Santa Claus Crochet Ornament

Super easy to make… I used Red Heart yarns, their Soft brand. I haven’t crochet since I found out I was pregnant, so it was nice to see I haven’t lost my talent for crafts. Check out my crochet blog for directions:

Santa Claus Crochet Ornament

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My puppy…

Saw a picture on my Facebook that made me nostalgic… saying goodbye to my puppy Leo in March (even though he hasn’t been a puppy since 2012, I still call him my puppy).

Kind of miss my little house in Iowa, with my little front yard, garden, and porch — I forgot how big Leo was (he practically took up the whole couch). I hope he’s happy on Elmer’s farm; I get pictures of him on the farm every once in a while.

Can’t believe how fast the year has went already.

Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year

I went to the store this morning for Christmas stuff, puked in the parking lot, got some of it on my boat shoes… after 30 minutes of decorating the tree, I was tired and decided to play with my new Note 8 (my Christmas present — the brown Verizon bag peeking out from behind the tree!)… I managed to wrapped a few presents before giving up and going to sleep at like noon.

The hubby gets a new car, and I get a new phone (doesn’t seem like a fair trade… although the phone does cost like $1000 though, and I’m basically a free-loader at this point, ha).

This weekend he surprised me with a real spruce pine tree. He went to a tree farm and bought a beautiful tree. It does look lovely, even though I feel it’s a waste of money, but it is definitely nicer looking than even the most expensive fake tree I’ve ever seen. The branches and leaves are very full, which is what makes a real tree look so nice in the first place.

I bought a tree skirt for it, but the trunk holder is so big that you can’t even see it. I was too lazy to hang up the balls, so I just put up my novelty/sentimental ornaments instead. I told the hubby we’re not putting lights on it (I’m worried it’ll catch on fire); it takes up a lot of water. We had to cut some of the bottom branches off because it was dragging on the floor and a fire hazard.

Excuse my messy table and bookcase!

Spent the rest of the afternoon watching The Jungle Book!

Hubby’s New Car

Well, hubby finally said goodbye to his Mustang.

We got a brand new 2017 Ford, with all the bells and whistles. They gave $11,000 for the trade-in for the mister’s pony (such a rip-off since the Mustang is a 2013, excellent condition, and only has about 35K on it — but we knew the trade-in value wouldn’t be what we had wanted anyway because dealerships always decrease the price value).

The new car was about $27,500 before taxes and fees (add around another $2,000 for all of that though). After the trade-in, all the rebates and promotional offers… we had a balance of about $14,500 — they wanted the mister to finance it through Ford (even trying to tempt him with another $1,500 offer and 0% APR for 72 months)… but the hubby (and I) wanted to pay it off right away, and didn’t want to get locked into any finance contract.

They were really working him though… even the sales manager came to talk to me privately when I was in a separate part of the dealership watching Sponge-Bob Square Pants on one of their TV’s. (I still think the hubby could have gone down to $13,000 if he had got up and walked out — it’s amazing to me how guys are so easy to give in to purchases like cars; I would never fall victim to it, especially since I did my internship with a Ford dealership doing finances, of all things!)

My hubby does agree that I have great negotiating expertise when it comes to car buying though (which made me very happy)… oh, and that I can parallel park better than him too, ha! When we get my new car next, my hubby said he’ll let me do all the talking.

They had tried that nonsense with me when I bought my Toyota. I told them I was hungry and would be at Subway, and that I wasn’t paying anything more than a $12,500 balance because I wanted to own the car outright. 15 minutes later, while I’m eating my tuna sandwich, the sales manager calls me himself to say he was able to “work out the numbers”; I wrote a check and drove home with my new car and no lien on the title.

Like I said, if my hubby would have just gotten up and left, he could have gotten a 2017 brand new sparkly car with only $13,000 out-of-pocket. I told him to go for $12,500 and tell them his limit was 13, and that he’ll think about it over the weekend (they were desperate to make the sale — whenever the sales manager comes out, you always know you’re the one with the upper hand… unfortunately I had to keep an eye on my daughter after I had just puked everywhere, but if I wasn’t so pregnant and miserable and dying — he could have gotten it for 13)… men! Utterly useless when they have a big new toy in front of them. Surprisingly, when it comes to sales, men aren’t nearly as aggressive as you would expect them to be.

Happy Thanksgiving

I had a non-invasive genetic blood test done last week (just a stab of a needle into my arm to draw up a tube of blood). I didn’t want an amniocentesis or CVS done, because there is a risk of miscarriage. The down-side is that the test I had only tests for the top 3 chromosomal abnormalities, Down Syndrome, Edwards Syndrome, and Patau Syndrome (Trisomy 21, 18, and 13)… plus side, it’s non-invasive and it test the baby’s sex chromosome, so you know the sex for definite.

It’s a screening, and not a diagnostic test… and it doesn’t test for all the chromosomal defects like an amino would, but the genetic counselor had stated that being of Chinese origin, my culture doesn’t really have any genetic diseases like other cultures do. (I am somewhat concern with my hubby’s genetic profile though… white people seem to have all sorts of things wrong with them, ha!)

Baby doesn’t have any of the 3 above chromosomal abnormalities… and baby is xy (boy). ♡ My sister-in-law is due in April (before me), but she doesn’t know the sex of her baby yet because she’ll have to wait the usual, modern way — via ultrasound at about her 20th week. Most insurance companies won’t cover genetic testing unless medically necessary.

I will have my anatomy scan next month to make sure baby is developing normally. (That’s usually the ultrasound that most women find out the sex of their baby.)

My hubby is over the moon about having a boy. He got so giddy, he came home with a bottle of champagne to celebrate and drank himself silly. I am happy too… I wanted another boy because I don’t think I could love another girl as much as my daughter (we are ridiculously close, and she tells me all the time we are best friends ♡) — I’ve gotten everything I’ve always wanted. I am so blessed… God loves me the most. ♡

Happy Veterans Day

Happy Veteran’s Day to my favorite vet. My best friend, the love of my life, the greatest guy ever. ♡

Thanks to my wonderful father-in-law for booking a weekend mini-getaway for the family. We are up in the beautiful Smokey Mountains, in Tennessee, people! I’ve never been to the mountains before, it is beautiful and very scenic.

The Dr. rented a chalet for our family for the weekend. It is the most beautiful holiday cabin I’ve ever been in (it’s the only one I’ve ever been in, ha!). There’s three floors, a balcony deck overlooking the mountains, a full-size pool table in the downstairs game room, an enclosed separate sunroom, a beautiful full-size fireplace, hardwood flooring, beautiful bear murals throughout the chalet… it’s absolutely gorgeous. I want to live here!

The best part, I haven’t gotten sick at all! I ate dinner and didn’t vomit. I am so blessed. ♡

My hubby loved it, it’s the Eagle Scout in him… he even got to chop up wood for the fireplace, so he’s very happy.

I’m dying!!! …

I’m dying!!! …

Okay, those that know me, know that I say that statement just about every day — my hubby said I’ve been dying since the day he’s met me.

I have a kidney infection, people!

It started as an untreated UTI because I thought my symptoms were all just pregnancy related; when my infection was finally diagnosed through a urine culture after at least a month of having the urinary symptoms, the doctor probably assumed it was an uncomplicated lower urinary tract infection (in the bladder). He prescribed me a week of Macrobid, which would have treated it effectively if it was still a UTI, but the bacteria has had enough time to spread to the kidney(s).

The doctor wasn’t available to see me, and instead I saw a midwife. The more I tried to explain my symptoms, the more it seemed as if she was trying to tell me otherwise — so I pulled out the my-father-in-law-is-a-doctor card (ha!). I told her that the Dr. had said that my symptoms are a kidney infection and that Macrobid wouldn’t work for it. (The Dr. and Mrs. are actually out of the country on their annual spiritual vacation… but the “card” worked.)

I think sometimes people in the medical field are a bit condescending because they believe what they think is right as opposed to actually listening to the patient… (I could have said I wanted to see a real doctor instead of a midwife or nurse practitioner, but it’s like telling a security guard or meter-maid that they’re just wanna-be cops).

Well, after I dropped that card, she seemed more susceptible to what I was telling her about my symptoms. So I got a shot of Rocephin in my left butt cheek (which is a very strong antibiotic)… I’m starting to get paranoid about the baby, but Google is a nightmare when you are medically concerned — you start looking things up, and then you’re convinced you have penile cancer even though you’re a woman.

Afterwards, she prescribed me 270 pills of cephalexin (500mg)… seriously, 270 pills of it! I guess I’m covered for UTI infections for a while, so I’m not complaining — but I am concerned about the antibiotics and the baby though.

On a happy note, I saw the baby today! ♡

It wasn’t an official prenatal exam, but since my symptoms consisted of lower back pains, chills and shaking, and all that other I’m dying!!! symptoms; she wanted to do a vital exam on the baby. I had a vaginal ultrasound done… I saw my little jellybean and heard the heartbeat. Right now the baby looks like an ink blot. ♡

First month: nauseous, vomiting, everything has a stinky smell to it (the kitchen is the worse, it always smells so bad to me, even foods that I used to love now smells awful); sleepy, moody, cranky, do NOT want sex (shop is closed for business — my poor hubby); constant thirsty feeling, yucky feeling in my mouth.

My other symptoms are in conjunction with my kidney infection: cloudy, dark urine (it also had a terribly strong odor), lower back pain (specific to my kidney area), frequent urination and feeling of incomplete bladder emptying; sporadic chills and shaking, especially at night.

I’ve been craving dried fish with peanut congee (unfortunately the closest legit Chinese restaurant is in Atlanta, so I’ll have to wait until I go home for it), and of course dim sum (specifically steamed shrimp dumplings, shrimp noodle rolls, and sticky fried rice… omg, I’m salivating — I miss home so much!).

Well, that’s what I’m craving, but what I’m eating (and able to hold down) is lemonade, lemon water, pretzel, jello, yogurt, and fruit bowls. My poor baby.

Our First Football Game

My mini-me and I had our first football game experience. We had 3 tickets, but the mister was having a hissy fit (maybe on his man-period???), so we decided to have a mother-daughter day instead.

We drove an hour to Auburn, Alabama for the game — it was packed! (I didn’t realize that we had went to their homecoming game.) Thanks to three ladies (who were actually sisters) we had a GREAT time.

I’ve finally experienced that “southern hospitality” that I’ve been hearing about. I had never been to a football game, and I also never been to that stadium before — I got lost and ended up in Section 2 (right above the press and the home team sideline); our real seats were actually in the nose-bleed section (102), but when I had asked one of the ladies behind me if I was in the right place, she said, Oh, no baby, y’all all the way over there. (She was basically pointing to the sky.)

I started to get up and took my daughter’s hands, and she says, Y’all can stay, it’s not a sold-out game. These seats aren’t taken. (I really loved her southern twang, I love their accents, and especially the way they say “baby”.) I was skeptical, because the stadium really was packed, and it was their home game; but we actually ended up with these fantastic seats for our first football experience!

(My hubby said later on, that the ladies were probably season-ticket holders and most season holders know one another, so that’s probably how they knew the seats we were in were going to be empty.) We ended up sitting in seats that probably cost at least $350 each, and it only cost the mister about $45 for all three tickets instead. (I told him if he had came with us, we probably wouldn’t have been able to sit at those awesome seats, so we’re happy he stayed home, ha!)

They also had their homecoming queen announced during half-time; and one of the ladies gave my daughter Auburn Tiger pompoms. It was really hot at the game; I didn’t bring any sunscreen, visors, hats, or sunglasses. (I got so tanned, I started peeling on my arm, and my forehead is super dry!)

But I couldn’t believe the amazing experience, because we also lucked out finding a parking spot; I found street parking, and it’s because I have a compact car, so I can fit it in just about anywhere (perfect for city parking). It was only about 2 blocks away from the stadium.

Oh, and Auburn won, 24-10!

[Book Review] Megan’s Munchkins

Today I received an email to review a new children’s book series Megan’s Munchkins, by Pamela Foland.

It is the first book in a series of thirteen year-old Megan, who lives in Texas. The book starts off with Megan finding a box of stray kittens. She manages to hide her kittens in her room for five weeks, without her parents knowing. The book ends with her coming clean to her parents after she comes home during the day to realize her mom and sister-in-law are at the home too; her parents decide to let her keep her kittens.

Reading it as an adult, it was hard for me to be excited about it (even as a teacher, I am NOT an elementary teacher); however, it reminded me of book series that I read as a kid in like sixth grade — books like Sweet Valley Twins, The Baby-Sitters Club, etc. The book is corny as an adult, but cute as a kid’s book… but I wouldn’t put it in the same category as Judy Blume though, or other classics like the Betsy-Tacy series (or my favorite classics like Little Women or Charlotte’s Web).

I felt the whole bit of calling the kittens “munchkins” was a bit cheesy. It reminded me of my high school students going around calling their friends “babe” in the hallway between classes. I also found it too convenient and unrealistic that Meg’s parents were oblivious to cats living in their home for over a month — I had a cat that I loved very much, and he was just one cat… there’s no way of disguising the smell of a litter box.

However, I am sure there will be middle school kids out there that will enjoy. I appreciate Ms. Foland for the opportunity to read and review her new book, and I wish her success with her series.