Monday, April 30, 2012

In a nutshell

Last week was a pretty busy week. I like pretty busy weeks.

I made caramels and brownies for a charity bake sale and 4 loaves of friendship bread for book club.

Elliott started coach pitch (t-ball) and did a great job. He got hits off of all his pitches in both games and didn't need to use the tee except for once...pretty impressive.

That 5 year old of mine also had his 5 year old check up (as tall as a 7 year old and as skinny as a 4 year old) because he and I had kindergarten orientation. Ahhh, the public school system. I'm ready for them, but they may not be ready for me.

Dad went camping with the scouts and the boys and I had a date on Friday night - dinner and basketball. Uncle Willie started his spring league basketball with a 3-0 record. Oh, I love basketball. Especially when the boys are so excited to play and they win squeakers by one point with seconds left.

And I mowed the lawn.  My back still hurts two days later.  I've always sort of been the lawn mower in our house and I love that job.  My current condition however, isn't going to let me do it much longer, so  I'm jumping the gun a bit (racing the husband to the mower) to get as many turns as I can before I seriously cannot do it.

Bread done. Now to clean my house.

Running to first. Hit his second pitch.

Ooey gooey marble brownie bars. For a bake sale. Not for me.

Kindergarten orientation is intense. Immunization nazis (self proclaimed) and crazy box top lady

Let spring ball begin. #hhsbball

Stubborn lawnmower today. Or a new style of nail polish?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

New Music (for me)

Not a huge fan of the Neon Trees, or this video for that matter.




This song, blasted as loud as the boys and I can handle it, on repeat, is totally awesome and rocking our Saturday morning!

So are the sleeping bag sleds for that matter.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

20 weeks

Today marks 20 weeks of expecting baby boy #3 and 20 weeks to go until he's here....give or take.  This whole baby process is a pretty amazing thing, it really is and this experience, this third time around, has been so different than the previous two that I'm super curious as to what the third little boy, the runt perhaps, has in store for me.

Jan 29.012

Elliott, 5 days old still in the hospital but finally opening his eyes.

When we were waiting for Elliott ("Gary") to get here I was sick and nervous and tired.  I was working full time.  It had just been brought to my attention that I was lucky enough to be a diabetic.  There was a lot of pressure (self created and inflicted) on me to do everything well.  I read books, read websites, monitored kicks and tried to control my anxiety...which at times was immense.

I was so nervous to be a mom.  I knew how to take care of a baby and a kid, but not full time and not one that belonged to me.  But, the excitement was overwhelming, the kicks and flips from the inside out a literal pain and the heartache of having a baby born early, with bad lungs, and stuck in a hospital for 9 days was pretty rough.  Minus when my grandmother's passed away years later, I don't think that I had ever cried so hard as the day I left the hospital and my chunky monkey stayed.

But, he came home and survived and thrived and became a giant fat Roley Polly who has turned into a vibrant and brilliant 5 year old.  We butt heads but I love this little boy more than anything.

baby wyatt

Wyatt, one day old and sound asleep.

The second time around, I felt much more prepared.  I knew that I'd feel awful and wore my trusty pressure point wristbands nearly every day (and night) of the first 8 weeks or so.    But, even though I felt like puking all day long I had a giant two year old distraction keeping me busy and well...distracted.  Already having a kid, for me at least, was a great way to avoid being sick and miserable.  I probably let Elliott watch too much TV and eat too many chicken nuggets while waiting for the Chick to arrive but I was already entering mother of two survival mode.

Waiting for Wyatt to get here was very different than Elliott.  The anxiety and nerves were largely held at bay, the diabetes was very under control and if I would have known the personality of my number 2 son before, like I do now, the acrobatics and punches before he was born would have made much more sense.  This kid was captain destruction long before he was born.  

My greatest anxiety with the little Chickadee was that he, like his brother, would be sick at birth and have to stay in the hospital.  But, those extra 10 days of cooking, which nearly killed me, served him well and was with me in hours instead of days.  Bringing the number two boy home was hard, especially because his brother was sick.  Being a working (even if it was part-time) mother of two was more overwhelming than I ever anticipated it to be.  After 3 months of severe anxiety I was ready to be medicated to take the edge off and love my kids a little more than I was.

Now though, as he's a few weeks away from being three, I love him lots and lots.  Even if, and probably because he is crazy.  And, has chubby cheeks.

My third son, profile from 2 weeks ago.

This time around, this third boy has been so different.  I've been blessed by the grandmas in heaven to never be sick, except for a few weeks of going to bed early because I thought I might lose my mind...and my dinner.  My diabetes has been relatively under control, much more so than the previous two times.  This third time has been so "easy" (even though it hasn't - there have been a few things that have freaked me out) that minus the random daily "flutters", I'm still not totally convinced it's a baby.  A mass or growth or even a tumor? I even told Ross that we should rent a Doppler so I can make sure that there is a heartbeat, and not an alien plotting the demise of the human race.

My biggest concern this time around, is how to take care of an infant in the chaos that is our lives.  We, like everyone else, are busy and the schedules and the sleep deprivation and the feedings and the diapers...oh man.  Not sure I'm ready for it all over again.  But, I am ready to meet this kid.  Will he be a third clone - look just like his brothers, or will he be a redhead just to throw things off?  Will he be a tank or a twerp?  Will he be frantic like Elliott, peaceful like Wyatt, or a mix of the two?

I am excited.

Really, excited.

But that doesn't mean I'm going to talk about it again.  I'm too superstitious, to anxious, and too tired.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Easter, a couple of weeks late

As mentioned previously, we spent Easter weekend in Arizona with Ross family.  Two of our days were spent in a single home with 11 people, three dogs, and a little too much chaos (at least for me).  We ate food, played with toys, had Easter treasure hunts and egg searches and some great family time.  Five little boys in the family 5 and under can really wear the grown-ups out.   Good thing we're adding boy number #6 to the mix this fall.

(P.S.  Loads more pictures on flickr - just click on any pic to see the rest)


Being goofy boys.


Talking about the hunt...


The "golden" grandson reaps all the spoils because he's bigger and faster.

apr 12

The twiners being rabbits with carrots and celery.


Little boys coloring easter eggs.  Figuring out how to share the colors and the eggs was a bit of a challenge....with boys it seems all that matters is doing the most eggs, the the best.


Having dad (aka Uncle Ross) read the clues to find the Easter baskets.


Such a handsome bunch of sweet and mischievous little boys...boys who did not want to hold still for a group shot.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Nine Years


philadelphia christmas 123

Barely pregnant hair

melanie and justin100

family portrait

my family

Chickermunker in the bathroom sink




People say we look alike.

Forgive the photo retrospective, but today is my wedding anniversary.  In February I got to look at an awesome book my sister-in-law put together of her relationship through wedding with Ross' brother.  They have so many pictures of the two of them together.  I told her that I didn't think that in 9 years of marriage and 10 years together that there are more than 50 pictures of my husband and me in the same photo.  She didn't believe me, but after looking through my archives, I'm pretty close to being right.

I love my husband dearly.  We balance each other out.  Our obnoxious compliments each other perfectly.  He see's the glass as half full when I see it as empty.  I can find the positive when he has nothing good to say.  He goes to work and I wash and fold and put away his underwear.  He takes shirts to the dry cleaner so I don't have to ruin them with the iron.  I cook dinner, he does the grocery shopping.  I vacuum, and he empties the dishwasher.  He is a hard worker and an excellent father.  Nothing makes me happier than seeing him load the boys into his truck on a Saturday morning for a grand adventure with their dad.  He puts up with me, and all the crapola (and hormones) I throw at him on a daily basis.  He tells me that I'm not fat, even though I know he knows I am.  He is level headed to my panic.  I am empathy to his apathy.  We are complete opposites and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Unlike in years past, we are actually celebrating our anniversary with a night on the town...just like the old days when we were the "couple that does things".  Dinner, a musical, a night away from the kids.  He is ecstatic about sleeping in, in a quiet hotel room.  I am terrified about not being within 10 feet of my kids when they are asleep.  

But, as with everything else in our lives together - everything will work out as it should.

Monday, April 16, 2012

In a nutshell...

Toilet training day. Glad I'm not home. :)

So, on Saturday it was time.  It was time to get rid of the diapers and move on to the big boy pants.  I'll admit, that diapers are easier and I've been lazy.  Toilet training probably could have happened a while ago but I just didn't have the energy.  I still don't have the energy.  Luckily I have a very smart boy who is one month away from being three years old and he was ready.  There have, of course, been protests and today only marks day three of this new adventure but so far so good.  Two nights with no problems and not a single accident since mid-day on Saturday.

My children, unlike their mother, have bladders made of steel.  And the Chick will do anything for candy.  One lemon head for the toilet and one for him to eat.

Dad was left in charge of the toilet training on Saturday morning because I am too intense.  So the older, annoying brother and I went out on a morning adventure.  It's hard to learn to pee in a toilet when your big brother is following you around with a cup full of water trying to get you to drink it and asking if you've peed yet.

The older boy and I ran errands, got lunch, and backed into a car, denting the crap out of the poor souls passenger side door.  She was from Las Vegas and luckily, very luckily, she was very, very, nice.

Not a bad way to spend a Saturday.  Right?

A line goose.

My lunch date.

Friday, April 13, 2012

My Three Sons

Last March, about two months after my grandma had passed away, life was of course moving on and we were all gathered at one of Elliott's indoor soccer games.  As we mingled at the end of the game and everyone started walking out of the gym, my mom pulled me aside, towards the two remaining folding chairs in the gym, and sat me down, knee to knee.

She looked me in the eye and told me that she'd had an inspiration to tell me something important.  She told me, as well as I can remember, that after a conversation with my grandpa a few days before, she'd felt a prompting to tell me that I needed to have a big family.  I was taken a bit off guard because two kids was pretty much all I could handle at the moment.  And, even though Ross and I had at one time discussed that when the Chick was three, we would have "the talk" about adding a third (seriously, I mean we'd just start talking about it.  No action, lots of scenario planning), I was pretty content.

I immediately asked my mom, wanting to keep things fair, if she had a prompting to tell my sister the same inspiration.  She said that this didn't have anything to do with my sister, just me.  My next question was, how many kids constitute a "big" family.  She said she didn't know, but that it was more than two.  She had a strong feeling that my grandma was in heaven lining up spirits to send down to earth and that at least one or more of those spirits were intended for me.

Gosh.  Thanks mom.  No pressure, right?

Well, I proceeded to do what I do best - put the idea out of my head and ignore my mom and her impression.  Another baby was not something I was ready to consider at the time and I wasn't really sure if ever.  Did I want another baby?  Sure.  Who doesn't want a cuddly, squishy ball of goo to love and dote over?  Unlike a lot of people, I absolutely love newborns.  I could hold a baby all day long.  Mobile squirts stress me out but little balls of squish?  They melt my heart.  But last March, a baby was the last thing on my mind.  Instead, it was full of thoughts of moving, my husbands overwhelming job, the upcoming trip to Disneyland and, well, laundry of course.

As with all things like this, I kept my conversation with my mom between me and Ross, and did my best to put it out of my head.  We probably had more preliminary conversations leading up to "the talk" than we would have otherwise, but by the beginning of the summer, the thought was completely out of our heads.

In August, I had a momentary lapse and thought - "Oh no!  I have to have a baby right now!"  There were a few weeks of panicked and calculated discussions but you don't see a baby in my arms right now so obviously, I backed myself off of that ledge.  Instead, I thought that if I were going to have another child, I needed to get healthy.  This was the spark that got me started on my exercise and healthier eating kick - 3-5 days of exercise a week, lots of sweat and sore muscles saw me drop 10 pounds and a bunch of inches really quickly.  I liked seeing results, even if I wasn't really losing any weight, and felt that this was the right track for me.

Both of my grandmother's celebrate birthdays in September, five days apart.  My Grandma Huber's birthday is September 13th.  The days leading up to her birthday saw me as a very emotional and totally depressed and distraught grand-daughter.  I was so sad that she was gone from the earth.  I visited her grave, taking some beautiful flowers from my yard.  I cried myself to sleep at night, just not sure where the overwhelming emotions were coming from.  It made sense to be sad, but it didn't make sense to me to be THIS sad.  Once her birthday passed, the emotions lingered, but were manageable.

September however marked the beginning of the holiday season, a time of year that was terribly important to my grandma because she loved to throw parties and every month in the fall and winter proved the perfect opportunity for all of us to get together to eat and hang out.  I completely avoided Halloween and all the potential emotions surrounding it, but could not get out of Thanksgiving.  This was to be a Thanksgiving were we were present.  It was at my grandpa's house.  Everyone was stressed out because we didn't know how to feel or act or be.  There was just such a hole where my grandma should have been.

I spent the week leading up to Thanksgiving with terrible insomnia.  I was sleeping a solid hour or two a night and the intense emotions of September were back.  I was exhausted and sad and just felt so overwhelmed.  There were long tear filled conversations with my husband at night but I just couldn't shake the sad.  Of course the holiday was great.  We had fun.  The food was good (as good as Thanksgiving food can be).  I brought crafts and projects and all of the grand kids hung out in the basement playing and laughing and beading bracelets and playing drawing games.

But, I just couldn't shake this lingering feeling.  There was a big gaping hole and without the knowledge of how to fill it, or how to make the feelings go away, I was really struggling.

As November creeped into December my nerves got the better of me and the anxiety hit strong.  There were a couple days that I popped 1/2 of an old xanex because I couldn't calm myself down.  As best as I could, I kept all these feelings to myself, but no matter what I did, I couldn't get my grandma out of my head.

Then one morning, a clear morning, I awoke calm.  After months of blocking it, the thoughts of my March conversation with my mom returned to my head and no matter what I tried, I couldn't stop thinking about babies.  Not just babies, but that my mom was right.  My grandma was lining up spirits in heaven and that my indecision, or ignorance, or both, was preventing a person from getting to this earth.  Then, as if an anvil had been dropped onto my head, my emotions of the last few months became clear.  It was my grandma trying to talk to me.  She was flooding my brain and my thoughts, helping me to find my path to the inevitable.

My mom has always told me that when you are thinking about someone who has passed away, that at that moment, they are with you.  They are holding your hand, in your presence.  That their spirit is with you.

Well, if that's true, and I believe it is, then my grandma was spending months of her valuable time in heaven trying to get through my thick skull something that had been so clear.  Once I figured it out I had to work up the courage to tell Ross that our plan to wait until Wyatt was 3 to have the discussion about having another baby was moot.  I had made my decision and it was time to get our act together.  In our ordered, organized lives, that was the most "throw caution to the wind" I had ever been.

The week after Christmas I didn't feel well.  We had been out returning Christmas gifts at some local stores and ended up at Wal-Mart.  While the boys were in the return line and then wandering to get a few items, I headed to the drug store section and bought myself a box of pregnancy tests.  If I remember, Ross wanted me to take one that night.  I didn't.  I did however wake up that morning to use the bathroom, probably around 5 am or so and decided to take one then.

It was positive.

I left it on the bathroom sink for Ross to find when he got up in the morning.

After the initial shock of the whole thing wore off, and I took a couple more tests I did what I've done two other times....I pretended it wasn't happening.  My husband was out of the country and I didn't have time to be sick or worry about the whole thing.

But, after Ross was gone a couple of days, as I was sitting alone at the computer waiting to skype with him, I went to and looked up a due-date calculator.  I entered all the numbers and dates the calculator asked for and when my due date appeared on the screen I burst into tears.

September 13, 2012.

My Grandma Huber's birthday.

This baby boy is a confirmation that blessings are sent straight from heaven - and in my case, as a direct message from my grandma that she loves me.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I believe that he will win!

My brother decided to run for Student Body President.

The last two weeks have been a frenzy of campaign conference calls, picture taking for posters, brainstorming ideas and turning those ideas into action.

His application was pretty impressive. He's one of the most well rounded, smart, good kids at the school. He's also the blondest, whitest, and cutest, in my humble opinion.

We've all pitched in to help get this campaign off the ground with buttons and wrist bands and posters galore. It's been a lot of fun to bounce ideas off of each other and get psyched up for Willie.

He's running against two girls. Each of their one minute campaign speeches didn't hold a candle to the frenzy my goofy brother created in the gym....even if the frenzy was a bit planned for impact.

I hope he wins. I think he can win.

Go Team Willie!

My brother @willie_petersen wants to be SBO president. Vote for him.

A busy day on "vacation"

We were only in Arizona for three full days.  Not really enough time to do anything.  Ross grew up in Arizona and of course, once we're there, spends every second he can trying to convince me what a wonderful place it is.  I then tell him that besides the heat, which I couldn't live in for one second, and the lack of seasons (I really do like the snow and the rain) that Phoenix is the land of strip malls, shopping malls, and chain restaurants.

In 10 years of making a pilgrimage to the desert, I have one time been to a museum and one time been out to a pretty lake in the middle of no where and road a paddle boat.  Otherwise, my experience is limited to shopping, eating and baseball.  Which, is pretty much all we did this vacation as well.  One day though, we might actually have the time to do "touristy" stuff when we go down to visit instead of just racing around to see as many people as we can, visit the outlet malls, the Native New Yorker restaurant and Bahama Bucks for shaved ice.

Anyway - day one wore me out.  We spent the morning with Ross' grandparents and then took them to lunch.  After that, a quick trip to the hotel to wash up and let the boys chill for 30 minutes and then back on the road to the Opening Day game for the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Ug, baseball!  But, the boys had fun, Wyatt had a nap, and the D-backs won which made my husband very happy.  In fact, they swept their series with the Giants over the weekend which also made him happy.

After the baseball game (the weather was perfect!) we tried to find dinner and wrapped things up with some shaved ice.  Oh, I cannot wait for summer.

Visiting family.





Opening day for snacks. Seats do high I almost puked from the altitude.

Real shaved ice. Oh my heavens. @twomoreseconds  you would die and go to heaven!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Traveling to the desert

The four of us spent our Easter in Arizona.  We got home last night after an 11 hour journey, 9.5 of those hours driving in the car and listening to the kids movies and trying my damdest to stay awake and make sure Ross didn't drive us off the road.

It had been two years since our last whirlwind tour of Arizona and we made sure to pack in as much as we could this time around, too.  We saw a lot of family on the trip, the opening day game for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and a lot of landscapes, which when sitting in the car as a passenger, is pretty much all I seem to take pictures of.  Oh, my boys?  They love cactus and really put their dad's memory and cub scout training through the wringer expecting him to remember the names of every cactus known to man.

More about the trip later because as usual, I have no clean clothes or underwear and may be in my nightgown all day long.   But, here are a few pictures of some of the scenery.

On the road again…

Leaving Utah early, early, early in the morning.

Southern Utah is pretty.

Southern Utah, near Kanab, is absolutely beautiful.


On the reservation.  

Tallest mt peaks in Arizona. Only mountain peaks in az?

The tallest peaks in Arizona (San Francisco Peaks), right before Flagstaff.

My children are dorks. Or really happy to be out o the car in 83 degrees.

Um....they were really excited to be out of the car and posing in front of some cactii.

Cacti in the dessert.

Heading out of cactus country back to the AZ "mountains".

Wanna sleep in a wigwam?

Route 66 in AZ.  Want to stay in a teepee?  It was just like in the movie CARS.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

you had to be there...


On Saturday night, we were all gathered at my mom's kitchen table.  Well, everyone except my dad and Ross, they were yelling at the basketball game on TV, a game which the rest of us didn't care about.

Anyway, we were sitting at the kitchen table because we had some planning to do.  My brother has decided to run for student body president (against three girls mind you) at his high school and we were doing some high level planning.


No, not really, we were pretty much screwing around.  You see, as these sort of meetings go, my mom is the supervisor trying to keep us all on track and appreciate everyones ideas.  I'm the bossy one who expects everyone to listen to her and they never do.  My sister is the comic relief who doesn't seem to be able to stay on topic and keeps changing the subject to something in left field.  And, my brother, whose political future we're planning, he's more worried about whether or not that hot dog he just ate was cooked all the way and if he's going to get food poisoning....forgetting the fact that hot dogs are cooked long before he sticks one on the George Foreman.

Flash forward tho the end of our meeting, the time when everything falls apart.  Mom had left the table because she was being helpful and productive getting pajamas on all the little people.  When mom leaves and my husband joins the conversation things can go downhill quickly apparently.

We were having a disagreement about who invented the name "shavy jones" for the shaved ice business.  The conversation went something like this:

Annie:  I came up with Shavy Jones
Willie:  No you did not!  I came up with Shavy Jones.
Annie:  No, you suggested Davy Jones and I came up with Shavy Jones.  Ross, back me up!
Ross:   (Not having any idea what were talking about) Annie's right. (Good husband).

Willie:  No, I came up with Shavy Jones, you are wrong.

**Note:  The conversation could have gone on like this for ages, but luckily that sister of mine decided to add the funny.

Haley:  Well, I created the octopus!
Annie:  Really?  You created the octopus?  Like, in the beginning you and God and Jesus were in Heaven planning the earth and you raised your hand and said, "Hey guys, I dibs the octopus?"

Haley started laughing.  I started laughing and my brother.....he had just taken a drink of bright pink gatorade and then, because his sisters are just so funny, proceeded to shoot that bright pink gatorade out of his nose.

His nose threw up.

It was awesome.

I almost threw up from laughing so hard.

But, I guess you had to be there.

Monday, April 02, 2012

in a nutshell....

I am way too nice. The best way to good behavior in our house is food. Go figure.

Good Behavior on errand runs (especially LONG errand runs) is always rewarded with lunch and ice cream. Okay, not always, but on this day it was.

My new concrete pad. Love it. So excited.

Before we could even blink we had a new concrete pad for shavy jones (a write-off none the less) and a patio for me. Yeah! The boys brought their little hoop up from the basement and shot baskets until they were covered in dirt and sweat and concrete dust.

Playing basketball on their new concrete pad court. In love.

Seriously. It's like we live in home improvement stores.

Finding parts to fix broken sprinklers.

Little gym bday party today. Too much fun!

Awesome birthday party fun for our favorite 5 year old girlfriend, Lucy.

Taking grandma in a trip to Disneyland.

Saturday night adventures with Grandma at Shopko and McDonald's. Eventually, the chillins always end up in the truckster...this night taking Grandma on a trip to Disneyland.

My brother @willie_petersen wants to be SBO president. Vote for him.

Campaign planning meetings to help the big Iggie get ready to run for SBO president...against four girls.

And finally....I found this on my phone. Enjoy!


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