Saturday, July 31, 2010

I'm a planner. I love to get out a calendar and plan out my life. Now that none of us are in school, it seems there is much less to put on the calendar. It's a blank slate. This is kind of nice, but I'm having a hard time dealing with the fact that we don't know what we'll be doing or where we'll be in 6 months.

We live in a 3-bedroom apartment. I like it. The rooms are big enough, the kitchen has a nice window and plenty of natural light, our bathroom has a sky light (that the crows like to land on and pick at), we have windows on 3 sides (plenty of breezes), we have a laundry room (with a window), the porch is big enough for me to have a garden of potted plants and vegetables, and the rent really isn't that high for a 3-bedroom in this area. It's not the nicest apartment complex, but it's not bad either. We are happy here.

When our lease ends in a month, we could stay here on a month-to-month contract, or we could move a little farther south into a duplex. One with a back yard and a garage. I could have a real garden. We could store our bikes in the garage instead of our room. And our rent could be $300 cheaper.

At the center of all this (the deciding factor) is Christian's job search. We are kind of stuck until we know where he'll be working. I refuse to move south as long as I'm still working at Stanford. It already takes me 30 minutes to get to work, and I'd rather it not take any longer. It also doesn't make sense to move south and sign a year lease if Christian eventually gets a job in, say San Francisco. Or what if we have to move out of the state?

Then again, staying here and paying for a 3-bedroom after Richard leaves (and on our current income) doesn't sound very smart. We could find a cheap 2-bedroom apartment in this area, but I refuse to put our washer and dryer in storage and go back to coin laundry. I'm not lugging a bag full of dirty cloth diapers to a community laundry room. No way.

So we're stuck.

Stuck, stuck, stuck.

I'm a planner, but the best I can do right now is put Graham's birthday and the baby's due date on the calendar and remind myself that nothing else is all that important compared to those dates. I'll just take a deep breath and wait out the rest.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

for your entertainment: signs

I could have called this post "Sign Fail," but I'm convinced the verb-turned-noun fail has been so incredibly exhausted on the internet these days that it is soon going the way of no doy, psyche!, not!, and take a chill pill.

Sign #1: I drive by this sign every time I go teach, and it makes me laugh every time. Aren't all stores technically dollar and over stores?

Sign #2: We were walking on the bike path at Tahoe. This is a bike path I have walked/biked/run countless times since I was born. This year they decided to put signs on the path to tell you how to use it. Wrong, people. So so so wrong.

Don't most people know how to use a bike path? How could they get it so wrong? Everyone heading one direction should stay to their right. Pass on the left, but return to the right. I genuinely hope no one actually follows these signs. I've even considered calling the town to find out what in the world they were thinking.

Sign #3: This isn't actually a sign, but the back of a box of Dominos. Christian discovered this gem. The heading says "How to Play Dominos." Now read the text. (Click on the image to enlarge.) Do you know how to play Dominos now? Me neither.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

suggest a vacation, win a prize

I have a little contest for you all. The two best ideas will win, um... candy? Yes. The winners get candy. Your favorite kind of candy. I will even send it to you in the mail so you get an exciting little package. Who doesn't like getting packages in the mail?

{Side note: remind me to tell you about my dream that involved blogging and candy.}

Here's the deal. I need suggestions for a little vacation. I'd like to hear what my blogger friends would recommend.

Important detail #1: Christian and I need to go on a little weekend vacation sometime between now and, say, October. Just us. We haven't done anything alone since Graham was born (the kid is just too cute and we want him around at all times). Christian wisely pointed out that we have another on the way, meaning it will be a long time until we can leave both kids for a getaway. As much as I don't want to leave Graham, it needs to be done.

Important detail #2: We aren't exactly in the most lucrative financial position right now, so wherever we go can't be too expensive (read: no cruises, trips to Disneyland, plane flights, etc.).

Important detail #3: I am plumb out of vacation time, so our getaway can only be from Friday evening to Sunday evening. I'd rather not spend the entire day driving. I say 3 hours max to the destination. On that note, the vacation can have two destinations. We don't have to sit in one place the whole weekend.

Important detail #4: I like to do outdoorsy things far away from civilization. Christian likes to relax in front of a TV/movie and make the most of civilization. Camping sounds great to me, but I would spend the entire time trying to get Christian to hike and he would be miserable. We need to have a little of both worlds.

Important detail #5: It needs to be something somewhat original. We spent our anniversary last year in San Francisco, so that's out. We can go to Tahoe any time, so that's out. I like the idea of going to Monterey, but then I'd want Graham to be there so we could take him to the aquarium, so that's out.

There you have it. Post your suggestions as well as your 2 favorite kinds of candy. :) Be creative!

Friday, July 23, 2010

the silence of the texts

It seems that for at least two weeks my phone has neither been sending nor receiving text messages. Yes, it took me two weeks to figure this out. (I probably would have figured it out much more quickly if I had been at work texting Christian with no response since that annoys me to no end. However, there's been no need to text him when he's in the same room as me.)

So to all who have sent me texts in the last two weeks, I'm sorry I didn't respond.

And to all who haven't responded to my texts in the last two weeks, I no longer hate you.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

what's nice about bedrest

I am certainly grateful to be pregnant, but bedrest sucks.

I don't necessarily have to lay in bed the whole time, but my goal is to do less physical activity during the day than I would do if I were at work. (I work at a desk and spend most of the day sitting, so doing less than that is actually a challenge.)

While it is a little annoying to refrain from just about everything that has to do with my normal life, there are some perks.

1. I'm not allowed to overexerted myself during the day to the point of crying at night. I have a tendency to schedule too much in my day and then stay up too late trying to do more. When I get too tired, the tears flow. Not being able to do anything means I can't do too much. It's nice.

2. My plants are thriving. I normally walk by my plants and think, "Hmmm. I really need to water those." And then I don't. Now I look at my plants and say, "Christian, could water my plants when you have a chance?" And he does. Right then and there. What a novel concept--If you water plants, they grow.

3. I get to be home with Christian and Graham. Self explanatory.

4. I don't have to get dressed. I wear pajamas all day long. So comfy. Remember when I wanted cute new clothes? That was sooo 3 weeks ago. I'm totally over it.

5. I don't have to do my hair. Oh wait. I never do my hair.

6. I don't have to make small talk. If you don't see anyone during the day, you don't have to make small talk. I find small talk to be awkward and bored. Don't you?

The end.

Monday, July 19, 2010

baby #2 wish list

It's a boy!

We thought maybe, just maaaybe, we would be the ones to break the Carter/Aufdermauer trend and be the first to have one of each. Didn't happen. Looks like the race is on, Veronica/Josh and Ashley/Tyler.

Hurray for little boys! They are going to be such good little friends (either that or I'll force them to get along one way or another). A little girl would have been fun, too, but we'll have to save that for another time. (Christian said today that we're going to keep having kids until he gets a little girl, too. We'll see about that, says the mama who has to grow the kids...)

The awesome thing is that we already have everything we need! Little boy clothes, a stash of cloth diapers, a cradle, and an infant car seat (Big G just graduated to his big boy 3-in-1 car seat).

{Side note: When can I put a kid in a toddler bed? Graham will only be about 17 months by the time Little Bro will need a crib.}

So here is my super long wish list...

#1: Ergo carrier. Only because everyone talks about how great they are and I've gotten sucked in. I saw a lady at the store wearing two kids (of different ages) in Ergos. One in front and one in back. It looked so cool that I wanted to be her. And then I noticed she wasn't wearing shoes. In a store. And it grossed me out. And I didn't want to be her anymore. But I still want the Ergo.

Cheri--I'm counting on you to tell me all about how the Mei Tai compares to the Ergo (other than being way cheaper).

#2: Double stroller. The Bob Duallie was the obvious choice since I love the single version that I have. But then Jaime had to go and tell me how much she loves her Bumbleride Twin. (Thanks a lot, Jaime...) After doing my research, the Bumbleride certainly has better selling points for everyday use, but the Bob is made especially for running. I wish I knew someone who regularly used the Bumbleride for running. I'm suddenly in a predicament. Someday when I'm a stay-at-home mom, I plan to walk (and run) all over the place with these boys, so a good double stroller is a must on my list.

Bob Revolution Duallie

Bumbleride Indie Twin

#3: Another copy of the Baby's Journal from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A doctor I work with bought one for her son 17 years ago and never used it, so she gave it to me hoping I could put it to good use with Graham. I love it. I write all the little things that Graham does, and I want one for all of my kids. Originally published as Le Journal de Bebe in 1914, it is beautiful. think that's it.

Can anyone think of anything else I would need for a second little boy?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

could you? would you?

We all know we're supposed to live within our means. Spend less than we make. But I want to see how many of you really could and would be able to make these kinds of changes in your life.

If you were in a financial pickle, could you and would you...

...ditch your cell phones? Get a super cheap land line and leave the world of texts, mobile email/internet, and instant contact behind?

...cancel your internet service? Walk to the library or a coffee shop if you really needed the internet? Park your car next to a building with free wi-fi when you needed to use the internet?

...move to a 1-bedroom or studio and share your room with your kid(s)?

What else? What other luxuries do we consider necessities? What other kinds of things would we rather keep and go into debt than do without?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Christian showed me this site today. No, they aren't paying me to advertise, but perhaps they should after this post.

How have I not known about this? One of our favorite things to do is peruse VRBO for vacation rentals locally and around the world. While the idea of an all-inclusive resort with too many tourists and a swimming pool right outside my door actually does sound nice sometimes, Christian and I usually opt for smaller, more intimate places to stay.

On our honeymoon, we drove 4 hours south of Cancun to Mayan Beach Gardens to stay in a tiny cabana on the beach. Far away from anything else. Heck, it was so far in the middle of nowhere that over the course of a week, we ran over a huge snake, hit a coatimundi, and decimated a stunning orange bird. Oops. But it was awesome.

In Belize, our family rented a house and used bikes to ride into town.

In Brazil, we found housing as we arrived in each city. Who needs to plan ahead?

In Hawaii, we rented an apartment through VRBO.

Back when I traveled in Europe, we stayed in everything from dumpy hostels in Vienna to beautiful rooms in Greece. Never booking ahead of time. Never using big hotels.

And some day we're going to buy a private island. Oh wait. That doesn't belong in this post.

Airbnb gives you the option of renting everything from a fold out couch in someone's living room to an entire villas looking over the ocean. It sure gets the wheels in my head turning. Just looking at some of the apartments makes me want to move somewhere interesting, re-decorate with the coolest furniture, paint, and art, and list my house on Airbnb. (It also revived my desire to reupholster my couch and chair, but I don't think that's allowed on bedrest.)

Now Christian just needs to get a job with them so we can live the dream. Dreaming on bedrest is lovely.

Anybody want to go to Greece?

Or maybe just a trip up the coast to Eureka?

Friday, July 9, 2010

weeks v. months v. trimesters

This topic drives me INSANE. I love numbers. LOVE them. That said, I prefer that numbers match up. In pregnancy, nothing matches up. Seriously. This keeps me up at night. I know many of you will read this and say, "Who cares?" (Or just not read it at all.) But I like numbers. So I care, which means I have a love-hate relationship with the pregnancy countdown.

Let's get started.


A "full term" pregnancy is 40 weeks from your last menstrual cycle, 38 weeks from conception. I prefer to go by the 40-week calendar. Weeks do not cleanly break down into months OR trimesters. Read on.


A "full term" pregnancy (according to 40 weeks) is 9 months-ish. It is more like 9 months and one week. More precisely, 9 months and 5 days depending on the months you are pregnant.

Technically a "month" is from one date to the same date in the next month, right? So if you conceived on, say, the 5th of June, then you are 1 month on the 5th of July. That's 4 weeks and 2 days. Close enough, right? Sure. It's close enough in the beginning, but let me go on.

Here's what drives me crazy. As I pointed out above, one month is NOT 4 weeks. The only month that is 4 weeks is February (3 out of every 4 years). So if you want to say you are 1 month at 4 weeks, fine. You're only 2 days off. But if you want to say you are 5 months at 20 weeks, you are almost 2 weeks off. You are really only 4 1/2 months at that point. If you round off your months to every 4 weeks, then you will be "10 months" pregnant by the time you have your baby. And who wants to be pregnant for 10 months?

Today I am 17 weeks. According to this baby's conception date, I will not be 4 months until this coming Monday, July 12th. 17 weeks, 3 days. Not 16 weeks.

{Can you tell this drives me batty?}


Trimesters are even worse. 12 weeks is not the end of the first trimester (since 12 weeks is not 3 months). 40 weeks divided by 3 is 13.3333. That's 13 weeks and approximately 2 days. This means that the third trimester would start at 26 weeks, 4 days. Sorry to break it to all the 4-week-monthers out there, but the 3rd trimester does not start at 24 weeks. That's not 6 months.

I know it's not nice, but it takes everything in me not to correct people who say they are 6 months pregnant at 24 weeks. 7 months pregnant at 28 weeks. 8 months pregnant at 32 weeks.

Does this bother anyone else? Do I have issues?

Richard's mission call!

Richard got his mission call! It arrived in the mail the day before his birthday, so we had a big birthday breakfast to find out where and when he's going.

Michigan-Detroit Mission! He enters the Missionary Training Center on September 1st and will spend the next 2 years living and serving in the Detroit area. We can't believe it's here already! Amazing how quickly time passes. When I first met the Aufdermauers, Richard was only 11. Now he's 19 and about to head out on his own. We're proud of you, Richard!

And we celebrated his birthday that night with a little dinner and cheesecake. Yummm. Happy Birthday and Happy Mission Call, Richard!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

household happenings

1. Graham spent the 4th of July pondering the meaning of freedom while trapped behind his new baby gate. Needless to say, it wasn't the most exciting first 4th of July for our little guy. Next year, Graham. Next year.

2. Luckily, we spent the 5th of July enjoying freedom while hanging out poolside with the Cutlers. Ahhhh. That's more like it.

3. You know what's the worst part about bedrest? Doing nothing. Seriously. I'm finally home during the day and can think of (and see) at least 20 things to do and/or clean, but they all require being up on my feet. So I pretend I see nothing. To the picture of chocolate cupcakes in the cookbook next to me--just give up, recipe. I don't see you staring at me. Check back with me in a few weeks.

4. Christian would say the worst part of my bedrest is the fact that I'm "in the way all the time but not helping with anything." I'm approved to work remotely 4 hours a day while on bedrest. In order to use our TV as a computer for 4 hours, we put the big living room chair 3 feet in front of the TV so I can lounge and type. This puts me in the way of EVERYTHING. We got our laptop fixed today so that I can disappear into our bedroom for work and cease driving Christian crazy.

5. And now for some of my favorite recent pictures of Graham.

Graham graduated from his first swim class. In other words, we held him in cold water.

Chairs are no match for him. He will crawl in and over and through anything.

Swinging in the park!

Graham and his BFF (daddy).

Catching some Zzzzz's.

The neighborhood fan club: Liseth, Daniela, and Diana.

Admiring the pretty little Maisie Lou.

Stealing the show from Maisie.

"Hang on. You've got a little something on your face."

This one just makes me laugh.

Mama on bedrest + Baby who gets really mad when you take him out of the bath = Throwing the "No TV" rule out the window.

Friday, July 2, 2010

you know, i'm not a frequent flyer here...

{Do not read this post until you've read the one before it.}

Let's talk about pointless trips to the Emergency Room. Shall we? I think we shall.

Some of you may know that I've had some, well, roadbumps with this pregnancy. Their names are "spotting" and "bleeding." I don't recommend being friends with them during pregnancy. Serious party poopers, those two.

Long story short, they have been my constant companions for the past 4 weeks. Bleh.

After two rather unnerving episodes this week, lots of prayers, and two days of self-imposed bedrest (my doctor's advice of "take it easy" wasn't enough for me), I decided to demand that they at least try to figure out what was going on.

I made the mistake of calling the Kaiser advice nurse line at 9:00pm. All I wanted (insisted, demanded) was that they find me an appointment the next day. I didn't care with whom or where. Just something. Why, oh, why did I call at night? I should have known better. Increased bleeding means they have to see me right away. At 9:30 at night, that means going to the ER. Blasted liability issues. That's the real reason I had to go in.

So off we went to the ER. I was pretty annoyed. And I wasn't very nice to one of the nurses when she told me they wouldn't be able to find out why I was bleeding since the real ultrasound technicians go home at 4. WHY WAS I EVEN THERE, THEN?? Ay yay yay.

3 hours, a blood draw, a quick bedside ultrasound (can't get enough of seeing that baby move!!), and a liter of fluids later, they said, "Well, the baby and you look fine, so we just want you to follow up with your OBGYN tomorrow."


That was all I wanted in the first place.

I would have slapped someone if they hadn't all been so nice. Except for the very last nurse. He came in, gave my some papers, took out my IV, pulled all these little wires off me, mumbled something, and walked out. I still had sticky nodes all over my chest and stomach. Was he coming back to take those off? Was I supposed to get dressed and leave? I waited a minute and said "This is stupid" and pulled off all the sticky nodes and got dressed. A minute later, he opened the door slightly, said, "Oh, you're still here" and quickly closed the door.

Of course I'm still here, buddy! You never said I should leave! You know, I'm not a frequent flyer here. Oh, the frustration.

Sooooo, this morning I went to see my doctor. You know, the original plan. She said even if they did find out what was causing the bleeding, the remedy would be bedrest. So she put me on bedrest.

Sure, the idea of lying around all day doing nothing sounds great. However, staring at your disaster of a house all day and knowing you can't do a thing about it is TORTURE! Absolute torture.

Here's to bedrest.

baby #2

It's true! We're expecting baby number 2! Graham is pretty excited. Actually, he's totally clueless.

Presenting baby #2! Due December 17th. Our little Christmas baby...

On to the frequently asked questions:

1. How far along are you?

16 weeks today. (That translates to about a week short of 4 months.) Hurray!

2. Was this baby planned?

Yes, this baby was planned. (In other words, no, this baby was not an "oops.") We felt very blessed that he/she came along so quickly. Graham was not quite so cooperative in his day.

3. Are you crazy?

No. Let me just put this out there: Just because you don't want another baby right now doesn't mean we can't. :) Graham is so easy that the idea of another baby just didn't scare us. But that's just us. The worst that can happen is we have an easy toddler and a hard baby.

4. How far apart will they be?

If Baby #2 comes on his/her due date, they will be just under 14 months apart. I'm crossing my fingers that #2 comes 2 weeks early. 3 would be acceptable. Those last couple weeks of pregnancy are not fun.

5. Are you going to find out what it is?

We already know it's human. Or monkey. One of the two. And in 3 weeks we will find out if it's a girl or a boy!

6. Are you hoping for a girl this time?

Christian is, but I'm impartial. A girl would be fun, because we would have one of each and would break the one-gender per family trend (so far none of our siblings have been able to produce one of each). At the same time, how fun would it be for Budders to have a little brother so close in age?? So cute.

7. Were you sick?

Yeah. Not too bad. Just yucky feeling and tired. And working two jobs. You can call me super woman, but in reality I did what I had to. (This was the reason I stopped running. Just couldn't cut it.)

So the latest news is that I'm officially on bedrest for a few weeks. I'm going to write a separate post about this. It will follow shortly.

On a side note, I'd ask that everyone say a special prayer tonight for all your friends who are trying to conceive but have been having trouble. I have lots of friends in this boat right now and my thoughts are constantly on them. I love you guys and you are in my prayers!!