Wednesday, June 30, 2010

3 Years Ago Today . . .

Since tomorrow is Gracie's 3rd birthday, I thought I'd take a minute to write down the events that led up to her coming into this world.

First off, Gracie was a wedding day baby.  I had jokingly said over and over that I better get pregnant on my wedding night.  Fast forward a few weeks and BAM that joke became reality. 

My pregnancy with Grace was so different than with Kanin.  True, I was 4 years older but I had a lot more hormones with Gracie than with Kanin.  I would be sweating to death one minute and ripping off my clothes and in the next I would be teeth chattering cold and headed for a warm bath.  I took so many baths during that pregnancy that I'm surprised I didn't stay permanently shriveled up like a raisin.  I mean I took 5 or 6 baths a day!  It was insanity.

I was still working at the time but those last couple of months I constantly had contractions until my doctor finally just put me on modified bedrest and I quit my job and stayed home to prepare for her arrival.  At the time, though, we lived in a 2 bedroom condo and I couldn't really "prepare" at all.  There was no room for a babies room or nursery or anything like that I was able to nest just by cleaning, cleaning, cleaning.

I was so worried that when she finally came that Kanin would feel pushed to the side or unwanted.  Scott and I made a big deal of telling him how special he was and the whole big brother routine.  We started a tradition of Family Fun Day that we carried on with Kanin and Gracie when I was pregnant with Caleb.  We took one whole day and spent it together doing "fun stuff".  With Kanin, we went to the Missouri Transportation Museum.

It was so cool to walk around and see all of the big trains, climbing up and down them, taking pictures and just being together.  Afterwards, we went to the West County Mall and had Chick-fil-a for dinner.  While we were sitting there I just kept yawning and told Scott how incredibly tired I was.  I was definitely going to go home and take a nap.  Of course, I was having contractions all day but by this point that was nothing new and nothing was going to stop me from hanging out with Kanin all day.

We got home and Kanin and I went to lay down.  He had skipped his nap that day and it was definitely evident.  Scott decided to stay up and play X-Box or watch TV or something.  I think Kanin and I laid down around 7 and I was content to be out for the night.  Around 11:00pm, Scott finally came to bed and was quickly asleep.

Well, as pregnant women do I got up around 11:15 to pee for the hundredth time that day and when I stood up I heard a kind of "pop" sound.  Your body does such weird things and makes weird noises when you are pregnant that I really didn't think too much about it.  I went in and went to the bathroom but when I was finished it felt like I just kept peeing on myself (you'd think I would know what was going on-LOL).  After about 5 minutes or so I went in to Scott and told him that I thought my water had broken but that I wasn't sure.  Well, of course, he certainly wasn't sure and so we just kind of sat there for another 10 or 15 minutes wandering if it had or not.  Looking back on it you would think that I should know if my water broke or not but I honestly had no clue and the last thing I wanted to do was to wake up Jeff and Dayna to come get Kanin at 11:30 at night, drive to the hospital and go through all of their testing (I had already done that the week before), only to have them tell me that I had just pee'd and that everything was ok.

Finally, though, I think Scott said that we weren't going to get any sleep unless we knew for sure so off to the hospital we went.

I was scared to death.  I had had a horrible, horrible delivery with Kanin (more about that at another time) and I was so afraid that things were going to be the same this time around.  I got lucky, though, and I was the only OB patient at Missouri Baptist that night.  I had all nurses and anestheologists (the most important one) at my disposal.  I think when I went in I was only dilated to 2cm and to my wonderful surprise, they let me have my epidural right then so there was no chance of missing it.

That was the easiest labor I have ever had!  The bad part, though, was that I kept pressing that button so often for more meds that when it came time to push I could hardly feel anything at all but I would much rather have it that way.

My mom, dad and sister were all at the hospital with me.  Scott was nervous but was trying to play it cool.  He tossed and turned and walked the halls and I kept telling him that he needed to get some rest.  It was so funny because we had been at the hospital since about 12:30am but Scott had only had about 30 minutes sleep because I woke him up almost immediately when he finally came to bed.  Finally, he settled himself down and said, "Well, I guess I could try to take a little nap" and I looked at him like he was crazy.  The nurses were dropping the bottom of the bed, the baby warming bed had been rolled in the room and the doctor just walked in the door.  I told him, "It's way too late for that now.  This show is about to get started".  It's cute to me that he had no clue what was getting ready to happen.

The rest is history at 5:45am on July 1, my beautiful baby girl entered the world . . . more on that tomorrow.

Jammin' In the Park

For the past couple of years I have wanted to go up to the Civic Park for Jammin' in the Park.  They put it on every Tuesday night and they have a different genre of music every week.  While they offer a couple of food stands, most people bring their own food and coolers and just sit out and enjoy the music.

Scott took Kanin and Gracie with him for haircuts and I had Caleb and all of the stuff.  I didn't want to make more than one trip so poor Caleb got stuffed in the wagon with all of the supplies (cooler, 2 chairs, playpen, diaper bag and citronella candles).

The one bad thing about Jammin' in the Park is that it is a park so there is playground equipment.  Gracie had a moment when she was told that she had to eat before she could go play.

Sue, Jacob and Annabelle went with us, too.  Nothing like stuffing a chicken nugget in your mouth so you can ride the rocket-backwards.  LOL

It was a Jazz Band and a Community Band playing last night which basically equals a patriotic theme.  The crowd was a little older (a lot older) but it was still a good time.

Baby Annabelle just enjoyed lounging out on the blanket.
I don't know if Kanin is trying to be a hippie with the Peace sign or if he is trying to do rabbit ears and missed his target.  Either way, I love this picture.
I brought Caleb's playpen (very smart of me) and he had a fun time rolling around in there.

Of course, after dinner the kids all wanted ice cream and I think Scott really wanted it, too.  He didn't eat anything beforehand and told me he was just going to have ice cream for dinner.

Funny thing, see how the truck is called the Ice Cream Lady but it is a man in a pink shirt.  Scott thought that was funny.

Kanin with an ice cream smile.

Gracie finally ate and got to play on the equipment.  You can tell by her smile that she was happy.

I love summertime just for these kinds of nights.  Free music in the park, ice cream, hanging out with friends and just enjoying each other.


Scraped knees and ice cream, this is the definition of summer.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


This story is a take on Wizard of Oz but from the Wicked Witch of the West's perspective.

I am not going to ruin anything for those of you who have not seen this show but I just had to post this one song. 

This is my all-time favorite show.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Book Review: Love, Eat, Pray

For the past couple of years I have heard about the book, Love, Eat, Pray by Elizabeth Gilbert.  Everybody I heard talk about this book went on and on about how inspiring, emotional, life-changing, contemplative and interesting this book is so when I saw it on sale at Costco I thought, "What the heck? I'll give it a try."

I have to be honest . . . I don't see what all of the hype was about.  I really did not like this book at all but like with all books, when I start reading a book I always have to finish it.

This book is about a Elizabeth's journey through divorce, a passion for all things Italian and a spirtual journey that takes her to both India and Indonesia.  While I do think it is fascinating that someone would be able to take a year of their life to travel the world, I thought that the stories, relationships and descriptions of the places she visited were lacking.  To me, she skipped around--a lot--so that I never developed any connection with any of the people she talked about.

The one appealing person, the Medicine Man in Indonesia, was fascinating but once she was on her "love journey" his part in the book was pushed aside.

I found her spiritual journey to be too far out there and metaphysical for me.  Even though I am a Christian, I can appreciate Elizabeth's spiritual journey and can certainly relate to a lot of the questions and doubts that she had; however, her description of the Ashram, her guru and reaching certain levels of enlightenment seemed too '60's for me and I could never picture a white woman from New York City trying to reach different levels of Heaven through yoga and meditation. 

Even with the disconnect between the author and myself, the whole time I was reading it I kept asking myself, "Why did everyone think this book was so fantastic?  Life-changing-really?". 

I don't know, maybe it was just me.  I think that I am a pretty open-minded person and can usually relate on some level to the characters, or in this case real-life person, in the books that I read but with Elizabeth Gilbert's journey I just couldn't. 

Let me know if you have read it and what you think.

Rant and Rave Friday


Koman Coulibaly single-handedly brought non-soccer USA fans out of the with his blown call in the 2010 World Cup.  The horrible call cost Coulibaly the head referee position and he has been suspended from officiating in any of the subsequent elimination games.  It just makes me wonder if this is something personal against the US because during today's game against Algeria, another goal was disallowed and called off-sides, which is clearly was not.  I think that it would be very easy to impose your personal feelings on a country if you were one of the judges.  Just saying . . .

In the last week there have been two separate stories about children dying because they were left in cars.  One of the stories came from Southeast Missouri in which twin 2-year-old girls somehow got out of the house, in their car and were discovered over an hour later.  When police got there and took the temperature of the car it was 140 degrees and this was after it had cooled down for about 15 minutes.  As the mother of small children, I understand how they can get away from you in seconds but what I can't understand is not knowing where they are for over an hour.  Not only that, these same two toddlers had just gotten locked in this car a couple of weeks ago and the doors had to be opened up.  I just don't get people.

I hate to rant about God and his choice in weather but the weather we have experienced this year is so depressing.  It was so cold for so long and then rainy for so long and now it is scorching hot.  I miss the spring.  I had all of these big plans to do tons of stuff with the kids and it is just too hot.  Please send some reprieve!


This week my second great nephew entered into the world.  Ian David Freshwater arrived on June 21, 2010.  He is so tiny and sweet.  It almost, almost gives me baby fever again. 

I am really proud of the way Kanin has taken to swim lessons this week.  I thought he might not like getting water in his face but everyday he tells me that going underwater is his favorite part.  Maybe if he really takes to the swimming he might want to try out for a team in a few years.

During the USA's game today with Algeria, Landon Donovan provided one of my favorite sporting moments-ever.  The US would have been eliminated from the World Cup if the game would have ended at 0-0 and in extra minutes, Donovan scored a goal.  I was sitting in the floor changing Caleb's diaper when the ball went in.  It gave me chills!  Go USA!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I'm Boring

"I'm boring" is Kanin's way of saying that he is bored.  As my mom told me when I was his age, I always tell him "Go find something to do".  The problem, though, is that for the last few days I have been the one who is "boring".  You wouldn't think that a mom of 3 small kids could get bored but I have been.  I have racked my brain for things to do (other than cleaning) and while there are certain projects that I would love to get started on, namely scrapbooking, I realize that there is no way that I will be able to start and finish any of them and so therefore, I put them off.

Every night this week I hae walked around telling Scott how bored I am so tonight I went to the library to check out a few books and hopefully this will help.

For the record, I checked out:
Meg Cabot's Size 14 Is Not Fat Either

Meg Cabot's Queen of Babble Gets Hitched

Mark Fuhrman's A Simple Act of Murder

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Trainer Workout #15

Warm up 5 minutes (nothing too strenuous)

Squat 20x
Lunge 20x

Do the following:
-25 cable flyes
-Using 8lb hand weights and standing up, lift your right knee up while pushing the left knee above your head, alternate.  Do for 1 minute.
-Utilizing a bench or step, extend your legs out in front of you, balance on your bottom and do bicycle.  20x
-Lay back on a bench with your legs stretched out in front of you, pull you legs up until they are vertically over your head and then back down.  20x

Rest 1-2 minutes

Do the following:
-Using the cable machine, squat down and face the machine.  Pull the cable with your right arm only 20x.  Switch arms.
-Using a 5-10lb weighted ball, hold the ball directly over your head and run in place for 1 minute.
-Utilizing a bench or step, extend your legs out in front of you, balance on your bottom and do bicycle. 20x

-Lay back on a bench with your legs stretched out in front of you, pull you legs up until they are vertically over your head and then back down. 20x

Do the following:

-Using the cable machine, squat down and face the machine. Pull the cable with your right arm only 20x. Switch arms.
-Put one foot up on a stack of steps and step up on that leg 15x.  Switch legs.
-Utilizing a bench or step, extend your legs out in front of you, balance on your bottom and do bicycle. 20x

-Lay back on a bench with your legs stretched out in front of you, pull you legs up until they are vertically over your head and then back down. 20x

Rest 1-2 minutes

Utilizing a high stack of steps or a bench, do the following starting at 10 and go down to 1:
-10 push-ups with your hands on the bench or steps
-Side shuffle about 15 yards to one side and then 15 yards back.
-9 push-ups
-Side shuffle
-Keep going like this until you get down to 0.

Rest 2-3 minutes

Plank 1 minute

Lay on  your back with your arms and legs extended out, try to fold yourself up into a V.  15-20x

Lay on your back with your arms and legs extended out, pull your arms in while you bring your legs, bended, into your chest.  15-20x

Plank 30 seconds.

You are finished!

Trainer Workout #14

Warm up for 5 minutes (nothing too strenuous).

Do the following rotation 4x:
-20 squats
-20 lunges each leg
-20 push-ups
-mountain climbers for 1 min

Rest 1-2 minutes

Do the following rotation 3x:
-Utilizing a barbell (I used 40lbs), squat and push the barbell above your head.  15 reps
-Sit on the edge of a chair or bench, put your legs out in front of you.  Bring your knees to your chest and back out barely allowing your feet to hit the ground.

Rest 1-2 minutes

Do the following rotation 3x:
-Barbell Squats 12-15 reps
-Squat 20 reps

Rest 1-2 minutes

Do the following rotation 3x:
-Bench press 12-15 reps (I used 65 total lbs.  Barbell (45) plus 10lb on each side
-Put one leg out in front of you in a lunge position.  Lunge on that same leg 20 reps.  Then, keeping the same leg in front of you, put your other leg on a bench or chair and try to go straight down in kind of an inverted lunge.  20 reps.  Change sides.
-Using a very high bench or chair, step up on 1 leg 20 reps then change legs.

Rest 1-3 minutes

Do the following rotation 3x:
-Over-exagerrated skull crushers.  Put a bench in front of the cable machine and change the cable so that you are lifting from the bottom.  Put a small handle on it and move your head to the end of the bench.  Grab a hold of the bar and let it go all of the way down to the ground.  Keep your elbows close to your head and your arms straight, pull the cable until your hands are almost over your abdomen.  12-15 reps
-Grab a 10lb weight, hold it above your head and lower it behind your head (working your triceps)  12-15 reps

You are finished!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Swim Lessons

Kanin started swimming lessons today and I think that I am just as excited as he is.  I never took formal swimming lessons and I have always had a little fear of the water.  I do swim and I can ski but it is all self-taught and I don't have the confidence in the water that I want my kids to have.

I found swim lessons at the Rec Plex so it looks like for the next 2 weeks I will be packing up all of the kiddos and taking Kanin up there.  He is in Level 1 now and I think they go up to Level 4 or 5.

Here he is trying to learn to float on his back.
He has a pretty good kick for never having had any lessons before.

Father's Day 2010 at the Westerhold's

At our house, we don't really make a big deal about Mother's Day, Father's Day or Valentine's Day.  We both think that the idea of these days are great but shouldn't we be loving, kind and respectful of each other all year long?  Shouldn't we always appreciate each other?  So, we don't really go all out on these celebrations.  We usually just give a card and then the respective parent gets to choose what or where to eat on that day.

This Father's Day started off with letting Gaga sleep in until 9:45, which never, ever happens around here.  We gave him our cards and then he was in for a rousing game of Trouble with the kiddos.

Of course, we had to have some World Cup soccer action on in the background.

Kanin wanted to lay down with Gaga and Caleb got jealous so all the boys were on the couch together.

Mama and Papa came over to have lunch with us and then they headed back home.

It was SO hot that the kids wanted to do the waterslide.  Even Sweet Baby Caleb didn't mind getting in the water.  Of course, Daddy was right there to play with them and make sure that no one got hurt.
Daddy played so hard that he needed a little break.  I'm thinking a hammock might be a good gift idea.  LOL

I LOVE this picture of two of my men.

Later on in the afternoon, we had friends over with their kids and they played and played.  The Mommy's watched the babies and the Daddy's had Daddy time and played cards. 

It was such a sweet, simple day but one of the best.

Here's the best Daddy that I could have ever chosen for my children!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Working at the Car Wash

Today the kids learned how to wash cars.  I had to go out and take some pics because it reminded me of when I was little, probably about 4 or 5 years old. 

When I was younger I remember washing my parents' car with my friend, Donna, and my sister.  I guess one time my dad told us that if we washed the car he would give us some money, maybe $0.50 or somthing, I can't remember exactly how much.  After that one time, we would just take it upon ourselves to wash the car and then go ask for the money--LOL. 

Of course, I'm not so sure how much of the car really got washed.  It was mostly just a way for us to play in the water and splash each other.  One car had a really slanted back window so we used to climb on top of the car and slide down the back window like it was a waterslide--no, I will not tell my kids that part--LOL.

Isn't it funny how little things can trigger memories?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Aaargh, Matey

The Science Center has this limited time exhibition called Real Pirates.  It is the story of a slave ship, the Wydah, that was captured by pirates and eventually sank in a storm. 

A few years ago several remnants of the ship were found along with actual pirate treasures, coins, the bell to the ship and cutlery.

Kanin loves pirates so we thought we'd take him out there.  The exhibit was really good but probably too old for our kids.  There was a lot of reading involved and they just wanted to rush by all of that and go straight to the display cases.  I would have liked to spend more time actually reading about the history of it but it was still neat to see all of the stuff.

They start the exhibit every 30 minutes so we had some time to spare.  We took the kids over the tunnel so they could see the cars passing under them on Highway 40.

We skipped naptime today and it was very evident by the way Gracie was acting before we got to go into "see the pirates".

Here is the bell that was recovered from the ship.  It is so fragile that it has to be displayed in a case full of salt water.

Here are some shackles from the actual slave ship.

One of Kanin's favorite parts was getting to see the different cannons.  I have no idea what is up with Gracie's smile.

This was a neat area where you could tie sailor knots, raise the Jolly Roger flag and look for ships in the distance.

There was a half replica of a ship and we were able to walk through it.  Kanin and Grace saw the treasure chest and had to check it out.

This was Scott's favorite part.  This is actual pirate treasure that was found.  It is the only pirate treasure ever discovered.

I thought this was a really great way to allow visitors to touch a piece of pirate treasure.  There were little holes that you could put your finger on and move the coins around but it was all under glass so they couldn't be stolen.

Once again, Caleb slept through everything right until the very end.  My intention when heading there was to take him out of his carseat and put him in the stroller so he could see the exhibit but when we got there he was sound asleep and I didn't want to move him.  He slept until about 15 minutes before we left to come home.