Tuesday, November 30, 2010

12 Days of Christmas: Day 8

It's Day 8 of the 12 Days of Christmas Challenge and today's topic is...
Least Favorite Thing About the Holidays

Hmmm...this one required some serious thinking on my part. I guess what I don't like is the let down after the holidays. You know, that weird feeling when the excitement is over and the family has left town. It's time to put away the decorations and plow through three or four more months of bland and blah winter. I consider myself lucky because I extend the holiday season to include my birthday (January 5th! :)). If I wanted to, I could even include Dave's on January 26th. That helps with the post Hallow-Thanks-Christmas Madness of Oct/Nov/Dec. (And next year, we'll have a birthday thrown in there too for Trace!)

Yep, that's my answer. I don't like the let down when the holidays are over. In fact, I'm feeling that way a little bit now. But there's always something to look forward to, it's just a matter of picking it out! :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

12 Days of Christmas: Day 7

Day 7: Holiday Craft/DIY

Ho ho ho...I suck at crafts! Well that's not entirely true. If you know me, you know I can't scrapbook to save my life. Seriously, it's a disaster. I am okay at some other stuff, but really...not so hot. I am not artistic in that arena. I could choreograph you a great Christmas dance though! :)

I do have a DIY decorating tip, because I love to decorate my tiny baby sized house. I am far from an expert, so this is my little tree cheat. (ha!)

Ribbon on the tree. I love this look but I never knew quite how to get the ribbon to fall nicely from the top of the tree. I figured it out last year! I attached the ends to the inside of the angel. Super easy and it holds the ends in place so I can arrange the long parts down the tree how I would like.

(Imagine a picture here of my really cute purple and gold tree...can't put it up until Dave digs my 4 totes of Christmas decs out of the abyss in the basement. UGH.)

Hmmm...I'm sure I have more I just can't see my decorations so it's hard to remember. A lot has happened since we last put them up!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

12 Days of Christmas: Days 4 and 5

I missed Day 4, because well...I have an 18 month old and a 1 month old, family in town on both sides and a husband who was gone last night and all day today at the Penn State game. I'm also a little crabby and a whole lot of stressed. So. Yep. Missed Day 4 on actual Day 4. I'm not going to go in to a big late Day 4 post, just make a budget and do your best to stick to it! That's what I do! I'll put money in an envelope for each person and stick to that amount. Easy.

Day 5: Favorite Christmas Movie

I have a tie...

The best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear!!


Oh how I love this movie! Will Ferrel is so fantastic in this one. He's adorable and endearing, humorous and generally awesome. I've been known to watch this movie in the spring and summer too...:) I may or may not have just watched it last night. (Thanks USA, for playing it all weekend!)

And who doesn't want their house decorated to look like Buddy does his dad's? :)

My tie-for-first favorite...

This movie was a staple of my childhood. I know all the songs, all the dances...it' just plain awesome. Nothing like a vintage Bing Crosby movie to get you in the holiday spirit!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I Wanna Be a Rockette

I have wanted to be a Rockette my ENTIRE life. It's a big tradition in my family to watch the Macy's Parade every Thanksgiving. When I was little, I'd try to follow along with the Rockettes performances. I've seen them live 4 times, one year I saw them twice in 3 weeks. I danced the Rockette Experience on my 17th birthday. I'm a little bit obsessed to say the least.

Yet. Not much can be done when you are only 5'5. You have to be 5'7, barefoot and without question, to qualify to audition. That's a sad fact that I have had to come to terms with. ;) I'm not tall, I'll never be tall. I've satisfied myself with turning my dancers into mini-Rockettes and live happily knowing at least 2 of my students plan to audition for the big show when they are old enough! I live vicariously through them.

Those were the days!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 3!

Best/Most Meaningful Gift

Today's theme in the 12 Days of Christmas Bloghop is best/most meaningful gift. This is a super fun one, I think! I read through Kelly's over at Kelly and Co this morning and it brought back so many memories. (Thanks, Kelly, for posting it first thing. I don't think my memory would have woken up without reading yours! :))

Confession, before I begin. I am sure some of these presents were Chelsea's, I just can't remember. I am POSITIVE if she ever reads this, she'll chime in with what was hers. :)

The first awesome present I remember getting was this one...

A Talking Mother Goose! She had a little gosling with her named Bertrum. She was a lot like Teddy Ruxpin, except clearly she was Mother Goose and told nursery rhymes and fairy tales. I was beyond obsessed with my Mother Goose! I used her for years. I wish I still had her, Rory would love it!

Along those same lines, one year Chels or I got these videos in our stockings...

These were the GREATEST Mother Goose videos. They were real people and animatronics. We watched them every day for years. Bertrum always wanted stuffed peppers and rutabagas in every episode. Oh they were awesome.

Every year, Santa brought Chels and I Holiday Barbie. They started the series in 1988. I got my first one in 1990, according to the timeline I found online. I have every one from 1990 to 2003. You better believe Santa brought Rory one last year and it's on her list for him this year. :)

One year, one of us got a playhouse a LOT like this, only ours was pink, purple and yellow. It was set up in the living room when we woke up on Christmas morning. It was *fantastic* and got years of use.

Didn't every girl my age want an American Girl Doll?? My friend Katie was so lucky, she had THREE! :) I had Felicity and Chels had Molly. Felicity was beautiful and also had the best books, I thought. I'm excited for the day I can get Rory her own American Girl doll. (Sad news, Felicity has been retired! Well I guess that makes sense, she's probably 20 years old. Yikes.)

More recently, my parents have gone above and beyond when giving me gifts. The last two years have been amaaaazing.
First this baby...

My beloved Nikon d40. I use it every day and it is amazing. :)

And this little beauty!

Oh how I love my KitchenAide and long for the day I will be able to have a big kitchen so I can cook more.

Christmas was always so wonderful in my house growing up. It was never the quantity of presents that mattered to Chels and I, but the fact that my parents took such care to pick out perfect things that THRILLED us. I use that same philosophy picking out gifts for my family. Memories over monetary value, people. :)

Happy Thanksgiving!! Link up in the Blog Challenge!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

12 Days of Christmas: Day 2

Black Friday/Shopping Tips

I am scared of Black Friday. Seriously the whole idea intimidates me! (haha) I don't do Black Friday. I do take advantage of the online sales though, from the comfort of my couch with a nice cup of coffee and a Christmas movie. :)

Dave *LOVES* Black Friday, though. Odd, isn't it?? He likes to go with his friend, Jason. They are all about it, scooping out the best deals and getting there majorly early. Personally, I think they are nuts. :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Marcel the Shell

This is the cutest thing I've ever seen. Watch it, it will make you smile! :)

One time, I looked at a diamond and I got a sunburn.

12 Day of Christmas Blog Challenge!

I am so so so excited for this! I stumbled on it last week sometime and today I noticed it all over my news feed. Yay! I *love* the holidays and this gives me something to look forward to.

Christmas Traditions

Well this is interesting. Before I start, I have to tell you the truth. Dave hate holidays. HATES THEM. He gets in a terrible mood about the whole thing. Now, I am not speaking badly of him, he'll fully admit he hate holidays and gets crabby about them for no reason. His reason is he doesn't understand all the extra "work" that goes in to holidays when it's just another day. I get that, except that he doesn't really have any extra work to do...but that's another blog for another day! The reason I tell you this is because our little family of two nope three nope FOUR! has no real traditions yet. I'm hoping we'll start some this year but who knows.

My family on the other hand...
Christmas Eve is dinner at my mom's. It's always perogies, ham and coleslaw. We are Polish and this is our nod to our heritage. My grandpa comes in, the Hemdals, all of us that live close. Then we go to the family service at church. After that, everyone heads home and puts out cookies and milk for Santa and reindeer food on the front lawn! :)

During the night, our stockings are delivered by the Big Man to the bottom of our beds. Everything inside is wrapped in Santa's signature paper.

On Christmas morning, we do stockings first, then tree presents. After tree presents, we head up to my parents for presents and coffee. Some years we eat breakfast there, other years Dave and I host brunch at our house. This year we'll be eating at my mom's.

After that, we go to Dave's grandparents' house for Christmas dinner and hang out there for a while.

Of course, Christmas wouldn't be complete without my Uncle Barry telling me he shot Rudolph. :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Best Time of Your Life

I had a dream about college the other night and I woke up in tears. Last night I saw my very first friend, his wife and their beautiful son for the first time and I cried when I got home. I've been missing my "old friends" so much lately. (Not that my friends right now aren't fantastic! :)) It got me thinking...

Why is that everyone tells you high school is the best time of your life? College? Being Newlywed? Having a new baby? It seems that each milestone you hit is supposed to be the best time of your life.

This is false. EVERY MOMENT should be the best time of your life. Even when Rory is screaming her head off like a howler monkey and Trace is sobbing, it's the best time of my life because I'll never ever have that moment back. In a few years, I'll be sitting here in the quiet of my house again with both kids in school and wishing for a few more days of chaos. Yes, this time of my life is hectic and beyond exhausting, but it's the best time of my life.

College was the best time of my life. I found myself. I healed. I learned and most importantly, going to college allowed me to come home.

(I can't wait to be skinny again! That doesn't even look like me!)

High School was the best time of my life. I made my three best friends. I learned so much about myself, the world, especially dance. I let people walk all over me and apologized for things I had nothing to do with. Why do I consider this the best time of my life? Because it was the best (and last!) time I didn't stand up for myself when necessary. It was the best time I was ever a coward and it won't happen again!

Sure, maybe I do have my rose colored glasses on today and maybe this is all a result of no sleep and too much stress. I don't care. I'm trying so hard to be positive and look back and forward with a smile. Life is so short.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

WBoM Wednesday

{one} what time do you normally wake up?
Well that depends. Before Trace was born, I got up between 7:30 and 8 every day. Now with him, I am up between 1:00 and 2:00 am and then again around 6:00 am. Then I get up around 8:15-8:30 for the day.


{two} do you have a go-to song for karaoke?
I don't sing. Only in the car!

{three} if you could only see black and white except for one color, what color would you choose to see?
Definitely yellow! Sunny and beautiful. :)

{four} what color best matches your personality?
Hmmm...That's tough! I think I would say white. I'm complex and simple at the same time.

{five} if you could choose one meal to cook better than anyone else, what would it be?
Oh another tough one!! I think I'd like to be able to cook Mexican food.

{six} how many keys do you have on your key ring?
Ohhh wayyyy tooooo maaaannnnyy! 4 for the studio (Front door, back door, 2 to the inside door), 2 for the money box, front door to the house, back door to the house, my car, Dave's car, my mom's house, my car starter and dave's car starter, a Disney lanyard since I loose my keys daily, a bottle opener and a dance key chain.


That's like hoarders for keys!

{seven} do you give your pets birthday/christmas gifts?
We do for Christmas! Millie gets her own "stocking" with a couple new toys and some bones in it. She needs new toys every so often so Christmas seems to be a good excuse. :) We don't do her birthday, mostly because we never remember.

{eight} when your plate has different foods on it, do you mix or not?
Well on Holidays, my food mixes and I don't mind at all. I guess I really don't mind either way. It's all going to the same place!

{nine} if you could hire someone to do one thing for you all the time, what would it be?
I wish I had the money in the business to hire a business manager/accounntant for sure!! Someday, someday.

{ten} when flying, do you prefer the window or aisle seat?
I really don't care! We need three seats now so we take up the whole row. Aisle, middle or window...whichever! Soon we will need 4 seats sooo...probably the middle because the kids will want the windows, I'm sure.

Join in by clicking on the logo up top!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

So long, Sucker!

(Image from Google Images. They cited the source as Ginny @ That's Church! :))


Christmas came early in the Undercoffer household. My least favorite Steelers play, the blemish on my Steelers skin, has finally sealed his own fate. When he bashed the heck out of a Sheetz paper towel dispenser? Nah. When he offered to fight the police in defense of Matt Spaeth (who by the way was breaking the law!)? Not then! Naked picture? Scandalous Vegas pool party pics? Basically being a shady gnome of a human being? NOPE!

Jeff Reed wasn't always a creepy looking man. Before he got all fat and weird, he was a decent looking guy. Kinda short, super muscley legs, but overall just fine. (I think I just described myself!) He was a great consistent kicker until this year. That doesn't cut it in Pgh. Willie Parker (oh the hotness!) had a bad half of a season and his butt got kicked to the curb too. It's fair.

Last season, according to NFL.com, Mr. Reed was the most accurate kicker in the league, boasting an 88% success rate.

Sunday he missed a 26 yarder.

Na na na na...na na na na...hey hey GOODBYE!!

Randoms on the babies...so I don't forget!

Maternity "leave" is over for this Mama! I put "leave" in quotes because well...I was off 3 weeks. One of those weeks the studio was closed entirely. The last two, I went in every day to turn on the heat, do some office work. On Wednesdays, I went in and taught 4 hours...So leave is a loose word. (haha) I never really left! You don't have that luxury when you own the business. No owner? No money! I am very thankful I have amazing assistants and fellow teachers that covered for me for two weeks.

Part of me would like more time off, to just hang out with the kids and be home. But a much larger part of me was craving the studio. Last night was really nice for me. It's the first time in 10 months I have been dancing and not pregnant. Everything felt better and my choreography was definitely better. That's a nice feeling. I was doubting myself there for a while.

Trace is three weeks old! Holy moly! He'll be a month old on Thanksgiving. Excuse me, where did that month go?! I highly recommend having a baby during the holiday season because it makes time FLY by even faster than usual. The long nights fly by. I keep reminding myself that by Christmas, he'll be going 7-8 hours a night, no problem and by Dave's birthday at the end of January, it'll be 10-11 hours. He's already eating at 9, sleeping until 1:30 or 2, eating then, sleeping until 6, eating then sleeping until 8:30 or 9! That's really and truly only waking up one time a night. It's two, because I go back to bed after he eats at 6 (especially now that I'm back to work), but really it's only one! Crazy!! At his two week appointment, he weighed 9 lbs 9 oz and was 21.5 inches long.

Rory is 18 months old. That really blows my mind. She is such a mini-kid now. Talks a mile a minute (mostly gibberish) but every once a while, she'll look at me and spout off a whole sentence. Yesterday, the dog sneezed and Rory said (unprompted) Bless You! It melted my heart. :) She's going to start potty training in January because she hates her diapers. At her 18 month well child visit, she weighed 23 pounds and is 32 inches tall. She's weighed 23 pounds since her 12 month visit! Rory has one more shot in December and then NONE until Kindergarten!! She's growing right up, that's for sure. :)

Enjoy your Tuesday! We are being bums today. It's cold and looks like rain...we're just hanging out and watching dance recitals. :) Thanksgiving is coming!!! YAYYYY!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Oh, Mama M, how I love 5QF!! And don't forget! She's hosting a Holiday Gift Blog Hop every Monday. This Monday coming up is themed "Mature Man Gifts." I am very much looking forward to this, hoping to steal some ideas for Dad and Dave. :)

On with the show!

1. What is the most physically painful thing that has ever happened to you?
That's a really tough question. I've had 2 c-sections in 18 months. My second pregnancy was entirely painful, mostly due to the fact that my body hadn't healed enough from Rory to carry Trace well. Pregnancy isn't easy for me in the first place and I compounded the interest, so to speak, and ended up a hobbling mess of a woman. (haha) But aside from child bearing/birth...

Definitely when I sliced my hand WIDE open on a window. I was trying to close a window in my parents' house and it was stuck. I was determined to do it myself for some reason (I was 19!) and stood on a stool to try and press it down. Well it came down. Hard. It shattered the top pane of glass and I flew backwards off the stool, swiping my hand through the shards on the way down. I almost lost my pinkie! That pinkie still gets really sore in the cold weather and I have to force it straight some days. My entire arm bruised as a result of it! 15 internal stitches and 10 external later, I survived. And learned a lesson: Wait for Dad to help! haha

2. How much sleep do you get at night?
Uhh...ask me again in 4 weeks. Trace isn't evevn 3 weeks old for goodness sakes. Last night it was two sets of 2.5 hours and one set of 3.5. Which is PLENTY of sleep, except that I sleep so fitfully because I'm worried about Trace that it doesn't do me much good. But I will survive! BABYWISE.

3. Question 3 has been removed because I won't answer it. If you are curious, head over to Mama M and check her answer out. I will just tell you that I believe 100% and always will. So will my children!

4. What was the last movie you saw in a theater?
Toy Story 3. We don't get out a whole lot in this household. (haha) We will go to see Harry Potter (!!!! I just geeked out !!!!!) over Thanksgiving, though, and I'm sure we'll take Rory to see Tangled eventually.

5. What do you wear to bed?
In the summer or when I am too hot, I always wear these awesome comfy black maternity shorts (it's okay, it's just bed time!) and a t-shirt or tank top. In the winter, I wear pajama pants and a long sleeved t-shirt. Sometimes I wear a t-shirt and a hoodie. I also *love* to sleep with socks on but usually kick them off at night.

Join in!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I have a problem. I've been eyeing up a bunch of books I want to get Rory and Trace for Christmas. I'm super cheap, so I put them in my Amazon cart and never actually purchased them. I was planning to, but I didn't. Today I decided to research them on Ebay.


I got 7 David Shannon books for 23 dollars, including shipping. That's like 3 dollars a book and 4 of them are hard cover. That's a good looking deal to me! :)

That got me thinking.

Are there lots of Tomie DePaola books? Rory would love Big Anthony!


How about Robert Munsch?

Max Lucado?

Berenstein Bears?

On and on and on I searched...

And the answer was YES. To every author I could think of.

It's a good thing I'm super cheap or else there'd be pounds upon pounds of books arriving on my doorstep over the next few weeks.

The good news is, though, I won't be paying full price for books for the kids for a super long time. Our possibilities are endless for expanding their libraries. Thanks, Ebay, for feeding my kiddo's literary addiction.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Girl Talk Blog Hop

I'm linking up with Girl Talk for the Blog Hop Today! If you have never read Girl Talk, you really should!! My sister-in-law Laura and her friend moderate the site and it's filled with Girls Only topics: health stuff, pregnancy, babies, marriage, relatives, anything you can think of. They often have guests bloggers and it's always really interesting! Check it out by clicking the link above! And Blog Hop!!

This week's question: If you had $500 and 24 hours to spend it, how would you do it?? It must be spent entirely on yourself!

Confession. I am CHEAP. Super cheap. When it comes to buying things for myself, I just don't do it. I like to spend money on others, especially my family!, but I hate spending money on myself. For example, in AUGUST my laptop screen bit the dust. Instead of buying a new laptop, I jury rigged a desktop screen so I didn't have to buy a new laptop. (haha oh my goodness that's kind of embarrassing to admit!) But if it had been Rory's computer or Trace's...well I would have ordered them one that day! I'm a cheapskate and proud of it!

But if I HAD to spend this money on myself, I know what I would get!

1) A Kindle. I am very much jealous of my student Makayla who has a Kindle. It's beautiful. I *love* to read and this would make my life so much eaiser. It would fit nicely in my purse and entertain me for hours.

(Image from HERE)
That's $140. So...$360 to go!

2) Tickets to a Steelers game! That'd easily take the rest of the $360. I'd get club level tickets for Dave and myself. That'd be a dream come true, for sure! We've been to a couple games, but never in really nice seats. (Except pre-season) It'd be a great season to go, that's for sure!

Too bad that guy ^^ wouldn't be around for me to drool over anymore. Miss you, Willie Parker! The janitor job at Studio K is still available for you, since you know, no team wants you as their running back...I'm just saying.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Holiday Gift Guide: Hidden Gems of Children's Lit


Mama M is hosting a 7 week long Holiday Gift Guide. Once a week, she's blog hopping for us with everyone's ideas on different topics. I am totally joining in because I like to discover the perfect gift! :)

This week's theme: Hidden Gems in Children's Literature

I am going to give you a few of mine and Rory's favorite books to read. Trace and I have yet to develop favorite books, but maybe next year. :)

Disclaimer: All pictures from Google Images because I am way too exhausted to go dig out these books and take my own pictures of them. I thank you.

Dance, Tanya by Patricia Lee Gauch
Oh how I love the Tanya books! This is my favorite. It's about a little girl who dances in her own world, all the time. She longs to take class but she is too little. The illustrations are beautiful and the story makes me cry. (This could be because I think about Rory dancing though...:)) It's a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful tale about dreaming and letting your imagination run (dance!) wild.

The Peekaboo Books
These books are perfection. Rory loves them because she can open the flaps by herself so easily. She is entertained for hours (okay mintues) by these books and loves to open each flap and yell BABY! They are fantastic for fine motor skills and independent play skills. There's a huge variety of them. We have a Christmas one, a farm one, a dress up one, an animal one, a sunny day one...and I do believe more will be arriving at our house on December 25th. :)

The Shoe Books by Noel Streatfield
Ballet Shoes, Dancing Shoes, Theater Shoes and Skating Shoes...my loves! Rory hasn't read these yet, but she will. I fell in love with these books in 5th grade and I read each of them once a year. They are sort of hard to find, it takes some digging. (Check Amazon!) But they are so worth it. Streatfield writes in such a way that every girl who reads them will be captivated. They are chapter books, so they encourage longer reading attention spans, and they are wonderful from cover to cover. Ballet Shoes is my personal favorite, but they are all wonderful. Hold the phone!! I just checked Amazon and it seems ALL the Shoe Books have been reprinted and are readily available. Wooooohoooo! Rory will be getting a set for Christmas, even though she won't be able to read them for...10 years. haha

Honorable Mentions...
Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
Yes! by...? I can't find it online. Sorrrrry. :(
No David! by David Shannon
The Stinky Cheeseman and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst and Ray Cruz
Strega Nona by Tomie DePaola
The Paperbag Princess by Robert Munsch
How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long and David Shannon
A Bad Case of the Stripes by David Shannon

Clearly, I am a HUGE Robert Munsch and David Shannon fan. :)

What are you kids' favorite books?! Share! Rory is OBSESSED with reading and I want to build her library as big as possible. Nothing better than books!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Things I am Thankful for Today!

Today, our hot water tank broke. It flooded out our basement. Let me just tell you about my basement. Three-quarters are finished, carpeted, tv, sitting areas, etc. One-quarter is unfinished. This side we use for storage, the washer and dryer, etc. The hot water tank was, obviously, on that side. It cracked or leaked or something, sometime between 1:30 this morning and 7:00. (Easy to figure out because we use hot water for Trace's bottles and it couldn't have been empty when we went to make one! haha)

It leaked. Nope. Not leaked. FLOODED the unfinished side of the basement and the finished side. There's a good five feet all around the finished side that is soaked beyond belief. The carpet is...done-zo. There's no salvaging it.

But! God is gooooood! Our insurance agent is a great guy and we called him first thing this morning. He is already coming over to file the claim and get the ball rolling to get everything paid for. Did you know that most homeowner's insurance WILL cover water damage that occurred because of a water line break inside the house? For example the line to your dishwasher breaks, washing machine bites the big one or your hot water tank commits suicide in the middle of the night. Thankfully, our insurance will cover the tank and the damages!! We can replace the carpet/put in some sort of new flooring in the basement without worry. This is like an early Christmas present to me! I've been "toying" with the idea of making the basement in to the kids playroom anyways and I'd like an easier surface to clean up, plus the carpet was light blue and showed messes super easy. Replacing it with a tougher carpet or laminate flooring would be ideal. See? Found the silver lining!

Another thing I am thankful for is that we bought this house from my aunt and uncle. They lived here for 15 or 20 years before they built a beautiful new house and we bought this one from them. My Uncle immediately came over with everything we needed to get the situation under control because when they lived here, their basement flooded THREE TIMES! He knows exactly what to do to minimize damage and doesn't mind helping us out. :)

Also, it's a SUNDAY. Imagine if this would have happened on a work day. I don't go to the basement that often, except to get the dog in and out of her crate. I probably wouldn't have noticed the wet floor until Tuesday or Wednesday when I was planning to do laundry. And what the heck would I have done?! I have no idea how to stop a leak like that until Dave could get home from work. Sunday is the perfect day for something like this to happen, thankfully.

Okay. I've found the silver lining to this fiasco a few times over now and I need to go to my mom's to take a shower and feed the kids. Say a prayer for us, it's going to be a loooooong day!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Gratitude Day 5

GCD5: Take 5 minutes and be thankful for what you have in your life at this moment. Don't long for what you don't possess, focus on the blessings you have in your life at this moment.

I like this one! I'm working really hard on living in the moment more. I tend to wish my life away, thinking "when Christmas comes and I get this..." or "by the dance recital, Trace will be doing this..." I end up missing out on the moment I'm in and not be fully thankful for the awesomeness of THIS moment.

I am really thankful for nighttime feedings with Trace. Call me crazy, sure. Yes, I am exhausted. BUT! I also know that I will not have another newborn to stay up with during the night. I won't have the satisfaction of comforting and giving a baby exactly what he needs, when he needs it, ever again the way you do with a newborn. I really believe that the nighttime sessions I spent with Rory are when we bonded the best and I am feeling that connection with Mr. Man already.

I am thankful for my dog, Millie. She's such a lover and always wants everyone to be happy and okay. I appreciate her outlook on life, even though she's "just a dog." When we got her, we asked the breeder to recommend a dog with a sweet personality that would be good with children. He couldn't have picked out a better puppy for us! She's so gentle and caring and the best nap partner I have. :)

I am thankful for my super comfy bed. It's not as big as I would like (Dave is a TERRIBLE bed sharer!) but it is beyond comfy. True, at this moment, I don't get to spend as much time in it as I would like, but those precious hours I am sleeping are delightful.

I am thankful for baby gear, like bouncy seats and swings. Trace is so content to sit in his sit and watch me work and Rory play. At this moment, he is sitting in his seat, sucking on his pacifier and fighting sleep. He's happy as a clam!

I am thankful for the book "Good Night Moon." Rory is so in love with it, she bubbles over with excitement at bed time! Once her jammies are on and her teeth are brushed, she heads right to her room and waits beside the rocking chair for me tp come and read to her. When we get to the page about the "quiet old lady who's whispering hush," she puts her finger to my lips and says hush mama hush! It's such a special moment in our day and I am so thankful!

I liked today. Ordinary things are things I need to be reminded to be thankful for. Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Gratitude Day 4!

GCD4: Write a "thank you note" to some of the negatives in your life.

Oh this is an excellent challenge for me. I tend to take negative things at face value, deal with them and then not mention them again. This is not good because I keep these negative things in my mind and replay them over and over and over.

Dear Business Work,
I don't like you, this you know. But I appreciate doing you because I am self sufficient. It gives me a sense of accomplishment to have my books come out balanced and know that I am the one responsible for that! Math is not my strong point so learning to own a business has been a challenge to say the least. I am learning every day to be a better business owner and I have you, tedious time consuming no fun work, to thank for that!
The Head of this Operation

Dear Gossip,
Thank you for teaching me to take the high road and keep my mouth shut! I am proud that over the last few years I've learned to stay out of drama as much as possible and not engage in the petty chit chat that is constantly flying around about me. Like Kate Gosselin said, "To me, the high road is the only road." Gossip, as annoying and petty as you are, I appreciate you because if I wasn't doing something right, people wouldn't need to talk about me. As hurtful as you are at times, especially when you come from friends, you are teaching me to be tough skinned and focus on my students, not myself. Gossip, we will never be friends but we aren't enemies anymore.
Did you hear about Miss Kate??

Dear Body Image,
Thank you for reminding me that eating healthy and exercising make me feel better in life, not just as the numbers on the scale go down. I am trying super hard to comes to grips with this new post-2 babies and 3 years of no dancing body I have, but it's tough work. I am learning though new things about cooking, lifestyle and myself that I never would have if I hadn't started hating how I look in the mirror. You are super annoying, body image, but I am going to deal with you head on instead of dodging you. Get ready!
I want my high school body back!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gratitude Challenge: Day 3

Today I am to write about someone/something I am thankful right at this moment in my life. Easy one!

I am thankful for my mom today. She's the best, seriously. She calls me every morning to check in on everyone and how we all slept. (That's a recent addition to the phone call! haha) She visits as often as she can, runs the studio on Tuesdays for me during my maternity leave and stops up to check on the studio as often as she can. She is amazing. My mom works full time and still manages to make my sister and I feel like the most important people in the world to her. She also brought me a dish of one of my favorite foods ever, Chicken Divan, the other day.

My mom also taught me so much about being a mother and a mommy. They are very different things! She wasn't always the best disciplinarian (Sorry, Mom, but it's true! :)) Dad was much better at that. She held us to our rules, of course, but left the punishments up to Dad! haha She always made (and still does) our house feel so homey and comforting. My mom can throw a party like none other (except perhaps her sister, my Aunt Barb. They are quite a team!) and decorates like Martha Stewart. She is a delicious cook and always manages to run the vacuum and do the laundry every day. In my eyes, she's a wonder woman. :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Gratitude Challenge: Days 1 and 2

This is so perfect for Thanksgiving! Kelly started this a day or so ago, then I noticed it popping up all over my blog feed. I need to join in and count my blessings, for sure.

21 Day Gratitude Challenge...I'm going to do my best to write up each day but let's just say I'm rather unpredictable in my blogging right now! haha I'll get each day done but maybe not in 21 days.

Day 1 is merely a commitment to do the challenge. Yep, I can do that.

Day 2: Use the Alphabet as a guide to list one thing you are thankful for per letter. Fun! Okay!

A: America I totally stole this from Kelly, but it's true. I'm extremely grateful for the country we live in. Even though I've never agreed completely with ANY politician, it's such a joy and PRIVILEGE to vote and choose our leaders. Even when the person I vote for "loses," I still spoke my mind. I go to the polls safely without worry. The worst I might encounter is someone outside asking me to answer a poll or some (really terribly) annoying commercials and phone calls. No fear, though, and that's invaluable. I spent some time in Russia in 10th grade and ever since then...I appreciate my country SO MUCH MORE!!

B: Books
Rory is addicted to reading. Absolutely 100% addicted. This is really funny to me because when she was a baby, she hated being read to. She'd scream and cry. I was so worried she'd never like to read books, but this is not the case! At the moment, she is sitting in the rocking chair in her room reading "Good Night Moon" to herself for the 100th time this morning. :) I also *love* to read anything I can get my hands on.
Second Runner Up: Ballet!

C: Chelsea
My sister and my best friend. God really broke the mold with her and I am so thankful! :)
Second Runner Up: Cousins! (Specifically Connor and Kaarina, for all their help with Rory and Trace! :))

D: Dad
I have the BEST dad in the world. He is so kind and caring. He's beyond smart and knows EVERYTHING. He cracks us up all the time and I know no matter what problem I am facing, he'll help me figure out a solution. He doesn't "fix" my problems but he guides, teaches and is my sounding wall when I have an idea.
Second Runner Up: DANCE!! OF COURSE!! :)

E: Effort
I am thankful for my students who put in 100% effort in class even when I'm not there and they have a sub. Kickline ROCKS!!

F: Family
I think this goes without saying. :)

G: Gilmore Girls
I watch one episode every night when I am feeding Trace. This show is my happy show.

H: Holidays
The Holidays make time go so fast and in this crazy, exhausting time of my life, I can use the days going faster. Makes it easier to see the light at the end of the tunnel...or my bed for longer than 4 hours at a time. :)

I: Intelligence
I am so thankful that God gave me a brain to use and expand every day. Intelligence is such a gift and we owe it to God to learn and teach as much as possible!

J: June
My favorite month because it always has the DANCE RECITAL!!

K: Kappa
Dear Old KKG. I wouldn't be the person I am today without Kappa. I am so thankful every day for those girls and those traditions. <3

L: Love
So much love flying around lately! Doesn't get much better than that.

M: Music
Music is always playing in this house! We love to get our groove on. :)

N: Newborns
I'm just saying...it's pretty nice to cuddle my little man. It's also exciting to look forward to NOT having a newborn anymore and moving on with our family. I hope that makes sense!

O: Olive Garden
Do I really need to explain this?!

P: Puppy
Millie isn't really a puppy anymore, she'll be 4 in the spring. But she's the closest thing I've got and I am so thankful for her. She's my tried and true companion. She always wants to be right beside me.

Q: Quick Meals
Hello I have an 18 month old and an 11 day old.

R: Rory!
My first and only daughter. She is mini-me, for sure and I love her more every day.

S: Studio K
My kids are the best! Every day at my job is different and exciting. God is good and blessing me! If there's one thing I've learned from owning the studio, it's that taking the high road isn't easy, but it pays off 10 fold. Keep your mouth SHUT and you can't be misquoted.

T: Trace!
11 days of awesome. :)

U: Umbrellas
Well of course on days like today!

V: Visa
My Visa debit card makes me life so much easier. Ordering things online is like a dream instead of dragging Rory around to the store all the time. Trace could care less, but Rory is kind of a budge in stores sometimes. :) V was difficult!!

W: Walking
I LOVE to walk. Next week it's supposed to be in the 60's a few days and I can't wait to get the kids out for a nice long walk.

X: X-rays
Dancer + Foot Injuries = <3 of X-rays

Y: Yellow
My favorite color!

Z: Zoo
We had the nicest day with Rory at the Zoo right before Trace was born. I'll never ever forget that day. :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Trace's Birth Story

Trace was born one week ago today! I can't believe I actually made it to my schedule c-section date. I thought for sure I was going to give birth anyyyy second the last 2 weeks leading up to the 25th, but I didn't.

We had to be at the hospital at 5:30 in the morning on the 25th. I never really slept that night before, I was way too keyed up. Do not fear, Dave slept just fine. :) My parents came down bright and early. My mom was going with us and my dad was staying with Rory because she was still sleeping, of course. Everything went smooth checking in and getting set up in my room. It was, coincidentally, the same room I had when Rory was born!! I had no idea, but Dave and my mom informed me that yes, it was.

I got all the "fun" stuff over with right away. An IV, a bunch of blood work, the AWFUL catheter, none of it fun but none of it that truly terrible either. Around 7:00, the anesthetist came in and talked to me about the spinal tap. He put a lot of my nerves about it not taking again at ease. Dave got into his "Doctor Stuff" and my Ob arrived! I was wheeled into the OR around 7:20 or so. I got my spinal (NOT painful, again, I tell you! It's not painful!!) and it took!! Praise the Lord! I wanted so badly to be awake for this c-section, for so many reasons. I knew my recovery would be easier and I wanted Dave to be there for the actual birth of his son. God answered!

I was a little nervous about the "pressure" people always describe feeling but it was nothing. I really and truly felt very little. I would compare it to letting the dog walk on my stomach if I was laying on the floor. (Millie weighs 10 pounds.) It was easy! I got to see Trace half a second after he was born and it was beautiful. I'm really glad I had that experience and Dave too!

Trace Joseph was born at 7:45 am on Monday, Oct 25th. He weighed in at 9 lbs, 2 oz and was 21 inches long.

After the c-section was complete, Dave left the OR with the baby and they finished up with me. My Dr this time didn't use staples, he used internal stitches and glue for my incision. It's like a dream come true! Nothing get caught on my pants, nothing itching. It's so much better!! I was wheeled back to my room and it was a completely different recovery than with Rory. Dave came in about 20 minutes after I got in there, the baby was brought in about 45 minutes after wards and my mom and Dave's mom came in shortly there after. I was talking, laughing, feeling really great actually.

I did end up getting nauseous as the spinal was wearing off, but my wonderful nurse Jada gave me something in my IV. It took the nausea away but knocked me out for a good while. (haha) I didn't want to sleep, but I knew I had to. It wore off around 9:00 that night and I actually was able to get up and sit in a chair, eat some dinner and hold the baby some. I could have held him more, but my arms were still feeling "funny" and I didn't want to risk feeling weak holding him. No good!

Trace is a fantastic baby. He eats on the dot of every 3 hours right now, except at night. He tends to go a little longer, usually 3.5-4 hours between feedings at night! Go Trace Go! :) He's got his dad's curly hair but he really does look like a more masculine version of Rory. He seems so much tinier than Rory did when she came home. I know he only weighed 5 oz less than her, but he just seems so much smaller! I can't believe he's already a week old! Time is flying already. I'm not sure if it's because I'm a parent for the second time or just because I'm older, but I'm not nearly as agitated and anxious about his sleeping habits or eating habits or any of it. I'm much more go with the flow. I keep thinking that by Christmas time, he'll be sleeping through the night! And by the end of January, he'll easily be going 10 hours a night. (Thank you, BabyWise and Laura!) That seems so close to me! The holidays fly by anyways and it's going to be doubly fast this year. I can't believe it, I really can't.

Rory is doing really well adjusting to having a brother. She has moments every now and then where she wants my attention but can't have it. It passes quickly though. She loves to help out with Trace and tries to put his pacifier in quite violently sometimes. ;)

Keep us in your prayers as we tackle this new season in our lives. A family of four! I still can't believe it!