Thursday, August 30, 2007

Mustard and Beans

I can't decide if this post has more to do with my pregnancy or my maturity...wait, who's laughing!?

I love this part of pregnancy; morning sickness has subsided, you actually start to look pregnant as opposed to pudgy and your energy level is way up compared to the first or third trimester. The hunger factor, however, is stranger than ever! I still require about 6 meals a day or I go into jitter-mode but the cravings are absurd!

I have NEVER cared for ketchup or mustard on anything. My french fries are consumed dry and my hot dogs are garnished with mayo. Something about the tang-iness or the color, I don't know. But lately, I cannot find enough food to slather with mustard! My dad has this thing about people getting grossed out when they see him eating mustard with his popcorn and his reply is always, "Have you ever tried it? Then how do you know it's gross?" Dad, consider me a fan.

In the same way that I would never touch mustard with a 10 foot pole, I have always had a MAJOR aversion to beans. Any bean! I have vivid memories of having to linger at the dinner table as a kid because I refused to eat the 3 beans on my plate long after everyone had left the kitchen. It was never a taste thing, but a texture issue. Is it a potato, is it a tiny meat thing? Tiny, bursting, salty, potato-type pouches...repulsed me. So why is it that every cooking show I've tuned into lately that has beans as their main ingredient looks incredibly delicious!? And even though my husband swears that green beans aren't really beans (I'm sorry, but you can dispute something with the proof in the name), I have cooked fresh green beans with just about every meal. Yummy!

I would like to think that this newly discovered pallet can be credited to my wisdom and maturity. That I've gotten over whatever childish hang-ups I have with foods that I was told to at least try as a kid but did so kicking and screaming. But, you're right...it's probably just a 2nd trimester fluke that may or may not stick after this baby arrives. Only time will tell but for now--Hey, Dad! Look at me, I'm getting my protein and trying your concoctions :o)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Potty Training

I'm very aware of the differences between boys and girls, especially after having one of each.

Girls are dainty, soft, careful, cautious, nurturing and verbally advanced.

Boys are rough, tough, loud, physical, gritty, born knowing how to make a 'Vroom' sound when a truck is in their hand and not so quick to get the reason behind why things should be done quietly and neatly.

Potty training girls vs. boys has proved to be no exception! I explained to Maggie once why she would be much more comfortable putting her tee tee in the potty rather than doing it in her panties and she got it. Four days later and we were done!

Rory, frankly, could care less about being wet or dirty. He thinks it's funny to sit on the potty and loves the personal attention that it usually gives him...with no results. Five minutes later...business has been taken care of elsewhere. I thought for sure the lure of 'Nemo' or 'Bob Builder' on his undies would entice him not to pee all over them, but so far, that just means getting to put on a new pair and that's okay with him. Why is it that when he's in the shower, he can pee on cue and loves to try and get it right on the drain but when it comes to pointing it the toilet, that's such a different concept to him!?! Men!

I welcome any suggestions or creative devices (I'm not above bribery) for getting over this hump! Meanwhile...I'm tucking this picture away in a safe place to pull out for his rehearsal dinner slide show :o)


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Puppet Show

While in Nashville, I had so much fun with my favorite little Watson boys. There is just something about being away from your own kids that makes you want to adopt others in their absence. That, and the fact that I've known and loved these boys since they were in utero! We played superhero games and even attempted a puppet show with a sheet and a flashlight. Nothing, however, compared to this puppet show. Watch and be amazed!

Maggie's First Day

Maggie had her first day of school today. She wasn't super excited about the "new" factor. New teachers, new friends, new classroom. But she did look super-cute and posed for me before she headed off. I know that she is going to have a great time but I'm sad that this is her last year to be my little pre-schooler.

Maggie had a wonderful first day. She said that she met some new friends who were very sweet and even had a couple of old friends from last year. They played on the playground, went to computers and talked all about the letter 'A'. She was slightly bothered by the fact that they were asked to paint a school bus but told that they could not use the black in their paint set. She exclaimed at the dinner table that she just had to leave the tires blank and will finish the picture when they let her bring it home with HER black paint! She's so particular and meticulous...I love it! She also mentioned that her teachers are very nice this year...nothing like the ones last year who yelled "Shhh" a lot and fussed all of the time.



I didn't blog about Lindsay in my last entry because I felt like she deserved her own post for what she means to me. A little background about her is that I can remember her from middle school. She always seemed to have it all together. We moved to Nashville the same summer to go to different schools and found a common bond in our loneliness in this new city. She would drive about 2 hours round trip to come and pick me up from Belmont so we could hang out together. We lived in the same apartment complex and moved into our houses the same Fall. She's my favorite shopping buddy, my favorite traveling buddy (NYC x3?), and my favorite person to be pregnant with (for the third time)! And even though we don't live in the same city, she's always a phone call away and for some reason, we are incapable of chatting for less than an hour at a time. She's more than a friend to me...she's my family!
love you, Lindz

Just moved to Nashville with boyfriends in tow
O'Quinn's Wedding 2000
Pregnant together (1st time)
Weaver Wedding
Lots of kids!
NYC for the second time in 2006Pregnant together (for the 3rd time)

Home again, home again

Nashville was so much fun. I love that going there feels like putting on an perfect fitting pair of jeans...comfortable and they make you feel great! I actually have two worlds there: friends I grew up with in Houston (there are quite a few of them, believe it or not) and my college friends who I've known for 10 years now. Typically, my trips are spent with one or the other group but this one was a fantastic mix of both.

Corrie and her husband, Joe just moved into a new house and my other college roommate, Sara and I went to visit her before the shower. She is the most adorable pregnant woman! She has refused to send me any pictures during her pregnancy so this was the first I got to see her. And I know that she's going to love me for posting pictures here! Love you, Corrs :o) Her shower was beautiful and I was so thrilled to get to be a part of it.
I also got to see my friend Kandice who I've known since elementary school. I love her so much and miss living in the same city with her. She lives 2 doors down from Lindsay and just had a new little baby, Eli. She has been a constant through my life and it's so great to still be friends with someone who has known me through the good, the bad and the terribly awkward! She is also my favorite game buddy. She loves games as much as I do and she's very...VERY competitive. You definitely want her on your team!


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Second City

I'm packing to leave for Nashville tomorrow and have such a warm anticipation about being there...if only for the weekend. My friend from college, Corrie is having a baby girl in October and I am thrilled to get to go and shower her. Nashville is my second home and will always hold such a special place in my heart.

I left my hometown of Houston, Texas in 1997 to go to this strange city to attend Belmont University. I had heard such wonderful things about their music program and thought that it would be a great fit. When I arrived I knew no one. It was just me and the city. It was scary and overwhelming but after some sleepovers with my childhood friend, Lindsay (who also uprooted to move to Tennessee and lived 45 minutes away), Nashville and I became the best of friends! I remember the moment I felt like I belonged there...I was coming back to school from a holiday in Houston and as my roommate and I were driving from the airport back to our dorm, we past a billboard for a home builder on I-65. It was a red door with a porch light that actually lit up and it read "Welcome Home". I remember feeling over come with the feeling that I was...home. It's a southern town with friendly people and beautiful countrysides. I really like the Nashville skyline because it is so distinct and recognizable. There is this one building that has two big pointy elements sticking up off it. In college we referred to it as "The Batman Building". I got to spend a couple of evenings backstage at The Ryman downtown, which for those of you who don't know is where the Grand Ole Opry first started. I remember being in the downstairs corridors outside the dressing rooms and I could feel the history of the artists who had been there through the years. The only thing that I could think to do was call my Dad because he was the one person I knew would appreciate the power of that moment in that place. I love that I have a history of firsts in that town. Casey moved there soon after I did, we got engaged in Centennial Park downtown, I got my first "real" job in Franklin at a record label, we bought our first house in Nashville and welcomed our first beautiful baby into that house. I love that we started our lives together there and had only each other to depend on. I love that I have a city to call my own, that I know my way around and can play tour guide to my friends and family when we're there. I love the hills, the trees, the colors, the smells and the oodles of friends that I left there and welcome any chance to go back and visit. Here I come, 'ol friend :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Are you in there?

I felt the baby move for the first time today. For anyone who's been through miscarriages or is just plain prone to worry, this is the first exhale moment since our previous ultrasound. I'm someone who needs to be constantly reminded that "everything's okay" and I know that early flutters are God's way of telling me that with this pregnancy. It is going to be so strange to spend the next six months calling my belly "It" or "The Baby". I'm so used to calling my kids by name in utero. Whoever you are in there...I feel you and it makes me so happy!


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My Little Fashionista

My last post was a bit heavy so here is one to lighten things up a bit! Maggie is always entertaining me with the things she says and does. She's 100% me, the good and the bad. She's incredibly independent and there are days when she's up before me, fixes herself some chocolate milk & cereal and goes to the playroom and turns on the tv for her morning dose of "Little Einsteins". She then waits until I'm awake and asks me what the weather is supposed to be like that day (what 4 year old thinks about that?) and proceeds to get herself dressed and sometimes even picks clothes out for Rory. She doesn't need me...I NEED HER! With this independence though, she does like to express herself through her wardrobe. Enjoy!


Good Mom vs. Cool Mom

I'm not saying that you can't have both, but isn't there a big difference between being liked by your kids for doing what they might think is cool and being liked by your kids because at the end of the day, they know they can trust that you will always do what's best for them (even if they don't like it). I have been inundated today with thoughts and media examples of what it truly means to be a good mother.

1.) I had the Today Show on this morning and overheard a survey done by MTV of teens with a handful of various questions asked of them. One was, "When are you the happiest?" I was SHOCKED by the answer. The majority of the teens anonymously surveyed said, "When I'm spending time with my family." The other question that got me was, "Who is your biggest hero?" to which the mass majority answered "My mom" or "My dad" (with Mom winning by only a slight majority!). What a breath of fresh air to start my day! To know that in this generation that worships teen-queens and disrespectful influences, at the heart of it all, they want to know that they have their families behind them, supporting them.

It was about at that time that I felt a charge of energy to go and find my kids and let them know I loved them no matter what they did, how special they were to me, how I would never...
Wait. Who's screaming?

"Maggie, why is Rory crying?"

"Um...because I hit him. He can't play in my room with my stuff!"

"Time-out! We don't hit each other in this family....We're O'Quinns and O'Quinns are supposed to love and take care of each other"

What happened to family togetherness and encouragement? Then, after a very hot and stressful trip to the grocery store (where Rory threw a fit about being in the cart, Maggie whined about getting treats and I accidentally parked in a handicap spot but didn't realize it until I came out and was loading my bags in the trunk!) I decided that we needed some fun & bonding.

2.) I saw a recipe in a magazine the other day for chocolate dipped bananas. They looked so good, so easy, fun and 50% healthy. I gathered the kids for some warm family togetherness over a fun activity. Fast forward 10 minutes to chocolate EVERYWHERE, Rory throwing handfuls of sprinkles and nuts on the floor, me telling everyone to "Just get down---but don't touch anything!", & Maggie huffing off because she didn't want to have to eat lunch first. So much for my togetherness activity. Has anyone seen that commercial for paper towels where the little boy accidentally shakes the soda bottle and it explodes all over his mother? Then she smiles and tells him "This is better" and starts squirting him with the veggie sprayer from the kitchen sink? I SO wish that I could be one of those moms but the bottom line is...I don't like messes. I spend my whole day trying to pick up after my kids when I would love to relax and just enjoy them and their messes. I'm sure to an extent it enhances their creativity but it just unnerves me to allow them to haphazardly throw things. I failed miserably at being a cool or good mom for that one.

3.) I was forwarded an article by my Dad (the King of "Thought you might be interested in this" since I was a wee lass) about those divas in Hollywood showing the youth of America just how NOT to behave. Click on the title of this post if you're interested in reading it, but I just loved hearing someone else say that their parents need to step-up and take the blame for what's happening in these poor girls' lives.
"What do Lindsey Lohan, Britney Spears, and Paris Hilton all have in common? The answer is all that all three girls have parents. These are the people who are supposed to make sure that their kids turn in all of their homework, finish school projects, and study for tests (from kindergarten all the way through twelfth grade). They are nosy parents who want to know who the friends of their children are, where they are going, and what they are doing. And they do a pretty good job of keeping their kids out of trouble and they definitely will not tolerate any excuses for bad behavior.

Their mothers do not wear plunging necklines or tight, sheer mini-skirts in front of their children. These mothers are not known as the “cool mom” or the “party mom” to their children’s friends. In fact, these parents do something called parenting instead of trying to be friends with their children or trying to fit in with all of their friends with the latest trends and fads. Have these parents have ever bothered to look in the mirror and examine whether or not their bad influence or permissive parenting had anything to do with the trials and tribulations that their daughters are going through?

What a parent can do is provide a solid foundation of upbringing where there are rules and boundaries for maturity and decency. It is this foundation that allows a wayward youth to easily fall back to a structure of values because it was always there since childhood. Integrity, responsibility, respect, and a work ethic are universal values that are taught to children by their parents with years of reinforcement."

I want my children to know that I love them but that inside of that love, I have expectations of them. I want them to be kind. I want them to have compassion. I want them to be respectful, responsible human beings who other people enjoy being around. Today felt overwhelming. I don't know exactly what to teach them other than to lead by example, to pray specifically for these things, and always be a hug and a kiss away when they do good or bad. I guess I'm okay with not being the "Cool Mom" if it means teaching them right from wrong.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Bed Rest Stinks

No, not me. This is a shout-out to my friend, Emily who was just ordered to stay in bed for 3 weeks! Can you imagine? Maybe some of you can. She will be 36 weeks preggers by the end of the resting and her doctors are optimistic that this will be enough time for the baby to be 'fully cooked'. So let's hear it, ladies & gents...what would you do if you were forced to stay in bed for 3 weeks? Maybe it will give Emily some ideas of how not to go out of her mind with boredom.

Too Darn Hot!

Is anyone else ready for the Fall? It's about this time every year that I get antsy thinking about the autumn being just around the corner. Maybe it's the 100+ heat index or maybe it's that stores have started putting out their Halloween and Christmas goodies. It's a bit premature for the winter decor, in my opinion, but the harvest smells and colors just really make me long to live some place where leaves have multiple shades and not just green to brown. I love walking into a store like Pottery Barn and seeing their Thanksgiving table settings and smelling the clove and cinnamon candles. Pulling out scarves from the coat closet and dressing Maggie in tights for school...something about all of that gives me the warm fuzzies. And now I'm hot again! I have a flashback to my kids sweating last year as we trick-or-treated in their flannel costumes! I suppose there is no relief in sight but I am ready. I feel very blessed never to have been at my most pregnant in the heat of August...Thank you, Jesus. You knew I wouldn't be able to stand it!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Big Boy Bed

It's official...he's a big boy. In an effort to prepare him for our new baby without letting things overlap too much, we set Rory up in his new room, in his new bed. He went from sleeping in a convertible crib to a full bed and thinks that he is such hot stuff. His room is going to have a 'wilderness' theme and has some really cute stuffed animal heads hanging on the wall. Casey will eventually get around to building him some bunk beds but for now he's just on his full mattress. He ran errands with Casey today and didn't get around to taking a nap so he was too tired to fight the change of sleeping in a different place. I just went in to peek at him and he looked so small in that big bed! I must admit that I got very sad packing up all of his little toys and moving only his toddler stuff into that new room down the hall. I know that children have to grow up and I know that the cliche that they do it so fast is true but for the weeks and weeks that I've been looking forward to getting this "project" out of the way...I really wanted him to just stay my baby a little bit longer. He also, totally out of the blue, started counting to 10 by himself today. It makes him so proud when he gets to the end that 8, 9, & 10 come at you REALLY fast. Like I said...it's official, he's a big boy. Next stop- Potty Town!


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Maggie & Rory

These are some of my favorite pictures of them.



Casey and I think that little boys with long hair are so cute so we decided to let Rory's grow out, too. Well, after a couple of months of having to gel his bangs so that he could see, we decided that we were torturing him for the sake of style. We broke down and cut his bangs. They really are a lot straighter than they look in the picture! I have seen some expressions from those eyes this week that I've never seen before! Okay...so I'm not 'Mom of the Year' but look at this precious face. I still can't bring myself to cut those curls off but I know that they'll have to go someday.


Weeks 9 & 12

I'm going to attempt to stay on top of taking pictures of my growing belly with this pregnancy. It's been quite a sight to behold with my last two kids by the end! Here I am at 9 weeks:

And here I am at 12 weeks:


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Singing in the Rain

I realized that I have talked about but not posted any pictures of my sweet, darling, angel, diva, princess Maggie. She is so much like me it's not even funny! My mom says it's payback. She is very opinionated and has a fantastic memory. Don't say something in her presence if you don't want her to file it away and bring it back up later. It's a dark and dreary morning at my house and I was thinking about the fact that Maggs has totally grabbed on to a past generation of entertainers and music. The aforementioned Elvis fascination, she loves any song sung by Ella Fitzgerald, a recent interest in Shirley Temple, Judy Garland and old movies in general. Casey was working late the other night and without any kid-appropriate television to watch as we snuggled in my bed, I turned it to the AMC channel. She was enthralled with Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds in Singing in the Rain. She watched the whole movie and then asked if we could rewind it and watch it again. "Why is that man out in the rain without his umbrella?" she asked me. "Because he's so in love with that lady, he doesn't mind getting wet". I wasn't quite sure how to explain that to her. I love her questions and pray for wisdom as I answer some of them. Anyhow, here is Maggie's version of Singing in the Rain from July's never ending down pour that we had.


Mow Grass

My little man is growing up so fast. He loves all things trucks, balls and baseball! His latest fascination is with lawn mowers. He can hear our neighbors start up their mowers and it makes him stop dead in his tracks and say, "Ah...somebody mow grass". He rushes to his window to see if perhaps he can get a glimpse of the event. He also has his own 'popper' version of a mower (Thanks a lot, Aunt Robin!) and enjoys helping Daddy and GrandPa maintain their landscaping.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Alien Moms

I was doing my daily check-in to the other blogs I like to read and found myself saying "Amen" out loud to one of Kathryn Aylor's entries entitled My Day. I, too, was at the pool yesterday completely in awe and utter disgust of these women with broods of children running around having the nerve to look like they did! "Hot Moms" indeed. Flat stomachs, no traces of cellulite or stretch marks, tan...bikinis!!! And here I was in my tankini, trying my best not to let the two pieces separate from one another but finding it difficult since I'm 13 weeks pregnant. Which let's face it, just looks like I haven't lost the weight from my last kid. Not yet to that "Oh, isn't she a cute pregnant girl" phase but rather, "Yikes! I guess she only uses her YMCA membership for the pool"! I had a momentary desire to approach a couple of them and ask, "Excuse me, what classes do you take here?" but then again, I wouldn't want to put myself out there and just wind up at home on the couch eating Cheetos thinking about how I could be working out and feeling guilty. I'm using this pregnancy as my "Get out of jail...I mean working-out free" card. It's probably going to be the last time I can push people out of my way at the buffet or have that second helping of dessert with nothing more than a smile because they see that I'm eating for two...me and my bruised ego. Maybe next summer, I too, can be a "hot mom".

The World's Youngest Expert on All Things Elvis

If you were to ask my 4 and a half year old what her favorite song is, I'm afraid you wouldn't get the typical "Wheels on the Bus" type answer. She would probably answer you with either "It's Now or Never" or "Love Me Tender".

Here's the back story...my dad is a history, but especially music history, buff. He can recall dates, song titles, cities where artists are from like it's nothing. This is where I gained my love and knowledge of music and why I ended up choosing it as my major in college. But now, he has opened a whole new world to my daughter. The other day, he was singing "It's Now or Never" by Elvis in the kitchen while he was fixing dinner. She was curious to know what the song was about. Why is it now or never? Why won't the lady in the song just tell the man that she loves him? And why might tomorrow be too late? This led to some explaination from my dad about Elvis and who he was and even a trip into the YouTube world so Maggie could see what he looked like and hear some other songs that he sang. That was all it took for her to want to know more...more...more about this Elvis guy. They even stumbled upon a documentary on tv the other night and she can tell you all about Graceland and his airplane named The Lisa Marie! I enjoy Elvis just as much as the next guy but this girl is obsessed! She requests that I find him on my iPod everytime we get in the car and sings all of the lyrics and even said the other day, "He's so handsome when he sings this song"!!! For some reason, Elvis has been everywhere these days and she is quick to call me to the tv for a commercial that he's in or Time Life collection of his greatest hits infomercial. I'm not sure if I should encourage this behavior or not but now, even her little brother is requesting that I put on "Elbis" so we can dance around the living room. I guess I'll have to take her to Graceland soon!


Monday, August 13, 2007

I Got Tagged...Thrice!

I've been tagged by a friend named Lindsay, Ashley & Stacy.
Here is some life changing info about me...

The Rules:
1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules. (**if you’re a non-blogger, you can email them!)
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

8 Random Facts or Habits about me:

1. I have mild OCD and have to lock my car multiple times before I'm convinced that it's locked or go back and check to make sure that I've turned off my strightener a couple of times...just to make sure!

2. Fingernails on a chalk board I can handle but hearing the sound of someone scrape their teeth on a metal fork makes my teeth rattle and itch and sends chills up my spine!

3. I absolutely LOVE my mom's potato salad. I don't know what it is about it but I could eat vats of it! And while I'm on the subject of my mom and cooking...I've noticed recently that I stand like her when I'm cooking. We both do this 'flamingo' thing where we tuck one leg up on the other and lean up against the counter. Weird, huh?

4. I'm the most amazing dancer you've ever met trapped inside a girl with two left feet. I adore movies like "Dirty Dancing" and "Center Stage" and shows like "Dancing with the Stars" and "SYTYCD". I have no problem getting up in front of hundreds of people and singing but dancing is something that should remain private for me and my mirror!

5. Casey enjoys making fun of me because I can make it through a big, fat steak- no problem but the second I take a sip of water, I choke. It's the insignificant things that usually get my tears rolling: water, air, etc. Unfortunately, Maggie inherited it too!

6. I LOVE movies and tv shows and have a running game with myself of "What else has he/she been in?" I know that I annoy people who go with me to movies because I'm constantly leaning over saying, "That's the girl from..." but I litteraly can't sleep that night if I can't pinpoint where I've seen an actor or actress before. For this reason, IMDB.com is my best friend.

7. I love to travel but I'm horrible with directions. I love taking my annual girls trips to NYC and other fun cities but don't ever hand me the map or put me in charge of getting us somewhere because we will end up lost!

8. I have severe dry skin. I used to get called "Old Lady Hands" or "Alligator Legs" in elementary school. I have to do my nightly regimen of Vasaline mixed with baby oil in the winter or my legs crack and bleed.

Tag you're it: Robin, Sara, Corrie, Jess, Lisa, Amy, Kandice, and Bethany

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Our Latest Addition...

Casey and I are expecting our third child in February of 2008. We couldn't be more excited about it and got to see our little one on Friday. He or She was wiggling all around and had a pretty massive case of the hiccups! It was such a relief after two previous miscarriages to get to see our little peanut growing right on schedule. I'm due Feb 20 which I'm glad for becuase we previously thought that our due date was really close to the end of February and this being a leap year would have made for some interesting non-birthdays. Maggie is so excited and has gone back and forth between wanting a brother versus a sister. On one hand, she thinks she needs a sister because she already has Rory, but on the other hand...she likes the idea of it being just us girls! Casey has never really wanted to know what we were having and I've always won that battle. Now that we have one of each, I'm letting him do things his way and we're not going to find out the gender. It's going to kill me!


I'm in!

After months of hearing about blogs, being forwarded blogs, checking-in to strangers' blogs and getting pressured to become a blogger myself...I've succumb to the peer pressure and crossed over. (Thanks, Lindsay!) I'm actually very excited to have a place to post my thoughts (some deep, some not so deep) and pictures of my fantastic family. We have had a family website in the past that has proved somewhat difficult to maintain. It boils down to the fact that I'm just not that savvy and my husband creates and updates websites for a living all day long and it's the last thing he wants to do when he gets home in the evenings. I'm looking forward to keeping in contact with my out-of-town friends and relatives and anyone else who might like to see the cutest kids in the world on a regular basis! :o)
Check back often and I'll do my best to update often.