Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Weekly Update

I've been as consistent as the MN Twins lately in getting blog posts up, so here's a quick list of excuses/updates on what we've been up to.

Adam: Football, Football, Football...oh and school started too.  NWC FB camp started on Aug. 12 with a big potluck and then it was an intense week of 3-a-day practices. Adam is coaching the Offensive Line this year at his college Alma Mater and is excited about the Raider program! Today (Wed) was the first day of school and he's looking forward to his 2nd year teaching 8th grade Literature. Maybe the Kindle Fire he now uses has something to do with it, but he's really enjoyed reading lately and liked "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand as much as my mom and I did.

Ryan: After many fun "Grandma" and "Juliana" days mixed in with "Daddy" days, he is back at his daycare. He made a good transition and does enjoy playing there, although he'll miss the older kids when they are in school during the day. Here's a few highlights of the past week:
  • playing with neighbor kids at the "green park"
  • walking the Puddle Jumper trail to throw rocks and sticks in the pond
  • baking bars with me for a FB player's birthday (Adam said 2 guys ate all 12 in an hour)
  • holding the umbrella, then running around the wet bleachers at a NWC scrimmage
  • playing in the sandbox with Saylor
  • playing trains with 4 boys (sons of my cousins) 
  • coming up with many "great new ideas" or "really fun games" which usually involve someone getting tackled--Daddy, Mommy, or Nika.
  • catching moths with his bare hands
  • discovering that almost all of the 3T pants I bought for him are too tight in the tummy! 
  • "reading books" by himself in his new bed every night (sometimes for over an hour!)
  • singing "Little Bunny Foo Foo" for Abbie and Wade
  • setting up his farm animals and zoo animals daily and building new Lego Zoos
  • finding a golf ball when he went on a "treasure hunt" with his daycare mom
  • getting a much-needed haircut
  • after a long "peanut butter on bread" for every breakfast streak, he's now moved on to Froot Loops
  • searching for dropped coins everywhere so he can put them in his new piggy bank (he found $0.53 at the scrimmage this week)
  • having some really successful days followed by really unsuccessful days in the potty training department. So frustrating!  
  • getting hit in the forehead with a metal bat at daycare but coming through it pretty unscathed
  • telling really long complicated stories that I'm sure are 90% pure fabrication, but it's fun to get a glimpse into his imagination
  • asking often about the baby (who he now thinks is a girl) and referring to it as "my baby sister who is in mommy's tummy but the doctor is going to help get her out but not for a long long long time like when it snows at Christmas"
  • starting to talk about his far his vote is for a "football cake" and his #1 gift request is "more farm animals"

Courtney: The pregnancy is going well even with most of the discomforts continuing and a lot more tiredness than I remember from the first time (maybe because I have a toddler to chase now?) I've also become a bit desperate in the wardrobe department and will need to make some more shopping trips to either friends or stores soon unless y'all want to see me in the same 4 shirts for the rest of the fall. Ugh.  I've been busy lately with a few work projects and trying to get used to having to leave right at 5:00 to pick up Ryan.  We usually have a good chunk of time home together before Adam is finished with football so I'm figuring out how to spend quality time with him and still have something (ANYTHING) prepared for supper. I have to admit that by the time Ryan goes to bed, I am exhausted. Does this mean I go to bed early or even on time? Rarely. I have been trying to work on getting Ryan's digital photo albums caught up and almost have 2 more books ready to purchase as soon as Winkflash has a flat-rate book sale, but discovering that if I keep up the 4 months/50-pg book pace I'm on, he's going to need a library by the time he graduates from High School. I'm only up to July 2011 but trying to work on it diligently with the goal of being caught up through his 3rd birthday before the baby arrives in December. Hold me to that!  I've also been working on some of my show choir songs since our first practice is in about 3 weeks. Yikes! I am so not ready or in shape for that! Staying up way too late on the computer, like it's now off to bed!

Throwback Day and my "D" personality

 Today we had an all-day staff meeting, so we decided to spice it up by making it a "throwback" day where everyone could haul out their old-school PR merchandise. There were some pretty great shirts, including a "Rebound Riot" reffing shirt, a "Thin Grin" turtleneck, and a green football jersey everyone got when the chain reached 100 locations. Since I've only worked there for 1 year, I didn't have anything of my own, but my grandma came to the rescue! She still had my Uncle Alan's uniform shirt from when he worked in the Hull restaurant during high school, which I think was the late 80's.  Everyone got a kick out of seeing the shirt. The back is pretty sweet, but the front was a little less-than-flattering. Maybe this was because it was not exactly a "maternity-friendly" cut, but still, that oatmeal color couldn't have done much for anyone!

I also took a picture with Scott, one of our VP's who was sporting the shirt he wore in High School when he first started out in the restaurant.

The first few hours of our meeting was spent with @CurtArchambault who led us in "Everything DiSC" profiling event.  We had all taken a profile quiz earlier and we learned about our profile, our strengths, weaknesses, how we are often perceived, and ways to work with other profile types. I was a "D" for Dominance which means I lean more toward "Action" over "Thoughtful" and "Competency/Facts" over "Relationships". I am results-oriented, like to keep things moving, move quickly from one accomplishment to the next, dislike being around people I view as incompetent, don't like wasting time in committees/meetings, am not afraid to challenge things I don't agree with, and will take charge in many situations. I like autonomy, independence, and control, I don't like excuses, and I'm more interested in moving forward than dwelling on the who/why/how everyone feels. I appreciate decisive action.  However, I'm only "slightly inclined" toward the "D" group so I can display characteristics of all the other groups as well. Anyone who knows me think this describes me well?

I found this exercise to be extremely interesting, especially in a group setting where you can see where all your other co-workers fall and it explains so much about what makes all of us tick! The activities also focused on how we can use this information to improve our interaction with our co-workers (and others in our lives) and the positive things each group brings to the organization.  It was a very interactive presentation and I highly recommend Curt as a presenter. If your company is wondering why everyone has such a hard time getting along or your small business is trying to figure out how to effectively put together effective teams, I would recommend investigating this more.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

New Bed (or how I almost had to use the fire escape)

We've been in the process of getting Ryan's new basement bedroom ready so that he can transition before the baby arrives. The walls are painted navy and gray and navy curtains are up. We also have some cube storage and a large canvas print of Target Field on the wall. Adam had picked out a captain's bed, bookcase headboard, nightstand, and dresser at Nebraska Furniture Mart at the beginning of the Summer and it was scheduled to arrive on Saturday. Since we were going to be in Sioux Falls, we arranged with a friend on our block to come down and let the delivery guys in once they called us to say they were within 30 minutes of town.  However, the first call received on Saturday was a recorded message saying "We're sorry we missed you today. Call to arrange another delivery time."  We were not too happy since they had specifically told us they were going to have the driver call 30 minutes before arriving. After a few phone calls and arrangements, they finally got ahold of the driver and told him to go back and drop it off.   We got a call a little while later from our friend saying the delivery guys didn't think the bed would make it down the stairs and what should they do? We told them just to leave it in the living room and we'd figure it out when we got home. After all, we thought, we've brought a full-size couch and a queen-size box spring down there--how could a twin-size bed not fit?

When we got home on Saturday afternoon, we discovered they'd left ALL the furniture in the middle of the living room--they didn't even carry down the headboard or nightstand, which easily fit. Oh well...easily solved. We got our first indication that we might have some problems as we brought down the 5-drawer tall dresser and discovered that yes, it is a bit of a tight squeeze between the bottom of the stairs and the ceiling, and making it around the corner (our stairs end directly headed into a wall so you have to make a 90-degree turn right or left--in fact there is 40.5" from the edge of the bottom stair and the wall in front of you--an important measurement, you'll soon see).

After taking out all the drawers and strategizing a bit, we headed down the stairs with the bed. Adam did most of the lifting and I did more guiding/helping it slide straight.  We immediately ran into issues and ended up having to slide it down on it's end, then go back up a few steps, then tip it under the ceiling ledge. All this time, Ryan was running around, chasing Nika, squeezing between the bed and the wall to go up and down the stairs, and generally causing mayhem.  After about 15 minutes we had me in the basement, Adam at the top of the stairs, and the bed firmly wedged against the wall and ceiling near the bottom of the an angle. Ryan managed to squeeze beneath the 1' gap at the base to chase after the balloon he was hitting around which is when we had to finally restrict him to sitting IN THE TOY ROOM AND DON'T COME OUT WHILE MOMMY AND DADDY THINK! I genuinely did not think this bed-in-the-basement was going to happen. There was nothing we could take apart, no way I could push it back up the stairs, and barely even enough room for me and my belly to escape up the stairs next to it. I was starting to consider trying out the new fire escape ladder in the window well!  I really wanted to take a picture, but didn't think Adam was really in the mood to get the camera. :) I am happy to say that we remained civilized and positive throughout the ordeal that could have been the undoing of some couples!

After some careful measuring and a little more strategy, I got Adam to lift the bed from the bottom corner, on its end, back up onto the bottom stair, then we were able to shimmy it straight down onto the floor between the end of the stair and wall. Both the bed and this area measure exactly 40.5". We then had to lift it straight up back onto the bottom stair, give it a turn, and tip it into the hallway.  WE MADE IT!  I was never so happy to get a piece of furniture into a basement (not even the wooden-leg couch in our old house that, true to his word, Adam took a chain saw to before trying to get it back up out of that basement).

Ryan was so excited about his new furniture and his favorite part is the little cupboard under the bed. We had to have a talk about never going in there by himself unless Mommy or Daddy were around, but he thinks it's the perfect "comfy spot" to sleep.

 We brought his mattress down and made up his new bed, and he slept it in on Saturday night for the first time! We still have to switch his clothes and books and do some additional decorating--I'll post pictures when it's done, but for now, here's a peek at what Ryan thinks of his new room!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Sioux Falls Saturday

On Saturday morning, Adam made a McDonald's run for us to have some hot breakfast along with the muffins I brought, then we headed down to the pool again. It was really cold in the pool area, and Ryan wasn't interested in doing anything other than sit or stand around in the 1ft area, so we quickly went back to the room and got ready to leave. We headed to the Sioux Falls Zoo around 11:30 and Ryan really enjoyed the indoor exhibits. He liked many of the outdoor events too, like the baby rhino, but was pretty disappointed not to see a lion or a polar bear. It's also a little hard to beat Omaha's penguin exhibit, but the weather was cool and it was nice walking around.

Ryan loves carousels and was excited to have a ride on the one at the zoo. Even though I get motion-sickness, I was the lucky one who got to ride with him since Adam was dealing with the hassle of a missed furniture delivery at the time and missed quite a few exhibits because he was on the phone.

What do you think Ryan is so excited for here?

If you guessed the 3 sleeping tigers that were the whole of the "Big Cat" exhibit or the invisible tortoises, you would be incorrect. If you guessed this...
...then you would be right. We rode the "Savannah Express" around the zoo and he liked seeing the animal hospital, giraffes, zebras, and ostriches from the car of the train. However, he kept putting his hands over his ears and asked in a very loud voice, "Mommy, what is she talking about?" whenever the conductor gave us some sort of extinction/"habitat encroachment" lecture.
On the way out of the zoo, we stopped for a little more time in the "Hy-Vee Farm" exhibit. I don't think grandpa would have been impressed with the "milking" activity, but Ryan showed off his dairy skills.
Then, we got some feed and let him feed various goats. This was probably his favorite part, besides the train.

We left around 1:30 and stopped for some Taco Bell (aka Fruitista Freeze with some Mexican Food on the side). Ryan fell asleep on the way home and didn't even wake up when we picked up Nika. We got home by mid-afternoon in time to deal with our new furniture (see next post) and we headed to Adam's parents for supper. It was a nice getaway and although it's disappointing to not have been able to take a week to go somewhere fun and exotic this summer, we enjoyed all the activities we got to do and these shorter trips seemed to be just fine for the stage of life we're in.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Sioux Falls Friday

Our "summer vacation" this year has been a combination of a lot of separate activities--Ryan, my parents, and I went to the Wisconsin Dells for my work trip, Adam and I went to Minneapolis to a Twins game, Ryan and Adam made a day trip to Omaha, and Adam and I went to Des Moines to work at the race, etc. However, we haven't gone away with all three of us since a wedding/zoo trip to Omaha over Memorial Day.  Since Adam will be tied up with football every weekend until the baby arrives (hopefully), this was our one last chance to go away.  We decided to just make a quick trip to Sioux Falls so we wouldn't spend so much time driving. We left Friday after I was done at work, picked up Ryan from my parents where he'd spent the day, and drove the hour to Sioux Falls. I'd had a major craving for Fuddrucker's, so Adam and Ryan obliged and we took turns trying to distract Ryan by playing "I Spy" with the decor while we waited for our food. Then, we checked in at the Ramada at around 8, got into our suits, and headed to their indoor waterpark. 

It was, understandably, very busy there with many families getting in that last summer "hurrah". Ryan liked pretending to drive the pirate ship but was dead-set against going down any slides. His favorite thing was just to swim in a regular old rectangle pool, "racing" us from one end to the other. He loves swimming independently with his lifejacket on, but has a pretty weak doggy-paddle, so I spent most of the time treading water. I think next time we'll just go to a hotel with a regular pool.

An hour was enough time in the pool and we headed up to our room. We brought along his farm animals and some wooden blocks and he happily played on the carpet, setting everything up and making makeshift fences from sandals, towels, paper, and blocks.

We watched a little Olympics and Vikings football, had a few meltdowns over sleeping on the fold-out couch (I feel you, little buddy, it did not look comfy to me either!) and Ryan finally fell asleep at 10:30pm.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


On Friday afternoon, Adam and I headed to Des Moines. We got some shopping done on Friday night and Saturday morning with the "tax-free" holiday. After a storm went through, we headed over to the Iowa Speedway.  We helped out in the Pizza Ranch hospitality tent for a while, setting everything back up after a quick storm had blown through, then working the registration table.  I had ordered tickets for my sister and BIL since they are race fans and they met us at the tent, then went down to the Fan Walk. The other 3 played a racing simulation game in the Coke truck and then it was time for us to head back up to help with food setup.  Megan and Austin enjoyed watching some of the pre-race inspections in the garage.

We helped set up for supper and then enjoyed Pizza Ranch buffet with about 350 other members of the greater PR family.  Our driver, Michael McDowell, also stopped by the tent to say a few words.
 After clean-up, we stopped by the funnel cake booth, then headed up to the stands.  Here are a few pictures from the race, starting in the bottom right and moving clockwise:
  • Flyover at the start of the race, after 2 parachuters had already landed on the infield
  • Driver introductions--Michael riding in the back of a pickup
  • Cars are ready to race after a caution
  • #18 makes a pit stop
  • #18 trailing Danica Patrick (but not for long!)
After a fairly uneventful (and very loud) race, our car ended up getting 6th, but we're proud of Michael and how he represents Joe Gibbs Racing and our company's sponsorship.  This was Adam and my first NASCAR race ever, but because of our sponsorship, probably won't be our last!
It was not fun getting back to I-80 after the race and I ended up puking on the way back to West Des Moines (big surprise). But, I can't overstate how much I enjoyed getting 10 HOURS of sleep both Friday and Saturday nights. It was glorious...almost as glorious as the hot breakfast buffet and made-to-order omelets at the Sheraton.  We headed back on Sunday morning and picked up Ryan and Nika who had had a really fun weekend at my parents. It was nice to spend some time with just the 2 of us, get some much-needed clothes shopping done for both of us...and did I mention 10 HOURS of sleep?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Omaha Quick Trip

On Thursday morning, Ryan was up at 5:00am in order to be ready to leave the house at 5:30. Adam and Ryan caught a ride with another coach who was going to Lincoln, NE for the day and got to spend the day with Uncle Andy! 

First, they went to the zoo. We'd been there over Memorial Day, but this time they got to see a few different things, like the lemur area and the rainforest. Ryan enjoyed the aquarium and thought it was cool to touch a starfish. They also watched a 3-D movie about the Arctic in the IMAX. This was Ryan's first movie and Adam said he did great, but did take the 3-D glasses off a few times when the ice was "shattering" toward them. He told us all about the polar bears, the seals and the "wal-wussess" from the movie!

After the zoo, they checked out Andy's first-grade classroom which was filled with many fun things for Ryan to play with, but he really loved the wooden blocks (no surprise).
 They met Coach A in the afternoon for the ride home and Adam said Ryan did great in the car, falling asleep in Sioux City. He was very tired when he got home at 7:00 but we managed to get him to eat a little supper, then he went to lay on the couch and soon ended up like this:
I guess we now know a great way to get him to bed by 8:00...just wake him up at 5:00!

It was a fun road trip for Ryan and Adam and they were glad they got to see Andy before school started!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Halfway There

Monday marked the official 20-week half-way point in my pregnancy. Today we had an ultrasound and the baby cooperated for measuring lots of the important stuff, but not so much for pretty face shots. It's also a good thing we weren't trying to find out if it was a boy or girl because this baby was facing my back and not giving anything away! The heartbeat was 150 and everything checked out great, so I'm feeling quite relieved.

We took Ryan along and he looked at the screen a little bit, thinking that he saw the baby's face (which was probably some internal organs) and announcing that he saw the baby's teeth (spine), but mostly was happy playing with a school bus on the floor.

The technician did comment that the baby seemed to be "Tebowing" in the only profile shot we got.

Here's a little FAQ for anyone who's interested (and a cue to skip for those who aren't).

Q) When are you due again? 
A) Dec. 17. The baby was measuring a few days ahead (yay!) but they're still keeping my due date on Monday, Dec. 17.

Q) Are you going to find out if it's a boy or girl? 
A) Nope

Q) Have you picked out names?
A) We've discussed a lot and keep coming back to a few, but are still open to ideas. We aren't going to tell the name before the baby is born, though.

Q) Can you feel the baby move?
A) Yes! I started recognizing movement at about 18 weeks and it's fun at this stage since it's more hiccups and butterflies than kicks and jabs.

Q) Are you showing?
A) Uh...yeah. I've not had to wear maternity shirts too much yet and most of my pants are just a size-up, not full-out maternity, but this day is coming soon. My wardrobe is definitely a lot more limited and I'll need to do some more shopping soon. I think it's obvious in some outfits that it's a baby bump but in polo shirts I think it's a little freshman-15ish. I've gained about 13 lbs. and am on about the same curve as my first pregnancy. Looks like I'm heading to the full 35 again. :P

Q) How are you feeling?
A) I think I can check off almost every non-medically-threatening-just-generally-uncomfortable pregnancy symptom there is. Here's a quick run-down, not to complain, but because I found it really helpful to look back at my blog from my first pregnancy to remember what happened/ended when.
  • Morning Sickness: I feel nauseated every day, but it comes and goes. I'm down to throwing up only a few times per week and it's still worst when I'm hungry.  I am hoping this continues to fade.
  • Cravings/Aversions: Nothing really every sounds great, but I'm always hungry and once I start, I don't seem to have a problem stuffing it in.  Just like last time, I mostly crave spicy Mexican food, comfort food like hamburger-based casseroles, peanut butter, milk and ice cream.  Things that are hard to eat--pizza sometimes (this is somewhat of a problem, given my line of work), fruit other than apples or peaches (it makes me feel immediately bloated and full but then gives me an empty pit feeling) and juice.
  • Heartburn: Terrible. I know my diet is not exactly a prescription for prevention, but it seems to be cause by everything--even just brushing my teeth!. I can actually feel the acid in my throat, especially when I lay down. I have to be propped up at night just to prevent it from pouring into my throat. Dis-gusting. I'm taking medicine for it but had it all the way through my first pregnancy.
  • Backache: ...and hips and joints, etc. I'm going to the chiropractor consistently to try to ward off the sciatica I had 3 years ago, but my back is still sore.
  • Swelling: No feet swelling yet, but I can tell that fluid is being retained. I actually feel it worst in my forearms. I had terrible carpal tunnel pain when I was pregnant with Ryan (combo of computer work and swelling).
  • Stuffiness: Yup--not so much that I can't breathe, but instant pressure if I look down or tilt my head.
  • Headaches: Also come and go and only a few have been severe. Some of it is due to eye strain from staring at monitors for many many hours/day.
  • Insomnia: It is very hard to get to sleep at night and it's not just Olympic coverage. This leads to...
  • Tiredness:  It's a struggle to wake up in the morning and I really could use a 2-hour nap every day. It just doesn't happen.
  • Pain: The round ligament stretching is definitely noticable and quick movements can cause instant pain.
  • Leg cramps: Only a few times and oddly, I actually get foot/toe cramps more than calves.

I am excited to be halfway through and thankful for the health of the baby continuing to be looking great. It's going to be a very busy fall so I hope it goes fast! For now, we're enjoying our time with Ryan and the continuous nights of sleep!

2 years & 10 months

Ryan's imagination and story-telling and kicking into high gear. He is pretty hilarious to listen to. Many of his stories are completely made up but he is also to recall events in pretty great detail and tell us all about his day or what is going to happen next.  A "sentence" might sound like..."and  after we eat lunch we're going to have dessert and then Mommy goes back to work and then I'll take a nap and when I wake I play with Daddy and then Mommy comes home from work and we eat supper and then maybe after supper we can play for a little while or go for a walk maybe because Nika needs some exercise and then we come home and THEN what are we going to do?"

He also like to start out a sentence by saying, "Hey Guys! I have a great idea! Lets...(tackle, race, build a zoo, etc.)" He also makes up songs now. He could sing "Wild, Wild, Wild Kratts. Wild, Wild Wild Kratts" (just those words) for 15 minutes straight, and the other night started singing "Taco Bell, Taco Shell" except he pronounces short "e's" like a long "a" so it sounds like "Taco Baaaaaaaaaaale, Taco Shaaaaaaaale." No idea where he picked that up from.  With the amount of talking/singing/screeching/crying he does, it's no wonder that he keeps losing his voice. He sounds hoarse about 1 day/week and we're a little concerned that either mild allergies or vocal nodules are causing it, but it probably sounds worse than it feels.

We've tried to start working on a few sounds (like keeping his teeth closed and hiding his tongue when making an "s" sound) and a few mis-cued words. Like, zebra instead of zah-we-bra and Olympics instead of Galympics.  Tonight, though, I had to laugh when he asked if we could go "downstends" (he's always called it this) and I corrected him by saying, slowly, "Ryan, can you say Down-STAIRS?" and he gave me a patronizing look and in the same condescending voice asked, "Yes, Mommy, can YOU say downSTEPS?"
Ryan has been working on table manners to and does a much better job saying "please," "thank-you," "may I be excused," etc.  We've really been working on potty-training intensely while Ryan is at home and he's been doing pretty well, going most of the day in underwear. We're getting close and just need to work on being consistent.  He's loving his time home with Daddy now that baseball and camps are over and football hasn't started yet.  They go on lots of fun adventures together, riding bikes, going to the park, running errands, playing CandyLand, and as he informed me today "playing dodgeball." Oh boy.
We painted Ryan's new room, put up curtains, a storage unit and a picture of Target Field. Now we are just waiting for his furniture to be delivered. He's excited about it, in theory, but we'll see how the transition to the basement goes...hopefully happening next month. He still seems excited about the baby and will explain to others, "When it snows and Christmas comes, then we are going to have a baby and right now it's in Mommy's tummy and the doctor is going to help it come out." He asked Adam the other night where the baby was going to sleep and Adam said the baby would sleep in a crib, he announced, "I'm going to put my new bed right by the crib so I can sleep by the baby."  He alternatively tells people he wants a brother or a sister. We are enjoying this time with him before the busy fall starts and hope to have a few more fun summer memories!