Holly’s Life

Triumphs and Tribulations of moi

How’s Parenthood Going?

Filed under: Daily — August 12, 2012 @ 12:24 pm

parenting2

Hey! We have a 5 month old! Oh blog, how you have been ignored with just sad, sparse posts for, well, probably a couple years now. Do I start every post by admitting that I’ve ignored my blog? Yes.

Since this is going to be full of describing our first fumbles through parenthood I want to quote one of my favorite bloggers (Amber Dusick) and say “Did you know judgemental people are ugly?” Not to start out on the defense, but people as a whole seem to be so free-flowing with their opinions, ESPECIALLY when it comes to child-rearing. Oh really, is that how you raised your child? I think I will go home and immediately change our parenting style JUST because you said so. Am I crabby? Not really, just sleep-deprived.

So, there we were in early March with a newborn, making us newborns to the parenting world (oooooh, a metaphor). He’s so sweet! He’s beautiful! Even his little cry is cute and not shrill like those other babies in the nursery :) He started out the first couple days being nocturnal which meant I pretty much didn’t sleep for two days because, you know, I had to check every 45 seconds that he was still breathing and that his blanket didn’t come alive, unswaddle, and plant itself over his face. Then going home exacerbated (hehe, I love that word) fears because it’s common knowledge that if your baby is NOT sleeping on his back, with blankets/pillows/stuffed animals/crib bumpers around, in a crib that has a drop-down side, in a room that’s too warm without moving air, he will die. Not to be glib about SIDS, but Jesus Christ, our lives have already become scary enough without the fear of our child spontaneously dying.

So anyway, he was immediately awesome.
My only gripe besides constantly being sleep adjacent was that nursing didn’t work out for us. I tried, really hard, I really did. Feel free to skip over this next part if nursing details aren’t your thing.

We kinda had the deck stacked against us: c-section babies can have a harder time nursing, it’s harder for mama to nurse with her incision, and they wanted to supplement him with formula right away. Something about his blood sugar being low, even though it was actually within the normal range, just on the low side of normal? But when nurses and doctors say he needs help stabilizing something important like blood sugar and your milk hasn’t come in yet, you agree to formula.
That said I asked for lactation consultants every day, multiple times a day. Some of them, if not most of them - not so helpful. There were a couple good ones, and a great one who came to our house (Angela, Basking Babies, she’s awesome). No matter what we tried, nursing kinda went like this (after he finally latched for the first time 5-6 days after birth):

- Latch! Kind of….is that the right latch? It’s hard for me to tell with this shield thingy…
- He falls asleep. That’s another thing, the pain killers you’re on after a c-section make baby more sleepy.
- I use various methods to wake him up: playing with his hands/hair, wetting the corner of a towel and rubbing it on his cheek, sometimes I’d change his diaper but that was really damn annoying after I was already set up in the football hold with a Boppy around me.
- Ok, he’s awake and sucking…..he stopped. Why? You didn’t get enough. Poke and prod to make him keep going
- Repeat all the above steps for anywhere from 10-30 minutes THEN switch to the other side and repeat all over again. If you didn’t do the math, that could mean trying to nurse for an hour
- Every nursing session ends with him screaming (he only gets REALLY upset when he’s hungry) “I know there’s an easier way to eat, get your boobs out of my face and give me a bottle” so I give in, just about every time and top him off with “expressed breast milk”
- And well, of course, nursing with a shield continually can reduce your supply, so every nursing session needs to be followed up with a pumping session (yeah right, because it’s completely easy to do that 8+ times a day with a newborn)
- Since he would want to eat every two hours, like clockwork, the cycle was pretty much ready to start over just minutes after finishing. Cue insanity where Chris stayed home from work because I was a sobbing mess that I was up every two hours.
- Then a week and a half later, my c-section incision got infected. Naturally, it was after 5:00 on a Friday so it required a trip to the ER, opening my stitches, cleaning out my incision, and packing it by either a) daily doctor visits or b) daily home-nurse visits. All this meant we didn’t have the freedom to nurse whenever needed - I needed to get him fed fast (bottle) so he could be happy to go for a doctor visit.
- After three weeks of the above, including trying a supplemental nursing system (Google it), I realized that Heath was continually telling me he wanted the immediacy of a bottle (he inherited patience with food (none) from me), so I listened.
- Then I pumped for 3 months while on leave, mostly out of guilt….ok, and love too :) Then all the granola, fenugreek, mother’s milk tea, and extra pumping in the world wouldn’t keep my supply high enough for a hungry, giant baby. So, I let pumping go a couple weeks after going back to work.
- But really, formula kept him happy and helped me keep my sanity. That said, I’m a Bidney and we hold onto guilt, so I get a twinge of sadness when I see nursing mamas with their cute hooter hiders because they’re doing what the good Lord (or millions of years of evolution, take your pick) intended.

After attending a midwife conference just a few days before Heath’s birth I had pictured:
- That I would give birth at home, with my midwife and doula, in a kiddie pool in our living room with Enya softly playing in the background, with just a few numbers by Rage Against the Machine and Tupac to, you know, keep me pumped up (even though I had done zero work or research to actually make that a reality)
- Once Heath arrived (the old fashioned way and without drugs) he would slowly flounder his way up to my chest and nurse to his little heart’s content and then fall blissfully alseep
- Not only would I nurse him until he was a year old, but I would wear him everywhere, cloth diaper him, co-sleep half naked so he could nurse whenever he needed, quit my job, and be a full-time mom

What really happened:
- C-section (I’m not judging c-sections, how judgemental can I be, I had one!) because he was a big giant baby and the OBs said scary things about having a big baby naturally
- Nursing (as I already hashed out) only semi worked for a few weeks and then pumping for 3 months before going all formula
- We’ve added probably over 1,000 disposable diapers to the landfill, I rarely wear him, and while he sleeps with us most of the time, we certainly don’t nurse at night. As much as I love our guy, I realized that being a stay-at-home mom was not for me and I enjoy the mix of work and family life.

Enough about nursing and that stuff. Parenthood is pretty awesome, he’s settled into a fairly routine schedule, and Chris and I (mostly) share duties pretty well. All of this works for us and works really well. We cherry pick parenting methods that work for us and so far
a) Heath is healthy and happy and stealing hearts everywhere he goes
b) We sleep (starting to get more and more all the time)
c) We occassionally get to do things like watch movies and wear clothes that don’t have spit up on them

So at 5 months we’re having a great time, but we’re still adjusting and having moments of lamenting the end of spontaneity (I can NEVER jump off a cliff wearing one of those flying squirrel parachute suits because then Heath would no longer have a mom!) We know we’re barely exposed to everything that parenting is, but we feel pretty darn good about it so far. And really, any day that ends with all of us on this side of a flower bed is a good day.

A Baby Story

Filed under: Daily — March 18, 2012 @ 4:54 pm

Remember that show on TLC? Is it still on?
Anyway, I wanted to blog Heath’s birth story for the annals of hollyslife.com history.

I had my weekly OB appointment on Tuesday, 3/6. I had Chris come with me as I knew that since I was approaching 41 weeks, they’d want to schedule an induction. I wasn’t crazy about the idea of inducing so I was wanting to talk through all our options. When my OB took my belly measurement (fundus), I asked how it looked and she wanted to take the measurement again to check because, as it turns out, my belly had grown 8 cm in a week (a lot). Because of the rapid growth in one week, she wanted us to have an ultrasound (yay to seeing him again!) to check and see if the growth was all baby or if it could be excess fluid.

They know that ultrasound weight/size measurements can be 20% high or low, but she wanted to use it as an indicator of his size. The ultrasound showed that my fluid levels were normal, so that showed that the growth was all Heath and she came up with a measurement of 9 lbs 12 oz. (or high 8 lbs or low 10 lbs with margin of error).

We met with the OB again and between the rapid growth in one week, the ultrasound size, and how big she felt he was through other poking and prodding in my exam, she recommended that we consider a scheduled c-section. Of course this immediately put us in a bit of a tailspin. Any question you might have pop into your head about why (why not induce now and see what happens? Why wasn’t his size monitored before to give us the option of inducing early for a more natural birth? Women have big babies all the time, why is this different? etc. etc.), we certainly asked and we felt that the OB had satisfactory reasons for all of them. I won’t go into detail about all of them, otherwise this post would never end :) . The biggest concern she had was the possibility of shoulder dystocia, where the head is able to come through the birth canal, but the shoulders cannot, potentially causing some big complications for baby and mom both.

We decided to think on it for the afternoon and get back to them. We did a lot of talking to family, trying to think of every question we could, and weighed the pros and cons and ultimately decided to stick with the OB’s advice. Any potential risk of a c-section was less of a risk than the other potential complications of a vaginal birth we were told about.

So, long story short (too late for that :) ), we decided to schedule Heath’s c-section for Thursday, 3/8. This was quite the agonizing decision for us (and obviously, for me in particular), especially since I recently attended a midwife conference and had all of their opinions and mantras floating around in my head - “Your body can birth the baby it makes” (which I don’t always think is true) among other things. But we made peace with it and I felt comfortable moving forward this way.

So, armed with our new decision, we were just waiting for Thursday morning! Come Wednesday afternoon, around 3:00, I stood up from the couch and felt like what I thought could be my water breaking and then I realized I also lost my mucous plug (again, TMI, but this is my blog :) ). I called the OB and they recommend that we head to the hospital. So, off we went. For the next several hours, every nurse and doctor we saw talked about a new computer system that everyone was having a hard time figuring out; it became a running joke with us. Because of that, they didn’t actually admit us, b/c they couldn’t really get into the system, but of course they still checked me over. A test showed that the fluid was not amniotic fluid so we were sent back home (false alarm!).

Then we were in bed, trying to get our last full night’s sleep for a while when 12:30am (Thursday) my water REALLY broke. Like, in the movies broke. We went back to the hospital and after a lot of time (new computer system!) and passing the amniotic fluid test, we were put in our room. I also started contracting right when we got to the hospital, around 1:00am. It didn’t help matters that the nurse who admitted us and checked me over asked if I wanted to try vaginal birth - don’t put that seed back in my head when we’ve already made our decision! So we stuck, again, with the c-section.

For some damn reason, we were told around 2:30am that my c-section would be scheduled for 7:00am, when a doctor shift change happened, but if my labor progressed quickly, then they’d call the doctor in earlier. I wasn’t in too much pain so I agreed. And really, time went by fast until about 6:00am when the contractions got much stronger. 7:00 rolled around and we were told that we were essentially bumped b/c of an emergency c-section; which is fine, can’t help that; and we were told it’d be about another 45 minutes. Then 8:00 came (after several painful contractions) and we were bumped again by a mother who was having her second c-section. I lost my cool at this point and said the last thing I thought would happen when my water broke at 12:30am was that I’d be in labor for 8 hours before getting a c-section. But, what are you going to do. They gave me some pain killers to ease the pain a bit and finally around 9:30 they got us and we headed to the OR.
The room was bright and freezing and full of about 10 people milling around doing their respective jobs. I got my spinal block, they let Chris in (they actually started the cut before they let him in) and Heath arrived at 10:10am.

Of course it was all very surreal, we had about a day and a half to mentally prepare for a c-section. But, he was here, and big (10 pounds, 8 oz, 20″ long) and perfect. His little cry was and is precious. We did it, we became parents, life will never be the same.

The last 10 days have all been a whirlwind with and family and friends visiting, trying to figure out nursing and the frustrations that go along with that (he finally latched on Wed the 14th! It took many lactation consultants, patience, and my milk fully coming it to make him happy), trying to sleep, worrying about what he’s doing when we are trying to sleep, and just generally trying to take everything in. It’s wonderful and tiring and emotional and we love our love bug.

So that’s Heath’s and our story. It’s all worth it.

It’s a Wonderful-ish Life

Filed under: Daily — March 4, 2012 @ 9:14 pm

Let’s start with the positive. Is it amazing that I’m growing a PERSON inside of me? Yes. The miracle is not lost on me. I know this is a privilege and life will be forever changed. I am grateful and thankful for this opportunity.

That said, I feel like if I’m pregnant through 41 (or, God, 42) weeks that I might have to be committed. I’m staring at 40 weeks + 1 day. They shouldn’t tell you you’re full-term at the end of 37 weeks because that just gives you 3-5 weeks’ worth of “anytime now!!!” feelings. Time has slowed down and my body is rebelling.

Chris has said on a number of occassions that he’s very proud of how I’ve handled pregnancy, that I’ve rolled with everything. I appreciate it, but I also know that means he expected me to be more of a hag than I have been and it’s been a nice surprise for him :) He’s been great though and I appreciate all of his loving gestures, stares, and smiles, even though I occasionally see “damn” in his eyes ;)

While I know I, by no means, would be anywhere near the top for pregnancy-related ills, these last few weeks have certainly felt like I could be. WARNING, specific, icky, “too much info” pregnancy stuff to come, feel free to stop reading.

Let’s start with hemorrhoids. They started around 25 weeks and quickly became severe enough to “choke a horse.” I had to do a 2x daily routine of all sorts of medications, OTC and prescription (not pleasant), soak in a lot of baths, and religiously carry a donut pillow with me everywhere I went - sexy. For several days the only thing I could do was lay down as anything else was too painful. Any slight movement that required the lower body would send me to tears. Do you have any idea how many daily movements require your sphincter down south? Well, more than you would ever think possible. I’m only slightly exaggerating when I say blinking is included. Slowly, the meds helped and while they never went away, the pain did, and that’s all I really cared about. Then a month later they came back, but starting the routine again quickly helped stop it before it got to be too painful. A surgeon said, after everything was calmed down, that she recommended operating should I get a severe case again. Three other doctors all had the same reaction of “Whoa! or Wow!!” when seeing them (not fun appointments), so I felt vindicated. I didn’t just have your run-of-the-mill pregnancy hemorrhoids, I had the kind that made professionals say “Wow!” to and that were deserving of SURGERY. So there. I thought they were a tradeoff for not experiencing morning sickness. I didn’t have to puke, but I had to have horrible issues in a sensitive and embarassing area.

I thought by making it to about 35 weeks without swelling meant I was spared. I was wrong. Ankles are now kankles and my feet are little balloons.

Stretch marks. A lot of them. I knew I wouldn’t be spared, but I was still surprised by the severity.
Then, a week ago, I noticed the stretch marks on my lower abdomen were itchy. I had heard of PUPPS before and knew that my sister and friends had had it, so I thought that might be it. At first, I was just fine spraying on anti-itch vitamin E oil. Eh, it’s fine, it’s just on a small area and I’m treating it “naturally” (after feeling guilt about steroidal treatments for my hemmies, no matter how much I was told it was ok). Then they spread, but just a little. Then the itching got worse and natural vitamin E oil was as helpful as Preparation H was on monster hemorrhoids (aka, not at all) and they covered my whole baby mound. I couldn’t control the itching. PUPPS likes to rest in the aforementioned stretch marks, taking already ugly red marks and making them bubbly and gross and itchy. I tried to control the scratching, but there were times I couldn’t help it and scratched until I broke blood vessels. So with a stomach full of stretch marks, PUPPS, and broken blood vessels, my belly looks something akin to this.

freddy

Que the hydrocortisone cream that is also only partially effective.

Also starting last week, the previously completely minor leg pain I would only feel sometimes decided to present itself constantly. My back had been a little sore, but now it was like my vertebrae were playing musical bones right above my butt. Staying in a certain position, sitting, standing, laying down, felt fine; it was moving between those things that was fairly impossible. I’ve had to will myself to stand and then have to stand there for several seconds, looking indecisive, trying to will myself to swing a leg forward. Every time I heard tin man sound effects in my head. Stand up *pain* move leg out *pain* set leg down *pain* move other leg forward *pain*…..repeat, repeat, repeat. I’m hobbly. A chiropractor has really helped after just two visits, which is enough to make me a believer (not that I really doubted before, but I just avoided it as a “once you start, you can’t stop and it takes all your money” type thing). And it was because of my chiropractor that I learned about a “learn your rights and options for birth” seminar put on by midwives and sponsored by all sorts of vendors like chiropractors, herbal supplement providers, baby wearing sling makers, doulas, other midwives, etc. It was great, but also a little information overload and information I wish I would have been diligent about educating myself on (midwives, doulas, and how our bodies are generally designed to handle labor and birth) months ago instead of now when I’m getting glimpses of labor just a little further up the horizon. It’s coming, right? That’s not a mirage?

Also last week, hemmies are back. Again, not as severe, but annoying and they make me paranoid they’ll turn into something more.
Have I painted a pretty picture?

My eyes are also constantly watering these days. The poor skin around my eyes is all red and dry. I have no idea how that could be related to pregnancy, but I’m still blaming pregnancy :)

So, yes, this kid can’t come soon enough. I know there will be a whole new set of body horrors to deal with from stories I’ve heard (and what can only get worse with intense pushing? Hemorrhoids.) And yes, yes, “it’s all worth it” “be proud of your mommy scars” “You forget about all the pain as soon as you see your baby” etc. etc. etc. But this is my blog, and I chose to complain, and you chose to read, so no criticizing :)

Did I really just blog about hemorrhoids? Yes, yes I did. I think I was little overly-inspired by this book (if you’ve read it, you know what I mean)
EMB

Thoughts…

Filed under: Daily — September 12, 2011 @ 8:43 pm

baby boom
Can we just move to a big house in the country and make gourmet baby food?

3 questions:

1. How do working moms do it?
2. How do stay-at-home moms do it?
3. How do parents do it?

As exciting as this time is, I wish I could just have a tiny sneak peek a year into the future; we’ll have a 6 month old, I will have been back to work for a few months. Everything will be ok, right?

Random thoughts: When will my desire to cook ANYTHING come back, eating out does not bode well for saving money. Is it normal to have only put on 5 pounds by 15 weeks? I keep telling myself the weight I put on before I was pregnant factors into baby weight - right? heh. Why did we spend twice as much on a twin guest bed than I thought we would? I blame Chris, he liked the more expensive one better :) Can I really paint if we get low or 0 VOC paint? A little over 3 weeks before we hopefully find out what we’re having (eeee!!) But most importantly, the u/s will show that everything is coming along nicely, just like it should, right? All tests will come back with good results? Will the vintage theme I’m going for in the nursery end up just looking hodge podge? We switched bedrooms this weekend, why does it feel more strange to sleep in a different bedroom in your house than it does to stay in a hotel?

That is all for now. Well, not really, but it’s a good place to stop.

To Forever Have Your Heart Outside Your Body

Filed under: Daily — August 22, 2011 @ 8:50 pm

Yes, we have decided to boldy go where billions and billions have gone before us - parenthood!

We are feeling all the things that first-time parents feel: stunned, excited, scared, happy, nervous, hopeful, and much more.

I’m copying a style other gals I know have used when blogging about pregnancy (thanks!); a little Q&A

- When am I due?

March 6. A WINTER baby, how fitting for us!

- Before we wanted to wait longer, what made us change our minds?

May as well put my child-birthing hips to use, right? :)
Really though, it kind of became a “why not?” scenario. We knew we wanted to have a family but were feeling too selfish with our time and doing what we wanted on a whim. But we have a home, we both have great jobs, things seem stable (knock on wood), and we only have a certain window we can do this. Started thinking that if we waited another 2 years Chris would be 35-36 (depending on when baby came) and we thought about the age we’d be when kids graduate high school and go to college, etc. No offense to older parents of course, we just felt that now was as good a time as any. Plus we didn’t know how long this would take, so, as Chris so eloquently put it when we talked about it “What the hell, let’s go for it.”
ALSO, one of the reasons I had felt hesitant about having kids was because I didn’t feel quite ready for the intense, all-consuming love that parents have for their children. But what I’ve felt for nieces and nephews has been pretty powerful already, so since those little stinkers already put me there, it was too late, so no more excuses :)

- Did I “know?”

I joked that if you’re doing something as major as creating life inside you that your body should turn blue for a couple hours after conception just so you know what’s going on :)

But, the answer is yes (kind of), then no, then yes again.
The first time I thought “hmmm, maybe I’m pregnant” was when we were in Chicago in mid-June. We were at the Field Museum where they have the huge T-Rex dinosaur skeleton and a little 25 minute 3D movie you can watch about how they found it, etc. There were parts that were in cartoon to show how it might have looked, with a lot of the dino coming out of the screen and roaring at you. In the 25 minute movie about a DINOSAUR, I got choked up three times. The only rational explanation for that was crazy hormones!
So I thought I might be.

But then we got home from Chicago and I tested on my birthday (June 23, only a couple days before I was due to start my cycle) and it was negative. I knew I shouldn’t have b/c if it was negative I was going to have disappointed feelings on my birthday, but I did it anyway. So I was bummed. But, hey, I could drink for my 30th, right? (oops) Then it seemed like I started my cycle.
Only two days later it still wasn’t really my cycle. Then I was hot a lot and then cold a lot and then I took 3 naps in one day (dad’s birthday). So those were enough to convince me to test again. And then…

- How did I tell Chris?

I took another test and it took a long time to develop, which I thought was weird compared to others I’d tested with. So, we needed to shave our cat. Yes, shave our cat. She had some mats that needed some shaving attention. So we shaved her back. After that was done (covered in fur) I grabbed the test and I didn’t look at it enough to see the result, but I thought I saw two separate words (as in, “not pregnant”) and decided to have Chris look at it before me to really see what it said. He smiled really big and looked kinda dumbstruck and said something like “it’s good.” We were both confused and here’s why: He thought I had already seen it and was confused whyI wasn’t reacting, I was confused b/c Chris ALWAYS fakes me out about things so I thought he was being a shit and faking me out about this. Even though, looking back, he would never do that about something so serious. So I whipped it back and read it and did a little freak out, cry session with him. Took a couple pictures and called my sisters.

But, lesson learned, don’t test early. Just so it’s off my mind, here’s what I did when I didn’t know I was pregnant: drank (a few times), took allergy and cold medicine a few times, drank quite a bit of caffeine, and sat in a couple hot tubs. I know, I know “women who don’t know they’re pregnant do all that all the time and everything’s fine,” but, still, I felt bad.

- How did we tell family/friends?

A small amount of people knew we were trying so they weren’t surprised, but were very happy :) I called my sisters that night and for the rest of family and friends we told them in person. Chris, naturally, made a “pregnancy test” out of Lego to be used as a prop to tell family members :D

- How am I feeling?
TIRED but good. I’ve also generally been turned off by all food, but I still eat of course. No major sickness until about week 10 (I thought I made it without morning sickness!) but that only lasted about a week. Other than that, a few things here and there that laid me up for some days; but nothing really constant.

- Will we find out what we’re having?
YES. I’m impatient and like to plan.

So there we have it! Looking forward to this journey together with a healthy baby in March 2012! Much more to come!

Impromptu Family Weekend

Filed under: Daily — April 4, 2011 @ 2:05 pm

Amy, Eric, and the kids came up for the weekend, which, amazingly enough, wasn’t planned until the Monday previous and we were all able to work it out!
Friday night everyone was at our place for my veggie chili and cornbread (my favorite veg. meal I’ve made so far). Everyone seemed to enjoy it.
Our house gets really small in a hurry with more than 4 people in it. Good thing the basement is “guest worthy” now though!

Where’s Anna?

There she is!

Took a little field trip to see Breezin’ all spiffed up.

Freckly Lilly

Tub ‘o love, Turbo

Mulch is insta-entertainment

Cutie-pie Eli (that rhymes) playing on the tire

Dad’s pottery wheel and tools

This is Katelynn’s response after seeing me these days about 75% of the time:

Who are you?

Oh, you’re not one of my moms

Please leave

I’m trying my hardest not to be offended :)

Sarah (did I mention she’s Iowa’s 2010 PGA Teacher of the Year yet!?) giving Eli a lesson

The Hettinger/Bidney/Clarkson boys at the range. I hit a few and it wasn’t pretty…

Forget hitting balls, it’s MUCH more fun to throw them or use a ball as a hammer and pound a tee in the ground!

I’M IN A SUN DRESS! (That’s what she’s saying, I could tell)

Ready for our walk now!

Much like everyone else in the state, I’m sure, we spent a lot of time outside enjoying the weather and being together (that rhymes). After a tremendous time with family, mucho vitamin D, and driving Cocoa enough to use 3/4 of a tank, I was ready to face Monday head-on. ;)

Sayonara Pepper

Filed under: Daily — March 28, 2011 @ 1:49 pm

cayenne

After a brief love affair with a stud muffin model, I started having thoughts about our relationship. What did I want out of it? How long could this really last? Even though he was a bit flashy, what would I have to pay for his health as he got older?

Ok, enough of that. We made the decision to trade in my Cayenne for a Toyota Venza. When I first started seeing them on the street a couple years ago I definitely had “oooo, what is that!?” feelings. We test drove one this weekend and liked it a lot. Our original plan for Saturday afternoon was to test drive and run other errands…two hours later I was trying to stop drooling and was filling out loan paperwork (much to Chris’ chagrin) ;) After some back and forth phone calls we went for it and will pick it up tomorrow.
So, very practical yet nice, and I’m not above loving it b/c it’s chocolate brown.

Not quite a male model, but newer with fewer miles and more bells and whistles and buttons for me to push. And most importantly, much more “me.”

venza

It’s considered a crossover though a friend’s brother said “So you’re wagon people” Maybe we are! I like wagons, but I think it looks less wagon-y in person.

What should I name it? No poop comments ;) We’re thinking Cocoa is a good one.
PS - No that’s not my Pepper in the first pic (as evident by the palm trees) but it’s pretty much the same.

Skiing 2011

Filed under: Daily — January 18, 2011 @ 3:20 pm

After having skipped last year’s trip, we were muy anxious to get back to Winter Park! It was much like other trips out there - fun, tiring, relaxing, with some intimidating runs (hey, blues can be scary).

The days kind of run together as you’re doing the same thing everyday (breakfast, skiing, lunch, skiing, dinner, hot tub, sleep, repeat) so no need to itemize the days. Mostly just pics to share.

On the lift up. I should always remember that wearing goggles and smiling don’t work out.
1

Outside of Sunspot, our favorite mountain-top break spot.
sunspot

Ready to head down
slope

Base
Base

Teeheehee
shirt

Pretty
pretty

We lucked out and sat across from a really nice couple (Shelley and Nate) on the bus. We always had a lot to chat about and we met up to ski, hot tub, have dinner over the trip.
Before we headed out to ski together
N&S

Snowy last day
snow

Bus entertainment
cards

So the ride out was uneventful….the ride home, not so much.

Our driver was late picking us up because she had to put chains on the tires. Once we get out of the mountains it was time to take the chains off.
Chris helping out
tires

Well, in the process one of the tire’s valves was ripped out, causing a flat. It was an inside tire so we could drive to Denver to get it fixed. We stopped at a truck stop for a little over an hour waiting for the tire to be fixed and eating dinner. This was the same truckstop we stayed at for over 8 hours a few years ago when I-70 was closed leading into the mountains. What can we say, the TA truckstop outside Denver is our home away from home :)
The entire trip home we were in a big snowstorm with the worst road conditions I’ve ever seen. Lots of white outs caused by speeding semis, drifts over the roads, ice, and just general “Please God, let us make it home alive” type conditions. Our 12 hour trip turned into 20! We wanted to get home but we didn’t want to chance the trip (after pressing our luck on the bus trip!) and drive on ice to Des Moines. We stayed at mom’s place overnight so we got to spend time with Amy and the kiddos and mom, not a bad deal!

This past weekend we were in Sioux City for the Hettinger Family Christmas. It was too quick of a trip, but it was great to see everyone again, open presents, eat great food, and play a lot of games. Chris brought his Lego London Tower Bridge, which became a fun thing for everyone to stop by and put a few pieces on. And with that our holidays are officially done; we like to stretch them out as much as possible ;)

Holidays 2010

Filed under: Daily — December 27, 2010 @ 12:21 pm

Christmas was a couple days ago and I’m already missing it. I’ll be 30 next year and I love it as much as I did when I was a kid, though I suppose that’s a good thing! Anyway, time for a recap. Christmas day was Chris and my mom.

Again, when you’re almost 30 there’s not many times when you can still wear braided pigtails; Christmas morning is one of those times.
Hollis

Mom in her awesome owl pjs and the heated throw we got her
mom

Chris got a bunch of things Lego-related of course. Both from me and from “Santa.” The great thing about Lego is there are a bunch of things that are very collectible, so for gift-giving occassions I like to focus on the collectible items. This is a Lego Maquette of Boba Fett. One of 1,500 made.Boba Fett

Had to get this one in there too. Evolution of Lego :)
Lego2

present

A much-needed new ski coat! Very ready for our trip now!
ski coat

After gift opening I snuck in a nap and started in on lunch - veggie lasagna, scalloped potatoes, and green bean casserole. In my awesome pjs I got from my in-laws and the tablecloth I got from my in-laws a couple years ago!
table

We got all dolled up and headed to Plymouth for Katelynn’s baptism. Amy, Eric, Eli, and Anna came earlier in the day and were with our dad and step-mom, so we all met up for the baptism.

Adorable little miss in her baptism gear with momma Stephanie
baptism

Anna loving my necklace. I’m SO excited as she’s a natural red-head! I have no idea where that red came from as both her parents have brown hair. I’m jealous :)
redhead

Eli praying
Eli

Lady, I was just fine until you poured cold water on my head
baptism2

Entertaining the kids in the back
baptism3

She moved on from enjoying my necklace to my hair
hair

Our family and Steph’s family
family

After the baptism we did Christmas #2 with mom, Amy, and Eric and fam.

Chris and Eli putting together a Lego Christmas tree
tree

Amy said Eli has been big on boardgames so we got him Memory. When he opened it he looked at it and said “Can I open the next one?” HA!!!

Eli covering up his eyes for his BIG gift - a SPIDERMAN bike!
bike

bike2

Eric helping Eli with his BUZZ snuggie :)
snuggie

Christmas #3 was the day after Christmas with dad and Roberta at the Hill.

Aunt Amy and cousin Eli time
fam

Last year’s gift proudly displayed
leg lamp

This requires a backstory. About 5-6 years ago I was at a work Christmas party. One of my dad’s employees restores old cars. He came up to me at the party and said he had a dream where I came to his office, pointed at a carbeurator (sp?) and asked if I was named after it (it was a 1969 Holley 2-barrel carbeurator). This got me thinking and I asked my dad if, in fact, I was named after a Holley carbeurator (w/o the ‘e’). He got this giant smile on his face so I knew it was true! I was amazed that I didn’t know this for 23 years and thought it was so random. If this guy never had that dream, would I have ever known this!? So, yes, he had this 1969 Holley carbeurator that he loved so much that when they sold their Beetle, he swapped that carbeurator out and kept it and dragged it around with him over the years and through every move. He finally gave it to this guy to use in one of his restored cars. I gave dad a hard time for giving away my namesake! So here we are, 5-6 years later and I go to open this gift. He had gotten the carbeurator back, mounted it on a wood stand, and had a plaque engraved that says “The “Holly” two-barrel carbeurator. Est 1981″
I CRACKED up and even got a little choked up! Definitely one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. It is now displayed in our home :)
carbeurator

Yeah, I cried :)
carbeurator3

carbeurator4

carbeurator2

Cute buns after a nasty diaper :)
buns

This year’s wine collection, mmmmm
wine

This is also pretty awesome, an air-zooka. Shoots a puff of air at people; we had a great time shooting everyone the rest of the day, hehe
airzooka

Dad and Roberta with their coordinates doormat we got them and drinking glasses with their boat’s name on them. Weltevreden II
DandR

Hi cousin!
cousins

This is wear pants go, right?
pants

Eli and Anna next to the Buddha symbol statue I got (means knowledge, agreement, understanding). It will go in our beautimus basement once it’s finished!
hand

That’s it for pictures. We love our little camera, but we’re definitely missing our heftier one. The shutter on it gave out after Chris took a million photos on it :) We’ll be replacing it soon. My good friend Megan is visiting from NY so we saw a movie with her and her parents last night and caught up a bit last night. Today we’ll check out the Da Vinci exhibit at the Science Center - really looking forward to that!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

525,600 Minutes

Filed under: Daily — December 20, 2010 @ 8:26 pm

SO since it’s been 4 months and 2010 is coming to a close, I thought I better finally blog again! It has been a wonderful year for us Hettingers and families. Even though this should “technically” be done at Thanksgiving, I wanted to list what I’m thankful for in this past year

- The birth of not one but TWO nieces, Anna and Katelynn. Now that both my sisters have children there’s probably a little more internal tugging for a family, but those moments are few and far between ;) Maybe if kids came out covered in fur we’d be more likely to want them sooner than later - I’d go for a long-haired variety

- A husband I’m crazy about. He’s a constant source of laughs, but also strength when I’m not feeling so strong. “Love you so much, forever.”

- Wonderful family on both the Hettinger and Bidney side; always supportive and caring

- Fabulous friends and girls’ nights

- Our furry kids who give the type of companionship only a pet can give. Not ashamed in the least about the insane amount of love I have for them.

- A job I really like and where I feel like a contributing member (even if getting up in the morning isn’t all that fun). Great managers and co-workers make the work environment wonderful to be in. Very thankful for two promotions in two years.

- Our townhouse which is becoming more and more us all the time (oh and thanks to the husband who keeps “letting us” do a project, only to start another one once completed)

- Des Moines Community Orchestra; for being a musical outlet. SO happy that Des Moines has an orchestra for non-professionals who just want to keep playing. Esctatic to be bowing away on a wooden box with strings since I was 5.

- This should probably be farther up on the list, but our health. Besides the occassional bug we’ve been very healthy. Jogging has become rather routine for us (well, not so much with the holidays, but besides that!); love that we do 5Ks together, hope we increase to a 10K in 2011.

- My pescetarian food-life since last March. Whether it’s b/c I’m a Bidney, or a girl (or both) there aren’t too many things about myself that I feel truly proud about, but this is one of them. Not eating anything with fur or feathers puts me at ease. They say that 1 vegetarian “saves” 90 animals a year by not eating meat. Trying new recipes and veggies I’ve never eaten before has been a constant thrill and I’ve been continually amazed at how realistic meat substitutes are (though, yes, they are processed). I’m excited for the 1-year mark and have been trying to think of how to celebrate. Also makes me even crazier about the husband - he’s very supportive and will eat every sans-meat thing I make. “Butternut squash with cous cous!? Mmmmmmmm” he says ;)
It’s been a challenge and there’s still the occassional craving (less and less); I’m not perfect (use leather items) but I’ve enjoyed this learning process more than I could imagine.

- Good wine, good movies, and good books :)