Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas is a comin' and our baby is too

Spencer completed grading for all his classes! He enjoyed some papers more than others and preferred seeing his students improve.
At the beginning of the month, we joined the town in the after tree lighting party at the firehouse. Santa was there with presents for the kids-Anne paid him a visit- and they served hot cocoa and cookies.
When we picked out our tree this year at a corner lot, the woman was so helpful and it was daylight so it didn't take us more that 15 minutes from the time we got out of our car to select this one. At home, we decorated it while listening to Christmas music and drinking wassail- out pineapple, apple, orange and cinnamon juice warm drink.
We also enjoyed a night of Gingerbread house decorating. Below- Scott, Nancy and Anne pose with Nancy's creation which sadly fell over on their drive home.
Coralee, Brant, Annie, and Mable pose with their candy creations.
Here we are, back to back-Spencer's idea- holding our contrasting and beautiful candy houses.
I whipped up this cover for our baby's car seat with some fabric I had. The pictures on it are perfect for our Pennsylvania baby. I haven't sewed much in my life and for an evening and a morning project, I felt very accomplished. It was a simple project. I think it will be very useful this Winter.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Thanksgiving Past and Into December

On Friday, December 9th we visited the National Aquarium in Baltimore with the Jonses. When looking at anything through the glass, she always wanted to "see the other animals". They have fantastic exhibits of all sorts of sea life and a great dolphin show. Afterward, Spencer and I enjoyed a much anticipated dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. Thanksgiving Day, Anne got her Uncle Spencer play time. This was probably right before or right after she told me to "get off Spencer's bed". I set the record straight that it was my bed too.
Sister, sister! We were so happy that Natalie and Kristin would come to town for the holiday! It was also good fortune and a great blessing that they weren't swept away on the Susquehanna after Spencer dropped them off to go canoeing earlier in the day. Natalie made a lovely apple pie and Kristin wowed us with her hand whipped cream! We sure loved having them here.
Scott, Nancy, Anne and June, also slaved away to double our feast! Some of the dishes included: pomegranate salad, candied sweet potatoes that Spencer changed our minds about, leek gratin, orange jello salad, blueberry, apple and pumpkin pie. We also had the standards too. The turkey we were cooking seemed done to us, but then the scientists and mother Nancy inspected it and turns out 'parts was underdone'. So we waited and waited some more for the feast to begin. In the end, no one got sick just a little stuffed. Success and leftovers!
Our friends through Scott and Nancy, Alan and Lyanna, came up from Richmond, VA to join the feast. They shared some mighty fine sparkling drinks and some scrumptious chocolate caramel bars. It was so good to have their company. The day after Thanksgiving, the Greens toured Gettysburg, grabbed some custard and played at the Ellsworth's house. We also painted on some tee-shirts using freezer paper stencils. Natalie and Kristin painted birds on theirs and I painted a ship on a shirt for Spencer. He wears it all the time now.

On Saturday we took Natalie and Kristin to catch their buses in Philly and stopped for a cheesesteak lunch on our way. Its too bad their wasn't enough time for us all to go to the Fonthill Castle museum- I loved it! Spencer had been there before and enjoyed it his second time through as well.

Plus Ultra=More beyond was the builder/visionaries motto. He also made tiles like the one above which were throughout this fascinating 40+ room cement 'Castle for the New World'.

Oh, and here I am at 35 weeks pregnant:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A New Piece: Mother Earth's Children

Mother Earth's Children: The Frolics of the Fruits and Vegetables by Elizabeth Gordon has incredibly darling illustrations by M. T. Ross. My mom had a worn and torn old copy of this book that is apparently out of copyright so it can be downloaded from a library's website. I remember always delighting in the sweet drawings. I think it would be great to print some of the illustrations on fabric for a baby blanket. There are a couple that I would like to display in our baby's corner nursery- corner of our room. My mom helped me decide on a couple that would make good paintings when she was here visiting. This is one that I painted to hang on the wall last week. Her name is Caraway. It was fun to do my best at getting the scale, and proportions right. I was very pleased with how it turned out and it didn't take too long either. Not that I don't have a lot of time on my hands on days when I don't go tutoring.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Aunt Gwen's Funeral

I was surprised when my uncle, Reese Abel, and cousin, Emily, called me to ask if I would sing, "For Good," at Aunt Gwen's funeral in two days. I was even more surprised by their getting me there- from Pennsylvania to Utah and back. I was so grateful that I could be there to celebrate her life with family. The talks were wonderful and the flowers beautiful like Gwen's love.
My mom, brother, Uncle Reese and me at the lunch after the funeral on Thursday October 20, 2011. Me, cousins- Lindsey Hardy, who sang with me, Amber and Adam Abel, Gwen's son.
My cousin Emily Chapman, Gwen's daughter and I.

Mom & Dad Green took me on a short drive to see what we could of the fading fall colors. We then took a tour of the Museum of Art at BYU, stopped by Annie's house, and Diana and I took a short walk in the lovely sunshine. It was a delightful morning.
Dad and I posed for a profile shot to show off our matching bellies when we were at my cousin Nathan's wedding reception!

Coming home to Spencer was very welcome after five days of third trimester traveling!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Lady Baby!

On September 20th, we made a second trip to the ultrasound tech. After trying to wiggle and shift-they tipped me back pretty far in the chair at one point- to prompt our baby to change positions, they were able to see that our baby is a GIRL baby! They still had trouble getting some finer pictures of the spine and umbilical chord/placenta connection. She was one pound, 11 ounces and the doctor said that is average for 25 weeks.
So, now that we know that baby is a girl-or seriously suspect it, we are looking forward to meeting her. We know a lot of other people are too. I feel here punching around in there every now and then and think about how she might be developing in there. Some nights I will have difficulty sleeping soundly. I often find myself thinking of names for her. I do this thinking I will help me fall asleep, but it doesn't do the trick like counting sheep. Thinking of names is like imagining a p

Spencer and I keep a list of baby names we like
or are considering in our email. When we hold her in our arms, we are hoping it will be easier to pick a name our baby.

Last Saturday, before the General Relief Society Meeting, Spencer and I ventured to Strite's Orchard. We sat on some crates and tried our hands at water color landscapes.

I have been getting lots of baby stuff and great deals at consignment sales, thrift stores and garage sales. I am trying to be discerning. This dresser here caught my eye at a thrift store and I was very pleased that it was still for sale when 20% off Monday rolled around. It will make a perfect changing table!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Canoe, Picnic, Three Mile Island

We got a canoe a bit ago. It's small and portable which is good, but it also makes it much less stable than most canoes I've ever been in... which isn't so good. The first time I got it, I took it out with my canoe champion friend on a place in Middletown where the Susquehanna widens out into what they call a lake. We didn't have a lot of time, but we were determined to at least get out on the water. So we got in: me in the back, Brant in front. Brant started reaching for the pier and rocking the boat a bunch and acting like we were about to tip over. I assured him we'd be fine, we'd get used to it, and pushed us away from the pier. I'm not an enabler.

So, after boating around Highspire some, Heather and I tried the pier in Middletown again and, since I've been rowing in the back, I thought I'd try the front. Now, even in the back, there's a fair bit of rock in the boat that's can be scary. Well, in the front, cramped, even a slight rock one way or the other convinced me we were going down, we were headed for soaksville. So, at the pier, right where Brant was telling me that he was unsure of how steady we were, I was leaping for the pier. Leaning on the pier with my arm, butt still in the boat, Heather wondered if I was okay. I was just amazed we hadn't actually tipped over. Heather offered to change seats with me, but I was determined to try the front seat. Maybe as penance for what I know realized was amazing cool-headedness on Brant's part, maybe because I actually thought it'd get better, maybe because I'm stubborn.

Anyway, we made it across the lake, across some tricky rocky areas to a lovely bit of rocks where we picnicked and enjoyed the view of the birds, the lake, the trees, and the nuclear powerplant.

Our wee canoe.

 And a bit of jumping.

And enjoying.
A bit better close up of the plant.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Birthday Month of September

September has been eventful so far.

September 7-8, Our neighborhood experienced flooding. The rains came down and the reservoir and Susquehanna came up. Our little house was dry as ever, but roads were closed so we had evacuated to the Jones' when we could. -So much for getting new carpet ;) We are grateful we didn't have to deal with a mess.

We escaped to the D.C. Temple on September 10th. It was such a gorgeous day. For dinner we stopped off at Cafe Rio in Maryland on our way home! A comfort from our western home is that delicious pork salad. They also have yummy mint lemonade.

Then it was Monday, and I got laid off at work. Laid off from the promise of a few more months of something, but thankfully, I had an interview for an after school reading tutoring program that day too. They are hiring me so there will be work for me this fall before Baby comes.

This blue picture is just outside our door and taken on my birthday, Wednesday the 14th. I turned 24 and our baby was 24 weeks along! Happy Birthday to me! Spencer took me on a successful boot shopping trip on my birthday eve and then we went to a Thai restaurant for dinner right after these pictures. When we were leaving the restaurant, there was a grand lightening storm. After a quick stop at the thrift store down the road, we braved the weather to grab a treat at Cold Stone. The power was out in that neighborhood so we went to Meadow's Custard-another favorite and shared a Turtle sundae. mmmmm. Then there was time for a game at the Ellsworth's!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Mas Pinatas

We made more pinatas this week. One for my awesome sister in Boston who loves clown fish and one for our good friend, Annie Ellsworth, who just turned 3.

Fish was small and fun to make--had to make it compact for shipping. Finding some German treats to fill it with was a fun adventure that took us to a warehouse owned by a Bosnian who, even though he didn't have what we wanted, threw a lot of fun free samples at us. I guess it worked cause we walked out of there with an East European version of the bar we were looking for. Nicht so schlect fur uns, nicht wahr?

pimp myspace with Gickr
Make your own animation

Then another VW bug. This one more of a fisher price version than our last one. Have to give Heather most if not all the credit for this one. I was working on one project or another while she did most of this.

I added a bit to the back and some to the bottom. Mainly I just held it from the balcony and hit kids with it when the time came to bust open our very strong, it turns out, pinata. It was funny to see the children try to process that it was suddenly okay to both hold a long wooden stick and to hit things with it. Behaviors I'm pretty sure their parents spend a fair amount of time teaching them not to do. Most took to it pretty well and had a good time hitting or pushing or grabbing the pinata as I tried to make it look hard to hit. Really I just tried to get it to where they could hit it the best which isn't too easy looking down from above. But it was taking plenty long and most hits were barely denting the thing. But it was a lovely birthday party with lots of our favorite people, and it was great to be a part of the celebrations.

Our fun little bug. That German engineering's a little too sturdy sometimes, though. Even Brant given free reign with the pointy stick took a while to free the goodies.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


We're having a baby! The above picture was our first glimpse back when baby was as big as a grape. (Note: Heather signed up for these emails that give us updates on what baby's doing week by week and they always related the size of the baby to a fruit. So baby was a grape, a fig, a lime, a medium shrimp (one of these things...), a lemon, an apple, an avocado, a bell pepper, an heirloom tomato, and now the length of a banana. I'm slightly confused but mainly delighted by the strict food and mainly fruit comparisons.)

Our first look at baby was really amazing. At first baby just sat there with an awesome chin which I was just happy I could see. When I've seen ultrasounds of others' babies, I could not make heads or tails (can you see baby's?) of anything. So, either technology is getting a lot better, or its way different when you see the lil' grape moving and shaking its hands. The other really amazing part was hearing the heartbeat. They center in on the heart and then amplify the beat so its this really strong, fast, primal beat. Gah guhn, gah guhn, gah guhn, really fast. That's when the reality of baby as a new person--as opposed to two lines on a home pregnancy test or an abstract something the size of progressively larger fruits--really hit me. So incredible.

On Aug 10, we got an ultrasound to find out baby's gender which would be really great to know since English doesn't have a neuter gender like some fine European languages I know. But coy, demure, proper baby was stuffing its business end way down into mom's hips and crossing his or her legs.

A no show. Kind of like waking up Christmas morning and finding out that Christmas isn't for another month. Though kind of not like that too since we got some of the neatest profile ultrasounds I've ever seen. Our theory is that baby was ready for the appointment but when the clinic kept us waiting for almost an hour, baby settled down and got low and comfy.

I really love this one. Arms up, hands on forehead.

Another great profile shot.

Kind of weird looking from the front, but looks like eyes and teeth are developing well on our 10 oz baby.

So what do you think? Girl? Boy? Everyone seems to have a theory. When one of Heather's coworkers heard that baby wasn't cooperating with us wanting to know the gender, she said, 'oh, it's a boy. They're difficult. Gotta be a boy. I had two. Trust me.' Then our neighbor told us that a friend of hers told her that it's gotta be a girl since its riding low.

The jury's still out. We could know in a month. Guesses?