Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Stinker of a Story!

This is a LONG story so I purposely chose to post it over a LONG holiday weekend. Therefore, you should have plenty of time to read the whole entry.

About six months ago, I went home to visit my parents. They live outside of Boise in Eagle, Idaho along the Boise River. On this particular visit, my parents were frustrated because some of the lights and electrical components upstairs had stopped working with no explanation.

During the first night of my visit, I woke up and thought that I had scratching sounds from inside the wall of my bedroom. I figured I was dreaming and went back to sleep. A few hours later, I heard the scratching again. It wasn't just scratching though. It was scratching for several minutes and then a big thud. Scratch, Scratch, Scratch, Thud. Scratch, Scratch, Scratch, Thud. It was very loud and it was coming from inside the wall behind my bed.

Long story short, a call to an exterminator was made and the pest guy found several squirrels in the wall. SQUIRRELS?!?!?! Somehow they had gotten into the attic and while running around, being the clever creatures that they are, fell into the void that was my bedroom wall. They were trapped in the narrow crevice and were frantically trying to escape. The wall was too tall and too steep for them to get out. They would get about half way up and then fall back to the ground. Hence, the Scratch, Scratch, Scratch, Thud. While they scratched their way up trying to escape, they ripped apart the electrical wiring in the wall. That is why none of the lights were working upstairs! According to the pest guy, we were lucky that they hadn't started an electrical fire and burned the house down!

Anyway, the squirrels were still alive. My mom wanted them removed and safely relocated. The pest guy cut a giant hole in my bedroom wall in order to retrieve the squirrels. Several hours later, mission accomplished. (Well, let's just say that thanks to the pest guy's baseball bat, all are in "greener pastures." Not exactly what my mom had requested.) He spent the next day patching up any holes or crevices in the attic that the squirrels might be entering through.

At the end of my visit, the hole was repaired and life continued on as usual. Problem solved.

Fast forward two or three months.

I was home again for another weekend and asleep in the same bedroom. Again, I awoke to Scratch, Scratch, Scratch, Thud. Scratch, Scratch, Scratch, Thud. Theeeyyy're baaaaaaaaacck. The pest guy returned and again found squirrels in the wall. How could they have possibly gotten in there? All the holes had been patched up. Apparently, the original squirrels had had babies before they were found. Perfect! This time, to prevent my mother's tears, he set some traps in order to remove them alive. It took several days but the squirrels were removed - alive - and safely relocated. To prevent anymore squirrel infestations, the pest guy left several traps in the attic and around the outside premises of the house. the problem was solved.

Over the course of the next few months, the pest control guy became a weekly visitor to my parent's house to empty the squirrel traps. To date, they have caught and released somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 squirrels!!

So again, fast forward to about a month ago. (Bear with me.) It was about 100 degrees and my mom was outside watering her plants when she heard some noises coming from one of the squirrel traps. As she approached the trap, she quickly realized that she wasn’t dealing with another squirrel. It was a skunk!!

Feeling sorry for the skunk in the 100 degree heat with no food or water and scared to death, she decided to approach the trap in order to move it to the shade. Needless to say, she was sprayed - as were her dogs – her THREE dogs. Let me repeat that. MY MOM WAS SPRAYED BY A SKUNK! She and her three dogs were all sprayed. Needless to say, her house smelled like skunk for a week and so did she even after numerous showers.

Eventually, the pest guy came to retrieve the skunk and although my mom requested a removal and relocation, the skunk was "put down." I will say "put down" because that sounds more humane than what actually happened to the skunk. Needles to say, my mom was horrified. She loves animals - all animals - and has a tough time seeing them hurt. (Not enough to be a vegetarian (although she says she's close to converting) or to stop wearing leather but enough to risk being sprayed by a skunk to relocate it to the shade.)

A few weekends ago, I was home again. (I think the take-away lesson here is that I should stop going home.) It is a Sunday evening. We are outside with the dogs playing fetch and enjoying the relaxing sounds of the river. Totally at peace when all of a sudden, the dogs start barking hysterically near one of the traps. ANOTHER SKUNK!! Can you believe this??

We quickly ushered the dogs away and got them safely into the house without any spray episode. What to do about the skunk? My mother was obviously upset. She did not want to get sprayed but she just couldn't come to grips with this skunk’s unfortunate fate - a certain death sentence.

Being pregnant (and sane) I wasn't getting involved with the skunk. Neither was my dad who couldn't show up to work to treat patients smelling like skunk. My mom said she was willing to risk it again but that she didn't know how to work the trap. (Apparently, she had done a dry run with an empty trap just for an occasion like this and wasn't able to open the trap even with no threat of skunk spray!)

Enter our hero - or shall I say - heroes. John Andrew and his two friends, Austin and Clem.
They were determined to save the skunk (for a small fee of course). They prepped themselves....
gathered their supplies...

and formulated a plan.

Eventually, the skunk was set free!!

My mom was ecstatic!
Ahhh, just another day at my parents house!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes

Cinderella said it best. A dream is a wish your heart makes. If that is true, than I guess my heart is wishing for a quick and painless labor and delivery. Last night, I dreamt that I went into labor by feeling a small little cramp around my mid-section. The next thing I knew little Grace was swaddled in my arms sound asleep. No sweating. No screaming. No pain. (Oh!! My hair and makeup looked great too!) A true Hollywood delivery. Well, maybe this is just a premonition of what is to come. I do plan on taking any drug the doctors make available to me. (By the way, in my dream, Grace had little to no hair.)

Ok the birds and I are off to make the bed and the mice are heating the water for my sponge bath. Gotta love Disney!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Where's the cake?!

Anyone who knows me longer than 10 seconds, knows that I love cake. I repeat - I LOVE cake! But not just any cake. Chocolate cake with white frosting - butter cream frosting to be more specific. No raspberry filling nonsense. No "fancy" mango-orange-sorbet cake flavors. Just the chocolate cake and butter cream frosting please! With that said, I am an equal opportunity cake eater. I don't discriminate. In fact, I find that Wal-Mart makes some of the best cake. Don't get my wrong, fancy bakeries make great cake too but they usually try to persuade you to use fondant frosting or to include some some sort of mango raspberry chutney in between the layers of cake. No thank you!

This past weekend, my side of the family got together for a rare weekend in Seattle. It was a "'B' Babyshower" of sorts and of course, a perfect opportunity for what else - cake! When it comes to cake, we don't mess around. My mom had this specially made by one of my favorite Seattle bakeries. Not only was this cake delicious, it was also beyond beautiful!

One thing that most people don't know is that if there is cake within a one mile radius of one of us it will be devoured at an astonishing rate. For example, the cake we had this weekend easily serves 20-25 people - maybe more! We picked up the cake at 6 pm on Friday night and it was gone by Sunday at noon. I told you we don't mess around.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Good Day

As I was checking out at the grocery store this morning, I received some good...make that! Still not yet accustomed to my bump, I kept banging it into my cart, sending it flying into the patiently waiting customer behind me, as I bent over to grab more items to place on the conveyor belt. The checker noticed me bumbling around and asked how far along I was. I told her that I was six months pregnant and due in December. She let out a huge gasp and I instinctively winced as I braced for what I thought she was going to say. "You look so small!!" I was shocked and relieved and it definitely put some pep in my step! I think that comment definitely qualifies her as my best friend here in town...or my only friend - however you want to look at it!

Friday, August 15, 2008


We have a new edition!! No, baby Grace has not debuted three months early. No, we did not get another dog. My brother, John Andrew, is coming to live and work on the farm!

Not since 1996 have John Andrew (or JABB as we like to refer to him in the written form) and I lived under the same roof. In 1996, I was a 17 year old junior in high school. JABB was only 7!! So this is a reunion of sorts! We are excited to have him in our home. He starts next Wednesday and will spend the next several weeks learning why people go to college instead of seeking employment right out of high school.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Amazing Grace

I was never one of those girls who had the names of her future children picked out at age 12. I often wondered what was wrong with me when all the other girls would sit around rattling off their favorites. Just like my cooking skills (or lack there of) I had no desire to prepare early on for this step in life.

I am glad I didn't waste my time. Naming a child is very hard, but it is even harder when you are factoring in the opinions of another person - namely the father.

I started out by picking up a book called "Beyond Jennifer & Jason, Madison & Montana: What to Name Your Baby Now" figuring it would help me come up with a name that was unique. I grew up as "Katie B" because of all the other Katie's in class so something different was important to me. But unique names are just that - unique. Most of them don't roll off the tongue too well and most beg for a lifetime of teasing. Nevertheless, after several days of combing through the pages in between bouts of morning sickness, I came up with a short list of names. Not one to pass up an opportunity to create an excel spreadsheet, I added the names to a workbook I titled "Potential Baby Names". (My love of excel definitely did not die after I left the workforce!)

Proud of the names I had come up with, I presented them to Court. Within three swift seconds, all the names were vetoed. He knew a girl in college named X and didn't like her or the nickname that would be associated with the name was heinous.

Back to the drawing board I went, or back to the book store that is, and purchased yet another book called "25,000 Baby Names." This would have to have something in it that we both loved! Right?

During the days and months of morning sickness, I would pick through the pages of the book and add names that I liked to the spreadsheet. It was a slow process because 1) reading anything made me feel sick and 2) there weren't too many names I liked. They were either too trendy, too boring, too popular or just plain awful. Plus, it is amazing what things from your past you associate with a name. For example, in the second grade a boy in my class named Chase attacked my beloved teacher, Miss McMullen. For me, the name Chase will forever be tainted even though for so many others it is ideal.

With that said, I came up with a list of about 30 names. I alphabetized the list, color coded my favorites and even came up with a few first and middle name combinations. The list was ready for Court's review. Many were immediately vetoed but a short list was created. We played around with several for a few weeks but one definitely stood out as the favorite.

So without further ado, our daughter will be named


Let the monogramming begin!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pregancy - Can count them on one hand; Not Being Pregnant - A LOT!

Court and I went to Hood River, Oregon this past weekend for a wedding celebration. Not only did Court get the chance to meet up with friends and make his this third appearance as a groomsmen this summer, Court finally felt the baby kick. He'd been trying for weeks to feel her kick but every time he would put his hand on my belly, she would stop. When he would take his hand away, she would immediately start up again! I think this kid is going to be awesome at playing hide-and-go-seek....with her dad!

In other exciting news...I am GIGANTIC! I met a woman this past weekend at the wedding who is pregnant and due about 6 weeks before me. I had no idea she was pregnant until her husband piped up and said they were expecting too! I was shocked because this gal was well over six months pregnant - pushing seven months - and you wouldn't even know it. Me on the other hand...there is definitely no secret here that I am preggo!! I was bombarded by strangers coming up and asking me when I was due and what I was having. No one asked her a thing BECAUSE SHE DIDN'T LOOK PREGNANT! (My mind (and ass) are still trying to figure out how this is possible.) Although I longed for some resemblance of my pre-pregnancy body, I kind of felt bad for her because I could tell she wanted to jump in and rattle of her "pregnancy stats" [due in November.... it's a boy .... it's my first .... feeling great .... yes, we are really excited!!]

On one hand, I am anxious about being so big because it means a lot of work getting it off later, but on the other hand, it is fun to look pregnant because I don't have to worry about sucking in my gut when I sit down in a pair of jeans that used to fit but have recently gotten a little too snug and that I should update for a new pair but can't because they are too expensive. I can just let it all hang out!! (Finally, a plus for being pregnant, excluding of course the bundle of joy that will appear sometime in December! I can like the outcome and not the process people!!)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Kung Fu Fighting?

For some reason I forgot to document via the blog the momentous "first kick." I guess I didn't think to write about it because I didn't realize it was happening. Weeks ago, I kept feeling these little "twitches" in my stomach. (If you have ever had your eye twitch that is exactly what it felt like.) I just chalked up the "twitching" to my abdominal muscles stretching - they are going through a lot right now. (I try not to think about this too much because the amount of crunches I am going to have to do when this all said in done is overwhelming!) After a few weeks, I realized that those "twitches" weren't really twitches. They were the baby kicking and moving around!

Since my realization that twitches = kicks, I have been waiting for a REALLY strong jab. I think when I feel an uppercut to the kidneys it will finally feel real.

By the way, I recently came across this this the kick of a real kung fu fighter or is this something that I get to look forward to in the next few months?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Holmes...Katie Holmes

Shopping for baby girl stuff is dangerous. Everything is SO cute and SO pink. I came across this precious little dress today. Can you just imagine her wearing it at Easter with white tights and some Mary Jane's!?! We don't go to church so I am not sure where she would wear it...she'll be too young at that point to go on an egg hunt....but that's not the point!! Pictures last a lifetime, right?!?!

I won't say how much it costs - but I will tell you it is Baby Dior. I would never buy this (it costs more than any dress I own except for my wedding dress) but if my last name were Holmes...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Happy Birthday - Part Two

Confucius says...(or maybe it was my mother)...that people don't like know-it-alls or braggarts. Words to live by for sure! But I am going to go out on a limb and toot my own horn for just a second.

I MADE DINNER!! Accolades please!!

Now, I know that to most people, preparing a meal like dinner is no big deal. Human beings eat several times a day - everyday. Therefore, most people go about learning how to cook early on in life so that preparing food is as natural as breathing.

I am not most people.

I turned my nose up at learning how to cook as a child. My mom tried luring me into the kitchen by asking me questions like "What are you going to do someday when your husband and children are hungry?" I would haughtily respond that I would hire a personal chef....obviously! Duh!

So when Court's birthday was approaching, I asked him what he wanted to do to celebrate the big day. I thought he would give a typical guy response and say an iPhone or Seahawks tickets. Court is not typical in any sense of the word - which I love - so I should have seen it coming. For his birthday....he wanted....ugh ugh....A HOME COOKED MEAL!

Like my mother predicted would someday happen, my husband was hungry and I had to figure out how to feed him. Unfortunately, my brilliant, rock-solid plan of hiring a private chef as a child did not contemplate living in the middle of no where and it certainly did not factor in the small fortune it would cost to hire a chef - even for just one meal! The pressure was on! I was gonna have to suck it up and personally prepare a fantastic meal for his birthday.

I scheduled Court's birthday dinner to fall on Sunday evening - Court's birthday eve. Now mind you, since I left the career world almost a year ago, I have put in a great deal of effort into learning to cook and have made several marvelous meals for Court and me. So pulling a meal together for the two of us does not send me into a dead panic. It is the thought of cooking for ANYONE besides Court that launches me into a tailspin.

In the almost six years I have known Court and his family, I have never made an entire meal for his parents. How had I escaped that task for so long you ask?? Well, as I noted above, Court is not the typical guy and loves to cook. (Thank God or we would have starved the first two years of our marriage!) When we would have Dave and Priscilla over for dinner (or anyone else for that matter), it was Court who did most of the work. Not to say I didn't help, but Court was definitely the head chef.

So for Court's 31st birthday dinner, I decided to invite his parents and finally prepare a memorable meal, from start to finish, not only for Court, but for his parents as well. I was a bit nervous and being the perfectionist that I am, wanted all to go well.

The following is the menu I chose to prepare:

Herb Crusted Salmon with Roasted Lemons,
Oven Roasted Asparagus,
Caesar Salad
Orzo Pasta Salad with Artichokes, and
Chocolate Torte for dessert!

From a blogging perspective, I wish I could say that something tragic happened like I set my apron on fire, the fire alarm went off and the police and fire department came rushing to the house....but from a real life perspective, I am happy to report that there were no disasters!! I didn't set anything on fire, didn't burn anything and as far as I know, no one got sick! A total success! So toot, toot, there goes my horn!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Today was Court's birthday! So in his honor I post the following pictures. I think somebody is excited about our "bun-in-the-oven"... can you tell?!

(Note: The t-shirt is only a picture of a baby!! From far away it appears that Court is carrying a real baby in a snuggly. Every old woman that Court walked by stopped him on the street and told him that they loved his shirt. He was quite proud. I think he even mentioned something along the lines that if he were still single, he would definitely wear the baby snuggly shirt more know "to meet chicks." I don't think he realizes how lucky he is to be married!)

Needless to say, someone got a snuggly for his birthday!!