The Bouncy House Rules!

Well, it's not perfect, but we had SO much fun! Our Mama's Group (officially: Attachment Parenting Play Group) went to The Party Place this week for our weekly play group. This place has about 8 huge inflatable 'bouncy house' style toys. Two big slides, two big bouncy houses, a few bouncy obstacle courses, the baby bouncy area, and a basketball bouncy. You pay for a two hour chunk of time (which is MORE than enough time to overstimulate your children), take off your shoes, and bounce away! They also have a snack area, free popcorn, and party rooms that you can rent when it's time for that big bouncy house birthday party.

Ophelia had so much fun, I went ahead and bought her 10 passes at the discounted holiday rate (which was $2 off the regular pass rate!) for her Christmas stocking.
The only drawbacks were that there wasn't any adult seating in the snack area (although those little kid sized picnic tables were perfect for the kiddos) and that there wasn't a kid sized bathroom (that we saw). When we attempted to go to the potty, Ophelia looked in there and said "There's a big scary flusher in there. I don't want to go on the big scary flusher." I must also suggest a changing station in the family bathroom - I was befuzzled at the lack of one, considering this is a place for kids and families to go. My final suggestion would be a giant bouncy "exit" slide that deposits the kids right next to your car - so to make it easier to get them out of there without a fight! Ophelia was NOT ready to go home when it was time to go.

Rockin' Green Rocks!

Last month during The Great Cloth Diaper Hunt, I discovered a new detergent for washing my cloth diapers. Now, you may be thinking "Big Whoop! Detergent is detergent!" Well, when it comes to washing cloth diapers that couldn't be further from the truth. Most commercial laundry detergents contain whiteners, brighteners, fragrances, dyes, softeners, and other chemicals that can be harmful to your cloth (not to mention that precious baby bottom!) - so it's important to find one that has none of that - and doing that at the local grocery store or big box store can actually be a challenge. For the past two years I've been using a Free and Clear version of a fairly popular detergent. It did OK, but I had to do an extra rinse cycle after every load and the detergent was STILL building up on my cloth diapers. And when you get build up, you get repelling (the diapers don't soak up the pee and poo) and stink. Oooooh, the stink! Pee-U!

Then I discovered Rockin' Green. I was seeing it on all these websites while I was diaper hunting. And I was seeing nothing but good reviews in all of those places. Not only were people happy with how clean their diapers were getting, but they were able to reclaim old diapers that they thought had been ruined forever by simply Rockin' The Soak! Turns out, Rockin' Green was able to de-funk those old diapers by getting all of the old detergent residue and funky buildup out of the precious cloth. The diapers were no longer leaking! The diapers were no longer stinky! I had to try it. I busted out my Diaper Hunt Discount Code and got myself a Rockin' Green Bundle. It included a 45/90 Bag of detergent in my choice of Soft Rock (for sensitive bottoms) or Classic Rock and my choince of yummy scents, an 8 oz. Shake It Up! Pail Freshener in the same scent, and a wooden laundry scoop that is the perfect size for a load of laundry.

Then I waited. I did a little dance of excitement every time I saw the mail truck coming down the street. I was so excited to try out this stuff! I didn't wait long - my Rockin' Green package arrived a mere 4 days after I placed the order. And MMMMMMM! Lavender Vanilla smells heavenly! I started a Rockin' Soak immediately. Ophelia's diapers were in sad shape and I was still afraid that I wouldn't get the life out of them that I needed in order to pass them down to Rowan when that day came. I started with her night diapers - which were the worst of the bunch. Well, one overnight soak and those diapers were back in action. No more stink. No more leaks. And they feel soft again! Next I did Rowan's diapers - bam! like new! And then the rest of Ophelia's diapers - kapow! I WON'T have to buy a whole new stash of mediums for Rowan! YAY! Then I started looking around for more things to de-funk. The dog bed! Surely this Soft Rock could not bring life back into that horrid old dog bed. Drumroll please....that stinky, nasty bed is SO clean! Jim's jackets that reek of smoke and man spray - clean and fresh again. This stuff really DOES rock! And an added bonus? No more extra rinse cycle - because Rockin' Green rinses clean with the first rinse.

So - if you have cloth diapers and are not totally satisfied with your washing routine - you HAVE to give this stuff a try. You can start with a Sample if you aren't ready to commit to a whole bag like I did. It comes in Classic Rock or Soft Rock - and a soon to be released Hard Rock (for those with hard water); in either a big bag (90/180 Loads) or a little bag (45/90 Loads); and in a nice array of wonderful scents. And that scent? It's there when you start your wash load, but it's gone when the wash is done - leaving your dipes (or your clothes) smelling just clean!

Rockin’ Green is:
Dye  free
Comes in several yummy scents (& an unscented version for sensitive skin)
No fillers
No enzymes or optical brighteners
100% Phosphate free
Great for sensitive skin
Easy rinsing formula
Approved for military use
Works wonders on microfiber stink!
Perfect for cloth diapers
HE compatible
Reusable packaging
Great for all water types
Economical at .13 cents a load!
Made in the USA by a Work At Home Mom!

Kids to Sleep: Five Tips and Tricks

Sleep. The universal parenting challenge! How to get those kids to sleep on their own. How to keep them sleeping all night - or at least keep them from getting YOU up at night when they do wake up. We all want the answers. Well, unfortunately, there is no magic answer that will get your kids in bed and sleeping through the night with no issues EVERY time...but this is what works for us MOST of the time:

1. Early bed time. When Ophelia (now 2.5) was still co-sleeping with us, she went to be whenever we did. And her sleep habits were horrid! Then I started a bedtime routine with her - and the first step in that routine was a consistent and EARLY bed time. 6:30 pm to be precise. Now that she is a little older, her bedtime is 7 pm. If she stays up much later than that, she starts to get overtired and that leads to The Crankies and Bedtime Battles. Now - I've found that we can make bedtime even earlier if we have had a long day - but making bedtime later almost always ends badly. This tip also has an added bonus for the parents: a few hours of 'kid free' time before we have to hit the hay ourselves!

2. Routine, Routine Routine. Now don't roll your eyes and say "I've heard it all before" because this is a definite MUST in getting kids to bed without a battle. Children really do behave better if they know what to expect. And having a solid bedtime routine helps kids know exactly what is going down every evening - no surprises (well, except maybe a special new pair of jammies on occasion!) Find a routine that works for you and your kiddo and stick to it. Here is what works for us: Dinner, Nakie Time, Bath, Lotions and Potions, Jammies on, Night Nights (we have a silly routine of saying goodnight to various things on the way to her room), 3 Stories, In Bed.

3. Stories. We are lucky that Ophelia LOVES her stories. She loves them so much that we actually had to set limits at bedtime or we would be reading until dawn. She gets THREE stories of her choice - long or short - but THREE is the limit. This is a great way for her to settle in a bit and wind down for the evening. Most nights dad does her stories so this is also good 'dad time' - as he is working most of her waking hours during the week.

4. Comfort Items. Personally, I think we have gone overboard on this one - as some nights there is not much room left in bed for Ophelia - BUT I think that having a comfort item (or 2) that helps your child feel safe and calm can help at bed time. Ophelia has her Taggie Blanket that is the ultimate item, but we also have Water Cup and Twilight Turtle and Sleep Sheep and Snuggle Pig and Lambie and Duckie and Pink Bear ... and we have music for her to listen to as well. And books. She always wants books in her bed with her when she goes to sleep at night. We have relented - as sometimes she will sit and read to her dolls after we leave the room - BUT we have limited to a short stack so as not to bury her in an avalanche of books in the middle of the night!! Oh - and night lights!! Don't forget the night lights!

5. Stay Calm. When Mom and Dad are calm, relaxed, and cool as a cucumber, bedtime always goes better. Whether a trip to grandma's or the big game has made bedtime later than normal or if a missed nap or a bad day at school is causing meltdowns or if you have a midnight waker, the best way to approach the scenario is with the utmost serenity - even if your head is about to explode. There are so many things that can throw bedtime into a tizzy: teething; potty learning; illness; under/over stimulation. As parents we have to learn to take it in stride and not throw a fit: after all, kids learn by example, right?

Sometimes, however, you just have to take sleep however and wherever you can get it!
If you want to read more sleep tips from more great moms, check out this Blogging Contest sponsored by St. Eve Kids and Twittermoms! Check out  Drama U sponsored by St. Eve Kids!
And hey, if I win, one of my readers will win too! All you have to do is post a reply to this post to qualify!

Tassimo Supremo at My Organized Chaos! Another Giveaway!

My Organized Chaos

One reader at [My Organized Chaos] is going to get a Tassimo Suprema One Cup Coffee Maker
and a variety of coffee, tea and cappuccino T Disks!

Check it out at My Organized Chaos!

The Nappy Shoppe and My Boho Baby is Hippy Chic

Sharni at The Nappy Shoppe is giving away a medium sized Nappy Shoppe Wet Bag! The winner will get to choose their own fabric, so this will be a custom item!
Check out The Nappy Shoppe here.
And Check out My Boho Baby is Hippy Chic here

You can never have too many Wet Bags!! They are great for wet and soiled diapers, wet swimwear, mama cloth, and potty training accidents. We even have a small one that we use as a toddler snack bag!

Blogging and Junk

Well, I'm thinking of starting a second blog to talk about attachment parenting stuff - cloth diapers, breast feeding, co-sleeping, babywearing, etc. as well as natural living and crafting. I have been checking out a lot of other blogs during The Great Cloth Diaper Hunt and I like what I have been seeing. There are a lot of families out there that are doing or want to be doing the things that we do with our girls - and I'd love to be able to pass on what has worked for us as well as cool stuff we come across in our own blog reading and searching. 

Plus - it will keep the blog for the girls 'clutter free', so to blogspeak. 

Let me know what you think! 

In the mean time, check out some of the sites I've posted this week! 

Rump*a*rooz Giveaway at The Cloth Diaper Whisperer

Win 2 Rump*a*rooz G2 One Size Pocket Diapers in this weeks Giveaway at The Cloth Diaper Whisperer!

It's easy to enter. Just head on over to The Cloth Diaper Whisperer and leave a comment telling them whether you prefer snap closing diapers or aplix closing diapers. Enter Giveaway

This is a fantastic cloth diaper! We have one and I wish I had ten. It's cute, it's soft, it has a killer 6 way insert, it's trim fitting, and it WORKS! The gussets at the leg openings and the 'scoop' at the back keep the poo where it belongs - in that diaper.

Sock Grams at My Organized Chaos

One reader [at My Organized Chaos] is going to get a pair of socks of their choice! {excluding the infant socks}
This is a great gift idea! 
Check out Tammi's review here: Sock Grams at My Organized Chaos
And enter for YOUR chance to win a pair of very cool socks!

TO ENTER: Visit Sock Grams and tell [My Organized Chaos] which pair you like the best and Why!

Win your choice in the Sock Grams #giveaway at the 2009 Holiday Gift Guide at My Organized Chaos
Closes Nov 23/2009 at 9pm MST.

Bumbleride Giveaway at My Organized Chaos

One My Organized Chaos reader is going to get a Bumbleride Indie Twin in the color of their choice. Check it out at My Organized Chaos!

Whether it be Twins, or a new baby added to the family, the Bumbleride is a great choice for those with more than 1 child.

TO ENTER: Visit and check
out the Indie Twin, and comment back [at My Organized Chaos] with your favorite feature {or more}, and tell [My Organized Chaos] WHY you need a Bumbleride.
For Extra Entries do as many of the following entries that you like:
(but leave a separate comment [at My Organized Chaos] for each!)

*Note: there are a few special changes to the extra entries of this giveaway*
~ Follow @_Bumbleride on Twitter
~ Follow My Chaos with Google friend Connect
~ Subscribe by reader or email~ *New* Grab My 2009 Holiday Gift Guide Button
~ *New* Add my 'Bumbleride Giveaway' Button to your sidebar
{and it must be left there for the duration of the giveaway}
~ Write an original Blog post, for just this Bumbleride giveaway. Please include a link back to [My Organized Chaos].
~ *New* Share this Giveaway with your friends on your Facebook status; a message board or a forum to which you belong. Help spread the word, and get an extra entry.
{You must include a link to this giveaway in your post. Then, copy the URL link of the page you posted it on, and include it in your comment here}
~ Follow [My Organized Chaos] on Twitter {@MyChaos} & tweet this giveaway
*you can RT once per day*
Feel free to copy/paste this as your tweet:
Win a Bumbleride Indie Twin stroller {ARV $659 US} residents can enter #giveaway
Closes Dec 1/2009 at 9pm MST.

Now that Rowan is getting bigger, it would be great to get her in the stroller and out of the carrier for our walks. This side by side would be perfect for rolling in the Montana outdoors! And look at the cool colors it comes in. I like the Seagrass.

Nosilla Organics at My Organized Chaos

One My Organized Chaos reader is going to get their choice of any 4 Nosilla Organics items. Yep, any 4! Go there and read all about it! Nosilla Organics at My Organized Chaos
TO ENTER: Visit Nosilla Organics and pick the 4 garments you would want if you won...and this Christmas wish list just may be granted for you! Then post a comment on the My Organized Chaos blog!

Hey Peeps! Choose any 4 garments in this Nosilla Organics #giveaway

Closes Nov 23/2009 at 9pm MST.

NOW: How cute do you think my girls will look in this gorgeous organic clothing? ;) <3

Huge Winter Storm

Yesterday we woke up to a large amount of snow. Between 12 and 18 inches in the morning. By the time we got outside to shovel and play, it was at least 18". By the end of the day, the official depth came in at 22"!! I am still not totally shoveled out - I just ran out of time and steam yesterday. And while it is sunny and clear today, it is FREEZING out there at a mere 20F!

Ophelia is finally big enough to wear winter boots and a snow suit. I was terrified that she would fall face first in the snow and not be able to get up, but she had a blast playing until she was downright exhausted! Might be time to get her a wee snow shovel!

The Great Cloth Diaper Hunt

Great Cloth Diaper Hunt

Diaper Decisions is proud to bring you the tenth semi-annual Great Cloth Diaper internet scavenger hunt from November 1-30, 2009.

By visiting the sites on the hunt during the month of November 2009, you have an opportunity to explore a myriad of excellent natural family sites as you qualify for 35 random prize drawings, including One Ultimate Grand Prize worth over $600 and a Daily Prize for each day of hunting!

The concept behind our virtual scavenger hunt is to introduce consumers to the wonderful WAHMs that are "out there", and many new products!

Hunter registration is open!

The Great Cloth Diaper Hunt

Mom and Gretchen and I are doing this in hopes that we may win some cool stuff. Plus it's a great way to find super cool stuff for the babies! (And there is a discount on most of the sites for Hunters!)

Rockin' Green and The Judson Family are Giving It Away!

Rockin' Green Detergent that is!
We just got our first bag of Soft Rock in Lavender Vanilla and can't wait to try it out. We'd LOVE to win another bag in another scent!!

Check out how well it worked for The Judson Family on their blog: Judson Family

Win It!!! Kim from Rockin' Green has generously offered a reader of The Judson Family Blog a Rockin' Green Cloth Diaper Detergent - 45/90 loads!
The Details:

Choose from:
Soft Rock: A mellow tune that is great for the sensitive little ones in your life.
Classic Rock: This is the sound that started it all. Our original formula is great for diapers and regular clothes. So use it on everything!
Available in several yummy fragrances and unscented!

MANDATORY ENTRY: Head on over to Rockin' Green and check out the Scents. What Scent would you choose?

Extra Entries.. I know you want too...

  1. Follow Rockin Green on FACEBOOK ~Leave a comment to let me know

  2. Follow Rockin Green on Twitter~ Tweet about Give Away. Be creative ~Leave a Comment to let me know.

  3. Follow Judson Family on Twitter~ Tweet about Give Away. Be creative~ Leave a comment to let me know.

  4. If you follow, or if you become a new follower leave a comment. 1 ENTRY

  5. Blog About Give Away with a link back Judson Family, Leave a Comment and the link.. GOOD FOR 5 EXTRA ENTRIES...

  6. Leave a cloth diapering tip. Good for 2 Entries

Some Photos

I added a link to some new photos. Here are a few for easy viewing!

Ophelia Turns 2

Well, officially this happened on the 8th. She ended up having her Birthday party on my hospital bed in the Maternal Newborn wing. Jim and Grandma Simons wrapped up all the goodies that had been arriving over the past few months and hauled them all up there along with a dozen cupcakes that Ophelia wanted to share with the 'purple nurses' (all of the Maternal Newborn staff wears purple scrubs).

Today we had her 2 Year Well Child visit at the doctor. Official stats are in: she's TINY! Not quite 5th percentile in height and weight. She IS proportional, however, and is growing and the proper rate (the curve on her graph was very pleasing to look at!). Just Tiny. 23.36 pounds and 31 inches tall. Oh - and her BMI is actually slightly below what toddlers her age normally exhibit - so I guess I can stop freaking out when her dad gives her chocolate milk or juice during the day. And while normal sized toddlers get to ditch the whole milk for 2% at this point, the doc advised keeping her on whole milk for another 6 months. At least. She is also hitting all of the physical landmarks for her age - such as jumping, running, kicking a ball, climbing, etc. And she is WAY ahead in her language skills. The doctor was duly impressed when Ophelia spoke in complete sentences and clearly stated the word 'schizophrenia' for her. And while mommy thought we would have a quick in and out with no trauma, she did end up having to get her Hep A vaccine AND a poke to check her iron levels. Thank goodness for pink lollipops and pink stickers (band-aids).

Rowan Marie got a glance from the doc as well. She is looking real good according to Dr. Julie. We had gone for a visit the day after we were discharged to get her weighed (6 pounds 13.4 ounces), measured (19 3/4"), and checked for jaundice (still yellow). She had to get her blood drawn for her bilirubin levels and also to redo the PKU test that was damaged by the courier the first time around. We went back for a weight check last Monday and she was back up to 7 pounds 4 ounces. She goes back in for her 3 week checkup next week. She is eating really well and doesn't look at all wrinkly anymore. And she isn't yellow anymore either. Mommy's super milk is doing the trick apparently.

Speaking of mommy, I'm healing up pretty nicely. I have pretty good mobility and I only have pain if I overdo it (which is actually still quite easy to do if I'm not careful). My incision is still hidden under some very sticky tape, which I am having removed at the doctor tomorrow. Hopefully she will give me the 'all clear' and I will be nearly back to normal again in a flash. I had a nasty cold/virus right before I delivered Rowan that came back in full swing the moment I got home from the hospital. But I'm finally feeling better from that - just a hint of a sore throat at this point - nothing debilitating.

Ophelia is officially a big sister!

Labor started on Sunday late morning with irregular, non painful contractions. By dinner time, I was pretty sure they were the real deal. Jim got Ophelia fed and bathed and ready for bed while I laid down on my side, drank water, and used the contraction timer. Yup. Regular at 6-7 minutes apart. Starting to get uncomfortable too. Better get that bag packed! An hour later, after Ophelia is officially in bed, mommy showered, and our friend Adam arriving any minute to babysit, contractions are closer to 3 minutes apart. Wow. That was fast! By the time we got to the hospital, they were 2 minutes apart, painful, and I was dilated to almost 6 cm. Oh - and the baby was breech with the feet coming first. Cue the emergency c-section team. Sparing all the gory details for now, at 9:41 pm on July 5, 2009 we welcomed Rowan Marie Maxwell. A whopping 7 pounds and 14 ounces and 19 3/4" long at 36 weeks! 

Quick Mommy Update:

While I have a moment!

I'm 33 weeks pregnant as of today. The official due date, determined by ultrasound, is July 30, 2009. My belly is measuring about 2 weeks ahead, but the doctor thinks it is due to an abundance of amniotic fluid. The baby measured on track at my last ultrasound at 28 weeks. My weight gain is still a very conservative 17 pounds as of my appointment yesterday. By this time with Ophelia I had already gained 35 pounds!!! By this time with Ophelia, remember, I was also in the hospital with preterm labor. So things are going GREAT!!! While I do find
 myself getting way tired out by the time the afternoon rolls around, my body feels really good. I've been doing prenatal yoga since January and it is wonderful! I'm still able to put on socks and tie my shoes and walk without waddling at 33 weeks! Now THAT'S something! 

My birthday was back in May and one of my gifts was a trip to the salon. Here is the new hairdo: 

Once Again...

I haven't updated the blog in ages. But we have a new video camera and a week with daddy on the road, so perhaps you will see some "Ophelia in Action" very very soon! 

Oh - and check out MiniMe Baby Gear. I just added their banner. She has some really fun stuff and some really great 'functional' stuff too! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the wet bags!

Win a free Bumgenius 3.0 Diaper!

Win a free Bumgenius 3.0 Diaper! This is a valuable All-In-One cloth diaper that you can use for yourself or give as a gift to someone expecting a baby! Go check out Hot Belly Mama's Blog for details on how to win this wonderful All In One Cloth Diaper. Hot Belly Mama will announce the winner on March 30th, after her 30th birthday! 

Here is the direct link to her blog:
Good luck!

January and February 2009 - In Review

The last two months have been a total whirlwind! 

Ophelia hit her 18 month mark in January. Her doctor was duly impressed with her progress. While still tiny, she is in perfect proportion and the picture of health. She is eating well, 3 meals a day and 2 snacks, drinking whole milk, and still nursing once or twice at night. Her vocabulary is easily 50-60 words at this point and she as about 30 or so signs to add to that. She still loves reading her books and now she's really into puzzles and stacking blocks and playing with legos. She still tries to eat her crayons, but we're working on that!  She sure is a spitfire. We call her Goose on the Loose! 

By the end of January, her vocabulary literally exploded! And at the end of February, her words are multi-syllable and she is making phrases on a regular basis. She knows all of her shapes and colors and can identify all of her letters and numbers 1-10. My mom and dad sent her a toddler table and chairs, so we started again with crayons. She is still tasting them on occasion, but mostly just trying to draw with them! We also introduced Play-Doh. Not totally thrilled with it yet, but we're getting there! 

We have been going to Books and Babies at the library again as well. And the last 4 weeks, we have also been going to Mommy and Me Yoga once a week. She is really flowering socially, and is interacting with the other kids pretty well. She's pretty reserved, but definitely interacting. 

At the end of January after another prenatal visit where I was advised to wean Ophelia from breast feeding, we did exactly that. She was only nursing at bedtime and if she woke in the night (which seemed like most nights since the molars started coming in in December), so I didn't think it would be TOO traumatic. Well, weaning threw sleeping right on it's ear. Several weeks of screaming, a Twilight Turtle (thanks Beeba!), and a new bedtime routine later, I think we are finally back to having a normal sleep routine. Better actually, because she is sleeping through the night 5-6 nights a week now. 

She is still eating like a champ, thank goodness! We usually have oatmeal, eggs, or waffles with fruit and sometimes yogurt for breakfast. She love ham (pronounced 'am'!) and smoked turkey, peanut butter, roast beef, cheese, and all manner of fruits and vegetables. The only things we have a hard time with are the carbs, but she likes O's and crackers and will eat toast and rice on occasion. Oh - and she loves cheesy noodles too!  Here she is on pancake day - once a month I make yogurt pancakes with blueberries. This day she ate 7 pancakes AND a banana! 

In February, Ophelia and I went to the Wild West Winterfest. It's basically a winter fair. There was a quilt show, a 'mercantile', a Chili Cook Off (yum!), lots of animal events, and most importantly, a petting zoo! It's amazingly difficult to capture a toddler at the petting zoo, by the way! Here she is snuggling both a sheep and a goat!

Jim's debate season was in full swing until mid-February. They were undefeated the whole season right up and until the State Tournament, where they came in second. He then went on to qualify 9 kids to go to Nationals in Birmingham, AL in June. 

I've been going up to Big Sky for Volunteer Ski Patrol several weekends a month. I am working in the First Aid Station, and even though it's fairly light duty, it makes for a long day. The rewards are worth it though. I love using my EMT and helping people that need it and we also get free ski passes out of the deal as well!  Jim has been able to ski most weekends and we have been able to give a few passes to some friends as well. 

For the past week I've been battling a cold. Started last Sunday and I'm finally feeling a little better, but not 100% yet. We all know being sick pretty much sucks, but when you are pregnant that also means that every time you cough or sneeze you pee your pants a little. Oh Joy!! Ophelia had a fever on Thursday and Friday, but never developed any of the symptoms that I had. And now she seems to be doing a TON better! 

Pregnancy Update: The morning sickness finally subsided sometime at the beginning of February. Although, I still don't really have an appetite. At my January appointment I got the results of all of the blood work - everything is normal! - and got to listen to the heart beat, which was 160 bpm. I also got the annual 'probe' and everything was normal up in there as well. At my February appointment the heart beat was 150 and my uterus was growing according to the master plan. Everything looking good so far! Also - while I had gained 1 pound from my previous appointment in January, I was still DOWN one pound from my very first appointment back in December. In March I will be seeing a Perinatologist to see if there is any need for specialized prenatal care. This is due to the fact that I delivered Ophelia 6 weeks early. I will see my regular OB that same day for another basic check of weight, heart beat, and growth. The following week we will have a Level 2 Ultrasound, which is used to measure the baby and check that it is anatomically correct in all aspects. We will NOT be finding out the gender at this time, although a lot of parents do. 

Christmas and December 2008 In Review

December started out with another Ski Patrol training weekend. I sold a few more hats! Jim's mom came up again to sit for Ophelia because we were both gone at the same time again! 

Ophelia got her first snow suit from my parents, but it's still so big that it's hard for her to move around in it. And we are unable to find winter boots for her because her feet are just too small at this point! She is still learning new things every day. Her language is evolving at an alarming rate. We can now understand a lot of those single syllable words and a ton of animal sounds!! 

Now that we have an aware little person in our midst, I decided that this year we would really try to have a nice Christmas tree with real ornaments and all. Ophelia and I went and shopped for one the second week in December and found the perfect little tree! I loved having a real tree again. I haven't had one since I was still at home with mom and dad. The tree was a fascinating thing, and ended up looking a bit odd, as all the glass ornaments had to be on the top of the tree where Miss O couldn't reach them! 

It's Montana. Bring on the winter. While you would expect us to have cold and snowy weather out here, it is actually quite rare to have subzero freezing temperatures this early in the season! The two weeks before Christmas were consistently 20 degrees F BELOW zero! The cold snap finally broke a few days before we left for our trip to Casper, WY where we spent the holiday with Jim's family. Unfortunately, the winter weather did not stop. Our drive down to Wyoming on the Monday before Xmas started out OK, but quickly spiraled into, what we thought at the time, was the worst winter driving trip ever. Ophelia did well on the drive down, but the weather was so bad, Jim and I almost had coronaries! Once we were there, we had a great time. It was nice spending the holidays with families and a bunch of stuff going on!! Then we had to come back. Now THIS was definitely the worst winter driving trip ever. It snowed and blowed the whole way back. We didn't have more than about 100 yards of visibility the whole trip! And when we arrived in Bozeman, we arrived to nearly 2 FEET of new snow on the ground. We also discovered 2 molars in Ophelia's mouth! No wonder she didn't sleep well on this trip!

There are photos of opening presents and some blurry shots of the huge snow cornice on the back of our house in the Holidays 2008 photo album! 

Pregnancy Update: I had two prenatal visits this month. At the first we determined that I was definitely pregnant, but not as pregnant as we all thought! The first ultrasound showed only a yolk sac. The second appointment we were able to see a heartbeat and get a measurement and estimated due date of July 31, 2009. I am feeling pretty good except for morning sickness. Luckily it's just nausea and no vomiting at this point, but eating is pretty tough. 

November 2008 In Review

November was a pretty cool month. While not a lot was going on, the few things that did happen were pretty high quality! 

Ophelia continues to advance in her communication and locomotion skills. Her signs are really exploding and she is learning a lot of single syllables that still largely make no sense to Jim and I, but are still really cute! She is a walking pro and climbing is now becoming an accomplished skill. Her willingness to actually help with the laundry has decreased since she discovered that it's way more fun to climb into the dryer than to put wet clothes into it. She loves to read books, stack the rings on her stacker, and listen to music. 

Election day was this month! Wooo Woooo go Obama!! Ophelia and I went to the polls together and voted. See her November 2008 Album for shots of her in her Obama shirt! 

Ski Patrol training started this month. Jim's mom came up from Casper to help watch Ophelia on the one weekend that both Jim and I had to be gone at the same time. It was awesome having her here! 

The week after that, Jim and I found out that WE ARE EXPECTING ANOTHER BABY!!! (As of the time of this post, we are almost 19 weeks in and due at the end of July!)

Then comes Thanksgiving. I successfully cooked my first full on Turkey Dinner, complete with Turkey. I ended up cooking enough food for at least 10 people, so I took a bunch to the boys next door who never seem to have enough to eat. 

October 2008 In Review

I know, I know. I suck as a blogger. I've said it before, I'll say it again. I suck. There. 

Now I will try to update the last few months for everyone! YAY! 

There is an October 2008 Photo Album to enhance your blog reading experience!!! 

October finished out without too much fanfare. We had a lovely Autumn, with crisp sunny d
ays and walks in the neighborhood. Ophelia's walking skills progressed to 'Yes, I can really do this and do it well! Even outside!" We collected leaves, and explored dying flower gardens, and worked on our signing. Alexis and Charlie sent us the cutest cupcake hat! 

Halloween was, of course, kind of fun with a cute little toddler. The first thing we did to celebrate the season was to go pumpkin shopping! There is a local farm that gives h
ay rides to the pumpkin patch. Ophelia and I nearly froze to death that day, but still had fun anyway!
Next: costume! We have had a lamb costume hanging in our closet since she was born. I'm positive it was supposed to be for a baby in the 6-9 month range, but it still fit our wee little girl!! Jim's mom made several tie dyes that looked like pumpkin shirts and my mom sent a pumpkin romper, so Ophelia and several options for dressing up! I made her a green fleece hat to act as a pumpkin stem to complete her look. We were invited to a friend's Halloween party and Miss O was a big hit, even though we only stayed for about an hour. Of course I never took pictures of her on the actual Halloween event, but I took them in November to make up for it! 

On the mommy and daddy side of things: 

Jim was in full swing in another year of teaching. This year brought the advancement to
 teaching Senior AP English - 3 sections. A lot of extra work and a ton of extra grading, but a good challenge nonetheless. Debate is also in full swing at this point with practice 4 nights a week and traveling to tournaments every other weekend.

I decided to start a small hat making venture. I was inspired by the fact that I needed a new hat for Ski Patrol this year. I decided that other people might too, so I made a bunch of fleece hats in both black and red with a white EMT cross on the front. The hats cost me about $3 each to make and I am getting $15 a piece for them. So far (as of this posting) I have sold every Large and Medium hat that I have made. I also made hats for Ophelia (of course!), my pa
rents, myself and Jim, and my neighbors. If anyone needs a new winter hat, let me know!! 


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