Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

The whole family went trick-or-treating last night, along with Grandma Sherri and Aunt Justy.
 
Bailey was a cheerleader.
 
Avery was a chicken.

And while we got lots of great pictures last year of Bailey hamming it up in her bee costume, this year we didn't do so well.

In fact we got only one picture of the girls together, and Lord knows neither one of them could be bothered to look at the camera. {And this was before the sugar high, mind you.}



And while I loved Bailey's costume last year, I have to admit I really loved watching Avery run around dressed up as a chicken.
It was even cuter when she would randomly say, "Bock! Bock!"



Bailey definitely has the hang of this candy stuff now.
She was all about marching up to people's front doors and saying those magic words that grant you your pick of treats. I was impressed with her manners and self-control at only taking one piece of candy. I was also impressed that she knew enough to pick a Snickers candy bar from the full-size ones offered at one home. Way to go, Bailey. Makin' Mama proud...

Avery... wasn't such a huge fan of it all.
She went up to about 3 or 4 houses, with me basically dragging her along behind me. She did say thank you after getting a piece of candy, but that was about it. Back in the stroller she went. She was content to be pushed around by Daddy - especially because riding gave her more time to gnaw open candy wrappers.

We made our way to Linda's house.
Linda has been a huge Halloween lover as long as we have known her. As kids we spent many a Halloween trick-or-treating from her house (we lived in the country) and eating Casey's pizza afterward. She would dress up every year and still loves to get in the Halloween spirit.

The picture we took with Linda basically summed up our 2012 Halloween experience:
Adults laughing.
Avery whining/crying.
Bailey digging for the next piece of candy to eat.

 
 
I hope everybody has a great Halloween. And enjoy all the candy. I know I have been.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

35 weeks

{or 36 weeks if going by my original dates...}



It's going so fast.

Bailey made her grand debut at 36 weeks exactly.
And she weighed over 7 pounds.
So that goes to explain why when Baby moves it looks like a tidal wave of limbs rolling to the other side in my stomach.

I would like to pretend that the extra weight I have gained in the past week or so has been going directly to Baby. But it obviously isn't. It is going to my now-enormous ankles - easily a +4 on the pitting edema scale - and is creating a truly outstanding double chin. And Jared had to go and point out that I will look even more amazing once they pump me full of IV fluids. Can't wait.

But I can't complain about much else.
I still sleep great. I have to change position every time Baby changes sides because its little butt gets wedged uncomfortably high. But even that isn't a big deal. With a husband that works nights, I get a big ol' bed all to myself. Plus the girls have been sleeping in until 8 or 8:30 every morning -which is absolute heaven.
I am still waddling around just fine. I might look like I just had hip surgery when I get up from sitting too long, but at least I am moving! And tennis shoes? Forget about it. Flip flops are my friend and will be until there is snow on the ground, no matter how many comments I get from old people at the grocery store.

Baby's eventual name is still a work in progress. 
I know. Huge surprise, right?
We have it narrowed down to two options (I think?) for the girl name. The boy name... not so much.
Inspiration really needs to strike. And soon.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween prep

Nothing like a little last minute pumpkin carving!

 
Each girl had her own personal "baby pumpkin" to decorate.
{According to Bailey we had a Mommy pumpkin, a Daddy pumpkin, and two baby pumpkins.}
 
 
 
Bailey took her job of pumpkin decorating very seriously.
 
 
 
And Avery, not to be trusted, whined until she got a non-working pen.
Hey, it made her happy.
 
 
 
Justy claimed she hadn't carved a pumpkin in the last 12 years, so we had to change that.
Some might say she was a little overzealous on the plan for octagon eyes and a hexagon nose (weirdo)...
But at least she didn't accidentally cut off one of her teeth like I did!
 
 
The whole family with the "family" of pumpkins
 
 
The finished products
 
We are a little dull in the pumpkin carving department.
Next year the goal is to actually plan ahead and do something creative
{aka print off a cool design from the Internet}.
 
Now we are all set for Halloween fun tomorrow when we go trick-or-treating.
I am excited to see our little chicken and cheerleader work those plastic orange pumpkins!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Everyday stuff

Nothing too exciting or memorable to write about these past few days... but I am going to anyway. :)

First things first, my last post was a bit premature.
I am a mean wife and mom.
And I basically forced Jared to return our new puppy.
 
When Thursday rolled around, after a few days of just me and the girls with him during the day, I was feeling very overwhelmed. Not because he was a bad dog or hard to handle.
He was just a puppy.
And puppies chew.  A lot.  And it's constant.
{Obviously I knew this beforehand, so don't think I am a total moron, but I was trying to think positively, even though I didn't want a puppy in the first place.}

And after my little hospital scare last week, I had been trying to take it easy... Or as easy as you can take it at home with two toddlers and housework to be done. Every few seconds I was trying to take something out of Puppy's mouth and redirecting him with an appropriate chew toy. The girls couldn't play with a single toy without him trying to steal it away and chew on it. I didn't really feel it was fair to them to not be able to sit on the floor putting together a puzzle or reading a book for fear of the dog tearing it apart.

I was also having brief visions of life in a month or two where I would be sitting on the couch with Baby attached to my chest and trying to quietly (but very sternly) yell at the dog to stop eating a favorite book or beloved stuffed animal. Just the thought of the stress and annoyance was too much. Jared understood my points, but he is still sad about it. I truly think he already loved Reese. He misses having a dog. And to be honest, I do too. But the time wasn't right and right now, Baby (and Mommy's sanity) has to come first.

This past week was the start of my twice-weekly non-stress tests (NSTs). So I get the privilege of driving an hour for 15 minutes worth of testing. Awesome. But it's for Baby to make sure he/she is doing okay in there, so I have little choice.
 
It's a simple thing. I get hooked up to a machine, with one part that measures Baby's heart rate and another that measures for any possible contractions. You want the test to be reactive - meaning that baby was reacting and having at least 2 periods of raised heart rates. If it is non-reactive that could mean potential problems with Baby, although not always. With Avery I had one non-reactive test and it was just because she was sort of on the lazy side for those tests. She apparently liked to nap at the precise time I had them scheduled.


I worked on both Friday and Saturday. And while they were pretty easy days, my feet were feeling the pain. I forgot how tiring it is to be on your feet for 12-hour shifts in your 9th month of pregnancy. My ultra-sexy compression stockings did not do much to help out.  Cankles for sure.  Thankfully I have a loving husband who took pity on me and rubbed them, and they soon resembled human feet again.


Today was a productive day.
I think both Jared and I are nesting.
My mom called this morning and asked if we would like her to take the girls for a few hours so we could finish the painting we have been putting off for going on three months.
Umm... YES. I would love for you to take my children off my hands for a few hours.
 
So after the girls were deposited at Grandma Sherri and Papa's house, things got real.
Jared finished painting the entire upstairs hallway, including all the door frames and bedroom doors. It wasn't a huge job; we just couldn't do it with the girls home because 1) they get into everything and 2) they get into everything. It looks great to have it all finished. Goodbye random spots of yucky grey trim!
Along with painting, mucho housework got done. All the bed sheets changed, load after load of laundry done, three bathrooms cleaned, new wall outlets installed... It's amazing how much you can get done without a 2 year-old and a 1 year-old underfoot.
And I realize that my life is a little pathetic since I get excited about getting long-awaited household tasks done, but hey, it's true. I feel much better knowing that our house is a little bit more put-together and organized.

This next week is going to be a busy one.

* Bailey is evaluated for her speech on Monday. If all goes well she is due to be discharged from the Early Access program and I am not sure how I feel about that. Because of her cleft, her speech is something we want to stay on top of and work on to prevent any problems. At the age of 3 she can be part of the speech program through the school system, so that is something we will have to look into.
*Along with my trips for NSTs, I also have one final trip to Ames for an endocrinologist appointment.
*And for fun things this week, trick-or-treating is Tuesday night. I am excited to dress the girls up and watch them go beg for candy. {Here is hoping Bailey stops choosing those nasty flavored Tootsie roll things!}  Bailey is going as a cheerleader and Avery is a chicken.  Cute pictures to follow.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Reese

 
Somebody bought himself his own belated birthday present.
 

And I am not going to pretend that I am overjoyed about it...

Said birthday gift is an 8 week-old German Shepard male named Reese.

Yes, he is cute. I will give him that.
And he has yet to have an accident. In fact, he will go to the door and whine to be let out. So he has that going for him.

Plus the girls seem a bit taken with him.


 
He is mild mannered and tolerates lots of "love" from both girls.
 

He is their new baby.
And they are very concerned that he is getting enough to drink.
 
 
So that makes three very happy family members.
Mama Solko has some reservations though.
Mostly the timing.
Ya know, the whole newborn arriving in like 3-5 weeks thing?
But apparently I am the only one concerned with this...
 
At 9 months pregnant, I do not appreciate having one more thing added to my list of obligations during the course of a day.
My grotesquely swollen feet {seriously, it's baaaaaddd} would like to log as many minutes up in the air as possible. Constantly keeping a puppy from attacking Bailey's hair - which I am sure is a great chew toy - is not my idea of fun.
 
But he is here now, so I know I have to make the best of it.
He is sweet.
And we did get him named in record time.
(An amazing accomplishment for us.)
Maybe that is a good sign.
 
 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Birthdays

Today is Number 28 for me.

28 years ago, after laboring at home for most of the day, my mom had to call up to my grandma's house to beg her to make my dad come take her to the hospital...NOW.
His response: "Well... let me finish this last load of corn first." 
Thankfully they made it to the hospital for my arrival a few short hours later.



This year I got to thinking of some of my past birthdays. We always had a birthday party with family - grandparents, along with my Aunt Donna, Uncle John and my two cousins, but I didn't have a big party with friends very often.

Therefore, the birthday that sticks out in my mind is my 7th birthday party. I begged and begged to be able to have a whole bunch of friends over. I was so excited when my mom agreed and all the girls in my class came over after school.  I remember getting off the school bus with all my friends and seeing the huge "Happy Birthday" sign my mom and younger sisters had made for me and hung on the fence.


We opened presents, played outside and, of course, had cake and ice cream.
I remember my dad loading up a hay rack and taking us on a hay ride behind the tractor. I thought that was so cool.

I don't remember much about presents, with the exception of the awesome new shirt I got to wear the next day:

There is a wonderful home video of me opening a present with this shirt inside. I make the most obnoxious over-the-top excited face when I open it. And it has become a classic in our family. When we stumbled across it on accident a couple of years back, I thought I was going to have to do mouth-to-mouth on my sisters and Jared because they basically stopped breathing they were laughing so hard. If they could figure out a way to upload it from VHS onto the Internet, believe me, they would - just for their own entertainment.

And lastly, a birthday that stands unparalleled in its awesomeness is my 21st birthday.

My friends Shelby, Holly, and Kevin made the 8 hour drive to Hays, Kansas to surprise me for my birthday. Unbeknownst to me, Jared had lined it all up - having never even met them before - and they jumped out of his apartment bedroom to surprise me that night. I was so shocked I started crying. It was seriously the best.  {Jared is really good at surprises.}

We spent the weekend doing the things you do for someone's 21st.
(And if you don't know what that entails, we clearly are not friends.)



Many shenanigans ensued.

And many biscuits and gravy (and gravel) were consumed from Tiger Alley at 2 AM.



 And then there was a small E.R. visit the next morning so my torn-off toenail could be sewed back on.    
Hey, at least alcohol is a good analgesic...!
I also got some good sympathy and a courtesy ride in the WalMart wheelchair.


All in all, it was a majestic weekend.

Holly got a free fake ID from a drunk girl on the street, Kevin opened a door on my toe, and my closest friends and future husband bonded over many (many, many) cans of beer. It was a success.


And while this birthday will certainly be liquor-free, I will certainly still be surrounded by people I love.
I will just have to make up for the lack of tequila next year.  ;)

Friday, October 19, 2012

A Night in L&D

It's a good thing we didn't have any plans last night.

Starting in the early afternoon I was having a lot of constant Braxton-Hicks contractions that seemed to not let up. I was writing a blog post while the girls and Jared napped and I didn't think much of it. By the time Jared got up at 2, I had been pretty uncomfortable for about an hour. I continued to do small things around the house until about 3:30 when I noticed my back was really achy and I was having the contractions pretty regularly. They were coming every 3 minutes and my blood sugar was over 370. (Normal is less than 120.) After sitting on the couch for a good hour and a half, the contractions stayed the same and my blood sugar wasn't coming down. Ugh.

So I called my doctor's office and they told me to do all the things I had been doing for the past hour and a half: rest, put my feet up, drink fluids, check my blood sugar. When they heard my blood sugar wasn't coming down, they insisted I come in.

So off we went to L & D.

Jared and I both knew (okay, we were pretty sure) it wasn't real labor. I had this happen once at 34 weeks with Avery too. It seemed like the same thing. My blood sugars spiked out of the blue and fake contractions came with it.

Well, after getting a cervical check, peeing in a cup, getting my blood drawn, and having IV fluids started, they couldn't find anything wrong. No infection. Nothing. I just basically doubled up on my insulin for a few hours until it finally came back into normal range. Throughout all this Baby was on a monitor and doing fine.

Regardless, they decided to keep me overnight just to be on the safe side.

So I got to spend a fantastic evening in the L&D Motel.
I know I have definitely slept in worse places, but in those instances, I was not pregnant and definitely not sober. And getting comfortable in a hospital bed with a bowling bowl-sized stomach while attached to an IV is a challenge to say the least. Not the most restful night...

So while I am happy everything is fine and it was just a mild false alarm, I could really use a nap right about now.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Rainy Days

It's a pretty dismal day. It's raining and overcast.  A perfect day for laundry and dishes and bathroom cleaning x3. It's also a perfect movie day, which resulted in a cuddle session on the couch with two little girls and a DVD of The Lion King {aka "Simba movie"}.

And right after lunch, the doorbell rang and the mailman delivered a package for Bailey and Avery. Bailey knows what this means: Presents from Gramma Cathy!!
[This girl has been conditioned Pavlov style. She sees any package or even just a cardboard box and she is absolutely convinced it is for her from her grandma.]

Grandma Cathy always sends the best packages. And they look cute too.


And there was candy inside!

 
Along with the all-important candy was a book. It was one of those books where you can record your voice reading it.
The girls LOVED it.
I think Bailey was slightly amazed to hear Grandma Cathy's voice coming out of the book.
The girls love to read books. Bonus points if there are pictures of animals. And even better if the book reads itself to you!
 
 

Earlier in the week when it was nice out, Bailey was playing the role of official leaf raker.
She loves to feel helpful.
And being buried in the leaves proved to be just as fun.

 
 
I am pretty excited for the upcoming weekend.

For one it is my birthday on Sunday. Not such a big deal anymore (really, after 21, it is all down hill) but I am excited to receive mail, especially mail that might actually contain money instead of demanding it. ;)  Also, my wonderfully talented husband always bakes me a delicious cake. And pretty sure cake is my favorite food, so that also has me excited.

On Friday Beaner will be home for a 3-day weekend, so we will be hitting up the new Mexican restaurant in town with her and Justy. Mucho chips and salsa for me; mucho margaritas for everyone else...

Then on Saturday Jared and I are heading to Sioux City to do some serious shopping and spend the day together. I am excited to get all our Christmas shopping done (I am determined to be done before Baby) and go out to eat for my birthday.   Endless shrimp here we come!  It might be our last little hurrah before I am chained to the couch 24/7 in a nursing tank top covered in spit up.
(Only 6 weeks - or less - left!)

Hopefully Sunday will be a low-key. Church in the morning and cake eating all day long. Some football. More cake.  Sounds pretty amazing to me.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pumpkin Fest 2012


Seeing as it barely rained this morning and soon turned into a beautiful day, we hit up the local pumpkin patch for a few hours of fun.

I called up my mom and dad and they came along with us. Going and picking out pumpkins wasn't something we ever did as kids, so my parents got to experience it for the first time too.

There were quite a few different activities for kids of all ages, but mostly kids Bailey's age or a bit older. She wasn't quite sure about doing the trampoline with harness. It took some persuasion by Jared to get her to give it a try. But once she got the hang of it, she was all smiles.




However, the "corn pool" was a hit for both kids. The "pool" was actually like a giant sandbox, but instead of sand it was filled with 175 bushels of corn.



Avery, the poor thing, spent the better part of the day attempting to escape frequent Kleenex attacks by both Grandma and Mom.
{But on the positive side, the tooth finally broke through today! Maybe the end is in sight?}

There was a kid's zip line as well. Bailey was too young to be trusted to actually use it as intended, but we improvised and Jared pushed her along instead.
Maybe next year.


 

We finished the day off with a hay ride to pick out a few pumpkins.

Earlier my dad stuck a piece of straw in his mouth, which made Bailey laugh. So on the hay ride, she took one piece and put it in Papa's mouth and put another in her mouth.
They both rode nearly the whole ride like this:


You can't even stage a picture like this.
This girl just makes me laugh.
 
It was a nice day with beautiful weather and kids that didn't whine even once during the 3 hours we were at the Pumpkin Fest. Follow that up with an early bedtime of 7 pm and I would say the day was a success. :)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Week recap

It's been pretty boringly normal around here lately. We haven't taken any cute pictures of the girls in a while because the snot pouring out of their noses kinda ruins any decent shot. The weather has been bordering on cold so we have spent some days cuddled up inside.

In fact, I am not really sure where the week went...

On Monday afternoon my mom came and watched the girls for a few hours so Jared and I could get out of the house to celebrate his birthday. We went shopping for a couple hours - just browsing around, discussing Christmas presents for the girls, choosing new knobs for the nursery dresser... It was nothing fantastic really, but at the same time it was. I can't remember the last time we shopped without making a grocery stop to Walmart along the way. It was heaven.

We ate dinner together and I enjoyed Jared's complimentary birthday cheesecake for him since he has cut out junk food and most carbs for the past month or more. {Side note: what is a manly word for "diet"?} He has more willpower than I can ever hope for. He is down 20-plus pounds now. [Yay Jared!] And I am apparently picking them up as he drops them off... Anyway, the turtle cheesecake was delicious, as was the basket of bread I almost finished by myself. In my defense, there were flavored butters!

The rest of the week has been a blur of randomness.

*This week's doctor's appointment got cancelled and I was fine with it. It's pretty annoying to drive 30 minutes to see the doctor for two minutes and then drive back home. Baby is in there constantly shifting around to find the most uncomfortable (for me) position, so I think we are good to go.
*I got a haircut - talk about long overdue. This pregnancy has left my hair feeling like a horse's mane no matter what products I use. Not cool.
*I took a lot of naps. Long naps.
*Jared finished refinishing the dresser for the nursery, so we rearranged furniture. {It's completely sad how this excites me.} Now we are just waiting for the knobs to arrive. $6 per knob at Menard's? Yeah, not so much. Thank you, Overstock.com. Hopefully in the next week or two we will finish the room by actually hanging something on the walls.

Today I worked for a few hours in the afternoon once Jared was up to watch the girls. And in keeping with our exciting lifestyle as of late, after I got home, Jared and I sat down to watch a DVR'ed episode of SVU. He made it about 3/4 of the way through and was snoring on the couch Dad-style. Working nights really leaves something to be desired in the whole companionship department; he was asleep in bed by 9 pm.

Hopefully this weekend is less of a bust. The forecast for tomorrow is rain and I sincerely hope that comes with some thunder as well. I did not come anywhere close to getting my fill of thunderstorms this past summer. The plan is for a comfy, game-filled day tomorrow and a trip to the pumpkin patch on Sunday. I am keeping my fingers crossed that poor Jared isn't lulled to sleep by the hay ride.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

32 weeks

Another week gone by.

Another week closer to finding out if we have a little brother or sister to add to our bunch.
Or if you ask Bailey her opinion on the sex of the baby, she will tell you "brother-sister." Apparently she either can't choose or it's going to be a hermaphrodite.
Time will tell.

32 weeks is a big week - according to pregnancy books at least.
 
It's the week where you can take comfort in the knowledge that "almost every baby born at this gestation does well and goes on to live a normal, healthy life."
And after seeing friends who have struggled with pre-term babies and long NICU stays, every week that goes by is much appreciated by me.

Overall, I still feel pretty great.
There are a few moments out of each day that I am uncomfortable. Especially since Baby loves to wedge his or her little butt high up into my right ribs. Apparently that is the sweet spot because that is where Avery and Bailey each liked to be too.

But other than that, I still get a good night's sleep every night - or I would if everyone in our house would stop getting cold after cold! We all know poor Avery needs to be able to furiously suck her thumb and a plugged nose just isn't really helping things.

And I feel like I am doing pretty well energy-wise.
{Or as good as can be expected with a 2 1/2 year old and a 17 month old.}
I am however realizing the perks of a single-story house like I had with my first two pregnancies. Those stairs are a real killer by 7 pm...

Monday, October 8, 2012

Happy Birthday Hubby!


Happy 28th Birthday, Jared!
 
 
 
Here is the birthday boy a mere 25 years ago...
Isn't he cute?  Love the suspenders.
 
And he still gets this excited about cake!
(Oh wait, that's me. Never mind.)
 
 
Anyway...
Happy birthday to the best husband I could have ever asked for.
I wish we had all the money in the world so I could surprise you with expensive gifts, fancy meals, and exotic get-aways, but I think dinner and a movie is probably the closest we are going to get for a while...  Besides, you are actually the one with a knack for surprises and presents.
 
I love you more than words can say. ♥
 
Happy Birthday.
 
 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fall Bucket List

 
I finally got around to finishing our Fall Bucket List. I bought the cute leaf shapes a month ago, but when I went back to Hobby Lobby to buy another package, of course they no longer carried them. So what resulted is a lot of orange as I improvised and cut out some gourd/pumpkin shapes instead.
 
Our list seems a bit small, especially compared to this summer's.
 

But things like "visit a pumpkin patch" will take up the better part of a day and will hopefully include lots of other activities too. I read some other people's lists to get ideas, but there was no way "watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade" was making the list. Watching a parade - any parade - on TV? I would rather stab my own eyes out.
 
And we already have the girls' Halloween costumes, so that is another item already checked off way in advance. We have been practicing around the house with our plastic orange pumpkin buckets. These girls are ready for all that candy collecting!
 
And seeing as Baby #3 should be making his or her appearance sometime in {late} November, I didn't get overzealous. It will be enough work to drag my butt to twice weekly appointments - which start in two weeks.


Hopefully along the way I will think of some more ideas.
Feel free to share any good ones that I might be missing.
{Just don't bother trying to change my mind on the whole parade watching thing.}

Monday, October 1, 2012

October already

It's beautiful out today. I have some windows open and I can hear the leaves falling in earnest now. The backyard is beginning to fill up with them. The weather is perfect - still cool but supposed to reach the 70s by this afternoon. I have fall scented candles lit around the house. Now I just need an apple pie baking in the oven. {Need is perhaps the wrong word.}

I can't really believe it is October already, and that another week has begun. The last one flew by quickly.

On Wednesday Justy made the trip with me to Ames for an endocrinologist appointment. She came under the pretense of helping with the girls, but she was definitely in it for lunch at Hickory Park. Love that place. I could practically drink their delicious buttermilk ranch. Plus it's always busy with a constant hum of activity so I don't have to be as worried about keeping the girls quiet. The appointment was fine and the ice cream afterward was even better.

My sisters Fe and Beaner were back this weekend for a visit. So on Friday night the whole family loaded up to go out to eat together. That happens very infrequently, and for it happen during harvest time is a rarity. It was nice to be together, but even nicer to just hang out casually on Sunday watching football.

As busy as last week was, this week should be the opposite. I don't have to work until the weekend, so we have some open, free days ahead of us. So I have decided to make it my goal to accomplish the tasks I have been putting off around the house. For example, the pile of clutter that is just sitting on top of the fridge - most of which doesn't even belong in the kitchen. And the closet in the spare bedroom that apparently just sucks in random items, never to be seen again.

I am crossing my fingers to stumble across a vase we have been looking for for the past few weeks. It is an ugly, shiny brown vase that we received as a wedding present. But oddly enough, it looks great with fall flowers and leaves in it - which is the only season we ever use it. And I can't find it anywhere. Apparently it went into hiding along with Jared's power drill battery charger.

But during the search, I have found quite a few things that made their way into the Goodwill donation box.
I seriously love donating things.
(I just cannot understand hoarders. If Jared were like that... A total deal-breaker. Massive irreconcilable difference.)
I like cleaning out our closets and finding things I know we don't use and that someone else might. I like the feeling of making more room and accomplishing a higher level of organization, even though it is probably only in my head.

Also high on my list is my goal to accomplish all my Christmas tasks by the end of this month. As in: shopping complete and wrapping done, resulting in a nice pile of gifts waiting in the basement until December 25th. Because, as you might have already heard, we are expecting the arrival of a needy little baby in November. And I do not want to have to take said baby into crowded stores, filled with coughing, sniffling people. [Plus it is gonna be cold out. Enough said.]

But I am getting ahead of myself. Back to this week:
Hopefully I can tie up some of these household loose ends and feel more prepared for Baby's arrival. It's starting to sink in that I will soon have zero free time and even less energy to do menial tasks like organizing the pantry. And maybe the girls and I can enjoy some backyard play time and stroller rides before the temps drop dramatically - and probably for good.