10.31.2010

(almost) 40 weeks!

 Just in case Jack comes tonight (knock on wood, right?) I had Tyler take a picture of me. My belly is soooo huge!! I didn't realize how enormous it is!
Here is the view I have every.single.day. Can't wait to see my feet again.

(And on a strange, random, too-much-information side note, do you know how hard it is to pee in a cup nowadays? I have to leave a urine sample every single week at the doctor and it's ridiculously difficult! This belly gets in the way of everything.)

2 days and counting!




And Happy Birthday to my Mom, the "birthday witch"! She is so selfless and patient, and loves to serve others. She has sacrificed so much for our family, and I want her to know that I really appreciate it. She isn't afraid to share her testimony of the gospel, and I really admire her for that. She has always been compassionate and loving, and I am grateful for her example! I know our children will learn a lot from their Grandma Tammy. :)

Our "Jack"-o-Lantern


Because our own baby Jack hasn't arrived yet, I carved us a pseudo for the meantime. Hopefully baby Jack won't come out looking as scary as our pumpkin!


BYU - Wyoming Game


A couple of Saturdays ago Tyler and I got to go to the BYU - Wyoming football game at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Our good friends the Thompsons had front row tickets! (Lindsay works for BYU Athletics, and gets all kinds of perks!) It rained before and after the game, but only sprinkled a tiny bit during the game, so we got really lucky. It was a bit chilly, but we had a blast! And BYU won!






(My hair looks so red in these photos! I just got it redone and I don't think it's as red anymore, luckily. But for some reason my hair really holds onto the color red. Unfortunate.)

10.27.2010

Sorry I've been slacking at posting lately. Life really does get difficult when you are this pregnant! I'm constantly exhausted and achy, and can't sleep at night. Around 7 in the morning I often move to the couch to try to get some more shut-eye, but that's not always so effective because I toss and turn there too! Help? I think the only cure is for this little guy to come join our family, but then again that will also lead to a lack of sleep and much exhaustion. Is there no end? Nope.

But then again, I am so excited. Tyler and I are so excited to see baby Jack for the first time and finally meet the little monster! I know he's going to bring so much more happiness into our already happy lives. :) And I know I will look back and realize all of this was worth it in the end.



Anyway, tip of the day for you, via the Real Simple weekly email. Hate it when your leftover spaghetti stains your nice tupperware? (I figured out it's easiest to not heat up things with red sauce, and it cuts back on the stains.)
Alas! A solution: "Introduce tomato sauce to a plastic storage container, and they become fast friends: Even in the dishwasher, they may refuse to part company. To erase traces of sauce, naturally bleach them out by setting the container in the sun. (Lemon juice and baking soda work well too.)" Genius! That is why I subscribe, right there. For 700+ more tips, click here.


And, p.s. for all of my Californian family, it snowed here yesterday. Boo.

10.24.2010

Knitted Hat

So...who knows how to knit? Crochet? (Obviously I don't know the difference.) I want one of these hats for Jack, but can't find one anywhere (we searched last night). His due date is less than a week and a half away. Hurry - will you teach me? (Mom? I know you made scarves a few years back...)




10.19.2010

(a letter to my unborn son)


My sweet, sweet baby Jack,

Today marks two weeks before your supposed due date, and surprisingly you are peacefully sleeping right now in my belly. Dad and I have this odd suspicion that you’ll be born early, but perhaps not. If you’re impatient like me you’ll come tonight, but Dad thinks you like your cozy, warm uterus too much.

I am so excited to meet you. I feel you kick and squirm and hiccup so much inside of me. I can already tell you will have the same energy and excitement for life as your Dad (who, for the record, has already called dibs on holding your hand first). Though I can’t see or touch you, it is crazy to think how much I love you already. I’m sorry I have complained so much being pregnant with you. Will you forgive me? Can I take it all back? If I could just hold you and get to know you for a few short moments, I would never complain again. Your birth would be a breeze because I’d know it would all be worth it to see you again.

Sometimes I am worried you won’t like me, or that I won’t be a good Mom. But then I am reminded that you are a precious child that will be coming to us straight from our Heavenly Father’s arms, and that with your father, I can do this. We have prepared our entire lives for this moment of becoming parents. You and I still have the hard task of labor and birth ahead of us, but remember that you’re not alone. We can do it together, and it will bring us even closer. Your dad and I will be with you every step of the way.

It is hard to imagine just how much our lives will change when you arrive. Sometimes when I think we are ready, I get scared because we have never experienced anything like this before. Dad and I love each other very much already, and to think about that love multiplying times infinity seems unreal to me. I can’t imagine loving you and Dad even more than I do right now, but people tell me it is possible.

Jack, I’m not a brave or courageous person. I can probably count on one hand the number of risks I have taken in my life. You are one of them. But I am glad your Dad and I took the risk of starting a family, and I feel so blessed that you will finally be joining us soon. You have brought out the best in us, Jack, and I know you will continue to do so for the rest of your life. We are so delighted and nervous at the same time to meet you. I hope you know that despite my shortcomings, I will do my best to give you the world. We love you, baby boy.

Love,
Mom

10.18.2010

BabyGap


I love BabyGap. They have the cutest kid clothes!

Unfortunately, they are all pretty pricey. But isn't it nice to dream about splurging a little on something completely unnecessary? I think I'd go for one of these animal suits (above, probably the giraffe one) or the piggy hat (below). Or the bear jacket. Tyler REALLY wants a bear suit for Jack. My sister Courtney tried to talk me into buying the one at the Carter's outlet store this past summer, and now I regret that I didn't. All of them are so adorable!



10.15.2010

Food for Thought

I love date night. Tyler and I had a fantastic dinner at home (I even busted out the placemats tonight!) and then went to the dollar theater to see Despicable Me. That was sold out, so we saw Salt instead. Good choice....I think. A little bit predictable, and frankly, there weren't enough characters for me. I got sick of seeing Angelina Jolie's face for the entire two hours. At least in Cast Away "Wilson", the volleyball, splits the airtime with Tom Hanks.

After seeing the movie Salt tonight, I wonder though - do other countries make movies where Americans are the terrorists? We seem to have a plethora of action films that involve Russian spies infiltrating our government, but does Russia have a plethora of action films that involve American spies infiltrating their government?

TypeWar

I recently discovered typewar.com. It's really kind of fun and satisfying. 

I was doing really well playing, but then the servers "overloaded" and this notice came up:


Errr...is it a joke that they used comic sans, or were they serious? Hmmm. Enough of that game today.


p.s. I just had a random thought - how many of you can't wait til Inception comes out on dvd?! I just read it comes out December 7th. But I bet it will go on sale closer to (or after) Christmas. ahhhhh I can't wait.

10.13.2010

Religion

Though it's been all over the news and media, I haven't really felt the urge to talk much about my personal feelings about President Packer's talk at our church's annual General Conference. I thought instead I might share with you another blog that uplifted and made me grateful for the blessings I have in my life.

This man (anonymous to the world) isn't afraid to share his story. He has an entire blog dedicated to it, with thousands of readers. He is a worthy, temple-attending member of the church who has same-sex attraction. He's had it since he was twelve (read his bio), and because of it has struggled in the church ever since. I have so much respect for him. It can't be easy living a Mormon life with a secret like that. I'm sure he's afraid people will judge him—especially members of our church. (That makes me a little upset.)

But because of his struggles, he has been made a better person. He is positive and uplifting. I am grateful he is taking the time each day to share with the world his inner feelings and how he deals with what he is going through. Just because he struggles with this doesn't make him a bad person. Hopefully because of this, more people will be respectful of those with same-gender attraction. Our church may not believe it is right to act upon those feelings, but we still need to be respectful to those with other lifestyles and beliefs. After all, they are God's children, just like us.

Have a question about our church? We encourage you to visit the new mormon.org website. It's fantastic and will answer ANY questions you have about our beliefs and our values.

10.12.2010

Two things.

K guys. I really want to share two things, completely not related. Well, sort of unrelated.

Anyway.


One: How darling are these ABC stacking cubes?! My friend Lily showed them to me. I don't have Tyler convinced yet how perfect they are...he thinks they are "girly". (To which I pointed out that they clearly aren't. Upon closer investigation, he stated, "they aren't that bad". Again, it's a work in progress.)
But they're $12. How can you beat that?! I can picture my mom and dad playing with something similar to these when they were kids. My sister has a set of stacking cubes like these and her kids love them. I think they might make a good Easter present for Jack next year. Think he'll enjoy them by 5 months? Maybe by his first birthday? I suppose until then they would look really really good on a shelf in his nursery.


images via homemadebyjill

Two: I'm totally digging these homemade racecar crayons. I told my sister she should skip the candy and give these out for Halloween! (Hey, if you're going to be the weird ones on the block, you might as well hand out cool crayons instead of toothbrushes or dehydrated apple slices, know what I'm sayin'?) I think these would make awesome party favors. You could make them into any shape you wanted, granted they make a candy mold of it. I kind of want a set for myself.

37 Weeks

 Now that it's getting down to the wire (3 weeks!!), I figured I should document this whole pregnancy thing a little more.

[I just don't like to be in pictures, so I avoid them at all costs.]

But alas, here is my 37-week baby bump. Actually kind of cute, huh? My pregnancy emails still compare him to fruits and vegetables (which is pretty dang hilarious sometimes) and this week he is a watermelon. A 6.5 lb. watermelon, measuring in at approximately 19 inches long. [Wow. And it's my job to birth this guy. Start praying for me.] At my appointment last week, I was 1 cm dilated and 75% effaced, and this week I am 2 cm dilated and 75% effaced. Hey, it might not be much but progress is progress! It's nice to know that all the little twinging aches and pains down there are good for something. (I also tested positive last week for group b strep. I'm kind of bummed I will have to take antibiotics during labor...hopefully it's quick so I don't have to be hooked up to anything!)

As much as I complain about this whole baby-invading-my-body thing, it's actually such a miraculous process when you sit back and think about it. I grew a baby. I am growing a baby. Holy cow, how cool is that?! I honestly don't know how people cannot believe there is some higher power that created us. Do you really think it was just coincidence that my body is able to grow a child?! For nine months now I have been growing a mini-me&tyler! [Good thing I'm not an elephant. I don't think I could stand an invasion of my belly for 22 months.]

We're so excited to meet him. And can't wait for you all to meet him. Tyler already called first-dibs on holding his hand...sorry, ladies. ;)

10.11.2010

Nightlight


I've really been wanting a nightlight in our hallway so I can make it safely to the baby's room in the middle of the night. 

(I know that sounds absolutely ridiculous, but it's really dark in the hallway and I mentally don't wake up very fast. And embarrassingly enough, I'm still a teensy bit afraid of the dark. Don't judge me.) 

The only problem is that we don't have ANY source of plug in the hallway. We might have to thread and extension cord from our bedroom and put a low-light lamp there or something. 

But if I did have a plug in the hallway, I'd buy one of these. It'd be perfect and would work anywhere in our home because the decor could change so easily!

DIY Chalkboard Paint


I came across this post detailing how to mix your own chalkboard paint! I can't wait til we own a house and I can paint an entire wall like this!!




10.09.2010

Swimming Pool Exhibition



I have to confess, sometimes (most of the time, actually) I think exhibition artists are strange. I never quite understand why someone would put the time, money, and effort into creating what they create. I've just never been too fond of many exhibition artists.

But this guy is cool.

images from all over the place

Leandro Erlich created a fake swimming pool exhibition for the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Japan. And I think it's really neat. What do you think? Wouldn't it be fun to see in real life?

Fun fact: A 10cm layer of water over a piece of glass separates above from below. It must be a pretty serious piece of glass; some back-of-the-envelope math based on the published dimensions gives 1,100 kg (2400 lbs) of water that it has to support. Plus its own weight. (thanks, dudecraft.)

Ben Folds - The Luckiest



Love love love this song.

It's incredibly romantic and sweet.  
(Somehow this song completely avoids being cliche and making me want to barf.)

Academy J


 
My friend Jess is a co-owner of Academy J, a headband business. I already have two clips from them, but after winning the lottery (aka a random drawing on facebook) I now have a headband! 

I got to pick the one I wanted, and picked the Finley. It's even more beautiful in person than I expected. I've worn it twice already (got it on Thursday) and am in love with it! It makes me feel "put together" and pretty, even though I feel huge and waddly and overly pregnant right now. ;) 




Check out Academy J's beautiful (and decently priced) accessories on facebook, etsy, and their website!

Baby Shower

My good friends Lindsay and Erin planned a baby shower for me! We had it at our apartment on Thursday and it was lots of fun!

The food was sooo yummy (fresh, vibrantly red strawberries with a fluffy strawberry dip, chicken salad croissants, made-from-scratch cupcakes, and white grape juice with a selection of berries in it). We played the guess-what-kind-of-baby-food-this-is game (I got zero right) and a game where we had to write down names of baby animals (did you know a platypus baby is called a puggle?). And we talked. Girls love to talk. :)

I'm not a great picture taker (especially since in the last few months my camera has decided to take grainy, awful pictures! Is it on its last leg now?!) but here are some highlights:


 I sent everyone home with caramel corn - perfect for the fall season, eh?


 My friend Lexi owns her own floral business, and she is amazingly talented! She brought me over two (!!) giant bouquets of the most gorgeous flowers. I love having fresh flowers in our home - it instantly brightens my day.


I received some really fun baby gifts (moccasins, anyone?) and am so glad I had the opportunity to see everyone again! Thanks for a great time! :)

10.08.2010

"God, our Father, has entrusted precious little ones to our earthly care. To them may we teach prayer, inspire faith, live truth, and honor God. Then we shall have heavenly homes and forever families. For what higher gift could we wish? For what greater blessing could we pray? None!" 
Thomas S. Monson

10.07.2010

Caramel Corn Recipe

image via here because I was too lazy to take my own.

So for treats to give out at the baby shower tonight, I made caramel corn! It is absolutely delicious. I thought I'd share the recipe here because my brother already asked for it. And if my brother is excited about it, I thought you all would be too. :)

I used my mom's recipe (which I think she got from church a few years ago). It is the best I have found so far. Feel free to add peanuts or pumpkin seeds to it. I, however, like it plain.

Caramel Corn
12 cups popped popcorn*
 1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup karo/corn syrup
1/2 t. salt
1/2 cup butter
1 t. baking soda
1 t. vanilla*

Pop roughly 12 cups of popcorn. Melt the brown sugar, corn syrup, salt, and butter in the microwave. Add baking soda and vanilla, and stir with a whisk until it becomes a light, caramel color. Pour over the popcorn and mix. You now have several options: a) spread the popcorn on wax paper or greased cookie sheets to cool, b) dump it all in a huge bowl and cover, or c) spread onto greased cookie pans and "bake" in the oven until crispy like cracker jacks.

My notes:
*I made two batches, and on the first popped about 12 cups of popcorn. The second batch I popped more, and it still came out just fine. There is plenty of caramel coating to coat a large amount of popcorn. My sister Logan told me because I used a stove-top popper, to forgo the olive oil and use canola oil. Also, use as little oil as possible. You don't want to taste the oil in your popcorn. Better yet, use an airpopper if you have one.
*The second batch I cut down to about 3/4 t. of vanilla. Tyler mentioned that the first batch was very "vanilla-y". After tasting both batches, cutting down did make a difference. I liked both ways - it just depends on how strong you want the flavor to be.

I also made it yesterday, on a very rainy day. I think this had something to do with my popcorn not "drying out" completely. I just let it sit overnight and bagged it this morning. I think it was perfectly sticky this way. My mom just throws the entire batch into a giant tupperware bowl and we all snack from it. (Which reminds me: I would love to get one of these bowls, but have a hard time justifying $27 for a bowl. But then again, my mom has had the same ones for years and years and years....)

10.06.2010

ABC Blocks


Look how darling these vintage ABC blocks are! I think if I can find blocks and scrapbook paper, I can easily make my own. But I want these...badly. (Jack doesn't have blocks yet! Luckily he doesn't need them for a while though, so I have time!)




**update**

Just found a tutorial from Martha Stewart. (Although I think I could have figured it out on my own...)

10.04.2010

My DIY Mobile

Here is Jack's finished mobile! It was so easy and less than $2 to make! Go me. :)




I made pinwheels by cutting out squares from double-sided scrapbook paper. Then I folded the pinwheel in half (to make a triangle), and then the other way. I then cut about 2/3 of the way into the center on each fold. I used my itty-bitty holepunch to punch holes in one corner of each flap, and pulled them into the center and secured it all with a brad. Hope that makes sense. It wasn't hard. :)

Next I took three thin dowels, each about a foot long, and tied them together crisscrossed with brown, earthy hemp. I then tied on each pinwheel (I made them various sizes and lengths) and secured it with hot glue, which surprisingly works very well with wooden dowels! Then I screwed a U hook into the ceiling and tied it all on!

His nursery is finally complete, down to the diaper station and dirty clothes hamper (thanks Shannon!). (Tyler would like to interject here and say the nursery is indeed not complete because the only trash can in it doesn't have a lid. I was going to see how long that lasted with smelly diapers...which I don't think will be very long!) Now all we need is a baby to put in it! (Tomorrow I am 36 weeks which means 4 weeks from his due date!)

Hiccup. Hiccup. Hiccup.

It's almost 2:30 in the afternoon, and I'm sitting here trying to concentrate on the deep and (utterly confusing) philosophical teachings of Descartes.

Yet the baby in my ever-growing belly has the hiccups, which are proving to be quite violent and disruptive (not to mention very strange feeling, as they are pretty far down near my pelvis).

However, this scenario is quite normal. Baby only gets the hiccups when I am trying really hard to concentrate and focus on something. Figures.

10.02.2010

Mission Reunion

 (President Cox, Tyler, and Sister Cox)

 (Tyler and President Cox)

 (Tyler, President Cox, and me - 9 months pregnant)


Tyler had a mission reunion last night, and it was held at Rio Tinto Stadium (where Real Salt Lake plays). (And I know there are plenty of you who are still confused - Real Salt Lake is a soccer team.) It was held in the Club room, which was super nice! I have been in a few club rooms before (I think I went to the SDSU one with Mom and Dad for a Chevron thing, and when I worked for BYU Catering we catered lots of events in BYU's) but this one was different. The floors were a gorgeous dark hardwood, and there was a large deck that overlooked the stadium. It was phenomenal - one of the cooler places to hold a mission reunion.

Anyway, most of it involved Tyler "reuniting" with old buddies, so it was boring and uneventful for me. But I "reunited" with a few wives throughout the night as well. The whole night would have been much more bearable had we a) eaten dinner first (Tyler and Josh, our carpool buddy, didn't read the invitation entirely, and supposed there would be dinner. There was not, which made for two unhappy wives.), and b) if Jack had stayed off of my hip nerve which made it painful to stand the entire time.

But we had a good time. President Cox and his wife were very talkative (English too! President Martinez only spoke Spanish) and friendly.