Date Night

I had enrichment tonight, so Paul decided it would be fun for him and Ella to go get a treat together. Naturally we needed a picture to comemorate the first of many Daddy-Daughter dates. They went in search of Burger King fries, but had to settle for an inferior brand. Sad. But still had a nice time.

In other news, upon expressing my concerns of frequent Braxton-Hicks contractions to my doctor he said "I'm not worried about lots of contractions. You're 34 weeks. If the baby started coming, we wouldn't stop it." To which I replied, "Not! This baby will not come for another month and a half. I am NOT ready!" He just laughed. But I'm serious. No babies. I'll put myself on bedrest, laying upside-down if I have to. (Don't anyone else get your hopes up either. He really just thinks my uterus is priming up more effectively than last time. Keep it up cervix, hold that baby in 'til Spring Break!)


Diary of a Sick Mom

Well, last Wednesday I was Sick. With a capital 's', in case you didn't notice. It was really just a bad cold, but it knocked me out for the day. It was really the first time as a mother that I recall not parenting for such a long period of time. I cannot be sure of this, but I wonder if Ella might of enjoyed it on some level, because she basically had free reign of the house.

The day began with me lifting Ella up into my bed and promptly falling back asleep, for who knows how long, until she could finally coax me down to the kitchen to make her breakfast. I made smoothies for us... which I hate to admit was the best meal we had all day. After breakfast I laid comatose on the couch while Ella watched Sesame Street... I think she watched anyway. I have vague memories of her bringing me different books to read to her, but I'm pretty sure I just held them steady while she turned the pages. Occasionally I would get off the couch to get her and myself some toast and orange juice, during each trip into the kitchen I would notice something new out of place, pots on the floor, plastic bags strewn about the area, you know, basic toddler-entertaining-self kind of stuff. Finally, after several hours of PBS and unhindered kitchen exploration, it was time for Ella's nap. Naturally, we laid down together. I napped in bed for about an hour and then woke up feeling pretty good. How exciting! I slept off the cold! So I fixed myself some lunch. Toast and orange juice. And sat down on the couch to plan the rest of my afternoon, where I promptly fell asleep upright. Eventually I woke up and finished my nap laying down, which is how Ella found me after her nap, which was, thankfully, unusually long for her. She napped until four. I pulled her up on to the couch to snuggle for as long as possible, but eventually she made me get up and get her a snack. Toast and orange juice. Lucky girl. My sweet Paul agreed to come home early, so he was home by five, and fixed us some dinner. I was in bed by eight.

My most vivid memory of that experience is waking up Thursday morning. I felt infinitely better. Until I walked around the house. I think a hurricane might have struck at some point while I was on the couch. So, I super-mommed it Thursday to put my home back together. Who knew recovering from a cold would have such far-reaching effects?


Vitamin D.

All day today. No need for dietary supplements here. We got our recommended daily intake straight from the Sun. It was glorious. Thank you, Texas, for feeding my solar addiction all year long.

In other news, I took Ella grocery shopping while wearing big girl underwear. (Both of us were, actually. But it was only a new experience for one of us.) Granted, she "went" right before we left the house so it wasn't a big risk... but you gotta start somewhere, right? We've been potty-learning at home for about a month and a half-- so it's fun to take this new step. I still don't anticipate her being fully trained for a while. I initiate "going" about 70% of the time. But she's definitely on the right track.

Stay warm!


Idaho Drivers.

Idaho drivers are a unique breed. The first thing I noticed about them when we moved there is that the whole "right-of-way" concept at stop signs based not on who got to the stop sign first, but who is nicer. I call it the' Idaho Wave'. And it used to drive me crazy. Because I would be sitting there waiting at a stop sign because it was clearly the other guy's turn, only to look over and see the "Wave". What?! So, I eventually got in the habit of just going. Because they always wave. It is so weird.

The 'Idaho Wave', I have decided, is really a symptom of a larger cultural phenomenon. And this, my friends, is where Idaho drivers really set themselves apart from the rest of humanity. Idaho drivers are not in a hurry. All of their quirks really come back to this fact. This holds true for freeway driving, where there are only two lanes-- on the really big freeways-- which consist of a slow lane, and a speed limit lane. If you are hoping to drive the speed limit, stay on the left, but most people poke along in the right lane, completely happy to go 10 below. And that is okay, even encouraged. Because, if you're not in a hurry, why drive all the way up to the speed limit.

And don't even think about passing on a one-lane freeway, unless, of course, you get stuck behind farm equipment, in which case passing is acceptable, but kind of scary, because farm equipment tends to take up a lane and a half. On the bright side, you usually get a friendly wave from the farmer as you pass.

You know how sometimes at stoplights there are two lanes, but one is about to end a few meters down the road? And you know how people always get in the lane that is about to end just to shoot past everyone else? Well, they don't do that in Idaho. Yep, they all just pile up in the continuing lane, even if it means not making the light. No rush.

Well, after nearly three years of Idaho living, I kind of miss it. When I get on the freeway here in College Station people go crazy weaving in and out of lanes to be numero uno. Does it really matter how fast you get there, friends? I'm trying to fit in with the crowd, but I have a hard time accelerating in our little four cylinder. I can't compete with all the big pickups that reign supreme here. One day, perhaps we will all reach the zen state of Idaho drivers. Until then, I'll just keep flooring it, or risk being run off the road.



Occasionally while helping me unload the dishwasher Ella will put a utensil in her mouth before passing it to me to be put away. And occasionally I will just put it away anyway... after wiping the excess spittle off.

And yes, I do let her stand on the dishwasher door. How else would she reach the top shelf?


Christensen Christmas Pictures

Well, Christmas vacation was great. Mostly we just ate food and played games. Paul commented today that he wished he had slept more... but we were too busy playing. I am still recovering from the last night there when we stayed up until 2am with Richard, Jess, and Amanda (yes there are two Jess Christensens in our family), and then woke up at 5am to catch a flight back to Houston. There were moments on that plane when I really and truly thought I might pass out from exhaustion. And I was sitting there hoping that they wouldn't delay the plane departure just because a pregnant lady fainted. I can be a little dramatic in my own head.

It was also great because Ella has only spent limited time with her paternal relatives. This used to be true of her maternal relatives, but four months of living near Houston has cured that. We see my family pretty frequently now. Anyhow, it was nice to even things out. She is at a really fun age when she's really willing to go to anyone, and I think I saw her approach everyone in the family with her arms raised hoping to be picked up (and probably fed something, she most often wants to be held in the kitchen. She's a nomad, she follows the food).

I was looking through pictures of the trip and feeling a little ridiculous, because we obviously only get out the camera when Ella is around. I was hoping to find a good picture of me and my burgeoning belly... but no such luck. There is still a baby in there, and she is getting big! She's getting to that stage where I can't ignore her anymore. You know, fist in the hip joint, feet in the ribs, huge movements transform my whole stomach. She is a little more invasive than I remember Ella being... but with Ella I didn't spend a lot of time carrying around small children, so maybe it's just the situation. Who knows. I cannot wait to meet her anyway. I am starting to get a bit antsy, which is good. I began the pregnancy not really sure if we were really ready. So I'm ready! It's time to go through baby clothes and work on my d
iaper stash. (We started part-time cloth diapering Ella at 6 months, so I only have big baby diapers. I love cloth diapering. I am seriously shocked at how well it works for us.)

So that's the news here! Pictures (of Ella) below!

Ella and Grandma Lee.Ella and Paul's mom Susan, wearing the outfit Paul's parents brought Ella home from India.

Paul and his dad, Jeff.

Grandpa and Ella. So cute.


Happy New Year.

Ella, in her Christmas jammies, wearing Amanda's Christmas hat. We think she is darling.

Here's to another year of living it up.
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