Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What did I miss?

There were birthdays (mine and Asher's). There were first days of school for both kids. There was a cavity filling for Asher and a crown for me. There were book clubs and calling changes and projects. Doctor visits. Family outings. Growing. Surprises. Plans. Projects.
1st day of school... way back in July.

1st day of preschool. She LOVES it!
Asher had a lego themed birthday party. He only wanted extended family there (no friends from church or school). He had direct specifications for his cake. He had a great time and he loved his gifts.

My birthday came and went without much fuss. It is right when Asher's school starts up, and I'm pregnant and lazy, and we just spent money on a new mattress, Vegas, and rocks for our backyard. So I went out to brunch with my AZ sisters-in-law and Gwen... right after a doctor appointment that confirmed the gender of our third child. Gwen couldn't hold that information in. She was quiet for a while, then blurted out "Our baby is a boy." Later, Dan got me a few small gifts and that was that.

This summer was supposed to be the "summer of me" where I do a lot of projects for myself instead of projects for other people. Yeah, that didn't happen so much. But I did make (for clients) two flower girl dresses, 6 re-covered chair cushions, a roman shade, curtain panels & matching pillow, and I added sleeves onto two dresses. I also kept up with a few voice and piano clients through the break. I guess I just can't say no to money and friends.

One of the cushions I wanted to keep. They matched my house. 

We didn't go out much as a family this summer, but occasionally we went to dinner or to see a movie. The kids loved Despicable Me 2. One of the characters has a punchline ("Pooping?") that sent Asher into hysterics for minutes. I didn't think he was going to be able to breathe, he was laughing so hard.

An example of what we do instead of "going out." 

I am now Enrichment Leader. Or whatever it is called now-a-days. I was so sad to leave my primary singing time gig... but that's the breaks. At least a few kids burst into tears on my last day too. I wasn't the only one crying. Enrichment is harder for me, but I'm getting the hang of it and we had an awesome meeting about a week ago where a professional psychologist/psychiatrist came to talk about emotional health. It was interesting and we had a ton of people there and many girls cornered me afterward to say that they could have listened to her speak forever. We also had green smoothies and info on canning meat. I've been making a lot of green smoothies for Asher. Secret spinach! Woohoo.

I have two book clubs that I go to, I love it. In one club I recently headed up the discussion on "Ender's Game"- it was nice to re-read it. I think I enjoyed it more the second time around, and I noticed more about it. For instance... Orson Scott Card sort of predicted a ton of technology that we have now- and that book was written in the late 1970s. Anyway, I also read "Gone With the Wind" for the first time for my other book club. I'm glad I read it, it is an amazing book. But it is also very very sad. To off-set my sadness, I read two books in a YA series only available on Kindle: "The Scourge" and "The Defiance" by A.G. Henley. I can't wait for the next book to come out next year. I read a few more books about writing, and I read some Roald Dahl books to Asher. Hixons like books. (Maybe that should be our family motto?)

Our baby boy seems healthy, but we found out our insurance covers absolutely no maternity costs. We'll be fine I guess, but I'm still bummed about it. I'm also going to try to give birth without an epidural so that we can save almost $2000 there and get out of the hospital sooner- saving even more money. If this third birth is anything like Gwen's I think I can do it. If it is more like Asher's... I'm going to need some major pain meds. I'm trying to study up. The pregnancy is going well, except some moments of anxiety. And I feel way more tired and I'm gaining tons of weight. I already weigh more than when I gave birth to Gwen, and I still have 13 weeks to go. I'm not to my Asher weight yet, but I have a sad feeling I'll probably get there and pass it. I mean, I started out with 20 extra pounds to begin with. Oh well. I'm not in the "fat chicks of pregnancy" club all by myself. :) I'm just hoping for a healthy baby.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Details, details.

 So while we were in Rusty's pizza in Santa Barbara, I noticed something in the bathroom...

It is a sad state of affairs when there are no locks on the doors... but there are locks on the T.P.

And in Vegas I probably looked like an idiot the whole time, but I couldn't help myself. I kept looking up. Have you ever noticed how spectacular the ceilings look in casinos? It really does amazing things for the space. It is making me consider my own ceilings. I probably won't do anything to them, but I am open to the possibilities. 

Two Trips

We went to Santa Barbara. The plan was to stay for 7 days, but it was so beautiful and Arizona is so hot that we decided to extend our vacation to 10 days. Dan's mom had recently had knee surgery, so she didn't go out with us much. But we still did lots of fun things with Grandpa... as well as with my sister Lori and her kiddos. I also occasionally met with old friends on my own since Dan was still working during the daytime. (I hope he works "from home" forever. It is the best.)

Dan made a highlight video that was really cute. He posted it elsewhere, so I won't post it here. Plus, some of his video was when I wasn't there, and I was with another child or friend doing something else.

Things I did without Dan: went to Tucker's Grove with the kids and met with my old high school friend Daisy, went to a fun game night at church with my sister, went on a walk downtown with my friend Anna and her sweet little girl Georgiana (including playing at the Courthouse and eating at the Habit), hung out with my sister and our kids at a park, and went shopping and headed up some smoothie runs. There were probably a few more little things.

Things we did together: Ate at the Natural Cafe and saw a movie (Into Darkness) without the kids, went to the zoo with Grandpa and Lori and her kids, rode the carousel and played at Chase Palm Park, went on a date to the Palace Grill, went to church and celebrated Father's Day with some Simi Valley brothers and sisters-in-law who came up for Sunday, visited the Sea Center on the pier with Grandpa, had lunch at the "lighthouse" Rusty's pizza, went to Lori's house and also a home she was watching while the owners were away. That house had baby chicks and baby cows and an old dog that Asher loved. We visited an awesome house that Dan's brother Jeff and his wife Heather were looking after for his boss. We also watched a lot of Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune with Dan's parents, and Lori and her kids came over to the Hixon's to play a few times. :)

We took things a little slower because I was still getting over the nauseating part of pregnancy. It was much better by the time we left to come back... maybe because I slept in every day. I felt bad that we didn't do more, but I needed a slow pace. And let me tell you it was HEAVEN to be away from responsibilities and insane heat! I loved the "June gloom"- I couldn't get enough fog.  

Going back home was sad, but we did have something else to look forward to. We booked a little two day trip to Vegas on July 1st and 2nd... with no children! It was amazing. I love my kids and everything, but it was nice to stay up late and sleep in and do whatever we wanted and not have to help anyone use the bathroom. We stayed at the Wynn, which was wonderful, and we saw the Cirque show there (Le Reve) and then Penn & Teller's magic show at the Rio the following night. We loved both shows... especially Penn & Teller. I think seeing them was on Dan's bucket list. We also went to an older casino and saw a movie during the day (Mud), and we went shopping and walked around and ate awesome food. We even went back to a place we ate the last time we were in Vegas at the Venetian because Dan remembered how much he liked the food there. It was still super good. P.S. The Stecks watched our kids, for which we are eternally grateful. They swam and played and had a great time there.

 **Also my sister Tracy came to visit in early June. I've missed a lot, but I want to note that it was so fun to see her, and I was glad she came. :)