Pages

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Second Born

1. WAS YOUR PREGNANCY PLANNED?
yes, in that we were desperately hoping to have another successful pregnancy

2. WERE YOU MARRIED AT THE TIME?
yes, for about two and a half years

3. WHAT WERE YOUR REACTIONS?
Please, please, please, don’t let anything go wrong.

4. WAS ABORTION AN OPTION FOR YOU?
Never!

5. HOW OLD WERE YOU?
28

6. HOW DID YOU FIND OUT YOU WERE PREGNANT?
I took a home test on the same morning that I was scheduled for my first appointment with a fertility doctor.

7. WHO DID YOU TELL FIRST?
Ben, then the doctor

8. DID YOU WANT TO FIND OUT THE SEX?
yes

9. DUE DATE?
November 25, 2007

10. DID YOU HAVE MORNING SICKNESS?
Only a couple of times, and that may have just been the flu

11. WHAT DID YOU CRAVE?
Nothing—so disappointing, because I always thought this would be the most fun part of pregnancy.

12. WHO/WHAT IRRITATED YOU THE MOST?
When a woman I hadn’t seen for a while said, “Wow! So when are you due—today or yesterday?” (three months before my due date)

13. WHAT WAS YOUR CHILD'S SEX?
girl

14. DID YOU WISH YOU HAD THE OPPOSITE SEX OF WHAT YOU WERE GETTING?
To a certain extent, yes, because we already had a girl. But I also thought it would be really cute to have two little girls 2 years apart to the month, which is what we got.

15. HOW MANY POUNDS DID YOU GAIN THROUGHOUT THE PREGNANCY?
Can’t remember, but less than during my first pregnancy. Of course, I was also heavier to start this one out.

16. DID YOU HAVE A BABY SHOWER?
No, but several friends gave us gifts individually

17. WAS IT A SURPRISE OR DID YOU KNOW?
n/a

18. DID YOU HAVE ANY COMPLICATIONS DURING YOUR PREGNANCY?
I had a lot of problems with my back, and I got PUPPPS again.

19. WHERE DID YOU GIVE BIRTH?
Clarian North in Carmel, Indiana

20. HOW MANY HOURS WERE YOU IN LABOR?
I had to be induced, but once they started the medicine, she arrived in less than four hours.

21. WHO DROVE YOU TO THE HOSPITAL?
Ben

22. WHO WATCHED YOU GIVE BIRTH?
Ben, Dr. Hardacre, and some nurses

23. WAS IT NATURAL OR C-SECTION?
natural

24. DID YOU TAKE MEDICINE TO EASE THE PAIN?
Kind of…. I had an epidural, but the delivery went so fast that it hadn’t yet kicked in by the time she arrived, resulting in a completely numb lower body for several hours afterwards

27. HOW MUCH DID YOUR CHILD WEIGH?
7 lbs 12 oz

28. WHEN WAS YOUR CHILD ACTUALLY BORN ?
November 27, 2007

30. WHAT DID YOU NAME HIM/HER?
Shaylee Grace Meyaard Pfanschmidt

31. HOW OLD IS YOUR FIRST BORN TODAY?
a little over 1 year.... will be 15 months this week

First Born

Let's see how much you remember!

1. WAS YOUR FIRST PREGNANCY PLANNED?
no, but very welcome

2. WERE YOU MARRIED AT THE TIME?
yes, for less than a year

3. WHAT WERE YOUR REACTIONS?
Huge excitement! And "how on earth am I going to keep this a secret from everyone for the next three days?" Ben was away at a church retreat. I got to see him for short moments while I was volunteering at the retreat, but we couldn't have a real conversation until it was over, and of course I didn't want to tell anyone else first.

4. WAS ABORTION AN OPTION FOR YOU?
Never!

5. HOW OLD WERE YOU?
26

6. HOW DID YOU FIND OUT YOU WERE PREGNANT?
home test

7. WHO DID YOU TELL FIRST?
Ben (three days later)

8. DID YOU WANT TO FIND OUT THE SEX?
yes--I believe that when the ultrasound tech asked us that question, my exact words were, "We're not leaving here until we know."

9. DUE DATE?
November 1, 2005

10. DID YOU HAVE MORNING SICKNESS?
Hugely yes—couldn’t even keep down water for the first three months.

11. WHAT DID YOU CRAVE?
Salt—which I couldn’t have because I was retaining too much water.

12. WHO/WHAT IRRITATED YOU THE MOST?
First nausea, then migraines, then people saying, “are you sure there’s only one in there?”

13. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CHILD'S SEX?
girl

14. DID YOU WISH YOU HAD THE OPPOSITE SEX OF WHAT YOU WERE GETTING?
Yes—we wanted a boy first, but then ended up being thrilled with our little girl

15. HOW MANY POUNDS DID YOU GAIN THROUGHOUT THE PREGNANCY?
Thankfully, I can’t remember.

16. DID YOU HAVE A BABY SHOWER?
Yes, several

17. WAS IT A SURPRISE OR DID YOU KNOW?
A few of each.

18. DID YOU HAVE ANY COMPLICATIONS DURING YOUR PREGNANCY?
I developed migraines for the first time in my life. Then I had to start physical therapy because my pelvis misaligned in three places. And then I developed a nasty and massively itchy rash, called PUPPPS.

19. WHERE DID YOU GIVE BIRTH?
St. Vincent in Carmel, Indiana

20. HOW MANY HOURS WERE YOU IN LABOR?
I had to be induced. I checked into the hospital around 6:00 the night before to start meds, then they started the induction medicine around 6:00 the morning of, and she was born at 4:39 pm

21. WHO DROVE YOU TO THE HOSPITAL?
Ben

22. WHO WATCHED YOU GIVE BIRTH?
Ben, Dr. Pease, and some nurses

23. WAS IT NATURAL OR C-SECTION?
natural

24. DID YOU TAKE MEDICINE TO EASE THE PAIN?
Yes, even though I was scared to death of having an epidural

27. HOW MUCH DID YOUR CHILD WEIGH?
7 lbs 11 oz

28. WHEN WAS YOUR CHILD ACTUALLY BORN ?
November 3, 2005

30. WHAT DID YOU NAME HIM/HER?
Bryn Elizabeth Meyaard Pfanschmidt

31. HOW OLD IS YOUR FIRST BORN TODAY?
three years old

Monday, February 23, 2009

My Husband Ben

(I'm experiencing an overwhelming lack of comments here, folks.....)

This survey is supposed to test "how well you know your husband," which is pretty silly, considering that it's some very insignificant and arbitrary questions, but I'll give it a whirl. Ben, how'd I do on accuracy? :)

1. He's sitting in front of the TV, what is on the screen?
Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, or some creepy cop show

2. You're out to eat; what kind of dressing does he get on his salad?
French

3. What's one food he doesn't like?
tomatoes

4. You go out to eat and have a drink. What does he order?
Coke

5. Where did he go to high school?
Elkhart Memorial High School

6. What size shoe does he wear?
Something really big—maybe 12 or 13?

7. If he was to collect anything, what would it be?
Plaster blocks and the rubber molds to make them

8. What is his favorite type of sandwich?
Not sure, we don’t eat many sandwiches. I do know that if it’s pb&j, it has to be chunky peanut butter, not creamy.

9. What would this person eat every day if he could?
Does coffee count? ☺

10. What is his favorite cereal?
He doesn’t eat breakfast, but he is rather partial to Reese’s Puffs.

11. What would he never wear?
Any kind of fancy expensive designer clothing—which is good, because I wouldn’t either.

12. What is his favorite sports team?
Indianapolis Colts

13. Who did he vote for? Hillary Clinton in the primary (in an effort to split the vote to assist McCain), but then he changed his mind and voted for Obama in the real election

14. Who is his best friend?
According to Bryn, it’s Baby Shay

15. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn't do?
Stress out

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Amy 101

1. Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed?
Open—we hardly ever close it

2. Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottles from hotel?
Who doesn’t?

3. Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out?
Ideally, tucked in. But sometimes I get too hot and have to stick my feet out.

4. Have you ever stolen a street sign before?
No, but it’s not for lack of trying…. Nikki and I once spent many hours trying to find one that we wanted of an appropriate height.

5. Do you like to use post-it notes?
Yes, especially at work.

6. Do you cut out coupons but then never use them?
I used to cut them out and actually use them. But now we don’t get the paper anymore, so no.

7. Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of a bees?
I’d rather not be attacked at all, thanks.

8. Do you have freckles?
No, but plenty of moles.

9. Do you always smile for pictures?
If I know that someone is taking it, yes…. But Ben has an unfortunate habit of liking to take candids.

10. What is your biggest pet peeve?
Laziness and apathy, especially when coupled with bad excuses.

11. Do you ever count your steps when you walk?
Every now and then.

12. Have you ever peed in the woods?
Yes. More times that I would like to admit.

13. What about pooped in the woods?
No, I’m not that talented.

14. Do you ever dance even if there’s no music playing?
If I’m singing, yes. But then Bryn tells me to stop.

15. Do you chew your pens and pencils?
No, that’s icky.

16. How many people have you slept with this week?
Two, if we’re talking actually slept. Bryn slept in our bed last night.

17. What size is your bed?
King, and the most comfortable thing in the world.

18. What is your Song of the week?
“Praying for Daylight” by Rascal Flatts…. It’s the first track on the cd that has been in my car this week.

19. Is it okay for guys to wear pink?
In theory, yes, but most can’t pull it off.

20. Do you still watch cartoons?
I live with Bryn and Shay…. Of course.

21. What’s your least favorite movie?
Four Rooms

22. Where would you bury hidden treasure if you had some?
I probably wouldn’t bury it. I’d do something boring like invest it.

23. What do you drink with dinner?
Water or skim milk

24. What do you dip a chicken nugget in?
Ranch dressing, or honey mustard, or buffalo sauce

25. What is your favorite food?
Pizza—it has all the food groups! ☺

26. What movies could you watch over and over and still love?
I’m a little ashamed to admit this, but lately, the answer has been High School Musical 3….. I blame Bryn!

27. Last person you kissed/kissed you?
Either Ben or Bryn

28. Were you ever a boy/girl scout?
Brownie, then Girl Scout, all the way up until junior high

29. Would you ever strip or pose nude in a magazine?
Definitely no. Heck, I’m shy about wearing a bathing suit in public.

30. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper?
If greeting cards count, last week. An actual letter? I’m not sure.

31. Can you change the oil on a car?
Never tried.

32. Ever gotten a speeding ticket?
Yes, one, when I was driving back to Peoria after a visit with Damon and Tony in Bloomington at the end of our freshmen year of college.

33. Ran out of gas?
No, but I’ve cut it way too close many times.

34. Favorite kind of sandwich?
Currently, asiago roast beef from Panera. It changes though.

35. Best thing to eat for breakfast?
Frozen Carmels from Panera (although that’s more drink that eat). Last week I also discovered that the bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches from Panera are amazingly good… Wisconsin white cheddar, mmm…..

36. What is your usual bedtime?
9:30. Don’t judge; I get up early.

37. Are you lazy?
Usually, no, I’m really motivated. But every now and then I just crash.

38. When you were a kid, what did you dress up as for Halloween?
I think my first costume was either a bunny or an angel. The ones I remember best were witch and hippie.

39. What is your Chinese astrological sign?
No idea.

40. How many languages can you speak?
Just English, although I did take 5 years of Spanish in school and remember a small smattering of it.

41. Do you have any magazine subscriptions?
Yes, all parenting magazines.

42. Which are better legos or Lincoln logs?
Both so fun, how can I choose?

43. Are you stubborn?
Yes, very.

44. Who is better...Leno or Letterman?
I don’t watch either.

45. Ever watch soap operas?
Not for a long time. But yes, during summers in high school, Melissa and Jolyne and I would watch “Days of Our Lives.” I also watched it with Bethany in college, and with Mimi, Bridget, and an unwilling Chad during summer vacations in Michigan.

46. Afraid of heights?
Yes, in that they make me nervous, but it has never stopped me from doing anything.

47. Sing in the car?
Often.

48. Dance in the shower?
Once in a blue moon.

49. Dance in the car?
To entertain my children when they get fussy. They think I’m hilarious.

50. Ever used a gun?
During riflery clinic at Camp Tecumseh.

51. Last time you got a portrait taken by a photographer?
We get a family portrait taken once a year to celebrate our anniversary, so last June.

52. Do you think musicals are cheesy?
Sometimes, yes, but I love them anyway.

53. Is Christmas stressful?
Definitely yes.

54. Ever eat a pierogi?
Since I don’t even know what this is, I’m going with no.

55. Favorite type of fruit pie?
Apple seems to be the most common in our house, but I really like blueberry or cherry.

56. Occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid?
Teacher, journalist, professional author.

57. Do you believe in ghosts?
Not in a haunting sense.

58. Ever have a Déjà-vu feeling?
Yes

59. Take a vitamin daily?
Not right now, but the habit comes and goes

60. Wear slippers?
No, mine are too small for my feet.

61. Wear a bath robe?
Only when I need to leave my room to change over the laundry in the morning.

62. What do you wear to bed?
t-shirt and shorts or pajama pants

63. First concert?
Amy Grant, with a group from my church

64. Wal-Mart, Target or Kmart?
Target is my favorite, but since my town doesn’t have one, Walmart is usually more convenient.

65. Nike or Adidas?
Makes no difference to me.

66. Cheetos Or Fritos?
Cheetos all the way. They’re delicious (especially the new jalepeno ones), and Fritos are disgusting.

67. Peanuts or Sunflower seeds?
Both! I only like peanuts in the shell though.

68. Ever hear of the group Tress Bien?
Uh, no.

70. Ever take dance lessons?
Of many varieties—tap, ballet, jazz, and ballroom.

71. Is there a profession you picture your future spouse doing?
My current spouse is a financial analyst, but has aspirations of owning a game store.

72. Can you curl your tongue?
Yes

73. Ever won a spelling bee?
No, I stupidly misspelled “potato” in front of the whole school.

74. Have you ever cried because you were so happy?
After having Bryn and Shay, yes.

75. Own any record albums?
A few of my parents’ old ones are in a box in our basement.

76. Own a record player?
Did until it broke.

77. Regularly burn incense?
Nope.

78. Ever been in love?
Yes

79. Who would you like to see in concert?
Chris Tomlin, which I’m doing with Dad, Diane, Ben, and Kristin next month.

80. What was the last concert you saw?
About two seconds of Phil Vassar at the Country Music Expo.

81. Hot tea or cold tea?
Don’t drink it very often, but when I do, it needs to be hot.

82. Tea or coffee?
I don’t really like either, but I can handle the tiny bit of coffee taste (and the nice caffeine kick) in Frozen Carmels

83. Sugar or snickerdoodles?
How about chocolate chip?

84. Can you swim well?
Not as good as I used to be.

85. Can you hold your breath without holding your nose?
Yes, why wouldn’t I be able to?

86. Are you patient?
Only when forced to be

87. DJ or band, at a wedding?
Neither, we made our own mix of songs and played that cd.

88. Ever won a contest?
Yes, my name was drawn to keep the quilt that my fifth grade class made.

89. Ever have plastic surgery?
Nope

90. Which are better black or green olives?
Black, and kalamata are the best.

91. Can you knit or crochet?
Love to knit; hoping to learn to crochet.

92. Best room for a fireplace?
Our house doesn’t have one, but I guess family room.

93. Do you want to get married?
Already am.

94. If married, how long have you been married?
Four and a half years.

95. Who was your HS crush?
No one that I actually ended up dating.

96. Do you cry and throw a fit until you get your own way?
Not intentionally.

97. Do you have kids?
Two beautiful little girls.

98. Do you want kids?
Yes, and my lack of having more is the greatest frustration of my life.

99. What’s your favorite color?
Always blue, sometimes yellow.

100. Do you miss anyone right now?
Not excessively, but there are plenty of people that I’d like to see.

101. Did you watch, Next Great American Band on FOX?
I’ve never heard of this…. Probably because I don’t ever watch tv.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Firsts

1. Who was your FIRST prom date?
Andrew

2. Do you still talk to your FIRST love?
Yes, every now and then

3. What was your FIRST job?
Does babysitting count? If not, then Dairy Queen.

4. What was your FIRST car?
Maroon Chevy Lumina, a hand-me-down from my dad

5. Who was the FIRST person to text you today?
No one yet. But usually it’s Ben.

6. Who is the FIRST person you thought of this morning?
Ugh, why am I awake? This is the only day I don’t have to get up with an alarm, so why am I up so early?

7. Who was your FIRST grade teacher?
Mrs. Leiter in Chillicothe, then Mr. Zeidler when I moved to Philadelphia halfway through the year

8. Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane?
I don’t really remember, but I would guess Florida, since I know we went there a few times when I was young.

9. Who was your FIRST best friend & do you still talk to them?
Christy Hammond, and no, we lost touch about two decades ago.

10. Where was your FIRST sleep over?
I think at my own house, with Amy Schoenheider.

11. Who was the FIRST person you talked to today?
Ben

12. Whose wedding were you in the FIRST time?
Melissa and Rob’s

13. What was the FIRST thing you did this morning?
peed

14. What was the FIRST concert you ever went to?
Amy Grant, with a group from my church

15. FIRST tattoo?
Not so much, since I’m afraid of needles. Back in the college days, though, I secretly harbored a desire to get a tattoo of a Celtic knot on my lower back.

16. First piercing?
Ears, when I was in fourth grade. I later had to have them re-pierced because they grew closed.

17. First foreign country you've been to?
Spain, during a trip with my high school.

First non-North American country?
Same thing.

18. FIRST movie you remember seeing?
Snow White and the Seven Dwarves with my dad. The evil stepmother was soooo scary!

19. When was your FIRST detention?
Never had one

21. What was the first state you lived in?
Illinois

22. Who was your FIRST roommate?
Dee-Dee, for about three weeks. Then I moved across the hall to live with Bethany.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Bucket List

Here's the first of my surveys:
The Bucket List. Place an X by all the things you've done and remove the X from the ones you have not.

Things you have done during your lifetime:

( ) Gone on a blind date

( ) Cheated on your significant other
Whose goals are these? Seriously…..

(X) Used a rotary phone

(x) Know how to play poker
I actually need to be re-taught every time I sit down to play, but I have played several times, so I guess that means I “kind of know.”

( ) Dated someone 10 years or more older

( ) Dated someone 10 years of more younger

(x) Been married
To Ben, for four and a half years

(x) Got married in a church

( ) Eloped to get married

( ) Been divorced
Again, whose goals are these?!?!

(X) Skipped school
DHS Valedictorian skip day of 1997….. Since there were 11 of us up for valedictorian (our school didn’t have weighted grades, and we all had 4.0s), they threatened that if any of us skipped during the regular senior skip day, we’d be out of the running. A few weeks later, the valedictorians (me, Melissa, Maria, Caroline, Jason, Matt, Damon, Mike, Chai-Vay, Pete, and Erik) and salutatorian (Tony) were excused from school for a morning to do a photo shoot for the Peoria paper, and we decided that we were just all going to skip the whole day. We had breakfast at McDonald’s, then did the photo shoot (which only took about an hour), went to the zoo, went out for ice cream, and went over to Maria’s house to watch a movie. We thought we were big rebels.

(x) Knew all 4 of your grandparents
Kind of. My paternal grandmother died when my dad was in high school, so I obviously never met her. However, my paternal grandfather married again not too long after that, and I always viewed her (Mimi) as my grandmother. As a side note, I also knew/know all four of Ben’s grandparents.

(x) Knew a great-grandparent
My great-grandfather was alive until I was 2, and while I don’t remember him, I do have pictures of us together. My great-grandmother was alive until I was 7, and I have a lot of great memories of her.

( ) Knew a great-great grandparent

( ) Watched someone die

(x) Watched a baby be born
I didn’t actually “watch” this, but I’ve had two children of my own.

( ) Watched an animal die

( ) Watched an animal baby be born

(x) Been to Canada
Part of the Great Summer Road Trip of 2003.

(x) Been to Mexico
Part of the same Great Summer Road Trip. Ben and I spent 3 months traveling across the USA, as well as Canada and Mexico. We basically lived in the Jeep. We tent camped almost every night, cooking on a gas stove and over campfires. This was an awesome adventure.

(x) Been to Florida
Many times. My paternal grandparents lived there while I was growing up. My family also used to go to Panama City Beach for spring breaks while I was in junior high and high school.

( ) Been to Hawaii

(x) Been to Alaska
On a cruise, for our honeymoon. Cold, but beautiful.

(x) Been to the Grand Canyon
summer road trip…. gorgeous

(x) Been to Las Vegas
same summer trip

(x) Seen a musical
Many. My favorites were at Corn Stock Theater in Peoria growing up, although I have seen many high school productions as well. ☺

(X) Watched a play
Again, many. I prefer musicals though.

( ) Been on a wine tasting tour
Since I don’t drink, this wouldn’t be all that exciting for me.

(X) Been on a plane

( ) Been on a helicopter

(x) Been on a Ferry
Summer road trip 2003, en route to Martha’s Vineyard.

(x) Boating on the Great Lakes
Many times. My family vacations in Michigan every summer. My favorite/most embarrassing story about this is from when we took Bryn out on a friend’s boat with us when she was less than a year old. We got pulled over the by Boat Police because there weren’t enough lifejackets on board for everyone, and my little infant felon got her very own citation for not wearing a lifejacket.

(x) Been lost

(x) Gone to Washington, DC
Once for the National Young Leaders Conference during my senior year of high school, and again as part of my East Coast Road Trip with Damon during my spring break in 2002.

( ) Been to Atlantic City

(x) Been to Nashville, TN

(x) Swam in the ocean

(x) Cried yourself to sleep

(x) Played cops and robbers

(x) Recently colored with crayons
After all, I have a 3-year-old.

( ) Sang Karaoke

(x) Sang in a choir
Church choir, when I was little. I’d love to sing in a choir again, but I’m completely tone deaf.

(x) Learned to couples dance
Ballroom dance class to earn my college p.e. credit.

(x) Learned to country line dance

(X) Paid for a meal with coins only
Fast food only.

(x) Been to the top of the St. Louis Arch

(X) Gone to college
Butler University class of 2001! Also did a mini-mester at Illinois Central College to get an easy science credit and a semester at University College Cork while studying abroad.

(X) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't

(x) Made prank phone calls
Wasn’t this the #1 passtime at junior high slumber parties?!?! ☺

(X) Cried during a movie
Frequently. Often at scenes that really aren’t that sad. I’m a sucker.

(x) Been down Bourbon Street in New Orleans
Didn’t actually enjoy it much, as we were there in July at it was miserably hot.

(X) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose & elsewhere

(x) Caught a snowflake on your tongue

(x) Danced in the rain half-naked
I’m assuming that wearing a swimming suit counts…. “Puddle jumping” was one of my favorite rainy-day activities at Camp Tecumseh.

(x) Written a letter to Santa Claus

( ) Been kissed under the mistletoe

(X) Watched the sunrise with someone
Best memories of this are on an Indian reservation in South Dakota during a high school youth group work trip, and on the beach in Michigan with childhood family friends (Freunds, Gills, and Fennells).

(x) Blown bubbles
Yesterday…. Again, I have a 3-year-old.

(X) Gone ice-skating
I actually took lessons all the way into high school. I was pretty good for a while.

(X) Gone to the movies
Not so much since having kids. But this is basically what the Dunlap Clan did every Friday and Saturday night from 1992 to 1997!

( ) Been deep sea fishing

( ) Been ice fishing
I don’t see where the fun in this would be….

(x) Been canoeing
Camp T float trips, baby…

(x) Participated in a Walk-A-Thon for charity

( ) Been in 4-H

( ) Been in FFA
I really wish I had done one of the last two….

(x) Been in Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts

(X) Gone to camp
Girl Scout camp once, which was a bad experience. I was in third grade. We had to sleep in tents. There were daddy-long-legs everywhere. Another girl wet her bed, then woke me up in the middle of the night to ask if she could sleep with me. Luckily, I later got to go to Camp Tecumseh for five summers and loved it more than anything. As a college student and adult, I also worked at Camp T for five summers, so all in all, that’s a lot of camp! Also various weekends when working at Camp T for events and conferences in the fall and spring, and when chaperoning and/or attending various club trips. I also took a group of kids to Young Life camp one week before my wedding.

( ) Held a snake in your bare hands

( ) Held a tarantula in your bare hands
Why would I want to do these things? Yuck!

(x) Driven South across the United States

( ) Been in a hot air balloon

( ) Been sky diving

( ) Taken over the controls of a plane

( ) Been to a NASCAR race

( ) Gone snowmobiling

(x) Lived in more than one country
Lived in Ireland for 6 months in the spring of 2000.

(X) Lay down outside at night and admired the stars while listening to the crickets
One of my very favorite ways to spend the evening at Camp Tecumseh.

(X) Seen a falling star and made a wish
My favorite way to do this was while lying on Angel’s Slide sanddune while on vacation in Michigan with family friends in high school (Freunds and Gills).

(x) Enjoyed the beauty of Old Faithful Geyser
Well, I don’t know if I “enjoyed the beauty,” as it was about 20 degrees out and I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt, but I’ve seen it at least….

(x) Seen the Statue of Liberty
And climbed up inside it, while in NYC with Krysten, Kristen, and Andrea during fall break of 2000.

(x) Seen the Golden Gate Bridge
During my summer road trip with Ben.

( ) Gone to the top of Seattle Space Needle
Didn’t go to the top, but I have seen it, again during the summer road trip.

(x) Been on a cruise
This is how I saw Alaska…. We went for our honeymoon in June of 2004.

(x) Traveled by train
All over England and Europe while I was studying abroad in 2000.

( ) Traveled by motorcycle

(X) Traveled by bus
After all, I went to public school….

( ) Ridden on a Harley

(x) Been horseback riding
If the trail rides at Camp Tecumseh count as real horseback riding…. ☺

(x) Ridden on a San Francisco CABLE CAR
summer road trip

(x) Been to Disneyland --- or Disney World
Both, during the same summer road trip. I also went to Disney World with my family while growing up.

(x) Been in a rain forest
Not tropical, but in northern California during our summer road trip.

( ) Seen whales in the ocean

(x) Been to Niagara Falls
Not shockingly by this point in the survey, also during our summer road trip.

( ) Ridden on an elephant

( ) Swam with dolphins

(x) Been to the Olympics
The event, not so much. Olympic National Park, yes.

( ) Walked on the Great Wall of China

( ) Saw and heard a glacier calf

( ) Been spinnaker flying

(X) Been water-skiing

(x) Been snow-skiing

(x) Been to Westminster Abbey
With my mom, when she visited while I was studying abroad and we visited London together.

(x) Been to the Louvre
Twice. Once with Melissa and once with my mom, both in the spring of 2000 while studying abroad.

(x) Swam or waded in the Mediterranean
While at the Costa Del Sol with a high school trip to Spain in 1996.

(x) Been to a Major League Baseball game
Chicago Cubs, several times while growing up.

(X) Been to a National Football League game
Go Colts!

( ) Been to a National Basketball Association game

( ) Been to a National Hockey League game

( ) Watched school bus races
Do these really exist?

( ) Ridden a mechanical bull

(x) Played in the snow

( ) Climbed a Lighthouse

( ) Been to Italy
Traveling with Melissa, visiting Stephanie and Krysten, spring break while studying abroad, 2000.

( ) Been to Spain
Madrid and Torremolinos, summer 1996, while on a school trip and visiting Bob and Tom.

( ) Been to the Carribean

( ) Been Para-4 sailing
Is this the same as regular parasailing? If so, yes, at Panama City Beach.

( ) Been to Kentucky Derby

( ) Been to a horse racing track and bet on the horses

(x) Been to the Hoover Dam
Ben and I dubbed in the “Damn Dam” because of the lengthy traffic jam we sat in while there.

(x) Been on Route 66
summer road trip

(x) Seen a bear in the wild
several times during summer road trip, most notably at Yellowstone National Park

( ) Shot and killed wild game

( ) Owned a convertible

( ) Owned a pickup truck

( ) Been in a roll over accident

( ) Been through the Panama Canal

( ) Been to Asia

( ) Been to South America

( ) Been to Antarctica

( ) Been to Australia

( ) Been to Africa

( ) Been to Scotland
Sadly, no. I really wanted to but never quite made it while studying abroad.

( ) Been to Ireland
Lived there for six months while studying abroad in 2000.

( ) Been to Germany
Also during my spring break while I was studying abroad.

( ) Been to Russia

(x) Been in more than one ocean
Both Atlantic and Pacific. Also, I’ve been in the Atlantic from both sides (American and Europe).

( ) Done something that you are legally forbidden from discussing

( ) Seen the Leaning Tour of Piza

(x) Seen the real "Last Supper" fresco

(x) Seen the Statue of David

(x) Toured a cave
Carlsbad Caverns, summer road trip 2003.

( ) Been scuba diving

(x) Been snorkeling
A very janky version of this, in La Jolla, during our summer road trip.

( ) Rode dirt bikes

( ) Rode ATV's

( ) Went skinny dipping

(x) Fallen in love

(x) Had my heart broken

( ) Been to a working cattle ranch

( ) Competed in a rodeo

(x) Tried eating an exotic food even though you knew what it was made of

(x) Moved more than 10 times in your life
From city to city, no. But if you count in and out of various dorms, apartments, and camp cabins, more than 10.

( ) Live in the same town you grew up in

( ) Went to the same school that one of your parents went to

( ) Had the same teacher that one of your parents had

Survey Season

Back in college, when I first had an email account, I used to get surveys from friends via email all the time. And I always filled them out. Nowadays, I get them rarely. However, apparently the new cool thing to do on Facebook is to fill out surveys, and I have been "tagged" in a ridiculous number of "notes" of this nature lately. Not complaining though! It's really fun to read them about other people, and I've been trying to find the time to fill a few out myself. So, in the interest of justifying spending some relaxing time doing this, I'm going to double-dip by posting the surveys both here and on Facebook. This will be my "survey week." Enjoy!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Celebrity Undercover

I promise that a real post with updates and such is coming. Until then....

Tonight at the UHS basketball game, several girls came up to me and commented on my kids. They said, "You probably hear this all the time, but your littlest daughter looks just like...."

In my head, I was already filling in the end of the sentence with "your husband." Had that actually been what they said, I would have pointed out that Bryn looked more like Ben than Shay does. I also contemplated the possibility of them saying "...just like you." This is something that several people have told me. I don't actually think that's true, although it is true that Shay looks far more like me than Bryn does.

But no. The sentence actually became, "You probably hear this all the time, but your littlest daughter looks just like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's baby! You know--Shiloh."

When I laughed at this, the girls were shocked. They said they noticed the resemblance as soon as they saw Shay, and that their friends all saw it too. I'm not buying, but what do you think?



Okay, they both have blond baby hair and blue eyes, but that's about it, right? Besides, Shay is far cuter. :)

Now, if only someone would tell me that I look just like Angelina Jolie.....

Monday, February 09, 2009

Playhouse Kids

Shortly after we moved into our current house, Ben's parents gave Bryn the best Christmas present ever: a playhouse fort, complete with slide. Since we didn't have any furniture in the front room at that point, we set the playhouse up in there, planning to move it outdoors in the spring. We found, though, that it's such a great energy-burner inside that we never have gotten around to moving it out. Now that Shay is up and moving, she's enjoying it every bit as much as her sister did.

Here's Bryn, age 1, wanting Mommy to play with her:
And here's Shay, age 1, following in her sister's footsteps:
And here's Bryn, age 3, still climbing and having fun:

Belated Sunday Funny

Meant to post this yesterday.....
Here's a direct quote from Bryn: "Daddy Ben, Baby Shay is really sick. She's dyin'. You need to give her a raisin."
Apparently the almighty raisin cures all....

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Studying Early

Here's another comparison picture, although the "scenery" is a dead giveaway as to which is which in these. It seems that you can tell that these little girls have an English teacher for a mommy..... or at least, that they are used to watching me take notes in books!

This one is Bryn, back in February 2007, right around the time that I got pregnant with Shay. Although I was not teaching at the time, I was taking master's degree classes, so I spent a lot of time doing my homework. Bryn enjoyed sitting next to me and highlighting her own book as I worked. A funny side note: it seems that the "princess" obsession started earlier than I remembered, as evidenced by her pajamas.

This one is Shay. I took it one afternoon this week after school and was attempting to do some lesson planning for my freshmen, who are reading "Romeo and Juliet." As you can see, she is enthusiastically clutching my pen as well. (Pens seem to be her favorite object to teethe on these days.) The cutie next to her is my sister's dog, Sadie.
At any rate, with all of this early academic preparation, I assume my children will be well-prepared for kindergarten. :)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Puppy Love

Okay, so you all seemed to find my "which girl is which" game a little too easy... you must just all know us really well! :) I thought this comparision was very cute as well: both girls (each around age 1) with our dogs. Good thing Dagny doesn't mind being cuddled!


Monday, February 02, 2009

Who's Who?

In looking at old pictures, I have been especially struck recently with how much our girls look alike, particularly when placed in similar situations. My plan is to feature various combinations of these pictures this week. So here's my first "featured shot".... both girls enjoying Playscape at the Children's Museum. Who's who?




Sunday, February 01, 2009

Resolution Check-Up

Since we are now officially one full month into 2009, I thought it would be an appropriate time to check in on how I'm doing on my resolutions. I'm also hoping that by posting updates here, I will shame myself into keeping on top of things. :)

1. Get my thyroid under control.
As you may have read here, I started a new medication last month, in addition to an adjusted dosage of my old medication. I do my official bloodwork in a little less than two weeks to make sure that all my levels are adjusting appropriately, but overall, I feel a a lot better. Yes, I am still tired some days, but then, I would imagine that most people who work full-time while raising two small children are. Before, it was like all I could think about was how tired I was. From the moment I got up in the morning, all I could think about was how soon I could go back to sleep. I was living for sleep. Now, I'm tired by bedtime, but I can function during the day. I'm absolutely thrilled about this--I imagine it's how a normal person feels. :)

2. Lose some weight.
It seems that the new medication is helping in this area as well, as my efforts are now actually paying off. My goal was to lose 6 pounds this month, and I succeeded. Very exciting!

3. No miscarriages in 2009.
So far, so good. Of course, there haven't been any pregnancies yet either!

4. Expand our family.
Ben and I are 3/5 of the way done with our foster parenting classes. As you may have read here, we also have the green light from the fertility doctor to go ahead and try for another baby. They are monitoring me very closely, so keep your fingers crossed for us.

5. Blog.
I was very proud of myself in this area for most of the month (and hopefully you were too!). Perhaps not surprisingly, though, my blogging slowed down when second semester began and I had to start teaching again. I'm working on it.

6. Read.
For school this month, I read Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. For pleasure, I read The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling and Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult. While doing my daily mile on the treadmill, I also knocked out about 15 of my piled up back issues of various magazines. Currently, I'm reading Romeo and Juliet for school and The Book Thief for pleasure.

Overall, I'm pretty proud of myself this month! I hope it's been a good one for all of you as well. :)