Friday, October 30, 2009

A Ghost Story for Halloween

Since it's Halloween, and after reading an inspirational post by my friend Sarah (and some encouragement on her part via facebook), I have decided to follow in her footsteps and write about some of my own personal experiences with the paranormal.

Some of you may know that I grew up in a very old house...I'm talking 150 years old (pretty sure it was built in 1852?). My family no longer lives there, but the stories we have from the house still get told frequently.

My parents bought the house before I was born for a ridiculously low price. It had been sitting completely empty for almost 20 years, but there was not a single broken window or sign of any vandalism, which they thought was odd. The day they moved in, the neighborhood kids asked my parents if they had seen him yet? The "him" they referred to was the "doctor". My parents thought nothing of it.

My mom had a just a few experiences before she had my sister and I, mostly just odd noises and such, but it wasn't until I was a little bit older that things really started getting spooky. My baby pj's would be laid out after my bath, even though my mom hadn't gotten them out. I would tell her about the man outside my window (on the second story), the man that could climb up our walls (I would see him when I was with her and tell her), and the biggest was my imaginary friend Cumminger.

Cumminger was (as I described him) an old man with a white pony tail, short pants, a ruffly shirt and buckles in his shoes. I would play games with him and have conversations with him. But one day when I was 4, I became scared of him. I'm not sure why, I don't remember much of him, but my mom said suddenly I would refuse to go into my room when he was there, and I didn't want her to leave Erin upstairs when he was there. My mom said that didn't last long, eventually my imaginary friend went away.

My sister also saw him when she was older. She told my dad one night that she was afraid to go to bed because of the man that was always sitting on the end of their bed when she walked past their room. She described my imaginary friend, Cumminger, perfectly. This kind of spooked my mom (ok, so she had been spooked for years by then), so she decided to do some research into our house. She learned that a Quaker doctor used to live in the house (our home town used to have a lot of Quakers) and that his name was...dum dum dum...Dr. Cummings. She also found a picture of him and guess what...his white hair was in a pony tail and he was wearing a ruffly shirt.

There are more stories than I have have enough room to write about...but there's always next year

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Apple Core...Baltimore...

So yesterday I mentioned that we have some big trees in our backyard, well we have an enormous oak tree in our front yard. It is right beside our driveway next to our neighbor's fence. These days it's obviously dropping a leaf or two...or bazillion!

This is what I found when I tried to get in my car today!

The neighbors to our north are an older couple, who have been less than neighborly to us since we bought the house. We wave and say hello, in return, they turn away. At 6:00 in the morning, he is outside working on his old car (that apparently needs a new exhaust) and wakes up Julianna. After we mow our yard, they come out and sweep their driveway, even though we are very careful not to blow grass on it. Since we have owned the house (which is 6 months) they are the only neighbors we have never even talked to.
Well, our giant oak tree seems to be the latest battle in our little feud. Before I go into recent events, I need to make it known that there are no branches in the north side of our tree...none. Before we bought the house, they cut off every limb, branch and twig that crossed the property line. So our gorgeous oak tree is really only half a gorgeous oak tree.
For some reason silently feuding over a tree and it's leaves reminds me of Donald Duck and Chip and Dale. They of course are grumpy Donald and Joe and I are the ornery Chip and Dale. I have seen her outside sweeping leaves off of their driveway and mumbling under her breath. Joe actually said hi to her the other day while she was sweeping and I think she grunted and turned away.
Today I could hear them outside doing more mindless yard work (they seriously sweep their driveway at least twice a day). When I went outside all the leaves that had fallen in their yard from our tree had been raked up and dumped into our side yard. Seriously?!?! I mean, who does that? Is it really necessary to give us back the leaves that the wind blew into your yard? I really want to go out tonight and spread them (along with a few others) all over their driveway. But I am a bigger person than that, and will just deal with their rudeness.
But we all know who wins in the end of every Chip and Dale/Donald Duck cartoon...
Apple core
Who's your friend?
*Sorry for the giant run on paragraph...blogger wouldn't let me space paragraphs tonight.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Leaves, Leaves, Everywhere!

Our backyard has several large trees...and I mean one is freakin' huge. Due to these large trees, we have an overabundance of leaves. They're everywhere! Yesterday, we took Julianna out and raked up a pile for her to play in. She had a lot of fun.

She loved when we would throw leaves in the air.

The neighbor has already cleaned all of the leaves out of their yard. We're such slackers.

Joe isn't really fond of my camera. He doesn't like using it, because he says it's too complicated and he's afraid he'll break it. I have taught him the basic point and shoot setting on it and I think he did an excellent job taking all these pictures! They're great!


I was waiting to post trick-or-treat pictures until after Thursday when we were supposed to go to my parents for a second round of trick-or-treating, but my mom is pretty sick right now, so I...I mean Julianna...will have to deal with just one days worth of candy. We went trick-or-treating with Joe's whole family on Sunday.

Sumo wrestler: Jenna, Star Wars guy: Jeremy, Baby skeleton: Mia, Zombie girl: Kayla, SWAT: Nick (Jer's friend), Flamenco dancer: Marissa
(Julianna was refusing to be in the picture)
Since the houses by Joe's parents are a little spread out, we ride on a trailer. Much better than walking.
Julianna and the kids got to get candy from our friend Jeff who was working that day.
Julianna did not want to share any of her goodies with Mia.
Daddy did most of the walking up to houses.

By the end of the afternoon, Julianna was getting the hang of trick-or-treating. She would pick out a piece of candy and then put it in her pumpkin bucket. As soon as she got back on the trailer, she would try to eat the candy...wrapper and all. She was such a tired girl by night time that she slept in her big girl bed ALL night. Yay!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pirates & Tigers & Bees...Oh My!

Yesterday was our mom's group's Halloween party. The kids had a great time. They got to make paper candy corns and draw faces on them, then we had fun Halloween goodies to eat. There were spiders made from Oreo cookies, fingers made of string cheese and green peppers, orange and purple fruit salad, and pumpkin shaped grilled cheese. Then the kids each got a treat bag with fun stuff, like crayons and coloring books and stickers! It was great to see all the kids in their costumes.

Julianna, Ellie, Ian, Alleigh, Jayden & Braxton
Cupcake, Butterfly, Bee, Tiger, Pirate & Cowboy

Friday, October 23, 2009

Bed Time Blues

We have been trying to transition Julianna into her big girl bed this week. We debated getting her a toddler bed, but decided it made more sense to just get her a twin bed right away. Our goal, and by "our goal" I mean "my goal", is to have her out of the crib by Christmas (I wanted Thanksgiving, but realized Christmas is more realistic). I am determined to have the nursery all set up by New Year's. So how is the transition going?

Sunday Night: Put Julianna to bed in her bed at 8pm, and she fell right asleep...SCORE! I went to bed at 10pm and at 10:15pm had Joe go put her in her crib...FAIL! I couldn't do it. I worked myself up thinking about what if she tried to stand up on her bed like she does in her crib and fell.

Monday Night: Joe wasn't home and I knew I couldn't do it alone, but I tried anyway. I layed Julianna in her bed at 7:30pm and in 30 seconds she was screaming. I caved and just put her in her crib. 30 seconds later she was screaming. After getting her calmed down and laying in bed with her for a few minutes, I decided to just put her in her crib for the night...FAIL!

Tuesday Night: Joe took Julianna up to bed at 8pm and layed down with her for a few minutes. He came back downstairs and she fell asleep on her own...SCORE! I managed to leave her in the bed when I went to bed, but I didn't sleep. Every noise she made I worried she was going to make it to the end of the bed and find the 1 foot of space where there wasn't a rail. I eventually fell kind of asleep, only to awaken at 1:30 to Julianna having a night terror (something new to her and kind of scary to us at first). After an hour of her not wanting me to leave her alone, Joe came in and took over. He managed to get her back to sleep sometime around 3:30 and put her in her crib so we could all get some sleep...FAIL!

Wednesday Night: We didn't have the energy to even try the bed...FAIL!

Thursday Night: Pretty much a repeat of Monday. Bed...crying...crib...crying...finally asleep...crib...FAIL!

Tonight: I didn't even try her bed, I am such a loser. I just didn't feel like dealing with it. I was so tired, so I put her in her crib and listened to her talk and sing to herself for a bit until she fell asleep...FAIL!

So how is her transition going? I would say all in all not horrible. We did manage to get her to fall asleep on her own in her bed a few times, unfortunately, it just didn't last a whole night. Tomorrow night, she'll be staying at Grandma and Grandpa K's, so we'll try again on Sunday...hopefully this time it will work!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fall Pictures

My sister and I decided last year that we wanted to take pics of the kids together every fall. Last year was a quick thrown together event on an unusually warm November day.

Ian, Ellie & Julianna (the girls were not thrilled with the leaves)
This year we planned the event a whole day in advance! And we matched the kids outfits! I took an absolute ton of pictures (seriously, like over 150 in 15 minutes). Here are a few of my favorites.
The girls were slightly less appalled by the leaves this year.

Monday, October 19, 2009

October 18, 2009

We took Julianna back to the same pumpkin patch as last year this weekend. But this time she got to do so much more than just sit with the pumpkins. We went with my parents and my sister's family. It was a really fun day despite the weather that seemed to get colder and colder as the day went on.

Julianna was not ok with riding the barrel train with Ian.
So Ian got to ride all by himself...
And daddy stepped up and rode with her.
Then of course Jason had to ride with Ellie (unfortunately for the guys, the barrels were just a little on the small side and both had trouble getting out with their legs asleep).
Julianna's favorite part was definitely checking out the animals in the petting zoo with Grandma H (her hood wouldn't stay up so my mom put her scarf on Julianna, we teased she looked like a little old Hungarian woman).
One of the goats.
Ellie liked the animals too.
Julianna also had to play on the kiddie slide.
She liked sitting with daddy on the hayride.
We took the kids through the children's corn maze.
Our little "burrito" in the corn maze.
Still in the corn maze.

She may not be a whole lot taller than last year, but she sure seems bigger!
She loved to sit and look at the pumpkins.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Oct. 17, 2008

Last year, we took Julianna to pick out her first pumpkin and then to take some pictures at a local state park. When we left the house it was cool, but didn't warrant a coat or anything, when we got to the pumpkin patch it was much colder, so we didn't stay very long. We did get some good pictures!

Look how little she was!
Chillin' with some pumpkins.
Check out the hair! That wasn't from the wind!
At the park.
This is by far my favorite fall pic of Julianna!
Such a happy kiddo!
She wasn't sitting well yet, so we had to prop her up for all the pics.

This weekend we are taking Julianna back to the same pumpkin patch and I can't wait to compare the pictures of her with the giant tape measure. I'm just not sure she has an outfit that adorable to wear this year!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Baby K Update!

So much for thinking I would ever have a normal OB appointment. Today I was supposed to have just a quick tummy check, but noooooo, of course it couldn't turn out that way.

First it took 2 nurses and Do O. over 30 minutes to find the heartbeat with the doppler. Talk about freaking out a little. I managed to stay relatively calm for the first 15 minutes or so, but then panic started to set in. To everyone in the room I'm sure I appeared calm, but not inside! Finally, Dr O. found the heartbeat and it was a good 149bpm.

He had decided that I wouldn't have an ultrasound this week, but after having such a hard time finding the heartbeat he changed his mind. Yay, more pics of the baby! During the ultrasound I learned Baby K weighs about 3 ounces, well above what a 13 week baby should. When Julianna was born she weighed quite a bit more than a 27 week baby should have. So apparently I grow big babies. Here are the pics from today (13 wks 5days).

A great profile shot! Check out the super cute nose!

It's a good thing its still too early to find out the sex because he/she would not uncross their legs!

Another good side shot.

He/she no longer looks like an alien, but like a REAL baby!
The good news is that the baby looked great and was pretty active (hence the moving around so much they couldn't find the heartbeat). The not so good news is that my cervix has shortened significantly in the last 4 weeks. My last appointment it measured 4cm. Today, it only measured 2.9cm. At 13 weeks, the cervix should be 3.5-4cm. Dr. O said he isn't concerned unless I get below 2.5cm (but I'm not far from there) and at that point I would probably get a cerclage. So right now it looks as though a cerclage will be in my future. Yuck!
I go back in 3 weeks to have another ultrasound, measure my cervix, and begin my P17 injections. Won't that be a fun appointment! Until then, I am putting myself on restricted activity. As of week 12 I was officially off of my doctor prescribed restricted activity, and he said today that I am still fine to do whatever, but I want to be very cautious and that means sticking to my previous restricted status.

The next 3 weeks are going to be very long ones, but so glad that Baby K is doing so well!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Closed for the Season

We spent Sunday closing up our camper for the winter. We had to empty out the cabinets and fridge, do a quick cleaning, and winterize the water lines. Despite all the work Joe and I were doing, Julianna was having blast running around and playing.

Since we hadn't stayed at the camper in last few weeks, you would have thought Julianna was seeing a long lost friend, when she got out of the car she ran right over to her slide and spent most of her time playing on it.

Even though it was chilly out, we had a nice last time at the camper for this season. We might go back this winter to sled ride (there are AWESOME hills there), but otherwise we won't be staying out there again until March or April.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Being Proactive

*Warning: Another pregnancy post that gets into specific details.

Last Spring, before there was a bun in my oven, I did some massive research of what steps could be taken to be sure our next baby wasn't undercooked. I wanted to be sure that I found out as much information as possible. I made a list that consisted of 9 actions that could help my chances of having a full-term pregnancy.

Tonight I started making my list of questions for next week's OB appointment and I revisited that list. I was very pleasantly surprised to see how many of the actions have already taken place and others that are in the works for later in my pregnancy. Here's what I got to cross off my list:
  1. Monitor any 1st trimester bleeding closely-Dr. O took that situation very seriously and luckily it all turned out ok.
  2. Progesterone Supplements-Took those from weeks 4-12.
  3. Monitor for infections-Being done at every appointment.
  4. Ultrasound to monitor cervical length/get a baseline @ 9weeks-Done.
  5. Omega 3 Supplements-I am on a special prenatal that has DHA added in.
  6. P17 Injections-I start them in just 3 weeks.

The last 3 actions are ones that would be taken if things start to go in the wrong direction or if there is any cause for concern:

  1. fFN (fetal fibronectin test)-if this test comes back negative you have very high chances of not going into labor in the next 2 weeks. If it is positive, you may or may not go into labor.
  2. Cerclage-If I start to dilate or if my cervix thins at all I would have this done (I won't go into those icky details).
  3. Tocolytics-These are drugs they could give me if I do go into pre-term labor.

I was so excited to see that everything I thought should be done is being done. It makes me feel so much better! Now I feel as though if this baby decides it needs to make an early entrance, I at least did everything I could to thwart it's plans.

A Date? What's That?

Last night, Joe and I went out for a date night. Not just a "hey can someone watch our kid so we can go grab some dinner alone" date, but an actual honest to goodness date. As in, I actually curled my hair and put on make-up *gasp*. We met up with another couple from my mom's group and saw a movie then went out for some food & drinks (well not for preggo Danielle & I)afterwards.

As we were getting ready to take Julianna to her Aunt Sandy's for the evening, I realized the last time we had been to a movie was before I was even pregnant with Julianna, over 2 years ago. Then I thought even harder and decided the last movie we actually saw in a theater was Pirates of the Caribbean: The World's End. Yep, 2 years ago. It's been 2 years since we went out with the sole purpose being that Joe and I have fun doing adult things.

Now we have had plenty of chances to do some adult only things, but they always have a not so fun purpose. The last time Julianna was babysat was 2 weeks ago and her grandma K watched her so we could clean the garage. Not exactly the fun you could consider a date.

So last night was a nice change of pace & we're hoping to have more date nights soon. If we don't get out now with only 1 kid, what are we going to do come spring when we have 2 of them?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cousin Love

Julianna loves hanging out with her cousins. And since I can now downloads pics from my camera again, here are a few of her and her cousins this summer.

Ian, Ellie & Julianna
(in about 6 months, this picture will have 2 more kiddos in it!)

"The Girls"
Marissa, Julianna, Kayla, Jenna & Mia
Julianna also loves her cousin Jeremy, but I didn't have a pic of them together :0(