Friday, January 31, 2014

Random Photo Friday

To finish out the month of January, a random sampling of photos from the camera phones, mostly:

LM showing off some of his Christmas puzzles.
Word got around that he loves puzzles!

My sweet boy took a selfie!

Daddy as bridge

Playing with the Hulk hands at Nonna and Papa's house

Just before we saw FROZEN

Eating a gummy worm

Silly boy

My beautiful boys


proud of finishing another puzzle - this one a "big brother" gift from a colleague

This weekend, we hope to take in a bit of the Chinese New Year festival, and continue our work to get the house cleaned up and out for the baby. Best wishes to you and yours for the weekend.

See you soon!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Maternity Photos

**Note - updated to take out the embedded photos and replace them with direct links! So glad Flickr is allowing the direct HTML links again! This should improve your loading performance!**

It was so nice yesterday, we decided to try to do some "maternity" photos outdoors. Here are the best ones we were able to get - I was most irritated by the clarity of the family shots - I checked the focus points, and yet still they were not sharp. Oh well:


Both of us with cheesy grins.

A little sweeter

I call this his "John Wayne" face

See - we are a little soft here.
Liked this overlay though.

Removed the overlay.

Best family shot.

The one LM requested...

Actually really like this one of my boys.
Cannot believe my boys will soon be THREE in number.

The other family shot - a little soft, though.

Nearing the end of my photo shoot patience.

And the favorite of mine of day shy of 34 weeks!

So there you go. My attempt at self-helping the maternity shoot. Ha. I still have a random phone photo post I hope to get to soon...maybe later this week.

See you soon.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Radio Silence

It's Wednesday and I haven't blogged yet this week. Given I've been fairly regular with the posts of late, I'm sure you're wondering what's up. Nothing, really. And lots. Basically, we are busy, but not doing a lot of cutesy photo-worthy things. When I am not working or teaching class, we are getting ready for baby, mostly, which takes a lot of time and energy. And, I sent my camera in for a routine maintenance call, so I was actually without my "good" camera for almost two weeks. But, here are some photos of what we did last weekend.

After weeks of cleaning out and boxing up at our house, we went to the storage unit to bring home all the baby stuff I saved for the last three years. Incidentally, I had decided in June I was going to just go ahead and divest of this stuff once the weather cooled off. Then, well, life had a different plan. We also sorted through baby clothes that came back to Texas this summer from Indiana after Gibson got some use out of them. You can see some of those piles (pre-washing) behind LM in that first photo, on the floor in the background.

Baby stuff, Clampitt style

To emphasize the point I made in the baby bump update, look at those two photos. Yes, friends, we have everything. Just add a baby and some diapers, and we're good to go. Seriously. We had FIVE showers for LM - we have this covered.

Last weekend, we also moved the books and toys to the front room, which we are making into a playroom - it is also the staging area for moving all these boxes, so it doesn't look like much - yet, but I'm excited about the possibility of it all having a new place. 

Lest you think we have extra room - we filled that unit right back up. Ahem.

And, after we removed all the baby stuff, we had room to move everything back into the storage unit that we had collected over the last weeks at the house. And, when I use the word "we" I mean S did it. I cannot lift all that stuff...I can hold the door open, help him remember everything, box up stuff, but that's it. So, he was the single person who moved it all.

And, we are working on LM's room to make it user friendly for both he and the baby. This meant taking down some floating shelves on one wall, which left some huge holes. This week, S is patching all of that for sanding and painting, and ultimately getting a crib and a bed up in here. 

So that's what we're doing. I do have some phone photos to organize into another "random" post sometime soon, but other than that, posting may slow down for a bit. 

See you soon.

Friday, January 17, 2014

A Baby Bump Update

So, I thought I'd share some thoughts on how this pregnancy is going. First, I'm rounding out my 32nd week, and I will deliver, if not before, at 38 weeks and 1 day. So, we're in the home stretch here, folks. The baby seems happy and healthy - because I am old for a pregnant lady, he and I get lots of check-ups. Starting this week, we have two a week. And, at both of them, they put us on the baby monitor for 15-30 minutes. Fun times. It's a bit annoying, but also reassuring that everything is OK.

Looking down at the belly at 26 weeks.

I have to say, even though I felt like total yuckiness the first half of this pregnancy, I think this part is the part I hate the most - just getting to the end. I'm huge, and I just want to have a healthy baby - and it seems touch and go sometimes with all this checking! I also read a horrible article the other day - unintended - I thought it was about something else - where a woman lost her baby at 31 weeks, with no real reason given. So, I'm focusing on the positive and all the re-checks, and doing everything my doctors ask.

LM on the belly, 29 weeks.

What do they ask, you say? Well, I've been eating a diabetic diet since week 8. I really, really just don't ever eat sugar. I do eat carbs, but only with protein among them. And, the blood sugar has been really, really good. Then, with LM, at about 34 weeks, I got gestational hypertension - high blood pressure. At my 30 week check-up it seemed I was already headed into that territory. I watched it at home, and it seemed I was getting spikes only once a day. I decided to go to half-caf coffee for my one morning cup, but that wasn't enough. I was still spiking, and that was making me feel yucky again. And, I did NOT want to go on bedrest this early. So, on Tuesday, I went full decaf on the coffee. Amazingly, knock on wood, since I did that, my blood pressure has been totally under control. Not just a little lower, but seriously normal and LOW. Amen to that - I really hope it stays that way for another couple of weeks. It is really amazing to me that one cup of coffee can do that to your body...really interesting.

Just prior to giving birth to LM

My body carries this baby almost just as I carried LM. I don't look the least bit pregnant from the back, everyone comments. And, this was similar to LM. I am, however, larger than I was with LM. There is a photo of me taken the morning before I gave birth, and I'm pretty sure I was that size already at 28 weeks. I feel huge, I walk with a waddle and I get out of breath easily. I'm a hoss, friends, and I have six weeks to go! Lord help me! We'll make it. ;-)

Partial belly view - 30 weeks

Foot, upside down, at top, hand over forehead to right.

At the check-ups, when we get a glimpse of the baby's profile, he looks a lot like LM. He is getting cramped in there, and usually has hands and legs up in front of his face, so we don't see much, but it'll be interesting to see what this boy looks like when he emerges. He is healthy all the way around - it's amazing all the things that they check - heart, brain, lungs, placenta, umbilical cord, stomach, kidneys, bladder - really amazing. He measures a bit above average for size, but not too large - he's about 75% on the charts, and weighing in at 4 lbs 13 oz at 32 weeks. He gained 13 oz from two weeks ago. Typically, from here on out, they will gain about 8 oz a week, so he should be well into the 7 lb range by birth.

Sort of a head-on view of face, chin on right.

Side view of belly - 29 weeks

Partial belly view, with necklace from Mom
31 weeks

I am staying busy right now - teaching my class at SMU, which has been put on an accelerated schedule to finish it before the babe arrives (or hopefully before I get put on bed rest), so it's using a lot of my time. And, of course, I have a million things to do at work before I'm out for 12 weeks. So, I will be busy throughout the next six weeks preparing to be with the baby when he gets here. S has been working at the house to help us get moved around - we are packing up things at the house, moving rooms around, and hopefully this weekend, taking all that stuff to the storage unit and bringing all the baby stuff back home to be put in it's place for baby boy's arrival. It's a three day weekend, so we're hoping to get the Big Switch finished during this time.

At the Baby Sprinkle

We really need nothing for this baby, so when a couple sweet friends asked me about giving a shower, I told them I didn't really think it was necessary. We have all of LM's things and we're all set. But, my co-workers threw me a little lunch "baby sprinkle" anyway, and gave us a huge gift card for buying diapers! They also gave LM a "big brother" gift. Very, very sweet and thoughtful. The diapers - those will come in handy! We are blessed people.

Very unflattering angle (in a swimsuit, no less) at 31 weeks

Oh my, look at that belly - 32 weeks

It's funny - with the first pregnancy - everything was new and the anticipation was palpable. With this one, I sort of know what's coming. And, while I'm so excited to meet this little one and feel entirely blessed that we will be parents to two sweet boys, it IS different this time. First, we have LM - he keeps us hopping on a daily basis, so there is just less time to sit around and think and anticipate. And, there's the whole "already know what's coming" thing I already mentioned. But, now that he's almost here, the anticipation is indeed building - there are plenty of things we don't know - when exactly he'll come - if I'll make it to that magical date the doctors set or not - how my health will hold out - what he will look like, what his little personality will be like - what breastfeeding will be like a second time around, how we will juggle being the parents of two children instead of just one - what on earth this boy's name will be, as we still haven't decided - and so on and so on. It is a new little wonderful life, literally, and a new life as a family of four. It's exciting and scary and overwhelming all at once. As it should be, I suppose. How blessed we are to experience this together.

See you soon.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

New Year's Eve

We once again hung out with the preschool set for New Year's Eve - the Dallas cousins collected at Brooke and Michael's house for some revelry and merry making - we ate some good food, the kids played, and we rang in the New Year at 8pm. Then we all went home to bed. Ahem. Here are some photos:


I hope your 2014 is off to a good start...see you soon.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Austin for S's Birthday

S turned 40 on Christmas day. I wanted to do something special to commemorate this monumental birthday, so after speaking with Cheryl about her willingness to keep our child for a weekend, I made a plan to surprise him by whisking him away for a weekend of just the two of us. I decided we should go to Austin - we had to go someplace within three hours of Dallas, and we couldn't fly. So, Austin seemed like the best choice. And, since I used to live there and we don't get there very often, it seemed like it would be fun to revisit our old haunts and just hang out, just the two of us. Also, I wanted S to have a day at the spa to relax. He was indeed surprised, and has told me several times what a great present it was. We ate at all our favorite restaurants, S did go to the spa, we talked baby names, drove around and saw the parts of town we used to hang out in, stopped by a book store, and generally just had a nice quiet weekend. It was really, really great. Here are some photos we snapped at the capitol on our way out of town on Sunday:

I loved these leaves, as you will see.

slightly stylized...

the six flags of Texas

S having fun at the canons.

Special thanks cannot be said enough to my in-laws for watching LM for two nights. It was really very nice to have that time together - to celebrate S's birthday, but also just before we have two little munchkins under our care. It was very, very cool to have that time.

See you soon.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Buca di Beppo w the Extended Family

S's Uncle John organized an extended family gathering at Buca di Beppos on the day after Christmas. It was really nice to see everyone, and here are some photos:

Monday, January 13, 2014

Christmas Day

Christmas is just more fun with a 3 year old. I think, when I am old and gray (ok, older and grayer...) I will cherish the memories of these Christmases in these years the very most. Here are some photos from our time together:

First of all, LM and I made a few cookies for Santa just before he went to bed.

This was the scene on Christmas morning before the boy headed into the room.
The puzzles that are unwrapped are what he received from Santa.

We opened stockings first.

In the stocking was some candy, a new tooth brush, some silly putty, and some chocolate ducks - when we traveled to Europe in the spring the last two years, both times just before Easter, we brought LM chocolate ducks, as they were the prevalent find around town during that time of year. Since then, whenever either of us has taken a business trip, LM has asked us to bring him a chocolate duck. Of course, in November, for example, it's a bit harder to find this. But, through the magic of the Internet and with the help of Santa, we were able to have chocolate ducks in the stocking, which he really loved.

Loving on his chocolate ducks.

Then he helped me with my stocking.

And then helped Daddy with his - his was mostly candy.

Then LM opened presents.

LM had presents to open from his Indiana grandparents as well, so we went right into those.

Then S and I opened our presents.

Then, after we finished Christmas, S opened his birthday gifts.

LM really liked the music in the card to S from Nana.

After opening presents, we prepared breakfast, and Nonna and Papa as well as S's Uncle John and Aunt Lee came to breakfast. It was nice to have them over and visit. After breakfast, we visited a while and played with toys. Then, it was nap time. Currently my favorite part of the day. Hee hee.

Then, on Christmas night, we went to Nonna and Papa's house.
This was where Aunt Kim gave out the rules to opening presents to the troops.

One rule was we wanted them to open presents one at a time so we could see what they received.

They did pretty good with this.

And, sometimes, the packaging was still very enticing.

Then we opened stockings!

Nonna found them all "I Love Nonna" shirts.

And Kim received a special gift, complete with a trap door.

Before we opened presents, we ate a delicious dinner, and after presents, ate some delicious dessert, as well as visited with everyone. Besides the fact that it's so freaking loud with all those kids in the room, it was  a nice time together.

We missed our Indiana family this Christmas holiday for certain. It didn't seem right not to see them at all. But, the big belly kept us here, and we enjoyed time with the Dallas clan. A memorable and lovely Christmas through and through!

See you soon.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Ice Skating on Christmas Eve - and MORE!

So, last year, we went ice skating with Kim, Mark and the girls on Christmas Eve. It was a lot of fun. We decided to make it an annual tradition! We headed out to be there when they opened. As you know, we have skated at other times during the year as well, so LM was well aware of what we were going to do, and was excited to take part:

Ready to go!

Because I am well on with child, and because I also have this weak ankle that still isn't completely healed, I did not skate. So, it was LM and S on the ice together. I stood at the edge of the rink and watched them go around a couple times, and snapped these photos. Then, when a seat opened up, I went to sit down. I figured I had a long while to wait on them, so I'd take a breather. 

OK, so as I'm sitting there, checking Words with Friends, S runs over and says, "LM fell down, and needs stitches in his chin." Wait. What? Huh? Ok - apparently just after I left the side of the rink, LM tripped, fell on the ice, landing on his chin, and busted it open. There is a first aid person at the rink, who cleaned him up, put on a couple of butterfly bandages, and sent us on to the ER.

Besides the initial shock and tears, this boy was a champ!

There was a television. That helped.

They numbed him up for a good long while, 
but he still got a shot too, due to the depth of the cut.
He didn't flinch at any of it.

I laid down with him for a while. 
I'm pretty sure this was a bonus for both of us.

They wrapped him in a sheet for the stitches, but he was so good, he didn't move!

Three stitches was all it took.

Everyone was super nice in the ER.

Besides regularly scaring his parents to death that he would bang that chin again and knock out those stitches, they stayed in and healed quickly. He had them removed on New Year's Eve. When the doctor who removed them asked him what happened, LM gave him a play by play all by himself, getting every single detail correct. Apparently, this is one of the most common childhood injuries, and one of the most common places to get stitches. So, we're in there with good company. And, I guess, now, we can cross "first stitches" off the list. 

See you soon.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Fun at the Perot

S and LM took in the Perot Museum just before Christmas as well, while I was at work - and had a great time. Here are some photos S snapped with his phone:

Ah, that hat. He loves wearing baseball caps these days.

Apparently some woman stopped to tell S how "good" she thought
LM was at these drums. Oh dear.


See you soon.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Live Nativity

On the Sunday night before Christmas, while I was working, LM and S went to our church to watch the live nativity. It is put on each year by the youth of the church. And, this particular year, it was very cold...we had LM bundled up, but S says we could have even added another layer. LM seemed to enjoy it though, and here are some photos S snapped with his phone:

They gave out glow necklaces, which was great fun for LM.

There were two showings - they caught the end of the first one, 
went inside to warm up, and came back out to watch the second one.

And this one had a "real" Jesus, so that pleased LM.
The real animals were a plus too. 

See you soon.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Christmas in Song and Story

On the Sunday before Christmas, at church, all the children in Sunday School participated in "Christmas in Song and Story". LM's class were the doves. Here are a few photos:

Our dove.

Sitting through church up and until his part was hard.

Almost show time!

Up on stage with his fellow doves.

The view from our pew...

Lots of little boys in his dove family.

LM was disappointed the baby Jesus wasn't "real"...
...but the little pageant was cute as ever anyway.

See you soon.