Wednesday, December 16, 2009

<6 Weeks Left


Well the reality of having one more little girl is hitting me as I am seemingly growing bigger every day. My maternity shirts are turning into short midriff tees, I've had to say bye-bye to a few maternity jeans, and my maternity overalls are at their last expansion button. I hope Cate comes soon or else you will be seeing me out in public in Conrad's pajama bottoms! Hee-hee! So far everything is still going well. My blood pressure is that of an athlete's and I'm having a great time with Conrad and the girls preparing for the holidays. I hope everyone who reads this has a beautiful Christmas and a happy, healthy, enriching New Year.

Love,

Michelle

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cougar Mtn. Zoo Reindeer Festival








The air was a crisp 37 degrees and Christmas decorations were already up in the house. All that was missing was our annual visit to Santa. What better of a way to see him than at his very own WA house? Conrad, the girls and I were off!

Each year the Cougar Mtn. Zoo holds a Reindeer Festival. It's only 15 minutes from our house, but it would be worth the drive if you're farther out. The girls got to feed Santa's reindeer, write a letter at Santa's Post Office (and mail it), talk to Santa, have hot chocolate and sit on hay bales while listening to an elf read a Christmas story, and enjoy seeing a few other animals (tigers, kangaroos, cranes, lemurs). Luckily it was sunny when we went (although very cold). It was a perfect way to start off the Christmas festivities!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Less than 8 weeks left! :-)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!


Bronwen and Ava have always been my little chefs when it comes to baking, but today their skills went to a whole new level! They helped me wash the turkey, mix the turkey basting -even went to our garden to pick fresh Rosemary- and they stuffed it with vegetables. For the sweet potatoes, they measured and poured all of the ingredients (butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, milk, and their favorite, marshmellows). Bronwen even made the rolls and gravy while Ava was sleeping. She also picked out the wine glasses and filled them with apple cider. We had a few other side dishes that I took care of earlier in the morning, which made for a very filling meal. All in all Thanksgiving was a success thanks to my beautiful family!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ava's Fourth Birthday

We cannot believe our little mouse is four! On her actual birthday I took the girls to McDonald's to get Happy Meals, then to The Bouncy Place (an indoor play area with many inflatable jumpers). We had an awesome time and topped off the day with a great dinner and cake. Since her birthday was in the middle of the week, we had her party this past Saturday and had a wonderful time! We got to see our good friends from Dupont, a few kids from Ava's preschool class, and one of Bronwen's classmates. In other words, we had a great turnout! Happy birthday Ava, Momma and Dadda love you so much!






Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A whirlwind of events during the last few weeks!







I have a lot of catching up to do on our blogsite! :-)

A few weeks ago my sisters came up from OR to help me decorate Cate's bedroom. We headed to Ikea and came out with fabulous curtains, light fixtures and an easel for the girls. The rest of the day was spent eating pizza, listening to music (haha Conrad and Bianca!) and painting artwork to hang in Cate's room. I definitely felt great after marking these things off of my to-do list. Ironically, this visit prompted another major to-do...

Since we found out about the pregnancy, Conrad and I debated whether or not to trade my beloved Mercedes for a more functional SUV. We didn't really want to spend more money on a car, and even tried to convince ourselves that there was enough room in the backseat after switching the girls to booster seats. The final straw was the trip coming home from Ikea. There my sisters and I were, with the girls, and our purchases, completely squished together. Bianca, my youngest sister, who was sitting between Bronwen and Ava, was sitting with a curtain rod literally 1 cm away from her head. It felt like clowns were going to come out of the car after we got home. Conrad and I talked and decided that it was time -the Mercedes had to go. In its place is "Shady Sparkles Douglas", our Jeep Commander. It has 7 seats, DVD, nav, etc., and most importantly 4 wheel drive. Now I can sleep at night knowing that we will be able to get to the hospital in time even if it's snowing!

Other news, the girls and I have been busy with a lot of cute Fall arts and crafts, they began dance lessons again two weeks ago, and I reached 25 weeks into my pregnancy. We've had a great time this season, and I'm looking forward to what Winter will bring!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Lovely September Days


The weather was so beautiful yesterday that we drove down to Lake Washington (only 3 miles away!) to spend the afternoon. I was so indescribably happy that I felt close to tears. Simply said, I am amazed at how my life is turning out. I never knew it would be like this.

Ava's First Day in Preschool


So for the last two weeks that Bronwen has been in school, Ava has been asking, "When do I go to preschool?" Finally Tuesday my little girl got to be a "big girl" and go to her own school. Three words: She loves it!

The teachers are wonderful, and she was very excited playing with all of the new toys. There were even some kids we knew from her dance class last year. I am so proud of my mighty mouse. As the picture shows, our social butterfly has already made several friends. :-)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bronwen's First Day of Kindergarten


It's hard to believe we have a little girl in school now. Bronwen looked so big this morning wearing her school outfit and backpack, complete with her missing tooth (she lost it on Saturday). While Ava and I had a great morning at home, I sure missed my little mouse. I am so happy for her, and so proud to be her mom. Ahh how the time flies by...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My Favorite Cake in the World








About a week ago my friend Jana posted a recipe for Rainbow cake. I had never seen a cake like this! It looked like it would be so much fun to make (and to eat), that I decided to try and make it with the girls. Result? Success! We had a blast making it (it's surprisingly very easy to make), and it was delicious. I swear, I have never been so happy to eat cake in my life. The cake literally makes you smile!

Recipe:

Supplies:
-2 boxes of white cake mix & associated ingredients (6 eggs, water and oil)
-3 cans of frosting
-6 colors of Wilton icing dye (they're in the cake decorating section at Walmart -near scrap booking stuff)
-2 9" round cake pans
-nonstick cooking spray

Steps:
-combine both cake mixes and associated ingredients in one large bowl
-divide batter into 6 smaller containers (about 1.5 cups in each)
-add 1 dye color to each container (red in 1 bowl, green in another, etc.)
-coat cake pans with spray and bake two colors at a time (follow heating temp on cake box -mine took about 12 minutes to bake)
-clean and coat pans and bake rest of layers
-when all layers are completely cooled, add the icing and decorate

SMILE and ENJOY!!! :-D

Saturday, August 15, 2009

More work on the kitchen cabinets...



Lately I have been up to my home projects again. I have been inspired by my friend Molly, after seeing some of her paint work turn out beautifully!

In a post about a year (?) ago, I showed pictures of hardware I installed on our kitchen cabinets. Well yesterday I got a wild hair to accentuate some of the trim work on them. I broke out some chocolate-colored paint and finished up the project today. We're still not quite there with the kitchen, but it's definitely making progress. Ahh how I love my home projects... :-)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Happy 8th Anniversary to Conrad and Me!




I told Conrad it's amazing how much has changed in only eight years. We've lived in three houses, have moved to another state, and are expecting our third baby. It's almost like it's hard for me to imagine what my life was before I met Conrad because it seems like I've grown up knowing him all along. I love my sweetheart so much and can't wait for many more years to come. Thank you for our beautiful family and thank you for my beautiful life. I love you Con.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Goodbye scorching sun, hello clouds

Can I say how thankful I am for the wonderful clouds and cool breezes that have brought the temperature down from last week's highs?

After a week of record-breaking temps (Wednesday it got to 103ÂșC -the hottest temperature ever recorded in Seattle), it has finally cooled down. Though I'm happy for the dramatic change, I will admit the hot weather made for some great memories. Some of my favorites are:

-Days at the lake swimming

-Bronwen and Ava camped out in our room. We made a nest for them on the floor all week because our bedroom was the only one with air-conditioning. I know I may be chastised for saying this, but I think it's cozy when the kids sleep in the same room as us -at least for now ;-)

-8 pm cool-down baths. I can still hear the girls laughing and squealing each time Conrad sprayed them with cold water

-Not feeling at all guilty for spending money to go out to dinner (turning on the oven when the house was literally in the 90s would have been crazy), go to the mall, go to the movies, go to Starbucks, go to basically anywhere with air-conditioning to avoid going back to our house that I lovingly dubbed "The Furnace"

And, basically just surviving the week. The weather did make my nausea come back, and with it, swelling in my hands and feet, and Conrad and I got virtually no sleep. But, surprisingly I think we're tougher because of it. Some friends went to a hotel to cool down, but I'm proud of us for staying strong. It's nice to know you can make it through anything with your best friend by your side. It seems like for us, the hard times usually make the best memories.

I do have one question though...How did I survive summers in Albuquerque? Lol!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Summer Fun






Bronwen and Ava completed their first week of swimming lessons at the nearby Henry Moses Aquatic Center. As expected, they are having a blast! So much so that we ended up buying a "Bruce the Shark" (Finding Nemo) pool for the backyard. Nothing like a good swim followed by a popsicle!

On another front, I think I am finally getting over my "morning" sickness. I'd like to find the person who coined that phrase! I was basically sick every day from lunch time to through the night. I guess that's what I get after worrying about a lack of nausea at the beginning of this pregnancy lol! There were even a few times when I would wake up in the middle of the night, so nauseous that I wouldn't be able to fall asleep for several hours. This was an entirely different beast! Thankfully though, this seems to be ending and the tummy is still growing!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My Big Girl is Five!












My beautiful girl turned five today. I remember the day she was born like it was yesterday. We had had my baby shower a week earlier, and even though she wasn't due for another four weeks, I was busy washing all of her little baby clothes and blankets. Conrad wondered why I was getting things ready so soon, but I knew she was coming. Sure enough a few days later I woke up at 2am with my water breaking. I hurried and packed my bag, showered, blow-dried my hair, made Conrad take a shower because, "labor could take all day," then finally left for the hospital. By the time we got there (it was only 1.5 hrs later), I was having contractions four minutes apart and was in some serious pain. An hour later the doctor checked me and said, "The bad news is that it is too late for any pain medication. The good news is that your baby will be here in less than an hour." Half an hour later, Bronwen Clara Douglas was born. I cried when I held her -our miracle was here!

Conrad and I had tried to have a baby for two years, and finally resorted to invitro fertilization. We were lucky that things took on the first try. As a side note we were given a <1% chance of ever conceiving naturally. I like to believe Bronwen is responsible for kick-starting the process as I am now pregnant with our third baby (naturally!). She really must have wanted siblings... :-)

Here are some pictures from her birthday party. I'd like to say thank you and I love you to my wonderful girlfriends. Bronwen had a wonderful time (and I did too!).



I love you my "Pocket Buddy" and happy birthday!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Baby Update

I got to see our sweet baby with his/her little heart beating this afternoon. Everything looks great (heart rate 136 -old wives tale says if below 140 it's a boy; due date is January 26th), and I'm feeling really good. Ironically this is one of the reasons I went in...

It seems as if from the moment this baby was conceived I've had one type of ache or another in my lower abdomen. I wasn't sure if it was just the muscles stretching out after such a long time of not being pregnant, or if it's because I'm 30 (I know it's not old, but it does make a difference lol!). Well, the pain seemed to be a little worse today, and then I didn't have any nausea at all. I know it may sound morbid, but when I feel terrible during pregnancy I am secretly relieved because then I think things are moving along in the right direction.

On that note, I went ahead and called the doctor. She told me to come in for an ultrasound. To my relief, the baby is fine, and the pregnancy became more real to me. I guess I'm going to have to trade in my sports car after all. Ack! ;-)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Happy One Year Anniversary Seattle!


Seattle Space Needle Views

Our Green Backyard (complete with rasberries, strawberries, blue berries, rosemary and thyme)



Bronwen and Ava Painting at Seattle Children's Museum

The best way I can describe Seattle is that this is a place where within seconds of visiting, I felt rejuvenated by the sweet air. Conrad, Bronwen, Ava and I have never been physically healthier. We live a stone's throw from several lakes and parks, and have a seemingly endless list of activities to enjoy. My favorite place is still Seattle Center, which we visited today. Happy anniversary Seattle, I couldn't imagine living anywhere else.