Sunday, October 27, 2013

Kings FanFest

Well over a week ago, the family went downtown one morning for a sort of pep rally for the Sacramento Kings. It was a big festival that took over the Capitol Mall, with all kinds of food trucks, tents, live music and tons of little activities for the kids. 

Lots of them were basketball themed, but there were also some of those blow-up houses, for which we know from experience that June is a little too young/cautious. One mom that we knew sighed at one point and said, "I'm going to have to go in there to get her, aren't I?" about her daughter, who was a bouncing machine in a blow-up obstacle course. I was a heartbeat away from screaming "I'LL GO IN!" and then remembered BabyShock and thought better of it. And thus, my false reputation of having some maturity and restraint lives on another day.

While Michael was off doing Other Things, June and I chased down two mounted police and got to pet one of the horses.  I was so glad to see her be bold enough to get so close to them since she's generally a little afraid of strange animals and, let's face it, there is something a little intimidating about horses. (They can sense uneasiness!) She talked about "Pete and Tango" the rest of the day.

The California Capitol Building in all its glory...

One of the last things we managed to do before leaving was get a picture with Slamson the Lion. June LOVES mascots and was talking about Slamson all day. When I saw him standing over with some dancers getting ready to perform for the crowd, I carried June over to get a closer look. He saw me pointing and came over to get a picture! Isn't that nice? June was PSYCHED.

She was NOT psyched when it was time to head home for a nap, but all good things must come to an end.

Monday, October 21, 2013

It's a Boy....Still!

Alternative titles for this post:

Once, Twice, Three Times Not a Lady, or
Third Time's a Penis, for sure this time

As I mentioned in this post, we scheduled a non-medical ultrasound at 20 weeks to find out the sex of our baby. The ultrasound technician gave us a very confident "Boy!" answer and we were so excited. We started picturing our lives, we went over boy names, we got June to come around to the idea of a little brother.

A week ago we had our first appointment with our healthcare provider in Sacramento. I asked to see a midwife (instead of an OBGYN) and we had a nice little appointment where Michael remembered more about my surgical history than I did (wisdom teeth) and I proceeded to overshare and start sweating.

They said that they normally do an ultrasound to confirm a pregnancy at the first appointment, but my case was a little unorthodox since I didn't need much confirmation. Nonetheless, when faced with the chance to see little BabyShock again, we said "Sure!" (PLUS, I sort of wanted confirmation that it was a boy because of my slight doubts about the first ultrasound.)

The brought out the machine, set it up and we waited. "Well, I'm not a trained technician," said the midwife, "but I'd say it's a girl!"

"Eerrrrrrrr" Michael and I said together. What the what? We looked a little longer and she stayed with her opinion that it was a girl.

Michael and I didn't really know what to think. Obviously we'd be thrilled either way, and the only thing that matters is that the baby is healthy, but we were definitely thrown. What would June think? Well now we can use all of June's hand-me-downs! No more khaki courderoy overalls? Can we get our money back on that other ultrasound?

The midwife said I had to get a medical ultrasound (where they take measurements, look at development of the heart, etc.) but scheduling would be tough since they were booked. The next day I got a call from the provider and they asked if I could come later that afternoon. So Michael and I headed off to yet ANOTHER ultrasound, what we thought of as the Tie Breaker Ultrasound. Whatever this technician said, that's what we were going to prepare for. We only wanted them to tell us if they could tell 100% what the baby was.

We waited and waited for our no-nonsense, highly experienced, professionally and medically trained ultrasound technician to tell us that - 100% sure - it was a boy! "See, there's his package," he said in his Armenian accent.

I tell you, our first pregnancy, we had exactly one ultrasound done - to find out June's gender. No stress, no funny business. For this pregnancy, we have had five ultrasounds so far and have had TWO misinterpretations. I adore me some midwives and love their style and approach to pregnancy and childbirth. But I've learned that maybe we should leave the ultrasounding to the technicians and don't let the midwives operate roll-y cart ultrasounds and tell people that there is no baby when there is or that their boy is a girl.

So! It's a boy...again!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Anniversary Derailed

A few months ago Michael and I talked about what we would do for our fifth anniversary. Michael's cousin was getting married that weekend in New Jersey, and I had visions of New York City in my mind. We could celebrate PJ's wedding and we knew that Michael's parents would be willing to stay a couple extra days and watch June in New Jersey while Michael and I spent a couple days milling about NYC, sampling the food and seeing the sights. I visited the website of Sleep No More to see if I could reserve tickets that far in advance.

Good thing I couldn't!

Things happened so quickly...Michael was offered a job in Sacramento and soon we were packing up. With his new work, it didn't make as much sense to ask for 4 days off right away. Then we got an offer on our home and found out that the closing date was the week after our anniversary, so we had to use that weekend to pack up the house and officially move out.

So our anniversary weekend went from being unfettered in New York to packing boxes in our old home. I'm getting slammed at work and am stressed out of my mind. Not exactly the definition of romantic, but we make plans and God laughs, right?

I know that Michael is worried about me being disappointed. He knew how excited I was about New York. He worries that I'm disappointed in how our anniversary is turning out - especially a mini-milestone one like the big FIVE. (Is five a milestone? I think so?)

But the thing is that I've spent almost no time thinking about what could have been on this, our fifth anniversary where we celebrate five years of married life together. Because we're too busy LIVING married life, you know? We're building those little memories that make up the stuff you remember, whether it be in New York or in an emptying home with a lot of sweaty mover men. We'll make it through this weekend, and some other time in the course of our unpredictable married life, we'll make it to New York.

So HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to my heart, my love, my Michael. As we head off to the airport for a date with life's little surprises and interruptions.

I love you even more today than I did back then, if possible. I love you, I do.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


  • We started giving June gummy toddler vitamins. She loves them and looks forward to the one she gets each day. Well one day Michael gave her the vitamin, which turned out to be two vitamins stuck together. "I got TWO! I got TWO bitamins!" June said. Michael laughed, "You tricked me into giving you two! You're very tricky, June!" (The vitamin bottle actually says that toddlers should have two, so I'm not really concerned with the fact that she got more than the usual one. Well now almost every day when we get home, and often in the car on the way home, June will start talking about her vitamin. "Mommy, I want to be tricky. Can I be tricky? Can I be tricky and get TWO bitamins?"

  • The other night we were getting ready to go out to dinner. I was flipping through a Sacramento Magazine, reading the synopses of restaurant reviews. June ran up to me and tried to close the magazine. After the second time she did this, I said, "Don't do that June." She wandered off. The next thing I heard was Michael asking June, "What are you doing over there?" She was sitting on the chair we use for time out. "I in trouble," June said. "What did you do?" "I close Mommy's book." The funny thing is that I used to put myself in timeout when I was a little girl, and now June has done it too. Guilty conscience runs in the family?
  • I had done my hair in a little braid that leads back into a pony tail. I was sitting on the ground putting my shoes on when June walked up to me and said, "Your hairs look pretty." It was the sweetest thing, the first time she's ever complimented (to my knowledge) without repeating someone else or being asked about something.
  • June and Michael have this game where he pretends he's a horse. June speaks to him in a gentle voice and leads him around the apartment with her hands tucked under his chin. She loves pretending to feed him oats, and today told me that she "had to go to the store to buy more oats." My favorite part, though, was when I asked her what the horse's name was and she replied, "Syrup."

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Disney on Ice: Passport to Adventure

On Saturday we took June to Disney on Ice, for which she was only slightly more excited than I was. 

Neither of us had been to this show before, and neither of us really researched what happens during the show, so we told June she was going to go see a "Princess Show" and she got super excited. Of course it turned out that it only featured ONE princess, choosing to display an assortment of what Disney has to offer, causing June to ask "Where the Princesses at?" and me to nervously reply "They'll come out soon."

The good news was that the ONE princess that did have a pretty long section was Ariel, who just happened to be the princess June was dressed like!

After making a split-second, show-saving decision to rent a booster seat, we made our way to our seats. The lovely  gentleman behind us offered to take a picture of us exactly when the lights went down and the show lights came on. I'm posting it because, even though it's not the highest-quality picture, I love how June is totally ensnared already:

In her lap is the little light-up Ariel magic wand we got her. It has slept/napped with her for every snooze session since we left the arena.

The show was great. Fast-moving, with Mickey and the gang making frequent appearances.

I got a little nervous during sections that involved characters she'd never seen before. Luckily the music and costumes kept her pretty enthralled, only leaving her to ask some questions for clarification. ("He's a bunny?" about Stitch from Lilo and Stitch, who is an alien. And "They...they are not very nice?" about the pirates from Peter Pan.)

Her favorite, of course, was Ariel. We got to see all the good songs (except for Poor Unfortunate Souls, but then again I have a special place in my heart for villain songs...I could write a whole blog post about this alone.)

The last section was with Peter Pan and her other favorite - Tinkerbell.

It was such a great time, and really made me look forward to the day when we'll take this little girl to Disneyland to see ALL the princesses!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Pumpkin Pickers

Last weekend we took June to a pumpkin patch!

While I was driving around our little corner of Sacramento, I drove past a big farm that had signs advertising the pumpkin patch and the other little attractions they had. I made a vow to return and talked Michael into going on Sunday. 

Check out these gray pumpkins!

It's so fun that June is at an age where she actually enjoys things and understands the concept behind them. She's old enough to pose in those cheesy photo-op setups!

When we saw the corn maze entrance and the exit pretty close to each other, I figured we'd take a little trip inside and be out in minutes. That...did not happen.

June was so cute in the maze, talking about the corn and how she was following Mommy and how she wanted to go on the train later. Michael and kept her chatting while we secretly gave each other looks saying "Do you have ANY IDEA how to get out of here?"

This is happy Michael and June in the maze:

And this is Michael and June cutting their way through the corn field to escape the field once we finally got close enough to an outer edge to see light on the other side.

Corn Failure.

June did NOT want to go into the hay bale maze, and Michael and I weren't really keen on it either. She did allow her dad to help her climb the hay bale pyramid though.

We played, we ate, we took a hay ride. 

By the time it was time to pick out pumpkins, we were about ready to head home. So instead of taking a wagon out into the fields, we just selected from the pre-picked ones and called it a day.

Michael was so sweet. When I was explaining that we would each get our own pumpkin, Michael remembered to pick out a tiny little pumpkin for BabyShock.

June was so in love with hers that she wanted to hold it all the way home, then told us she wanted to take a nap with it.

Now our little pumpkin family sits outside our front door...except when June catches a wave of attachment and insists on bringing hers inside for cuddling.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Fairytale Town

In the awesome area of town known as Land Park, there is a gigantic park that gave the area its name (that and William Land, I guess). The Sacramento Zoo is there, along with a small lake, a tiny theme park called Funderland and another little place called Fairtale Town. 

We read that there was a little event going on at Fairytale Town (a kids book fair) that gave us free admission, so we decided to take advantage!

The place was cute, with little structures built all over the place with the intent to represent the different fairy tales, or just to make some fun activities for the kids.

June was a little hesitant with some of the slides at first, but once she got going we had to pull her away.

In Cinderella's carriage:

There were little pens for small animals to see. June also got to get up-close-and-personal with one oversized dog:

June certainly was in the mood to play. The educational components and the book read-alongs on stage didn't quite hold her attention as much. ("Are you sure you want to slide more? We could go to Peter Rabbit's hut and learn how to plant green beans!")

We bought a couple of books, stopped at Captain Hook's pirate ship and then headed home for naps. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

The results are in, and...

It's a BOY!!!

That is, if you trust ultrasound technicians and their "professional experience." (She mentioned that the umbilical cord was also going down between his legs, so I was like, "How can you be sure you're not mistaking the cord for the penis?" But Michael insists that since this is technically "what she does for a living" and since she does this "day in and day out" that we can probably rely on her report.)

Already showing off his biceps:

Michael and I  are SO excited, you can imagine. I couldn't believe it at first, so we just stared and smiled and wondered. I kept searching the screen, trying to see a clear image with my own eyes. "Michael, can you believe it?" I said, then realized he was trying to block June from weaving her body into the cord of the blinds.

We brought June with us. We thought it'd be a great thing to do as a family, and I'm sure it would have been if June hadn't been at energy level 1000 with an Ornery Powerboost. She was all over the place, including climbing under the table my ultrasound was taking place on. Overall, it was probably the perfect statement about experiencing pregnancy the second time around with a toddler.

A boy! I can't believe we're having a boy! I'm so excited and keep thinking of little boy things, like khaki corduroy overalls. (Do boys wear khaki corduroy overalls?) (See! This is exactly why I'm also nervous. If we were having a girl, I'd feel like we were getting into something we already knew, but with a boy there are tons of new things we'll experience. Like diaper changing accidents. And circumcision. And children who are not naturally cautious.)

We are SO thrilled! June is...a little less so. She had her heart set on having a sister. At first she just said "No," when we told her that it was a boy. Now we've made a little progress and instead she just says that maybe we can name the baby "sister." I'm sure we'll get her to come around.

Baby boy! We can't wait to meet you!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

June's Second Year Video

Last year it took me 6 months to post the video I made of her first year of life. I told myself that I'd get her second video up in less time, and yet here we are on June's half birthday! Another 6 month job of pulling this video together!

If you're interested in watching this (indulgent, five-minute) video, here it is!

Happy Half Birthday, June!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Neighborhood Hunting

At this point it's looking like we might sell our house in Arizona before we manage to find a place to move into in Sacramento. It's not that big of a deal, except our stuff will sit in storage for a bit while I go nuts wanting to have my own kitchen items back and wanting a place that feels like mine so I can put gourds and pumpkins around the place and actually feel like we're putting down roots.

We've been checking out neighborhoods in the Sacramento area. It's the same as most places - the closer you get in toward the city and where the 'action' is, the more expensive houses become. There are adorable little places downtown that were built in the 50's and have awesome charm, but they're tiny and expensive.

It seems like you have to compromise on something: location, size, charm or cost. I'm willing to compromise, but am I naive for wanting at least two of these things? Or three? Any chance we find one with all four, but despite not having the highest offer, I write a touching essay with illustrative graphs and move the current owners to accept us instead?

I'd love to live closer in to downtown Sacramento. There are lots of suburbs that are really lovely and have reputations for great schools, but they just seem so far away. I'd like to try the closer-to-everything life, especially since it'll mean a shorter commute for Michael.

Michael took us on a drive through an area called Land Park last weekend. Some of the higher-ups at his work live there and it's known for it's sprawling park, old charm and great schools. It nearly killed me dead.

Brick houses, vine-covered porticos, little cottages that come directly out of a fairy tale. Oh wonderful, a pack of adorable children playing on a rope swing over a perfectly manicured lawn. Oh great, an older couple watering their gorgeous flower garden together. Surprise! A large group of people laughing outside a house with a big banner that said, "Welcome Neighbors! Third Annual 2nd Avenue Potluck!" I WANT TO MAKE MEATBALLS AND BE ONE OF YOU PEOPLE.

Problem is that a 4 bedroom house in this area can easily go for $1million, which is not exactly our budget at this moment in time.  So instead we drove around while I groaned with appreciation and envy.

So the search continues.