Stinkin Good

Took the girls to Wegman's with me yesterday. If my kids sit nice in the cart, I let them have a doughnut while I shop. This time Olivia opted for a powdered sugar, cream filled one. After two bites her eyes rolled back in her head and she sighed, "Oh my goodness graciousness...." Then she looked at me quite seriously and said, "Mom, this is SO good... it's (lowers voice to a whisper) stinkin' good."

I love that I have a child who can be as passionate about good food as I am. I'm pretty sure she lowered her voice because she thinks "stinkin" is a bad word. But she had to use it to explain how delicious her doughnut was. I was cracking up. She finished that thing in about two more bites. Meanwhile Abigail played Hansel and Gretel and left a trail of doughnut crumbs throughout the store. Sorry, Wegmans employees.


Anyone else notice how quickly that number is dropping on my little floating baby thingy? 12 days until my due date?! AHHH! Seriously, how is November almost gone already? This month has been flying by. I am now entering my least favorite stage of pregnancy. That time when every day you wake up and think, "Hey I could have a baby today!" ....or it could be in three weeks....When every little ache or pain feels like it could be a contraction. Or a real contraction... I had weeks of contractions with Abigail, so I should know to just ignore it. But even still, with every one I feel a bit of a hope that maybe this will be my baby who decides to come a bit early.

But then on the other hand, I'm completely a-okay if he wants to stay in there a few extra weeks. My girls give me a run for my money most days and when I think about the addition of another little person I panic a bit. And we have a lot planned for the month of December. Like traveling to NJ for Christmas, and then to AZ for a wedding. Yeah... it's going to be a bit nutso.  I start thinking of all that traveling, with all these little people and I think I'd rather time just slow down a bit.

My mom and dad came to visit this weekend. It was so nice. My mom helped me get on top of my laundry situation, and figure out a place to put all of baby boy's clothes. We went shopping and got a few last minute things. We went to Romolo's and I had the yummiest hot chocolate ever. The kids were so surprised and thrilled to have their grandparents here. Abigail is already asking for Nana to come back. It was a really fun weekend. And feels so good to start with the week with the house in order. Mostly.

We took out Christmas decorations today. It was so fun to watch the girls as we emptied box after box of all these decorations. Olivia kept saying, "I REMEMBER THIS! I REMEMBER THIS FROM WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL!" Ya know, 3 is the new 30 around here.  Abigail played with the Nativity and kept making Joseph and Mary hug and kiss. I tell ya, there is never a dull moment around here, ever.


Canned Peas.

I have so so much to be grateful for. A roof over my head. A loving, attentive, thoughtful husband. Two beautiful daughters. And a son I haven't met yet. Great parents, and parents-in-law (is that the right way to phrase that??). I'm grateful for my country, and my freedom. And clean running water. Seriously every time I watch some documentary or something about third world countries I'm always left with this insane gratitude for clean drinking water from my sink. And the ability to take a hot shower pretty much whenever I want. THAT is something to be grateful for.

But I've had a heavy heart the past couple of days. Because, despite all that I have, there is one piece missing that just seems to be blaring at me this time of year. My Poppy. I miss him. Last year I didn't feel the weight of missing him as much as I do this year. Maybe it is pregnancy hormones. As I prepared Thanksgiving dinner for the first time ever this year, I could feel him beside him. All these memories of "helping" him as a child came flooding back. Thanksgiving to me, will always be Poppy's holiday. Every year he'd be in a shirt and tie. And an apron, because he'd be cooking. The master of the gravy. Bickering at Nanny for forgetting something or not doing something the way he would have done it. As I peeled potatoes this afternoon, I remembered sitting with him at the kitchen table peeling potatoes. I could hear him telling me about he peeled potatoes in the Navy. How he got to be so good at only getting the skin off, and not any potato with it. I loved those moments. Talking with him. Feeling like I was helping... when now as an adult, I realize he probably could have done it all a lot faster and easier without me there. But he took time to explain things to me. Showed me how to fry sweet potatoes. How to stir the gravy... and add his secret ingredient... the juice from a can of peas.  He'd tease me about the amount of food I ate while I "helped" cook. He always cut me a piece of skin from the turkey as soon as it was out of the oven.  I cried a few tears today wishing he could see me now. A grown up, with my own kids running around, wanting to help me cook. I wished he could have tried my gravy. But, I know he was watching. I could almost hear him in my head all day today. Correcting me as I went about my cooking. Teasing me for the amount of food I was "testing" as I was cooking.

Today I did things differently than he would have done them. I used a bag to cook my turkey. I made the gravy from scratch, and I only added a drop of pea juice, more as homage to Poppy than for flavor. I made a corn casserole, not just regular corn. I even made my own cranberry sauce. I think he would have liked it. But there was one thing I didn't change a bit. Canned peas. Poppy loved canned peas. I can not see a can of peas without thinking of him. Of all the food served on Thanksgiving, that can of peas will always remind me of Poppy.

I'm rambling now, and this has gotten long... but I'm just so grateful for the example Poppy was to me. I don't think I would be the person I am today if it wasn't for Poppy. As Olivia helped me prep the turkey today, all I could think of was being her size and helping Poppy cook. When she started to get in the way, and it would have been easier to send her away so I could get more done, I thought of those moments with Poppy. I thought how much more important those memories are than getting the turkey in the oven on time. For reminders like that, I'll always be sure to have canned peas on Thanksgiving.


Olivia's faces & hair cut

Seriously it is impossible to get a decent picture of this child. I didn't include the 15 others that led up to the final "good enough" shot.  But here's what I could get of her hair cut.


I wonder if on some level my kids know that if they wake up at 5:00am I will be too tired to care what they eat for breakfast. Like this morning, as I type, each child has a spoonful of cookie dough. My tired brain tells me it's no worse than the sugary cereals a lot of moms feed their kids for breakfast. In fact it's probably better... ya know... all natural, nothing but eggs, butter, sugar, and flour. Sounds good, right? Had I gotten to sleep  until 7 they'd probably have been forced to eat eggs and toast. Think they know?

I took Olivia to get her hair cut yesterday. Her and I actually had a great day together. I took her shopping for some new pants and long sleeved shirts. Before we left I asked her if she also wanted to get her hair cut. You would have thought I asked her if she wanted to go get her teeth pulled. Screaming, crying, etc. So whatever. No haircut. Wanted a fun day, not a battle. So off to shop we go. We went to a few stores, ending at Wal-Mart. I showed her the hair salon to see her reaction. To which she giddily jumped up and down and begged to get her hair cut. Seriously child?! Okay, well why not. So she got her hair shampooed, cut, and blow dried. Olivia said she wanted it short. I tried to explain to the lady the a-line type bob that I know would be super cute. She somehow did the exact opposite of what I said. It's like a bowl cut. But she did some "face framing layers" that just look weird to me. But it will grow... and Olivia loves it. So that's all that matters right? She was really cute the entire time. She helped sweep up her hair. She told the lady who was cutting her hair, "Can you make my hair beautiful like yours?" ... And I'm sorry I just realized this entire story could be summed up in two sentences. Yesterday I took Olivia shopping, and to get her hair cut. She likes it, I don't.

So she came home with her new do, and even put her new clothes on in the van because she wanted her dad to see. And then as we walked in the door, instead of posing all cute and being excited and happy (like she was TWO SECONDS AGO) she just started screaming and crying for no reason. I have no idea what goes on in her head sometimes.

Abigail woke up from her nap extremely sad that I was shopping with Olivia. Poor Abigail frequently gets left behind because of her beautiful 2.5 hour nap in the middle of the day. Sorry kiddo, I'm not messing with that ever. So one of these days I will have to find time to take Abigail out, one on one.

Baby boy seems to be growing well. I'm past 37 weeks, so I guess he could come any time. I don't feel like he's going to be coming any time soon. I hope I'm wrong. I was so sure Abigail would come early, and I was dead wrong there. So maybe I will be wrong again? I've pretty much just accepted the fact that I slow cook my babies.


Know what's weird?

There's another Lauren Opie out there in the world. With a similar email address to me. I have been getting emails for her for years. I usually forward them to her. I've never heard a response from her. It's been weird to read about her job interviews. Pictures from her trip to Vegas with group of friends. Found out she got engaged. Found out she got married. Stuff from realtor about buying a house. And recently found out she's pregnant. Seriously it is so weird! And I was thinking after she got married and was no longer Lauren Opie I would stop getting her emails...but nope!  I even got an invite to a private blog from a friend of hers.

Sometimes people find this blog by searching for Lauren Opie. If you're looking for a newly wed, pregnant with first baby, named Lauren... well that was me 4 years ago. Sorry!  :)

And yes, this is possibly the most random blog post ever. If you're reading, Name-twin feel free to say hi! 


Ready for it.

 I suppose I should start this entry with an apology at my lack of updates recently. So sorry to those who read this, and come looking for funny anecdotes of my adorable children. You are overdue for some stories. Unfortunately my brain can't hold onto memories for more than 5 minutes apparently. Hopefully brain function returns eventually.

         Good thing I have a few pictures from our lovely time outside the past couple of days to remind of the fun we had. We made giant leaf piles and jumped in them. We gathered leaves in our arms and threw them at another yelling silly things like "pie in your face!" or just "pie face" if you're Abigail. It was good times. We were graced with absolutely beautiful weather the past few days. We spent our time at parks, running around our apartment complex, and basically avoiding doing laundry. Today, however, is overcast, drizzily and cold. So we're getting caught up on TV shows, laundry and baking.
         There is snow in the forecast for tonight! Had it been a week ago I would have cried. But today I'm ready for it. We made the most of our spring and summer, enjoyed lots of time outdoors... today I'm ready for snow and hot chocolate, and cuddling on the couch. I've been putting off saying I'm ready for winter, because that also has to mean I'm ready for baby. And I haven't been ready to say that. But today at 36 weeks... I'd honestly be happy if this little guy decided to make up for his sisters' lateness and come two weeks early. (Each girl was a week late, so really to balance the universe he should come two weeks early, right?) So bring on the snow and bring on the baby! I'm ready!