Friday, November 28, 2008

Mentally, Physically and Emotionally Beat

Jeremiah's birthday party is in 18 hours. We have to be at the park where his party is being held around 8:00 a.m. to reserve tables. Can somebody PLEASE remind me why I decided to hold Jeremiah's birthday party over Thanksgiving weekend rather than last weekend like I originally planned??

Oh yeah, because my cousin from Phoenix swore that he and his family would come to his party if we held it this weekend, because they would be in California for Thanksgiving stuff anyway. According to my uncle, who is this cousin's father, they aren't coming; however they are out here in California. I have been to EVERY SINGLE party my cousin has thrown for his kids (they celebrate the bdays out here in Cali b/c all the family is out here). I changed all of my plans for them, and here they are not coming. I'm so pissed. Along with every other LAME excuse I've heard for not coming (the valid ones, like having REAL prior conflicts, of course I'm okay with!) as well as those who really have not RSVP'd for the party and won't return my calls/emails/facebook or myspace messages regarding their attendance. According to my mother in law, I should be used to this and tolerate this because, according to her, "MEXICANS DON"T RSVP." I tried to tell her that it was a matter of not only politeness but a matter of money (a LOT OF MONEY) because our head count determines the price we are paying the caterers. She said I should have known better. AGH

I have tried to get as much done in advance as I possibly could. My poor son has been running ragged this week going from one store with me to another and to Grandma's house and back while I get ready not only for his party but for yesterday (thanksgiving) as well. I admit I took him out this morning for some shopping, with the hope of taking him out for just two more quick errands this afternoon, but he had reached his breaking point, as I have right now as well. He woke up from an hour and a half nap VERY cranky, so I put him back down. He was asleep within two minutes. That was over an hour ago. Even though his bedtime routine technically starts in an hour, I am not touching him. This makes my husband MAD. Because apparently I'm supposed to bring a very very tired and cranky almost-one year old to go buy a damn pinata that he won't even be able to enjoy as well as a veggie platter, chips and cake plates. So now Louis wants to go pick out the pinata himself. That would be all well and good, but my husband is SUPER picky about EVERYTHING, especially pinatas. He made me return the one I bought last month to party city, and knowing him he will take three hours to find the pinata of his dreams. My wonderful parents have just agreed to buy the last things I need for my party for me. I owe them my life for all the help they have given me this week.

On top of it all, I have been sick on and off since Sunday. I feel like I'm going to break down any moment. I'm dizzy, my throat hurts on and off, my nose stuffs up on and off. My stomach hurts, I feel faint and irritable. I have been crying on and off since Jeremiah went down for his second nap over sheer exhaustion over everything and frustration with my husband and his attitude and lack of help. I literally put on Thanksgiving by myself yesterday. Oh wait, that's right. Louis vaccumed the living room and tried to mop the dining room but broke my Swiffer. And picked up the tables from my mom and dad. My bad. He refused to even lift the damn turkey for me to put it in the turkey pan because the image of an in-tact carcass, along with the feel of the raw skin, grossed him out too much. Thanks honey, you're the greatest. We had a few rather large blow-up fights yesterday and my feelings are still not completely mended over them.

But honestly all of my moaning and groaning is really lame in comparison to what I am about to write about. Last night, my parent's neighbor's two doors down from them lost their home. A fire started in their water heater and their house is destroyed. Two elderly Chinese people live there and while we have never been able to communicate with them through language barriers, they have always smiled warmly and waved at us, especially when Joey and I used to walk to school in the morning. I saw the devastation this morning after my mom and I went shopping. It's so horrible. But not as horrible as how casually my old Aims Academy employee played it out to be when I ran into her at the gas station. I didn't even KNOW that she lived in my parent's neighborhood, the neighborhood I lived in since I was 5. I ran into her at the gas station today and she played it off as no big deal and was even chuckling about it. How cruel can you get!!!

Anyway, I just got off the phone with my mother in law. She was already at Sam's club and offered to pick up the stuff we needed so that my parents didn't have to go out as well as buy a stupid pinata in the morning. The pinata from hell. Thank God for small favors.

Now I'm off to wake up my poor son, feed him dinner, play with him a bit, bathe him and put him to bed.

EDIT: I just read a news story online about the fire. Apparently it was caused by a cigarette. Goes to show how word of mouth, especially from someone uncompassionate, can twist the facts. Here's the link:

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I need a neck massage!

Every bone in my body hurts right now. So unbelievingly tired. My very gracious parents offered to take Jeremiah for the day so I could clean and cook, and that's exactly what I did! Spent the entire morning cleaning and starting to make my muffins, then after Marissa and I had lunch at the Rocky Cola Cafe in Uptown, we came back to my house to do more of the same. She made some fall shaped sugar cookies; I cleaned the kitchen, chopped the veggies for the stuffing and made my sweet potatoes. I've been cleaning non stop since she left.

No, I didn't make it out to get Jeremiah's outfit today... bummer. This is not a weekend for rest and relaxation. Blech

Anyway, sorry this isn't a more interesting update; I just basically came on to post my post for a year ago today. Enjoy!

4 Days Late (doctor update!)
Circa November 26, 2007

I just got back from seeing good ol' Dr. Lee. The first thing he asked me was if I would like to be induced on Wednesday. Of course I said YES!! He checked the heartbeat, everything sounded good. Then came my internal examination.

Dr. Lee decided that I'm not as dilated, effaced and "dropped" as he would like for induction. He COULD induce me on Wednesday or Thursday, but it would be an even longer, drawn out process. It is better to go into the induction with a well-thinned cervix (I'm still only 50 percent), as dilated as possible (still around 1 1/2 cm....) and with the baby as low as possible (I'm still at a -2 station, with a station of 0 being ready to push. -1 station is ideal for induction). The results? Go in for MANDATORY fetal monitoring tomorrow and Friday ... and if Baby Castillo isn't here by Monday, then Louis and I get to go to the hospital at the glorious hour of 5 a.m. on Monday, December 3rd to induce, no matter what. Dr. Lee and I are still hoping for an un-induced labor, which in all probability will happen, but just in case we are backing up by scheduling the induction. Neither he nor I want to go past a week and a half late.

Looks like Louis and I MIGHT get one more Sunday morning to cuddle in bed!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

So much to do!

Tonight I was dead-set on finishing up my Thanksgiving shopping. However, looks like I'll be hitting the stores tomorrow with every other last-minute shopper! This wasn't entirely my fault; Ralphs ran out of mushrooms and are getting a delivery tomorrow. They also didn't have a few of the spices I needed for my stuffing left in stock. I could have gone across the street to Staters, but it was getting late and Jeremiah was ready for dinner.

I also realized as I was giving Jeremiah his bath tonight that I do not have his birthday party outfit. I found a really cute boy Elmo first birthday shirt, pants and crown at Babies r Us a month or two ago,but held off on purchasing it because I wanted to be sure of Jeremiah's size. Looks like that's going to be another stop tomorrow, because there is NO WAY that I want to brace Toys r Us (the one by us has a built in Babies r Us) on Black Friday, the day before his party. NO WAY.

Tomorrow Marissa is coming over to go to lunch with Jer and I (and to Toys r Us, although she doesn't know that yet :) ) and to help me start cooking. I want to have my muffins baked and my sweet potato casserole put together, as well as have all the veggies chopped for the stuffing. Oh, and bake four dozen cupcakes for Jeremiah's party and freeze them. Monique's friend Rossy is helping me put together a cupcake-cake on Friday. She used to own a bakery and makes out of this world cakes and cake designs. Praise God our oven isn't being delivered until Friday! I just hope my oven is capable of handling a turkey cooking all day long in it. I haven't ran the oven for more than an hour, and I noticed that a lot of times, things take longer to cook than the projected time. God is in control...

Anyway, here's tonight's installment of "A Peek in the Past." I'm off to continue scrubbing down our house. Thank goodness in 48 hours, dinner will be over and hopefully our guests will be just about ready to leave. Goodnight!

"Three Days Late"
Circa November 25, 2007
It dawned on Louis and I this morning that he and the baby are going to have birthdays rather close to one another. If I have the baby on Friday, he or she will be exactly one week apart from my wonderful Marissa, exactly two weeks apart from his or her daddy, and two weeks and one day apart from my best friend! The holidays are going to be busy busy busy for us.

Everything's still calm on the contraction front. The contractions I've been getting are so far apart and irregular that they're not even worth timing. This is both good and bad- bad because I am so anxious to go into labor naturally without an induction; good because then I won't get my hopes up if I get yet another round of false labor (so far I've had two). There is really nothing worse than timing contractions for over an hour, having them get stronger, longer and more regular, thinking you're about ready to head off to the hospital, and then WHAM! Everything stops!

So I'm kind of getting sick of hearing "you're STILL pregnant?!" It's like gee, thanks, just another reminder that I haven't had my baby yet. I'm really thankful that my relatives have been calling my grandma to inquire about the baby's progress and not me or my mom; they have been leaving us alone Although you better believe that as soon as I have the baby my grandma is going to whip out her cell phone and start the phone chain hehe.

Sundays are mine and Louis's day together. It's really really wierd thinking that this is our LAST Sunday to sleep in until 10, have a leisurely breakfast, go out to lunch, and then come to his office to fool around online (and make out like teenagers, I'll admit! ) without having to worry about a little one. Things are going to be way better when the baby comes, but way different at the same time. We'll see what our new life brings....

Hopefully I'll have some more progress tomorrow at the doctor's... not like it really matters; I've been dilating for over a month now and still haven't gone into labor! This baby will come when he or she is good and ready.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Catching Up

Should have posted yesterday's "peek in the past" but I was just too exhausted! On Saturday night my most wonderfullest almost-sister came over for a night of scrapbooking (well, technically she worked on making these super-duper cute table number cards for her wedding, but it was kind of a scrapbooking project), and yesterday was Thanksgiving with the Billheimer's at my grandpa's house. I wanted to have my dishes prepared on Saturday night so I would be able to relax Sunday morning before we went, but that just did not happen. I got the jello salad done (which HAD to be done the day before so it could set!) but the sweet potatoes and pumpkin dessert got put off until yesterday. I was up at 6:30 a.m. when Jeremiah woke up so that I could head over to Ralphs, purchase the sweet potatoes (yes I forgot to get them!) and cooked until 10:30.

The Thanksgiving "dinner" (more like lunch b/c it was at 2:00) was delicious. I think Cinder, my grandpa's Black Lab, thoroughly enjoyed Jeremiah's portion of the meal. I was trying to get him to eat turkey chunks and green beans, but he is going through a very picky phase, where he only wants to self-feed crackers, bread or cheese. Everything else gets thrown to the floor, or pulled out of his mouth if sneaky Mommy tries to hide it in his pureed veggies. Cinder was very appreciative, because seeing as the next-youngest member of our family is nearly 15 years old, "oopses" don't happen very often anymore. I missed my grandma a lot. However, she was still with us! We made her dishes, I brought our sweet potatoes and pineapple in one of her favorite blue casserole dishes, and I used her KitchenAid mixer. When she was in the hospital, I was joking to her that I hoped that my Uncle Ken from VA would bring me a KitchenAid mixer the next day when he arrived (he and my Aunt Jeannie worked at Bed, Bath and Beyond). My grandma asked if I had one, and I said no but I was dying to get one; just didn't have $300 lying around to spend on one. She then told me that she would love for me to have hers; it was only a year or two old and she hardly ever had the chance to use it, as long as I thought of her every time I used it. Yesterday was the first opportunity I had to pull it out. Your wish was granted, Grandma!

It's a busy week- Thanksgiving day on Thursday; Jeremiah's party on Saturday. I'm getting tired just thinking about all that I have left to do. Anyway, I was hoping that my almost one-year-old son would actually take an afternoon nap, but he's wailing like a banshee in his crib. The picky lil booger refused to eat more than two bites of his lunch nor drink his afternoon sippy, so I had a feeling this might happen. I'm going to go retrieve him. Enjoy what should have been yesterday's post as well as todays!

One Day Late
Circa November 23, 2007
Still not a mama! I got my turkey, I went shopping (twice!), and I'm all ready for Little Castillo to make his or her grand entrance. Who knows when that will be....

Skipping out on the fetal monitoring tomorrow. It's way too expensive and my baby is moving constantly. I'll have a better idea Monday as to when my baby will arrive (if he or she isn't here by then!) at my regular appointment.

Hope everyone had a great turkey day!

2 Days Late
Circa November 24, 2007
Well I went shopping twice again today (Michaels for Lindsey's Christmas present, and then for 2 hours at this Christmas boutique with my mom and grandma) and still nada! I am definitely tired from all this walking around but that's about it! I didn't go to the fetal monitoring today and I'm feeling really good about that decision. If it were something urgent my doctor would have had me go in for it right away rather than telling me I could wait until Saturday to do it. I'll see him on Monday anyway.

I'm just about done with my Christmas shopping. I just have my father, Uncle Tom, cousin Mitchell, my mother in law, and my husband to shop for, but I have to take Louis with me for his present. We're getting him a new stereo system for his car and he needs to show me the ones he wants and then take them to a customer of his to get them installed. I'm probably going to get him a few more little things to unwrap under the tree. OH! I still have the BABY to shop for! I have a few little books and toys for him or her, but the main thing he or she is getting is genderized clothes.

That's about all for now... hopefully next time I update I'll be a mom!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Jeremiah's party is going down the toilet...

Before I get into today's "peek into the past," I have just a smidge of ranting to do. Back in September, I saw an ad on Craigslist for a very reasonably priced birthday party entertainer. "Steve" comes dressed to your party as a clown or superhero, helps with the games and stuff, and also does puppet shows, including SESAME STREET puppet shows (the theme of our party). Of course, we booked him on the spot. Everything seemed great- his prices, how promptly he responded to all my emails (18 total between then and now) and he promised each time that he would be there.

Or so I thought.

Anyway, so Thursday night I called to confirm everything with him, and here's what the jerk told me: He booked another party at the same time as mine, in a city about 20 min away (I'm in whittier, the other party in Cerritos). It was a two hour party, and basically he had to do that one because HE WAS MAKING MORE MONEY. Oh yeah, and "his wife couldn't dress up as Spiderman, so he had to be there for the other party." He told me that he could make it to my party at 3:00 (our start time was noon; I wanted him there at one b/c party was ending around 2:30). He told me he could MAYBE be there right at noon, do the gig and leave, but I told him no; not everyone is on time to a party. He wouldn't work with me at all! Basically because I"m only hiring him for an hour, I get the boot. Here I am, a week before my party, with NO entertainment, and nobody is available to do a party this late in the game, even if I wanted to spend 300+ for a stupid puppet show, which I don't. I tried to talk to him about the moral side of things; I booked him first; this lady booked him just a week or two ago. If I hadn't called him up, I would have been waiting around for bozo to show up.

He pretty much told me that since he works out of his home, he has no contracts, and is able to do what he pleases, no matter who he screws over. In fact, that is exactly what he told me.

Yes, I was cursing at him over the phone (not very Christianlike, but he was PISSING ME OFF!). And I told him that I would be posting on Craigslist about what a scam-artist he is. He told me to go ahead.

He's lost at least 3 customers because of me! Sweet victory....

As if this isn't bad enough, there are SO many people that we were expecting to show up at our party who, for one reason or another, aren't able to make it, mostly family members, and our neighbors across the street, who have two grandchildren Jer's age. I understand that we are hosting Jeremiah's party on a holiday weekend (three days before his actual birthday) but some of the excuses we've been getting are really really lame. Don't even get me started on it. We already told our caterer that we would be having around 80 people, because everyone we invited were close family and friends (yes, we have big families and lots of close friends). We're down to around half of that, and I am just PRAYING that they will adjust the price of our contract accordingly to fit the new estimated guest list. We're getting a taquero- basically an all you can eat, made to order taco bar with rice, beans and all the taco condiments, and people to make the tacos and serve them.

And it MIGHT rain on Saturday. Our house isn't nearly big enough for that many people. If we have to go to Shakey's I'm going to die....

And... I just shared a soda with Louis, completely forgetting that he has an awful cold. Crap. At least Lindsey is coming over tonight, complete with pictures of my beautiful almost-sister trying on beautiful potential wedding dresses. I told April not to come because I don't want Jeremiah gsharing his wunny nowse with them (or them passing germs onto him!)

Anyway, one year ago today was not only Thanksgiving Day but my due date! Here's a look at what I wrote:
"Happy Thanksgiving!! (and DUE DATE!!)
November 22, 2007

Well I don't think the baby will be making it's grand entrance today... although I could be wrong! The turkey's in the oven, the dishes are ready to be heated, and my appetite is enormous. I think I'll be getting my Thanksgiving dinner this year... and hopefully a little bit of shopping in the morning!

I can't believe this day is finally here. The day I've been waiting for since Easter Sunday when I found out I was pregnant. It's my due date! It's only a matter of days (or hours... you never know) until I get to meet my little son or daughter. My wonderful family is definitely at the top of my "things I am thankful for" list!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Weekend Update! (And another peek into the past)

Yesterday we took Jeremiah's "one year old" portraits at Sears! I made out like a bandit with freebies and other offers, and paid only $14 after taxes for around 12 sheets. I'm saving most of those pictures to debut on Jeremiah's actual birthday, but here's a sneak peek from his "cake" session. I think he was in a state of shock that I was actually encouraging him to be messy and eat sugar! More of the cake wound up on his hands and legs than in his mouth; I actually stuck that bit of frosting in his mouth. His first real taste of sugar...

So here we are, another week down. Less than a week away from Thanksgiving, where I will make my debut hosting a major family holiday... and my first time cooking a turkey. In my brand-new oven. That will be delivered the day before Thanksgiving. PLEASE PLEASE pray that everything works out okay with this oven; that there are no problems with the installation or it suddenly breaking halfway through Mr. Turkey roasting... The whole reason behind us even GETTING a brand-new stove/oven/microwave combo is kind of a miracle in itself, because this is definitely not the time of year for major appliance purchases. One of Louis's customers sells Sony televisions and appliances for a living, and he needs to clearance out this year's merchandise to make room for next year's newer items. He made a deal with Louis, that for every 3 TV's (big plasma's) he (Louis) sold, he would give us a 64 inch LCD tv for free. I thought... yeah right, with this economy we're not getting one!

As of right now, we qualify for THREE of those huge TV's. 3. T-H-R-E-E televisions that retail for around $4,000 a PIECE. My husband is an excellent salesman with excellent connections. Doing sales and marketing are his passion; he is way more into that than the computer repair aspect of his business. I don't know if we're actually going to get all three televisions or not, (we might trade them for other merchandise, sell them or be very, very generous kids and gift them to our parents for Christmas) but the guy was so impressed that he threw in the stove/oven/micro combo, as well as a refrigerator. The refrigerator will be delivered the following week, and our TV the week of Louis's birthday (Dec. 14). The thing with the fridge, though, is that the space for our refrigerator acommodates an apartment-size fridge. This one is apparently a whopper. We have to knock down one of the cabinets in order for it to fit. Looks like our New Years resolution of remodeling our kitchen is going to come a little bit early... I highly doubt everything we were hoping to do to our kitchen will actually happen this December; but it's going to be in the works.

I think I forgot to mention a few key milestones that Jeremiah has recently hit! First of all, my lil guy has been a SIPPY CUP USER for just about two weeks now! I am so thankful that my boy has nipped the paci on his own, no probing from me, at 6 1/2 months, and the bottle right around 11 months. Two major feats that so many parents struggle to be rid of. He has been growing more and more disinterested with his bottle for the past few weeks, only wanting it at 5 and 7 am, and on the day where he actually flat-out refused it for either of those times, I knew he was ready. We started out with the soft-spout Nuby, but when he punctured the spout with his teeth two days later, I replaced it with the hard spout. He loves his sippy now. I also started slowly weaning him onto whole milk right around then, and as of Monday or Tuesday, no more formula! Thank goodness! That stuff can eat you alive with its cost, especially since he was on the "gentle" version, which generally costs more. He's also getting closer to walking. On Halloween night, he really impressed us, taking two or three steps at a time for around half an hour. He forgot about it the next day until about two days ago. I have a feeling he will be walking by his birthday (11 days!) or shortly after. I'm not ready....

Anyway, so tomorrow night my wonderful soon-to-be-sister Lindsey is coming over for a night of scrapbooking, along with my friend April and her kids, Savannah (age 8) and her twin sons, Andre and Trevor (almost 6). Their daddy has to work until 9, so the twins are going to watch a DVD while us girls scrapbook, snack and gossip. Savannah is way excited about finally getting to scrapbook with me, and I'm rather excited, too! We haven't seen the Taylors since June. Then on Sunday, we're celebrating Thanksgiving up at my Grandpa Harry's house, our first one without my Grandma Arlene. Jeremiah came down with a little cold today, as well as Louis, so I'm praying that the two of them will be okay to come. With my grandpa's cancer, he can't be around anybody that's sick, because of his low immunitiy levels due to chemo. Jeremiah just has a wunny nowse that doesn' t seem to bother him (nor slow him down!) a bit, but Louis woke up with a full fledge cold. My poor boys! I have almost all of my Thanksgiving shopping done for both Sunday and the actual day of; just have a few of the veggies left to get, so they'd be fresh when I use them.

Anyway, in closing, here is my post from one year ago today, the night before my due date! Enjoy and have a great weekend!

"ONE MORE DAY!!" circa November 21, 2007

Well tomorrow's my due date! I have no clue if the little one will make an appearance or not. At this point I'd say no. Louis really wants me to have the baby tomorrow, and so does my father (but for different reasons!) Tomorrow is my dad's day for the baby pool, and by sheer coincidence he has both the boy and girl slot for tomorrow, so no matter what he's a winner. (Only the person with the right gender on the right date wins).

It's been getting harder and harder for me to get around this week. Louis told me that I walk like the trees in Lord of the Rings. Yes, I smacked him! About 20 min. ago I started feeling really queasy; I have no clue what that means.

I had another bout of that stupid false labor yesterday. I'm really getting sick of that....

I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"The Waiting Game"- circa November 19, 2007

Just another peek into my life one year ago today! By the way... happy 15th birthday to my cousin Jasmine!

Just a QUICK update since I am falling asleep... i was up from 2:00 a.m. til roughly 5:30 a.m. with major cramping =(

Just 3 days away from my due date! As of today at my doctor's appointment I am nearly 2 cm dilated and 50 % effaced, which is definite progress from my last few appointments. My doctor doesn't think the baby will be here prior to Thursday but that's okay with me. I'd love to have one last peaceful Thanksgiving (and shopping on Black Friday, I"ll admit!) I'm SUPPOSED to go for more fetal monitoring on Saturday just to make sure my baby is moving okay, but I have half a mind to skip out on it. A) I know my baby is moving a TON; I feel this is very unneccessary and B) this test is not covered under our hospital agreement unless I happen to go into labor during the monitoring session and it is rather expensive. We have yet to receive the bill for last week's monitoring and i'm NOT looking forward to seeing it!

My doctor said that if the baby isn't here by the 29th (one week past due date) then we will discuss induction for that day or Friday the 30th. These details will be confirmed at my appointment next Monday, should I still be pregnant then (I hope I"m not!) I'd LOVE to go into labor on my own but don't want to go too much past my due date, and know that it's best for my baby to be out of me after one week of being overdue because the living environment of the uterus isn't as suitible the further you get from your due date. One week to one and a half weeks is okay; anything past that starts to lessen the amount of fluids (and space!) available. He doesn't want to induce any earlier than the 29th to give my cervix a chance to dilate/efface as much on it's own as possible so that the induction process won't be as long or painful.

Please keep us in your prayers! I"ll keep things posted, I promise! Oh and if you'd like to be included in a mass text message for when I go to the hospital and deliver, feel free to email me your cell number at

Happy turkey week everyone!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What's On Your Menu?

Thanksgiving day is coming up! Louis and I are hosting Thanksgiving for the first time, and I've been trying to finalize our menu all weekend. Here is what we have so far:

Hummus dip and pita chips
Chips and dip
Veggie platter
Fall sugar cookies

Turkey with cornbread stuffing
Sausage and apple stuffing (mom's bringing it)
Green bean casserole (mom)
Baby carrots with mango chutney sauce
My grandma Arlene's pineapple sweet potatoes
Buttermilk mashed potatoes with cheddar and sour cream
Mexican rice and beans (mother in law bringing it, of course)
Cranberry sauce
Cranberry relish (Grandma Sally's bringing it)
Cranberry jello salad (Grandma's friend Mayme is bringing it)
Cornbread muffins and Cranberry bran muffins (or maybe pumpkin muffins? Not sure yet)
Sourdough rolls

Pumpkin pie (mother in law)
Grandma Arlene's Pumpkin dessert (pumpkin pie filling topped with yellow cake mix, butter and walnuts. MMMM)
Cheesecake (auntie Linda's bringing it)
My sister in law's famous from scratch apple pie
Pumpkin ice cream, vanilla ice cream

What do you think? Am I missing anything? Too much of something? What are your family favorites? I want this holiday to be PERFECT!! And for those of you that know me well, I love to cook!!!

On Sunday we're having our first Thanksgiving dinner with my dad's side of the family since my Grandma Arlene passed away this past March. I find myself missing her more and more lately... thinking to this time last year, when we had our final Thanksgiving together. My parents and I went to her house the night before to help her get ready. Everyone thought I was going into labor because my back went out, and I could barely move at all. My grandma lent me her walker and her cane, and for the first time in a long time, my grandparents were way more mobile than I was! I was crying from the pain. It hurt to sit, it hurt to stand. However, the dinner was amazing... I can't believe that I will never again taste her famous stuffing. My mom has her recipe and is in charge of making the turkey and stuffing this weekend, but there is nothing like your grandmother's cooking. I can't wait to make some of her recipes. My contribution to the dinner on Sunday is her "sinful" sweet potatoes, smothered with brown sugar and butter; her cranberry jello salad (different from the one being brought to my dinner); and the pumpkin dessert. I have made the last two things for the past few years, so I have them under my belt.

That's about all for now... let me know your imput on my Thanksgiving menu! Also, if you have any special Thanksgiving traditions, I'd like to hear those, too. I want to make Jeremiah's first Thanksgiving (and our first time playing host!) as special as possible.

Monday, November 17, 2008

15 days til my baby is one!

Two weeks from tomorrow, Jeremiah celebrates his first birthday. My lil "Christmas ham" as I christened him last year, was actually supposed to be the Thanksgiving Turkey. My due date was on November 22, Thanksgiving day, which is 5 days away. I thought it would be fun if I posted on here my journal entries from each day I journaled leading up to his birthday. After today, I will be posting these entries coinciding with the day they were written, but seeing as I didn't write one on the 17th (and I want to start today!), here is the next most recent entry, from the 13th. At this point I had already had a few rounds of false labor, but never actually went to the hospital, much to my dissapointment. We were also living with my parents from November 1st through February 1st as we waited for our house to be rid of the tenants. Here we go!

November 13, 2007
"9 Days"
Well there was no progress made at my dr.'s appointment yesterday . I"m still dilated and effaced the exact same amount that I was last week. (1 cm, 50 percent). My doctor confirmed that the labor I had on Sat. night/Sunday was false labor, which is apparently quite common in first time mothers. Boo!!

So yesterday I asked my doctor how big he thought my baby was, because usually doctors can give you a rough estimate based on fundus size and things like that. He said that it was really hard to tell on me because I'm so tall and my belly is small. He said that girls of my height and build can usually hide the baby's size really well... meaning that I could potentially have a 9 pound baby in me, or it could be a 4 pound baby. Just to be on the safe side, Dr. Lee sent me to the hospital to get an ultrasound done to determine the size and amneonic fluid levels, and to hook me up to a fetal monitor for an hour to check on the baby's movements. All of this was freaking me out big time even though he assured me that everything was just a precaution; that all of my other tests and exams have turned up clean.

Well everything did turn out fine... the ultrasound technitian said that all my fluid levels were fine, all her little tests were measuring up to coincide with my due date (meaning the baby's size and organ developments coincide with the fetal age, which is very good) and the approximate weight of my baby is 7 1/2 pounds. She also told me that those estimates can go either way by a pound... so the baby COULD be 6 1/2 pounds or even 8 1/2 pounds. I was in a state of shock when she told me how big the baby was...I know my baby is cramped tightly in my stomach but I figured him or her to be around 5 pounds max because of how small my tummy is for being due next week. I was very happy to hear this =)

I told the tech right from the start that we didn't want to know the gender of our baby. She asked what our guesses were (i told her both Louis and I think boy) and afterwards I asked if she saw the gender and she said yes... and it took EVERY ounce of willpower not to find out what it was! She said she wasn't going to tell me anyway because being surprised is so fun

My fetal monitoring tests came out really good too; the baby was extremely active. I was practically begging the baby to start some contractions so that they would have to keep me, but the few contractions that I had were the Braxton Hicks kind and were very small. So it looks like I"ll be keeping my weekly dr. appointment on Monday... hopefully the last one that I have!

I am determined now not to become so house-bound here at my mom's; it's driving me crazy! All I've been doing is going online, watching TV, and going to my doctor's appointments. I leave the house MAYBE every 3 days. Not anymore. I'm determined to take Candy for a walk every day (Today I"m taking her to the park), go visit my mom at work, and scrapbook when I'm here at the house. Also, tomorrow I"m having lunch with Joanna and dinner with Marissa, Kappie and Steven. I think that Marissa and co. are coming here for dinner because they don't want me driving far late at night, and my mom's house is kind of a mid-point between Marissa's house in Orange and the place Kappie and Steven are staying in Monrovia. I was REALLY hoping the baby would be here by now because Kappie and Steven are going to Mexico this weekend for the entire winter to work at an orphanage and won't be coming back here for visits between the start of their work and the end as far as we know, and I really wanted them to be able to see the baby up close and personal, not just in pictures. Oh well...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Snow at Disneyland

Yesterday my beautiful best friend, Anna, and I had a VERY overdue best friends ONLY day at Disneyland! The last time we went, just the two of us, was when we were in 8th grade. Yeah, I did go with her in April, but our other friend, Gena was with us as well. Jeremiah stayed with my parents all day and overnight yesterday, and even had his first (pizza-less) trip to Chuck E Cheese! It was the most perfect trip at Disneyland that I have EVER EVER had, but one that was full of many ironies and surprises. Irony #1- take a peek at this picture- me in a tank top in 90 degree weather in front of a fully decked Christmas tree. I don't know why Anna was wearing her sweater; it was hot. Very hot.

First thing we did was have breakfast on Main Street with Alan, Anna's boyfriend. He only stayed long enough to let us in with his employee pass and eat breakfast with us (an
d came back to eat dinner with us so we could use his employee discount). By the time we were done with breakfast, it was around 9:30 a.m. The park had been open for an hour and a half... and we were able to literally walk onto Star Tours, our first ride of the day, without even having to listen to the safety spiel. The ONLY time I have ever walked onto a Disney ride, aside from in high school orchestra performances there on slightly rainy days, was when the park JUST opened and everyone dashes to rides. Right after that, we went over to Space Mountain, only having to wait at most 10 minutes. We went on twice. It seemed like it was going to be an amazing day there with hardly any crowds. We were right! The longest lines we waited in were around 20 minutes- the new Toy Story Mania ride at California Adventure (my new favorite ride), Soarin Over California, and Peter Pan.

Anyway, after we did the rides in Tomorrowland (m
inus Nemo and Autopia), we headed over to California Adventure. An hour after we got there, we noticed that it was SNOWING. Yes folks, it was snowing at Disneyland. But it wasn't the kind of snow that you get all bundled up with sweaters and scarves and build snowmans with, or throw a snowball at your husband. It was the kind made out of ashes from burning houses. Big chunks of ash and soot were covering us, getting into our eyes and mouth. It was nasty. Then, thinking we were at California Adventure much longer than we thought, we looked at our watches to discover that the sun appeared to be setting at a mere 1:00 p.m. Take a look at this sky: (and the empty harbor by the California Screamin Coaster)

Yes, the air was filthy and disgusting. It might not have been the smartest idea to stay outside in it all day, but we couldn't bear to leave. It's very rare now that I'm a mommy for us to get an entire day to spend together, and at both of our favorite place in the world on top of that! My lips are soooooo chapped, and I think I'm a little dehydrated, but it was worth it. I don't know if it was because of the air, or the bad economy, or it being an off-weekend (or all three!) but the "crowds" there were very very manageable. I couldn't even tell you if there has ever been a time when we got front-row seats for Fantasmic right when it began! They were wayy off to the side, by Thunder Mountain, but we could see everything. Or when we were leaving at 11:00 at night to a non-packed Main Street and didn't have to wait line for the tram. Or.... when 9:00 rolled around and we were scouring the map (which we NEVER use) to see what we should do next, because we had done all the major things, some twice, and then some. So we decided to go on some Fantasyland rides that we normally don't ever get a chance to go on because our time at Disneyland is usually spent waiting in line for the bigger, priority rides. Although now that I'm a mommy, and taking my son for the very first time in just two weeks, those rides will be standard now. We had such fun on the teacups, Peter Pan, Dumbo, and Alice in Wonderland!

Oh... and I finally, finally convinced Louis that my getting a
Disneyland season pass is not the most horrible thing i the world that I could be doing. It is like pulling teeth to get him to even take me to Disneyland (even though we almost always get in free through a friend or his grandpa), and when we're there, he can be rather like a Scrooge. Or the Matterhorn snowman. He hates crowds. He hates Winnie the Pooh. He hates how money-hungry Disneyland is, especially since he used to work there. Anyway, my good friend Michelle and I want to get passes so that we can take our sons, who are just a month and a half apart, on regular playdates there. Seeing as we live 40 minutes away from each other (she lives in Chino Hills and was actually evacuated last night... all is well though!), and Disneyland is right in the middle. I'm not going to get Louis one, because he would only be able to go on Sundays (except for Jeremiah's bday; he would make an exception for that!!), but for the few times that he would be able (and willing) to go, we can just get his grandpa to sign us in. He obviously can't do that very often, and we feel bad asking except for special occasions.

Anyway, here is just one more pic of the two of us; I let Anna take the majority of them, since she gets quite camera-happy at Disneyland, just like a tourist (even though she goes several times a year!!) and it was easier just having one camera out. I'll post more as soon as I get them from her!! (hint hint best friend!) It was the perfect day with the perfect best friend! I can't wait for us to do it again! I think we may be making this an annual tradition; although when my kids get a little older, we're going to have to tell them that Mommy is going "shopping" or something with Auntie Anna! I'd feel way guilty if they knew where I was going without them. At least Jeremiah doesn't know that Disneyland even exists right now; let alone what he is missing. Goodnight!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Christmas Presents (and sex!!)

I am proud to announce that the MAJORITY of my Christmas shopping is FINISHED. Done. Out of the way. Considering how large each side of our family is, this seemingly long list of people I still need to purchase for is actually quite small. And I know exactly what I am going to get each and every person left on this list:

Mom and Dad- Marriott Gift Card so that they will actually take a little get-away instead of complaining about wanting to take one

Grandma Sally- memory card filled with pictures of the family for her digital frame. All of my cousins are emailing me digital pictures of their families, since my aunts and uncles aren't as camera/computer saavy. Of course, my "little" cousins (15 years old) are sending me pics worthy of Myspace profile pictures, of them being all model-esque, flashing the peace sign making faces reminiscent of Paris Hilton

Aunts, Uncles and my older (married) cousins- Movie in a Basket. Blockbuster gift card, bottle of wine, package of microwave popcorn and candy bar. The wine, popcorn and candy bar are purchased already.

My brother- 1988 Dodgers World Series DVD collection from Amazon. Ordering it tomorrow

Lindsey- there's a chance she reads this blog, so I'll refrain from saying what I'm getting my wonderful future sister in law =)

Louis- same as above. I have a few smaller things for him already; just need to get his main present and stocking stuffers. And figure out a birthday present... his birthday is Dec. 14th

My sister in law, Monique and Janine- gift certificates to this nail salon by our house. The owner is Louis's customer and is hooking us up with the gift cards in lieu of service.

Mother in Law- docking station for her new Iphone

Figuring out the perfect gift for someone is half the work. I don't want to settle for any old ordinary present, even if it's something small. We still exchange with the whole family. I have a feeling that maybe next year, we will be doing kids-only with my mom's side of the family, since the family has exploded- 6 grandkids, 7 great grandkids, plus the aunts and uncles and my grandma. All the kiddos and my teenage/unmarried cousins are purchased for, in addition to Jeremiah. What is my wonderful baby getting for Christmas from Mommy and Daddy? Well, if you care to know, here's his list!
Fisher Price Baby Grand Piano (Craigslist for $20)
TMX Elmo (clearanced for $10 at Toys r Us right before the LIVE! came out)
Little Tikes fold and go Train set
Leapfrog farm animal guitar
Little Tikes xylaphone/piano toy
Stocking stuffers- stacking cups, Noah's Ark bath toy, Elmo and Osar the Grouch cars

On a side note... I am watching TLC as I write this, and there's this new show on called "Purity Balls." I was originally watching Jon and Kate Plus 8 (Louis HATES that show!!!) and this came on right after. Believe me, I'm all for purity, abstinence and saving yourself for marriage. But I think this show is taking it a bit too far. I dont think you need to have a ball thrown for you to promise your dad not to have sex. Yes, it does make your commitment more open and well-known to your family members to hold you accountable, but there's no way I will parade my daughter or son around and throw them a fancy party when we make that decision. I do believe that the father needs to take an active part in talking to their daughter about sex. All my dad told me was "guys are dogs;" and left everything else up to my mom. However, I think that the dads need to start talking to their daughters about these things at a young age, so that it's not so awkward for those talks to take place when they are teenagers. Good grief; I can't even imagine talking to my dad about sex as a teenager! If sex were talked about openly as a child rather than being quite the taboo topic, I don't think it would have been as awkward. (Want to talk about awkward though? About six months ago, my dad and I were talking about a man who had cheated on his wife. My dad told me that it's my duty as a wife to make sure my husband is satisfied and not let him go to work "with a loaded gun." EWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!! DADDY YOU DID NOT JUST SAY THAT!!!! I couldn't look directly at my father for the rest of the day.)

Well there you go... Christmas presents and sex... hope you enjoyed my blog tonight!!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Oh, November!

Okay, so technically Thanksgiving is still three weekends away, but already I can feel the holiday crunch beginning. I think I have something planned EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND (mostly Saturdays) between now and Christmas. Curious what's on our agenda? Here it goes!
*This weekend:
Nothing pressing for tomorrow (thank God.) Sunday I am going to a craft boutique that one of my mom's customers is putting on.

Next weekend (November 15th-16th)

November 22
Thanksgiving dinner with my dad's side of the family. Our first Thanksgiving without my wonderful Grandma Arlene. I'm bringing three of her old favorites- pumpkin dessert (like pie but without a crust and topped with yellow cake crumbles), cranberry jello salad, and sweet potatoe casserole. Mom's trying the turkey and her famous stuffing. My grandmother's recipes (and my great grandma's) don't really give precise measurements; just "a pinch of this" or "a little of that," or my personal favorite... GO FOR IT! We'll see what happens... After dinner, my wonderful future sister in law is coming back to my house to scrapbook the night away with me :)

November 22- THANKSGIVING DAY! Our first time hosting it in our new home. It will be interesting getting the two sides of the family together to celebrate this holiday, as both sides have completely different traditions for food. Rice and beans for my in-laws, various veggie dishes for my side that my husband and in-laws won't touch. I"m so excited for the chance to throw this huge holiday shindig! Then two days later...

November 29- Jeremiah's first birthday party! So far we've only had a few RSVP's back. As expected, not everyone is coming b/c it's a holiday weekend but we're still getting a very good turn out

December 2- Jeremiah's first birthday! Going to Disneyland

December 6- a huge day. Our little neighbor across the street is having her first b-day at Chuck E Cheese, and my mom's having another open house at her shop, featuring one of her major artists coming to teach a lesson. I'm supposed to be at both places... and I have a feeling my cousin Paul is having his usual holiday bash at his Huntington Harbor house that night- celebrating Rayna's birthday, and taking his boat out to see all of his neighbor's decorated back porches around the harbor.

December 14- My wonderful hubby's birthday! (And possibly the day we celebrate my cousin Rebecca's 15th birthday, which is on the 17th. Her cousin's birthday is on Louis's birthday, and they usually combine their birthdays. Hopefully they do it hte following weekend).

December 20-21: If Rebecca's birthday party isn't that weekend, I'm hoping to snag her to help me decorate cookies and wrap presents. Although I do kind of hope her party is this weekend so I can attend and meet her new little boyfriend... hehehe. One of those two days I am also having little Natalie and Jacob over to decorate cookies as well. I love baking.

So there you go....

This season is definitely one of my favorites. But seeing how busy (and costly!) it is, I"m so not eager to have another holiday baby, unless God has that in His plan for us! Hopefully I will survive my first holiday season as a Mommy! I don't really count last year because Jeremiah was only around for a little bit of it.

Monday, November 3, 2008

By Popular Demand...

... Jeremiah's birthday invites! Courtesy of Javi Santana. They are card-style. The first picture is the cover; the left side being the back and the right side being the front; the second the inside. Javi designed Louis's business cards, his shirts, the sign for his shop, among other things. We are so delighted that he designed Jeremiah's invitations!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

My 11 Month Old Son

Today is Jeremiah's final "month" birthday. One month from today my precious baby boy will be one year old. I remember when he was a newborn (probably the week that Louis went back to work and I was all by myself!) I was thinking "gosh this parenting thing is SO hard; I can't wait for Jeremiah to be a year old and more independent- or at least at the point where I can put him down to go to the bathroom!" Gone are the days where my baby wants to be in Mommy's arms all day long. Sure, he loves knowing that I am nearby, but this very independent little fella loves spending his days roaming our house on his own, stretching his independence. He's been taking a few steps here and there as well- on Thursday he took the most steps EVER! Usually it's one step and he falls flat on his tumm. Now he's up to a good two or three steps at a time (when he wants to. Crawling is still his preferred mode of transportation).

Jeremiah is at the point where he is starting to be able to mimick things that we teach him how to do. For example- placing his little balls in the ball toy at Grandma's, or in his formula can at home. Clapping. Giving "high five's." Saying "lalala" back to me. Pressing the right button on his Leapfrog Baby gym to play the "itsy bitsy spider" song and instantly looking to me to make sure I do the hand motions for the song- then as soon as it's over, pressing it again. And again. And looking back up at me, again and again. What a smart little boy.

I'm beginning to get a tad worried about his eating habits. I was fully prepared for him to have a decline in the amount of bottles that he drinks a day (two in the morning, MAYBE two more in the afternoon, usually closer to one), but not in his mealtime habits. He eats breakfast like a champ (usually Yo-Baby Organic Yogurt and cereal and/or fruit), lunch pretty well (I try to give him a stage 2 fruit or veggie, followed by some sort of bread- pita or whole grain), but his favorite lunch is turkey slices and string cheese. Dinner? Well for the past week I'm lucky if I get two bites out of him for his stage 3 dinners. All this little boy wants is turkey and cheese or some sort of bread. NOT HEALTHY!!!! He needs veggies... and even if I present him with what he wants (sometimes he'll enjoy a baked chicken tenderloin rather than the turkey) it's no guaruntee that he will even finish THAT! The last thing I want is a picky eater... like his daddy who won't touch a veggie unless it's corn, or iceburg lettuce drenched in thousand island dressing... Anyway, as his mother of course I think Jeremiah is way too skinny. I know he's quite tall for his age, and probably inherited my leanness (I was always ALWAYS struggling to put weight ON until I got pregnant, and then my doctor told me to only lose half of my pregnancy weight), but I still think he needs to put some more meat on his lil bones. Especially when he's next to other chunky babies.

Speaking of babies... yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting Miss Sydney Anne. My cousin Paul and Rayna's BEAUTIFUL little girl, born on Halloween night. Her stats were almost identical to Jeremiah's- 7 pounds 11 oz (versus his 7-12), 21 inches (vs. his 20 1/2). Holding her, breathing in her "fresh baby" scent, and her little breath brought me back in time 11 months. My baby boy has NONE of that baby-ness left to him. It was such a sweet time, but one that made me want another little baby. Right. Now. We'll see what God has in store... I'm sure I'm not the first mother who held an 18 hour old baby and wanted another one on the spot...

Anyway, today we started printing out Jeremiah's birthday invitations. One of Louis's best friends designed our invitations for us, pro graphic designer that he is. They are out of this world. This party is turning into something way bigger than I was anticipating- once I counted up the people on our guest list that were obligatory invites (family and close friends) we were rounding the 80's. I don't anticipate everybody coming but that's still QUITE a bit of people. His party is on November 29th, three days before his actual birthday (which, by the way, on the actual day we are taking him to Disneyland for the first time. I'm way excited about that- and for going with my best friend, just the two of us, in two weeks!!). I don't want to give all the details of the party away, but as of right now I can say that we are having a Sesame Street themed party, complete with a puppet show (and a Taquero. Basically we are having a catered lunch with all you can eat soft tacos, made to order, rice, beans, salsa, the works. Jeremiah isn't half Mexican for nothing!!! A friend of Louis's owns one of those businesses and will be serving our lunch. You don't want to know how much this is costing us... but as Louis said, Jer only turns one once, and it would probably even out if we were to do sandwiches for that crowd.) I'm starting to get a tad overwhelmed right now. At least we're not having it at our house... although I don't know what I'm going to do if the park we want it at is not available. I didn't have the foresight to check in advance if we need to reserve the park before the invitations were designed. My bad. Looks like I'll be making a few calls tomorrow...

Well, as always, my cue to stop blogging has arrived- my wonderful husband has emerged from his "cave" (aka our garage) and we're going to spend some time together before we go to sleep. Thanks for reading!