! While I was taking the pictures, I realized that in my haste to get my fabric, I hadn't checked the way the fabric ran. It runs vertically, rather than horizontally! So I'm going to have to stitch the fabric together every 43 inches or so. ARGH! This is going to be a lot more complicated than I thought.
Hmm... Perhaps, at least on the curtains, I could just use the fabric as is and only hem up the top and bottom seam. In any case, it's going to involve a lot more sewing, and I just hope I still have enough fabric, since I did the calculations based on the fabric running horizontally! Dang it. This is why I wanted to just buy a set. Oh, well, as I'm working feverishly I'll try to remember that part of the reason I'm doing this is to save money so we can buy the super-cool, super comfy chocolate brown glider and ottoman that we saw at Babies R' Us. I have to have it!
And on an unrelated subject, some great video of Stella getting down. At the very end, she is going to her room to retrieve her "dancing dress" (her purple princess dress-up dress) and her "shaker" (her maraca) so she can boogie down in style:



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Monday, November 17, 2008

Cute Stella moments!

So the birthday party this weekend was a BIG hit. It was definitely the coolest. Stella went on her first through fifth pony rides:
They also had 5 week old goats wearing jackets. I nearly died from the cuteness:

The birds and lamb were adorable as well.
I was talking to birthday girl's mom and she said, "it wasn't really that expensive", so I started to get all excited thinking of doing a petting zoo for one of Stella's birthdays. When I recounted the story, Tim pointed out what I forgot. That the birthday girl's mom said it was about the same as renting out Gymboree or Little Gym. So it probably still was out of my cheap-ass budget. But it was sooo awesome. Maybe for her Sweet 16;) We met more people from Stella's class, who were really nice and we're probably going to try and host a playdate here soon. They did talk about things like "night nurses" which led me to believe that perhaps they might be in a different tax bracket, but hey, I can hang with the rich people! There was one guy there, who we surmise was either a neighbor or a brother-in-law, who had gone hunting for beer in their house (at 11am!) and was talking to one of the grandpas about how he had just bought an AK-47 at a gun show. It was fascinating and frightening all at the same time!
Here's some video of Stella riding the pony. The original audio was the birthday girl's mom telling me how they made a tee-pee in their backyard out of sticks and vines. It was totally cool and I am completely stealing the idea. But I decided to add my own soundtrack.


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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Baby Girl Bedding

So since we've found out that we're having another little girl, I've been obsessed with two things: names and nursery decor. Tim and I currently have two favorites in the name department, although our number ones are not the same. We're also still looking. We want something classic, strong and beautiful, preferably with a bit of spunk. Basically another name that we love like Stella, although since that was our favorite name of all time before we even got pregnant, I don't know if it's going to happen. If you have any suggestions, send them our way, but keep in mind, most of our favorites fell out of popularity around 1928. We like real names, shun unusual spellings, and only want girl names. Not a boy name that was foisted on a girl. And while no one except Tim and I will know what BabyBean's real name will be until she makes her debut in this world, I can share our favorite bedding with you.
Now keep in mind this is every single accessory you can purchase for this set, and concentrate mostly on the cribskirt and sheet. We won't use the crib bumper because, while it is adorable, I am too paranoid about BabyBean pushing her sweet little face into it. So we'll use the breathable bumper we had with Stella. I'll use this bumper somewhere else, perhaps around a changing table or as curtains. We'll probably get a valance if that doesn't work and also the lamp shade because it is darling. You can check it all out here. While it isn't 50 bucks like Stella's set, it's still not astronomical, especially compared to the $450 sets we saw at USA Baby today.

We've become very serious very quickly about nursery decor because we realized that the best time to paint the nursery will be over Thanksgiving when Tim is off from work for an entire week. We almost always schedule a big home improvement project for Thanksgiving, usually painting. I'd love to hear folks' opinions about the nursery stuff because I'll probably be ordering it ASAP so we can get it and pick paint samples, assuming Tim is as in love with it as I am. What I really love about it is the mod shapes, as well as the fact that it uses green in addition to pink and brown. My favorite color for decorating these days is chocolate brown. Chocolate brown and blue, chocolate brown and pink, chocolate brown and green. Lots of baby girl bedding sets have pink and brown, but this one throws a curveball and puts the lime green that is another of my favorites. I didn't really use much pink for Stella's room, it was mint green with light pink and lavender accents, as you can see below. So I think I can use more pink in this Baby Girl's room.






For BabyBean's room, I think we're going to do Brown on the bottom up to chair rail height and another color, probably pink or that awesome green, on the top.
Another couple of sets we liked:


Although I think it's too pricey and too repetitive. Could benefit from a solid color in there somewhere.

And this one, which Tim doesn't like as much as me:

I think I might be more in love with the room and the crib than the bedding. And we all know that a baby's room would never look like this after the baby actually arrived. I do hate the giant safety pin. WTF?
Update from Tim, he is not as crazy about the bedding as I am and would like to, "see it in person" which may be a challenge. So maybe it's not a done deal like I thought!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen, it's a....

Obviously, my spidey sense is awful.

Yep, another girl! It was really obvious. About two seconds into the ultrasound, the technician flashed on that region and in my head I went, "that's girl bits!" Apparently Tim noticed it too. Later she again showed us a shot from the same angle of the legs and, once again, I saw no evidence of boy parts. She didn't tell us for another half hour, though, that it was a girl. Although Tim (and I also), thought she used "her" and "she" a couple of times.

So Stella's going to have a sister! I was really in shock and I am still adjusting to it being a girl. I was SO sure that it was a boy. Ha, shows what I know! So now we have to come up with a girl name, we had a really awesome boy name, but it will have to be retired, at least for now!

Some great face shots from the 3-D ultrasound, which they didn't have when I was pregnant with Stella:



She kept opening and closing her mouth (it's open in the above pictures), and trying to squirm away from the ultrasound. It was so cute! It's like she was shy, "get away, I'm trying to sleep folks!" She already hates the papparazzi. She didn't cooperate with the tech at all, who kept trying to get a certain angle of her spine, but no matter how much poking and prodding she did, or how much moving I did, Baby Girl wasn't budging off her back. The cup of coffee hadn't helped either. She's 12.5 oz, has a "textbook" heart (in the dr's words), and a heart rate of 158. Everything's there and perfect!

Now we just have to come up with a girl name, nothing appeals to me!

In other news, a kid in Stella's class has the chicken pox. I called my OB and left a message with the nurse because the teacher said I needed to. Hopefully everything will be fine. Stella has been vaccinated and hasn't even been to school in a week and I had it when I was a kid.

I'll leave you with some profile shots. Such a cutie!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Artwork 11/4 and 11/6/08 and cute Stella sayings

She insists that it goes this way. The substitute teacher must have written her name on it upside down.
Now that the real teachers are back, it's back to pieces of art I know my child never could have done, unfortunately.

Last week on the way back from the grocery store, Stella said she was "a little bit 'fraid of clowns. Little bit." I was like, where did you see clowns? And she said, "when I got candy from the neighbor's house. Last time." She was referring to a house down the street that had been having a party when we got there for Trick or Treating. Among the revelers were two little college-age girls dressed up as these bizaare, but really cool clowns and downing Budweiser. Kind of like "rave clowns". Now whenever we pass the house, she says "I'm a little bit 'fraid of clowns. Little bit." and talks about how they put their dogs inside when we got there. She says they put one dog inside and let one stay outside, but I only remember the one that remained outside. It was cute and loved Stella, although she was sort of petrified to go up to the door.
Last Wednesday night Tim was letting Stella ride all over the house on his back and shoulders and they were generally doing what Daddy's and kiddos do. She said, "Just take me something where!" between giggles. I thought that was really cute.
Here she is having a tea party/birthday party today with her dolls. It was A-dorable!

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Fun Ways I have Wasted my Time this week...

-Early Sunday morning I had to stay up until 4am in the hopes that the people I had in my house for the Slapdash party would take the hint and go home. I did this by cleaning up, repeating how tired I was, and reiterating that I was pregnant AND had had 3.5 hours of sleep the night before (really the day before). Didn't work. So I wasted more time yelling at people at 4:30am when Tim came to bed and informed me that a ton of people STILL hadn't left. Then I wasted some time trying to reason with a beligerent drunk who was insisting on driving home. Luckily at 5, two other heroes took over and tried to reason with the beligerent drunk until 7am when she sobered up and they finally let her have her keys. I slept during this exchange, thank God.

-Monday night I cleaned water up under the sink after the garbage disposal started leaking after Tim's cooking disaster.

-Tuesday morning I drove to the County Clerk's office only to discover it was closed for Veteran's Day. As an extra bonus, I waited for 15 minutes for my cohorts to join me because they were late and my cell phone was out of juice.

-Tuesday afternoon I cleaned soup off the ceiling from the cooking disaster (Tim had just missed it. He did clean up most of the mess.) I also spent two hours trying to troubleshoot Quicken to figure out why I could not download transactions from my bank.

-Tuesday evening I followed custodians around to get into Tim's building because I forgot to charge my cellphone. I also cleaned more water up from under the sink and troubleshooted the garbage disposal, arriving at the conclusion it was DOA. Then I cleaned flour out of every crevice of the oven and coffeemaker (see Tim's cooking disaster post) and did dishes without a garbage disposal, which was a bit challenging. Then Tim and I wasted another hour troubleshooting Quicken.

-Wednesday morning, I vaccuumed and mopped again because of the flour disaster (did I mention I'd already vaccuumed and mopped Monday after the party? I don't know what folks did Saturday night, but it was filthy around here. Beer spilled on the floor, little strands of hair everywhere. Disgusting!) I called the bank about the Quicken thing and was told it was just down and they were working on it. Would be nice for them to put a message on their website, especially since I couldn't call yesterday because they were closed!

What more fun ways will I waste time this week? Who knows, it's only Wednesday! Stella's sick and hasn't been able to go to school and if she's sick again tomorrow, it's going to result in lots of fun because we've got the Big Ultrasound and Doctor's appointment. Tim's Mom was taking her to school, but I just found out can't watch her past 10:30. So I'm sure more time will be wasted there trying to figure out a creative solution. Yay!

On the bright side, Stella is going to a girl in her class' birthday party Saturday morning. I RSVP'd and the mother emailed me back to inform me that there would be a petting zoo and a pony, so "make sure Stella dresses warmly!". Yes, you read that right. A Petting Zoo and a Pony for a 3-year-old. Oh, this is going to be interesting, I just can't wait!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

So Tired...

So I am really, really tired. I knew that staying up all night while pregnant would be a special sort of challenge, even beyond what normally staying up all night for Slapdash entails. But the baby seems to love writing. Or at least the caffeine I've been consuming. Because he/she has been kicking way more than usual.

By the way, for whatever reason, I've decided it's a boy. Because I got a bunch of boy clothes from my friend Diana Wednesday night at book club and on the way home had a vision of a boyish version of Tim. Like a 14-year-old version. Super-cute. With the name we've already pretty much picked out. So it's a boy. At least until next Thursday when we are either confirmed or it changes to a girl;)

But I've got my first draft done, actually I finished it about 2 hours ago and have been doing re-writes since then. I'm very happy with it and looking forward to hearing it read and making changes after that. I do wish I'd brought different snacks though. I'm hungry and nothing I have appeals to me!

I'm sorry if this makes no sense. It's 2:45am and I've been writing pretty much non-stop since 10:20pm.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

More houses in our hood!

This one has been on the market For Sale by Owner for a while, but is now actually going through a realtor. Great location, just two houses down from some really cool neighbors, and a block away from us. Price is pretty decent too and, from what I've heard, has come down a lot:

http://www.austinhomesearch.com/Search/Details.aspx?li=76023&or=1&cp=2#

Come be our neighbors!

Austin.com did an article on Slapdash!

Check it out here.

Although most of what they attribute to Tim, I actually wrote;)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I'm sorry...

I just wanted to take a second to respond to Kelli's comment and apologize to her if my last post came across as hurtful or mean. I was trying to be really diplomatic, actually! I enjoy reading your blog exactly because it gives me a completely different take on politics, religion and family life from a perspective alien in so many ways to myself and my friends. (And I don't mean alien as bad. But like we are both from different countries with different customs but we speak the same language. And it's fascinating to read about that other world running parallel to your own. Plus, you keep me from being hopelessly clueless on things like Webkinz and Princess stuff;)) I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings, that certainly was NOT my intention. My hope is that we can all work together: Democrats and Republicans, liberals, moderates and conservatives, people of all religions and none at all. As much as a part of me wants to go, "It's our turn now to be the majority and lets get revenge for the last 8 years of feeling like we weren't "Real" Americans", that's not what Barack Obama wants us to be. As my friend Lisa said recently, he inspires her to want to be a better person. Me too. And the venom that was spewed both ways came from such a small subset of both parties, it is ridiculous to go after each other for that.

Tangentially related, I finally finished "Dreams from my Father" this afternoon and I wept yet again afterwards. It was so moving, and I started thinking again about the fact that we've elected someone with so much integrity, from a historically persecuted minority, and I was just overcome. I feel like I'm floating on air today. It is so nice to have some optimism after so many years of pessimism!

Si se Puede!

(Thanks Anna for the title of this post, I was just going to write it in English).

Last night was so overwhelming that I think I actually felt numb. I was disappointed in Obama's speech, but I can't imagine what was going through his head. What must it feel like to not only be President, but to be the first non-white president, and to do it all the day after your beloved grandmother, the woman who raised you, died? I still am so excited to see the future under his leadership. Seeing Jesse Jackson and Oprah and all those other African-Americans with tears in their eyes, Americans whose great-grandparents were "property", whose grandparents and parents suffered under segregation, just filled me with pride. Pride about my country again. I said it here, I know, I just did not believe that the United States was at the point where we would elect a black President. I thought racism still ran too deep. I have never been more happy to have been wrong. And I am so excited that my next child will be born into a country where truly anybody can be president.

I read the blog of a friend who is a very conservative Christian. She, of course, was very disappointed in the outcome of the election and linked to a couple of blogs expressing that unhappiness. It was very interesting to read the other side. One of the blogs was completely off her rocker and said how this was a sign of the End of Times, the other was a very measured and eloquent expression of how she did not agree with Barack Obama, but she could recognize how historic it was for black Americans to have someone who looked like them in the White House. How they could now say to their children, "you too can be President", like white Americans have told their (at least male) children for centuries. The latter woman is the type of Conservative Christian we can have a dialogue with. Hopefully we can reach out to these people and mend the country a bit. It's hard because they see everything through the eyes of their Christian religion, and I'm not even sure that I am religious, but I hope we can make small steps towards a common ground.

Of course both these women reached the conclusion that now unborn babies will be slaughtered at increasing rates. Is there some sort of uptick in abortions the day after elections or something? I don't get it. In any case, I can certainly agree that a decrease in the number of unwanted pregnancies is something to strive for. Hopefully having a President and an administration who believes in sex ed, birth control and women's rights will achieve that. If we decrease the number of unwanted pregnancies, we decrease the number of abortions, and, once again, I think we can all agree that would also be a wonderful thing.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

FINALLY!

Today is finally the day. Election day. I keep getting teary-eyed because I'm so excited, yet so afraid that we won't win. But Obama must win. I am reading his book, "Dreams from my Father" and I am more convinced than ever that he is a decent, wonderful human being who is incredibly smart and caring and will lead our country forward with a steady hand. And to have a black president.... Oh, it fills me with pride just to think about it.

GO OBAMA!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Halloween!

one of the cool pumpkins we picked up on clearance for 3 bucks!

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday, but now that I have a kid the focus has shifted from coming up with an elaborate costume for myself to enjoying the day through my daughter's eyes. Stella has said she wanted to be a witch for like the last month, and she said she wanted Tim and I to be witches too. Easy peasy, I spent $4 on witch hats for Tim and I, $15 on her costume, and recycled a bunch of stuff from Halloweens past for the rest of my costume. Next year I can go back to thinking long and hard of a good costume, preferably one with a "sexy" bent. (Come on ladies, you know you think of this too. When else can we get all tarted up and it's socially acceptable. Even in my mild-mannered witch costume, I adjusted the top so I could show off a little of my giant pregnant boobies!)


Anyway, now that I have completely scandalized at least my mother and mother-in-law, on to the pictures! Friday, Stella's playdate buddies got together for a Halloween party in the park. I didn't dress her up because I was afraid that her costume wouldn't survive the playground, Trick or Treating AND our Halloween party. We tried to get a group photo, but the 2-year-olds kept wandering off! I think this one has the most kids in it:
It's a pretty cool old-school playground. Of course, that meant that Stella fell off the merry-go-round and one of the horses on the 4-way teeter totter (not sure what that's called), but it was awesome. I'm sure we'll be back.

Friday night, of course, was all about the candy. It was a lot of fun trick-or-treating in this neighborhood because we know so many people. We never knew anybody other than about 3 neighbors in our old hood. Everyone thought Stella was adorable and gave her lots of good candy. There was a house a couple of streets away that is a big Victorian and the guy collects movie memorabilia. He had a life-size Freddy Krueger on the porch and a Predator in the front vestibule. I knew Stella might get scared and as we approached I said, "ooh, scary! But don't be afraid, it's just for fun and nothing will hurt you, I promise." Tim was really impressed with this explanation and she seemed to have no problems going up to the house. Sometimes I feel like maybe I'm pretty good at this mom thing:) We took her a bit too far, though, because we wanted to see our friends Angi and Meredith who live two long blocks away, and she sort of broke down before we made it home. But Daddy carried her some and we made it back. When we got home, we let her have some candy and she was just buzzing. It was sort of frightening. We also handed out lots of candy and saw some pretty cute kids, including a baby that was less than 2 months old. I gave the parents candy anyway saying that as new parents, they deserved it.


Saturday morning was Brandon and Courtney's baby shower and then Saturday night it was time for our Halloween party! We had a great time, first with the crazy toddlers (we had 4 two-year-olds and two babies), then with the crazier adults. I failed miserably in the photography department, but here are Stella and Daniel "raving":

Tim and I verrrrry late in the night, so the costumes aren't very "fresh".



Karen and Frank did "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?":



Our neighbors across the street, George and Kathy, had my favorite costumes of the evening, not to mention the best wigs, Joan and Don from Mad Men. I literally did not recognize them when they walked in!




Jeff had another of my favorite costumes, along with Tara who just looked gorgeous:



Stella's getting antsy on my lap, so that's all the photos for now! I guess now it's time to get ready for Thanksgiving!















Sunday, November 02, 2008

Art: Thursday, 10/30/08

Stella and her glitter pumpkin, which unfortunately we left over at Baba and Grandaddy's:

I like this one because I think her smile looks like her Pappy's in this one (my Dad). I don't know why exactly. But that's the impression I get.

18 weeks!

Okay, so I'm a week behind. Here I am at 18 weeks (last Sunday):


I swear, it's much bigger in person:)

And here we are on the way to B. Iden Payne Awards at which we had a blast:


Art: Tuesday 10/28/08


So I'm a little behind...
This is in a plastic baggie because it had some sort of weird cheeto substance that would fall off of it. Apparently it is coating Granddaddy's backseat because Baba picked her up from school.