Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Me? Impatient? Nah...

So for me, one of the hardest parts about being pregnant is the fact that I have to wait SO long to find out the gender. If I could pay money to know the gender when I found out I was pregnant I probably would... well, it would depend on how much it costs, but I'd definitely consider it.

So needless to say, I'm willing to pay money to a company who will guarantee sex determination at 16 weeks- which is 5 weeks earlier than my doctor will do an ultrasound.

Well... I'm 16 weeks 4 days pregnant, so guess what we did today???

Oh, before I tell you the gender, let me first say that my parents are here!!! They were supposed to come on Wednesday (tomorrow) but they surprised us and showed up yesterday!

So we all loaded up into the car and drove out to see this baby of ours. We all piled into this tiny room, they turned off the light and there was our baby... as calm as we have ever seen (and yes, it did freak me out at first). But then I saw that little fluttering heart beat...

And the tech started moving the camera around- Deacon was so amused and thought it was so neat. While mom, dad, Deacon and Damien were busy paying attention to something else the u/s tech scrolled past the important part and I whispered...

"It's a boy..."

And he whispered back... "You're good."

And then Damien figured out that we both knew the gender- and he looked at the screen and clear as day were boy parts. Deacon then figured it out and he was SO excited- started laughing and pointing, saying, "that's my brother!!!" and "look mommy! it's Asher!"

We are SO excited... and for now we're calling him Asher. As many of you know, I changed my mind very late in the game with Deacon- that wasn't his original name. So don't be surprised if I change my mind again. But Asher seems right to us- he definitely seems like an Asher... which means "lucky."

New Job!!!

OK, it's time for me to make my rare post again. This time I get to talk about my new job. I am now an employee of UC Davis. I know, I know... Amanda stops working for Davis and I turn around and start a month later. But I needed it. I've been working from home for IBM for 8 years. It's nice to be in an office environment again... and with all of the changes going on in IBM, I think it was a good preemptive move. Don't get me wrong, IBM had given me some great opportunities, but it was definitely time for a change.

I actually officially started on Sept 22, but I was in class for the first week, so this week is my first week in the office. I'm officially a UC Davis employee, but for the next 2 years, 95% of my time will be spent working for the Kuali Project. Kuali is a consortium of universities writing programs for universities. It's an open-source project and I'll be working with people at schools all over the US. I'm really excited about it. I'm sure I'll post more once I get settled.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Naptime... enjoy it while you can daddy!

Damien and Milo took a nap today when Deacon napped... I think Damien started to wake up when I took the picture, but it was still super cute. We've got a couple more months to take advantage of a naptime- because with our luck we will never get our two kids to sleep at the same time, LOL.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Good friends...

I love having a friend who will call you up just to remind you she owes you a night of babysitting. Lisa called this afternoon to remind me of this and I took her up on it- Damien and I needed to get stuff done and Deacon was not allowing us to do any of it. Plus a nice dinner with no 3 year old sounded heavenly.

When I came to pick Deacon up he didn't want to leave- he was having so much fun with Ellie and Lauryn. When we finally convinced him to leave they kept yelling, "Group hugs!"- and they would hug and tackle each other. It was so funny. They played so well together and I love seeing him interact with other kids now.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bad influences... and sloppy joes.

So there is a little boy at Deacon's school who Deacon adores- he's always looked up to this little boy and just loves playing with him. This kid is big into superheroes and taught Deacon how to play with guns and swords... which I will forever be grateful for. This kid wears spikey hair all the time... which means Deacon wants spikey hair too. Well, wouldn't you know it... a few days ago I pick Deacon up from school and I hear, "Hey Deacon's mommy! Look what I got!"- and he shows me his newest addition... an earring. So guess what Deacon has asked for? Yeah, an earring. As many of you know me, I am not opposed to piercings... I've had plenty of non-ear piercings and I'm open to my son getting his ear pierced too- but not at the age of 3 or 4. In fact, my thought is that if I have to sign for it, it's not allowed... except one ear piercing for my little girl. But then you get into the whole thing of- why is it ok for a little girl to get her ears pierced and not a boy? Shouldn't my boy be allowed one piercing as well- the same one I would allow my little girl to have? Maybe... I guess. But I won't even entertain the thought until high school. Damn gender stereotypes.

In other news, Deacon LOVES his hip hop class still... and he's doing remarkably well! No, he's not amazing, but he's doing well and I'm so proud of him. Best of all, he loves it. My favorite is when they do the "mean hip hop face"- cracks me up watching a room full of 3-6 year olds doing this. So funny.

Oh, and I made another new recipe tonight!!! I made homemade sloppy joes! Seriously, I've already told my friends about this recipe I'm so impressed, LOL. I feel like a nerd with how impressed I was with myself... but unfortunately I didn't take a picture. I know how much you all love my food pictures.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Best friends... some of the time

Almost every morning Deacon asks if we can open his blinds and look out the window- and everytime we do that Milo jumps up and looks out the window with Deacon. Some mornings there are kids walking to the school bus- and Milo barks while Deacon screams that he wants to go to kindergarten... and other mornings (like today) it's too early for anyone else to be awake so we see no one- and Deacon wonders why.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

So domestic...

I've been on a big "new recipe" kick lately... my newest creation was a Swedish Apple Pie- which was delicious and required no purchasing or making of a crust- just dumping on this floury sugary mixture after the apples were arranged in the pie tin. The recipe called for one cup of sugar and I substituted that for 1/2 cup of splenda while also adding 1/4 cup of sugar... with this small adjustment I was able to actually eat a good sized piece! I don't think I added enough apples but it was a really good pie.

You may be curious (or you may not be...) why I'm making all these new recipes... well, a few months ago I started this project (surprised?) where I make 101 goals and try to complete them in 1001 days. One of my goals was to try 101 new recipes during the 1001 days- I had been falling behind on this goal and I figure that once the baby is here my ambition to complete this goal (and many others) will slowly fade away... and the fall and winter are always great times for new comfort foods! You can keep up with my progress on my goals blog (listed on the right).

In other exciting (non-food related) news- Congratulations to Angie & Greg!!!- their little boy Ethan was born last night and he's perfect! Check out Angie's blog for pictures (blog listed on the right).

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What's an action figure?

My conversation with my mom tonight:

Mom: Your dad and I want to bring a gift for Deacon, do you have any suggestions?

Me: Well, he's big into action figures and play-dough right now... so either will work.

Mom: What's an action figure?

Me: Seriously?

Mom: Yeah, how am I supposed to know what an action figure is?

Me: ok, um, It's kind of like a doll for boys...

Mom: (cuts me off) Like a Ken doll?

Me: No mom, like Spider man.

In other interesting conversations of the weekend... Dawn was telling me about a conversation Aiden had with his Grandma-

Grandma: How is your friend Deacon?

Aiden: He has a big head.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Apple Hill

"See mommy! It's not scary!!!"

Clinging to Papa during the bumpy part

Tony sat by me and kept saying, "Take MY picture!"

Deacon and Papa

Watching them make chocolate caramel marshmallow desserts. YUM!

I thought this picture was SO cool!!! Deacon excited about apples

Today Deacon and his class went to Apple Hill- the best part about it was that Damien and I got to tag along too!!! Deacon was SO excited that we came with him- I have to really cherish these moments because I know that someday all too soon he's going to want nothing to do with his mommy coming on a field trip with him.

All the kids were so well behaved- I'm always so impressed when I'm in a group with all of them. Our guide was great and the kids loved the hay ride and really paid attention to everything their "teacher" (Mr. Albert) said. Deacon LOVED the hay ride, though was VERY scared of it at first when he saw it was being pulled by a tractor. He had to sit right by mommy and Papa (one of his teachers) to make him feel better.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


So as you can see below, Amanda has moved solidly into the nesting phase of her pregnancy. Unlike many of the others - morning sickness, round ligament pain, PPD - this is one of the good phases. It means she does more cleaning and organizing than usual.... But most of all, it means more cooking. Amanda is on a new recipe kick! She's written about her applesauce and banana bread (to some of which she added nuts for me)... but today was an event unto itself.

This afternoon as I was preparing to take Deacon to his dance class, Amanda says, "What sounds good for dinner?" Not having an immeiate answer, I passed up my chance, because she quickly says that chicken pot pie sounds good and starts finding a recipe and gathering ingredients. After a quick trip to Safeway to get the few ingredients she didn't have, I took off to watch the boy do his Hip-Hop thang. When we get back... the house smelled wonderful... and dinner was great!

... Oh how I wish "nesting" lasted longer!

More food pictures :)

It's hard to be the clean dog...

I try to not give Milo a bath too often because he just hates it so much and it's so difficult to bath a big (STRONG) dog. But since Damien and I both had some free time during lunch we took Milo over to Wagger dog spa and used their self-service bath spa. SO worth $20... you have access to their shampoos, conditioners, brushes, tub, hoses, dryers, etc... I love it and it makes things so much easier. So here's the end result- a clean Milo dog who spent the day very pouty... but at least he doesn't stink!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Popsicles and Banana Bread

Yum. Today I was in a baking mood... I made crockpot applesauce which was AMAZING (I got it off the 365 days of crockpot meals blog listed to the right of my posts) and then made banana bread and banana muffins tonight! Deacon wouldn't eat the applesauce because it was "black" (it was darker brown)- he says applesauce should be white. Ugh. The attack of the picky eater. Then tonight I made banana bread and muffins- and he LOVED the muffins. I was actually kind of shocked- as I type this he's eating his 3rd one. I'm not going to have any left! Thankfully one batch was able to make one large loaf pan, 12 muffins and 3 small loaf pans. It was a huge recipe and quite tasty. I cut down the sugar by 2/3- and used brown sugar, splenda and applesauce to supplement. YUM!

Deacon has also been big into popsicles lately... Milo got hooked on these when he was really sick when he was a baby. He had kennel cough and our vet said to get him to try and eat anything... and that dogs often times really liked popsicles. So we tried it and she was right- he ate TONS of popsicles the entire time. So ever since then he sees a popsicle and goes crazy. We can't give Deacon a popsicle and Milo... and it's always so funny to watch them both eat them.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The trouble w/strangers...

Tonight we were talking about strangers... well, Deacon and I were. We read the book, "The Trouble with Strangers" (Berenstein Bears) and we got done reading it so I asked Deacon what some of the stranger "rules" were. He immediately said, "No riding in cars w/strangers. No riding in trucks w/strangers. AND NO RIDING IN TRACTORS W/STRANGERS!" (yes, he screamed the last part) I had to laugh. So I said, "You're very right Deacon- if a stranger ever asks you to ride in his or her tractor, you should say no unless mommy or daddy is with you." And then he got a horrified look on his face and said, "But I'm scared of the tractor, please don't make me ride on the tractor." LOL.

Later on, after he was supposed to be in bed I hear him calling me from his room. I walk in and he says to me, 'Mommy, what do bears eat?' After discussing that he asked what dinosaurs ate... and then asked one more random question that I'm currently forgetting.

Thankfully he's asleep now... knock on wood.

Monday, September 15, 2008


I think Deacon got a good amount of both Damien and I in his genes... tonight when Damien told him he found a "cool bug" Deacon was pretty excited to come see it. I, on the other hand, was running upstairs... not to get my camera, but to hide. Damien, however, convinced me to come out and take pictures... ugh. Anyways, Deacon took one look at the bug and backed up about 5 feet and admired it from a distance. Then the bug wouldn't get off Damien no matter how hard he tried. It was creepy.

Good times...

So I'm actually going to do it- I'm going to end my 2nd year of Project 365 a half a year too soon. I just can't keep up with it anymore... I don't think it's that I don't have time- I just don't have the energy and my heart really isn't in it like it used to be.

I find myself really wishing we had a more family oriented blog that Damien could be a part of as well- one where I don't feel like I need to post pictures all the time. Trust me, I'll still post pictures- my camera is still pretty attached to me at all times, but it's been so nice to have a break from it.

Anyways, so here's our new spot on the web... there are two major changes
  1. There won't be one post or one picture every day. I will certainly try to update as much as possible... but I can't guarantee anything. The point of moving to this style of a blog is to give me a break and not make me feel like the blog is a chore.
  2. Damien will be authoring some of the blog posts! I'm really excited about this one- and you should be too. Damien tells the BEST stories ever!!!
So there you have it. Welcome to our new blog :)