Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Wrap-Up

Thanksgiving came and now it is gone. Everything went well, though I was forced to realize that being pregnant does make hostessing big events a little harder. I had lots of help getting all the food together and it didn't feel particularly taxing at the time, but I got knocked down by a terrible headache around noon that refused to go away for the rest of the day. Luckily tylenol and my delicious cheeseball appetizers helped dull the pain.

The cooking commenced around 8 a.m. Here my Grandpa Jim is making his famous stuffing while the dogs stick close to their new best friend.

We took everyone out to the park while the turkey cooked. Landon was very excited to show his Papa the ropes. This is his favorite slide -- favorite because it's FAST. Or so he tells me every time he's about to go down it. My dad found it to be pretty quick too.

My dad got a tour of all of the best playground pieces, including careful directions through Landon's favorite tunnel.

Once my dad was safely through the tunnel, Landon showed my mom and me his monkey bar skills. (Also pictured: my 13-week baby bump. And the three sausage rolls I ate for breakfast.)

JP was nearly as excited as Landon because he had my brother, former high school football star, and my dad to throw the ball around with. I know very little about the sport, but their long-distance throws and catches looked pretty impressive to me. Landon played too and had so much fun running with the big kids (my dad included in that group, of course).

My dad's parents were there to watch everyone run about for an hour or two and then we headed back to the house to lay out the appetizer buffer and wait for my sister (who had to work until 3) and my mom's parents to arrive. Thursday was their 54th wedding anniversary and we had a champagne toast before dinner in honor of their happy past, present, and future together.

The meal came together beautifully and JP carved his first turkey. I retired to my room after dinner in an attempt to make my headache go away (and avoid the dishes- a time honored trick my sister mastered in childhood). It was a good day and I think most fun was seeing Landon entertain all of his guests. I'm not sure he's ever been happier- 10 sets of eyes followed his every move and 10 sets of hands clapped whenever he did anything remotely noteworthy. He loves his big family and had a great day.

Everyone was on their way home by 9 a.m. on Friday morning and then we spent three quiet days together as a little family. We took the dogs and Landon and his big red wagon on long walks through the trails around our neighborhood and watched a lot of Christmas movies on TV. I a ridiculous amount of time on the couch and accomplished almost exactly nothing (though I did read the two last books in the Wilderness series by Sara Donati; very good). My work computer never left its case. Landon joined us in bed each morning and we'd tickle and cuddle and read. I thought about getting out the Christmas decorations, but rejected the idea in lieu of watching The Santa Claus on TBS for the second time. I did manage to finish my extended family Christmas shopping on Sunday thanks to my laptop and wireless internet. I'm very excited about all of the gifts I picked out- I even purchased a few for me from JP. They're going to be such a surprise!

Now I'm back at work with the Frank Sinatra holiday station playing on I love the holidays.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Menu

Commenters to the last post asked about my Thanksgiving menu, as well as a reminder-link to one of the best appetizer recipes ever. And because I love my readers who stick with me even when I go days between posts (as I seem to do frequently of late), I will grant both of their wishes.

First the Mexican Cheesecake recipe. It is oh so good.

Second, the menu. Last year I wrote a post two days before I was supposed to cook my first Thanksgiving dinner (for 10 people, 3 of them being my in-laws who for some reason I still try to impress), panicking because I realized I didn't know how to make any of the key dishes. You all were very helpful and I just read back through the comments because I realized today that I still don't have much of an idea what I'm doing- I haven't made those dishes since the last Thanksgiving, though they did all turn out very well.

And so without further ado, this year we will be eating:

Appetizers: Crackers, various cheeses, a delicious pesto cheese ball, summer sausage, smoked ham, and cut up veggies with ranch dip (and maybe plain potato chips with onion dip because I have had very strong cravings for that lately, even though I generally don't like potato chips and haven't had onion dip in years). And probably left over chili because I'm making a big pot for dinner on Wednesday and JP cannot subsist for more than a few hours on mere crackers and cheese.

1. The Turkey. We went to Costco to pick up our butterball (20 cents/lb. cheaper than HEB!) and Landon was very upset that it did not look like the pet turkey he thought we'd be taking home. I tried to assure him that he should be very glad it looked nothing like the original turkey, but settled for explaining to him that a turkey can appear two different ways. One is the pretty bird with bright feathers that he carries around the house and the other is a frozen ball shrink-wrapped in plastic. He seemed okay with that. As far as cooking the big bird, I will try to recreate what I did last year because it was easy and delicious. It involved butter, onion chunks and other vegetables at the base, chicken broth, fresh herbs, and foil. And then many hours wishing I had two ovens.

2. The stuffing. I made mine outside the bird last year for our Indian guests, but this year my Grandma Jim is coming and he always makes the stuffing and it always goes in the turkey. So in the turkey it will go.

3. Mashed Potatoes. I'm making a version of Pioneer Woman's with the cream cheese and sour cream and lots of butter. I think I could eat a pound or two all by myself.

4. The Gravy. We had delicious gravy last year because I used so many of your suggestions for random produce to stuff into the turkey and put in the bottom of the roaster. It made for delicious drippings that I thickened in to gravy. I hope to do the same this year.

5. Green Bean Casserole. On the back of the French's Fried Onion can, it needs no other explanation and it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without it.

6. Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole. My Grandma Jo's mother's recipe and the only time all year I get to eat sweet potatoes because JP refuses to like them.

7. Cranberry Relish. Also my Grandma Jo's recipe. I can't remember if I like cranberries but I'm sure hers are delicious. I really only use them to make the water in my water dispenser extra pretty.

8. Corn Pudding. The one dish that is an absolutely necessary part of a Lag Liv family Thanksgiving. Really, it's a necessary part of every holiday from Easter to Christmas Day brunch. If you're looking for something a little different this year, give it a try. I've had other corn puddings and found them mushy and rather tasteless; this one is neither of those things.

Corn Pudding
2 cans cream style corn
2 eggs
3/4 c. cornmeal
1 tsp. garlic salt (3/4 tsp.)
6 Tbl oil (2/3 c.)
1 can chopped green chilies, drained
3/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese (2 c.)
1/2 tsp. baking powder (or not)

1. Mix everything together except the chilies and cheese. Put 1/2 of mixture in greased baking dish.

2. Mix cheese and chilies and layer over corn. Adding the remaining corn mixture.

3. Bake at 350 for 45 min to 1 hour, until set (i.e., the center isn't jiggly).

LL's notes: This recipe is my Grandma Mary's. She got it from a fellow air force wife when they were stationed at one of the 25 places they were stationed during my grandfather's illustrious military career (obviously, I need a few more details on the backstory). There are currently two competing version- may aunt's and my mom's. Both claim to have the original so I'm not sure where the variance came from. I've written out the way that I make it now and left the alternative in parentheses. Both taste pretty much the same, so I take that to mean it's a recipe you can't mess up. I usually skip the 2nd step and just mix everything together as I like my cheese evenly distributed and I love a recipe with only one step. And it is delicious. We make it every Easter to eat with our ham and every Thanksgiving to go with the turkey. It also goes great with Mexican food (it's a must on fajita night) and brunch (it goes very well with eggs and other breakfast casseroles). In college I used to make it and eat it alone as an entree for several days at a time. Delicious!

So-- what are you eating?

Turkey Trot

Why does craziness always erupt right around the holidays? This year I will have 10.5 adults at my house for Thanksgiving (my original family of 5 + JP + all 4 of my grandparents + Landon, who will probably only eat the rolls and corn pudding), I hurt my back again on Wednesday, and I am slammed at work. I was in the office until midnight on Friday, though I did go home for 2 hours to see Landon, eat dinner, and pick up a DQ blizzard to power me through the rest of my memo. I'm not sure it helped but it was definitely tasty.

JP has multiple group projects and papers due this week, so I spent the weekend prepping for the big meal with Landon. It's a good thing he loves HEB because we spent quite a lot of time there. He stands up in the cart and talks to everyone we pass in the aisles. Sometimes it's just a hello, sometimes he likes to tell them I'm his mom ("MY mama!"), and other times he wants to show them the fireman on his t-shirt. People have started to recognize him at the store- I think he has more friends in our neighborhood than I do. We also cleaned the house and made multiple to-do lists of the rest of the phases of Thanksgiving prep. I love entertaining, truly, it is not something that stresses me out and I get to buy pretty decor for the table and use all my fancy serving dishes, I just have to do it in a very organized, very to-do list heavy manner.

I forgot to share some big news from last week - we now have official, matching master bedroom furniture! (Which is how I hurt my back.) I ordered the bedroom set six weeks ago and had no idea when it would arrive. We got the call Tuesday afternoon that it would be here Wednesday, so we had to move all our current furniture upstairs so the new stuff could be delivered. And our old furniture? was heavy. Luckily JP is very strong and did 95% of the work, but some of the pieces were unwieldy and I had to help guide them up our stairs that inconveniently turn at sharp angles twice along the way. But everything looks great spread among our upstairs bedrooms. Oddly enough, while none of the pieces matched each other, each matched one of the rooms upstairs, so now they all have a full set. We were able to use every piece, some of which have a lot of sentimental value, and my 6'2" brother is excited about getting our old queen-sized bed and upgrading from his double. The feeling of completeness makes me very happy.

I stayed up way too late on Wednesday switching all the clothes from our old drawers to the new ones, getting out all the decorating items I've been slowly buying over the past 15 months, and then just sitting and admiring our beautiful room. As I told JP when he got back from practice that evening- "it looks like grown-ups live here!" I love it so much. We waited 4.5 years to have a real bedroom set and then spent 15 months saving up for it and slowly buying the linens and curtains and picture frames that would make it complete (and buy "we" I mean me). There's still a few things I need to arrange and get JP to hang- including a very pretty wood medicine cabinet I found for the bathroom, which of course required moving a towel rod we put up a year ago, spackling the holes, painting them over, and then re-installing the rod about 4" down. It's a good thing he loves me because I have a few more project ideas left to implement. But then we should be done.

My back is spasming as I write this and I can't take ibuprofen for it (damn pregnancy taking away all the helpful drugs). Cooking the 20 lb. turkey and all the sides should be interesting on Thursday. But I'm excited to have my whole family together and I love putting out a big meal. I found the cutest stuffed turkey at Marshalls and Landon carries it all around the house saying "gobble gobble". It's going to be a great holiday, I just need to get through this massive work to-do list first!

Friday, November 20, 2009

It Begins

I feel like I've been writing far less about my pregnancy this time around. In truth, I don't think about this pregnancy all that much. Now that my stomach feels okay most of the time, I can go hours without thinking about the fact that I am growing a person. I've been wondering why this is. Last time I felt different - transformed - the minute I saw the plus sign on the pregnancy test. I remember walking to Walgreens in the snow to buy another test feeling so fragile. The trip took twice as long as normal as I carefully stepped around the ice on the sidewalk.

I've decided it's a combination of three things: (1) I've done this before. It's still an amazing thing to know there's two heartbeats inside of you, but the novelty of the idea has worn off. Now I just smile when I think of it and move on with whatever I'm doing. (2) I have far less free time to immerse myself in pregnancy books and internet message boards. I have googled less than five things regarding pregnancy since I found out. Partly because I know the answers and partly because that research is not billable and I'm no longer a student who's trying to avoid studying for finals. And (3) I'm already a parent and I have a delightful, attention-consuming toddler to play with and care for every minute I'm not at work. Last time I felt like JP and I were just counting down the seconds until we were parents of a baby we could hold and and feed and love. We were done being just a couple and were ready to move on to the next step. This time we're already on that step. Sure it'll be different once we have two kids- some days I still wonder if we're out of our minds to add more to the craziness, but the biggest transformation of all - the jump from two to family has already happened. I can't wait to meet this baby, but I'm far less focused on the count down than I was last time. For now I see the weeks until June 12 as more time I get to spend 1-on-1 with Landon, and excited as I am to hold his new sibling, I can't and don't wish away the special alone time I spend with him now.

Don't you feel better now that I have that figured out? I always do. And despite all of the above, today I find myself remembering that I'm pregnant a little more often. It's seems my little peanut (actually, my "fig or small plum") is pushing out and making herself some extra room in my belly. And to accomodate him, there is a navy blue rubber band holding together the top of my jeans. Of my four pairs of jeans, three still fit but one looked better with the sweater I wanted to wear. I could probably still button these pants, but I'll be sitting all day writing a memo and why be uncomfortable if you don't have to? If they weren't fitting because I'd eaten too many french fries I'd probably suck it up (or, in), but since I'm pregnant I get to pull out the rubber band trick. I haven't gained any weight yet, but as JP pointed out this morning- "whoah, there's a bump there!" I'm starting to regret altering all my clothes when I started work, I could use a few pairs of pants that were up a size. At least it's just in time for holiday sales!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I'm a lawyer, but I play a doctor on TV

As most of my blog readers know, from the age of 10(ish) to 21, my life's dream was to be a doctor. I was pre-med in college and took all the required classes, including the dreaded organic chemistry which forever ruined my 4.0 GPA (and for which I will forever be bitter). I ended up in law school and am happy with the decision, but I remain fascinated by all things medical. My newest case involves a cutting edge biotechnology company that recently patented a new way to sequence human DNA. It is full of awesome and I love that I know what many of the technical terms mean.

Anyway, the point is that even though I am a lawyer who specializes in organizing paper stacks on my desk, blood and medical terms don't phase me. When JP's lung collapsed in college (a rather fantastic story I should really share sometime, though it highlights what a terrible girlfriend and fake-doctor I was) I watched the surgery and wanted to know everything about his treatments. It's been a while since I've had any medical drama in my own life now that Landon only goes to the doctor for check-ups and JP and I generally stay out of the emergency room. While Landon is a very active little boy, he had yet to really hurt himself -- until last night.

For reasons only he understands, Landon was standing on his cozy coupe, which was lying on its side, and trying to jump off it. Not the best idea. He slipped and hit his head on the pointy corner of our TV unit. He was sobbing, blood started pouring down his face, and he kept trying to put both his hands on the cut to make the pain stop- soon his hands and face were smeared with blood and I was trying to hold him and figure out how bad the injury really was.

It was the saddest thing. He looked shocked that he was hurting and he was clinging to my shoulder sobbing "no mama no" and shaking his head. I had to wipe away the blood with a towel and put pressure on the cut so I could see if the bleeding would slow down on its own. And because I had to do that, I couldn't let him bury his head into my neck like he wanted to and he just looked so bewildered that he hurt and mommy was being mean and not immediately making it better. Once I could actually see the cut I decided it would be fine- the bleeding was slowing and it wasn't nearly as big as I originally feared. We cuddled on the couch while I held the towel to his head and pretty soon he forgot about the injury and was jabbering excitedly about the Spiderman band-aid I promised to put on his forehead.

There's a lot of things that make you a mom. The sacrifices, the constant need to worry about one thing or another- the fact that your life is no longer just your own. But one of the most gratifying is the power you have to make things better. Even with blood pouring down his face, Landon just wanted to be held by mama and he had complete faith that I would make everything ok. Me and the Spiderman band-aid. It's an honor and awesome responsibility, and one of my favorite perks of the job.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Baby Bean

At the last appointment we had a little bean- just a blob on an ultrasound with a wonderfully flickering heart. Yesterday we got to see a little bean that actually looks like a baby.

We saw his face and arm.

Her foot and all five little toes.

And even his little nose.

We saw her brain, the heart and its strong beat, and the perfect little profile.

Fortunately and unfortunately, I wasn't as far along as we originally thought and it was too early for the genetic screening test, so I have to (get to) come back in two weeks for another ultrasound. This is the second time my due date has been pushed back. It shouldn't matter as every extra day means a greater probability I won't have this baby before JP graduates, and apparently our baby was never as far along as we thought so it's really a correction rather than a lengthening of the time I'll be pregnant, but I still find it irritating. And despite two ultrasounds with clear fetal measurements, I still find it hard to believe that s/he was conceived not during the week when we were on vacation and had unprotected sex at least once a day every day, but instead when we came back home and had protected sex every few days. Sure I wasn't supposed to be fertile during the vacation week (I've received three emails from people asking how we made natural family planning work for us for over two years. Um, we didn't. I had the Mirena IUD which I loved and had removed so we could have a baby soonish. Turns out that soonish meant "in two months because we are too lazy to follow effective natural family planning"), and I know condoms aren't 100% effective, but that still seems crazy.

Anyway, apologies to my father and any other readers who prefer the word sex to not be in my blog posts. What matters is that our baby bean looks great and will arrive whenever he decides to arrive. And preferably he or she will wait for her lungs to develop, unlike our delightful but gestationally impatient first child.

It's rather amazing that bean becomes this little person, isn't it?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Things, cont.

Once again, a long delay between posts. This situation has devolved from bad to worse and even though I desperately wanted to talk about it, I try to keep this blog about me and not others, a rule I adhere to even more strictly when the person is identifiable. So I drafted several long rants in my head and stayed away from blogger.

The biggest turn of events occurred on Wednesday when JP realized there was no possible way he could continue with the swim school. And more than that, the school was functionally splitting into three parts, each of which would be run by a different person, none of whom are him. I came downstairs after putting Landon to bed and overheard the end of his phone conversation with a person he'd hoped to continue working with. He looked broken. There's just no other word to describe it - until that point, he'd really believed his dream and all his hard work would continue on in some way. And I sat on the floor next to him and cried. For him- for all those late nights, for all the stress of business school and starting a new business, for all the time he gave up with me and Landon, for how much he loved that company and the coaching, and for all that work coming to nothing. And for me- for all those nights and weekend hours on my own, for all nights he tucked me in bed and I fell asleep alone while he worked, and for finally believing in something and having it crushed. He will be fine of course, he'll have an MBA from the University of Texas and an incredible learning experience on his resume, but it still sucks in a huge, heartbreaking way and I'm not done feeling upset about it.

Then I got sick on Thursday and spent 3 hours on Friday waiting for the doctor. I do not have the flu- although I started thinking that if I didn't have it at the time, I probably would soon after spending all that time in a waiting room. I've spent the weekend resting and re-reading the Twilight series. I just finished Breaking Dawn and am disappointed that it didn't improve with time. I'm even more disappointed that I am somehow drawn to the story anyway. Those books are a mystery to me- I loathe them for the bad writing and unforgivably shallow characters (and the creepy, controlling 100-year-old lover of the flat, ambitionless 18-year-old heroine), and yet, I stayed up too late last night finishing Eclipse. I can't explain it. I've never been a fan of daytime soaps or reality tv- maybe that's what these books are to me? Literary brain candy.

Tomorrow is our ultrasound for the first trimester genetic screening. It's much more detailed than the first one, and now that I'm 12-weeks the baby should look more like a person than a tadpole or little dot. It should be very fun to see him or her swimming around in my belly. I still can't quite believe I'm pregnant, I have to keep reminding myself of it. I look the same- I actually lost 5 lbs. in the last week thanks to being sick (don't worry, I'm working on getting it back), and I feel fine. Only the higher level of tiredness and the random distaste for certain foods keeps me aware that there's a baby growing inside me. Tomorrow should be lots of fun- a bright start to a new, hopefully far less eventful week.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Sorry for the absence. I always wonder if in the blogging world absence makes the heart go fonder- or does it just make people lose interest?

To catch you up, I caught an early flight home from Houston on Friday and spent a delightful afternoon with Landon. The way he ran at me when he saw me on the daycare playground and then jumped up to give me a huge hug made me forgive him for trying to kill me during his first year of life. Not that I was really mad at him, but it still felt good be reminded for the millionth time that the nights of non-stop crying are all so worth it. Especially since we're going to embark on that madness for a second time.

Saturday involved two toddler birthday parties. JP was coaching and studying all day so I had to handle the three cupcake, zero nap situation by myself. Landon did surprisingly well- I love watching him with other kids, but as always, we missed having JP with us.

On Sunday the three of us headed out for a family trip to the San Antonio zoo. We met my grandparents for breakfast beforehand and then met a friend and her 10-month-old at the zoo gates. We arrived in the midst of a downpour, but managed to have a great time anyway. Landon never stopped moving- as evidenced by this picture in front of a giant hippo:

He looooooved the zoo. We had to keep circling back to the "mangoes" (read: flamingos) and he became good friends with the Komodo dragon in the reptile house during the worst of the rain. He was very concerned that the dragon wasn't drinking his water and Landon kept pleading, "Dink dragon dink!" The monkeys were hopped up on something (I think the rain makes them frisky) and they were a blast to watch- Landon was jumping up and down by their habitats and screaming. My favorite part was when we got to the rhino area Landon randomly said, "Mama, I was to KISS it!" I have no idea where that came from, but it cracked me up. I told him he could blow the rhino a kiss and he did.

I was going to write about all of this on Sunday, but I was struck down with the worst headache I've ever had in my life- and that's really saying something. I ended up in bed moaning for three hours and eventually knocked myself out with a sleeping pill in an attempt to escape from the knives of pain in my head. I ended up in physical therapy for headaches the last time I was pregnant- I should probably try to find my book of stretches.

But the real thing on my mind right now- and the thing I'm struggling to write about- is JP's company. He got some very bad business news last night- one of his three partners is backing out. The name goes with him, so the thousands of dollars of advertising, brochures, shirts, caps, and other memorabilia are all worthless. It sucks, but mostly I was amazed at how overwhelmingly sad I am that the big idea they talked about it our living room ended like this. I'll admit that on the bad days when JP was coaching late and had a ton of schoolwork and I was exhausted and Landon was fussy, I secretly wished the swim school would just go away. But I really did believe in it and was excited about it and it hurt for that dream we sacrificed for to go away so suddenly. JP didn't do on campus interviews so now we're looking at a graduation in May with no job, no swim school, and another $40,000 in loans coming due. And then I start to get mad and anxious.

JP is taking it much better than I am. Since his marriage to me- the dream crusher and love of his life- he's let go of many a business idea. I, on the other hand, don't dream about things outside of a lock-step career path, so I've never had one crushed. I was so down last night I freaked out a whole bunch of people via facebook (sorry about that- baby 2.0 and I are just fine). But my husband the entrepreneurial optimist just sees the dream as crumpled, not crushed. He already has plans to continue on in a different form, assuming he can get pool space without the name-partner. It's going to be a hell of a Spring- with JP's final semester and potentially running a swim school by himself during the busy season, and me having a huge three-week trial in April and expecting a baby in early June.

But I'll worry about the particulars of all that later. For now I'm going to be sad and mourn the loss of the first business idea I believed in (and a huge reason I was able to believe was because of the particular people involved, not just the idea itself) while eating E.L. Fudge cookies and watching a bunch of skinny, fit people bounce around the stage on So You Think You Can Dance. Cause that's sure to perk me right up.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Home Sweet Hotel Room

I'm in Houston on business and I'm learning once again that marriage and motherhood have ruined Fancy Hotel rooms with king-sized beds for me. You'd think it would make me soak up the night of solitude all the more, but I miss my boys terribly. I miss the craziness and the dogs and the cuddling with JP and hugs and blown kisses from Landon. I'll be home before he goes to bed tomorrow and I can't wait to read our books and hear about his day, but at least now he's old enough to have brief conversations with me on the phone. I'm looking forward to a weekend filled with birthday parties and a trip to the San Antonio zoo. Until then, I'm going to keep looking at my favorite pictures from his daycare conference.

He's going to be an awesome big brother.

Cooking up some homemade playdough.

Cupcakes! for a friend's birthday.

Man I miss that kid.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Happy Tuesday

I was going to write this post yesterday, but ran out of time during the day and then fell asleep very early last night. So now it's titled Happy Tuesday, but most of the happiness is carry-over from Monday. Monday was happy because:

(1.) I have a pretty new set of Pilot G2 pens from Costco. Writing in magenta or burgundy makes editing your memo for the fifth (or fifteenth) time so much more fun.

(2.) My nausea is gone. Completely gone. I can even skip breakfast again like I used to! (I don't of course because I'm pregnant and I delight in my extra calorie needs, but I can. I can wake up and think about how tired I am rather than how quickly I need to shove some sort of food product in my mouth before I throw up. I can brush my teeth and get ready and then eat with a plate like a civilized person. It's delightful.)

(3.) I attended Landon's first parent-teacher conference at New Center yesterday and came away wanting to hug my child to death and cry because every day he gets a teensy bit older and this age is SO PERFECT that I want to stay here forever. Needless to say, the conference went great. The teacher said he is very sweet and smart and fun and the other kids love him. My favorite part was when she said that when another kid is hurt or sad (like at drop-off in the morning) Landon will walk over and give them a pat. My two-year-old has empathy. I don't think JP learned that skill until his early 20's. She also showed me a slidehow of pictures and several video clips and it was so fun to get a view into his little world. There's three little girls who follow him around and do whatever he's doing. My favorite picture was of him feeding a baby doll a bottle in the family center with his three lady friends next to him. She remarked on how mellow and easy going he is and said he's a "favorite friend" of the other kids- especially those assertive girls :)

I think one of the things you worry about most in sending your child out into the world (even if the "world" is a daycare classroom) is that other people won't appreciate what an amazing, special little person he or she is. And what I love most about his new teacher is that she seems to truly love her job and her toddlers. She picked up on so many little nuances of Landon that I can tell she's paying attention and really interracting with him (and I know she does this with all the other kids too- she smiles so much when she talks about them). I loved hearing her describe my little guy and I kept nodding along and laughing as we talked about his mannerisms and favorite things. It was a great 30 minutes and I'm so glad he's thriving at the New Center - he loves it there and we love that he's now verbal enough to tell us something about his day and bring home new words and phrases.

In not-as-happy news, we finally told my in-laws I'm pregnant (through a very cute frame with Landon in his "big brother" shirt and the ultrasound photo, which I decorated to say "Surprise!" at the top, "oh baby" on the sides, and "due in June" on the bottom) and she said, "Oh, I thought you looked pregnant when you were here in September!" I wasn't pregnant when I was there in September. Awesome.