Who Run the World?!

We found out earlier this week at my 16 week appointment that we are having another GIRL!  My sister who is also pregnant with her 3rd baby (due 2 weeks before me), found out a few days before me that she is also having a girl!  She already has two daughters, so that makes a total of 5 girl cousins between us.  Of course we would have been happy either way, but if it was a boy he would have been so outnumbered!  This will also save us a lot of money in the decorating/clothing department (but of course we will buy her a few new things of her own, too).  We also have no idea for names this time around (Anneliese was named after Chris’ grandma, and we decided on her name pretty quickly), so let the suggestions commence!



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And Then There Were 4

It feels like I’ve already been pregnant forever this time around since we told our close friends and family right away (at not even 5 weeks pregnant), but we are expecting baby #2!  We find out in a little over a week if it will be another girl or a boy, and he or she will make their arrival in early May (my due date is May 8; the new baby and Anneliese will be a month shy of 3 years apart).  People keep asking me if I have a preference on gender, and that question just makes me uncomfortable every time it’s asked.  I mean, we want a baby.  Are you going to give it back if it’s not the gender you want?  I just don’t get the question as a whole.  But to answer it, another girl would be great since we already have tons of girl stuff, but I wouldn’t mind buying new stuff for a little boy, either!  Although my gut tells me it’s another girl…

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Anneliese is Two!

She’s actually been two for a little over a month now, but Momma is a slow blogger.  Everyday she reminds me that she is no longer a baby, and is a full blown toddler (or dare I even say little girl?!).  She says new words every day (and loves to repeat everything we say… which is sometimes not so great!), knows her colors, can sing her ABCs and read all 26 letters, can count to 10 (in English and German!), and loves to sing twinkle twinkle little star at the top of her lungs.


 Photo credit: Cheyenne Wilson Photography, taken at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ.

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A Camping We Will Go

We just returned last night from our first real camping trip with Anneliese at Chevelon Canyon Lake (she’s been to Lake Powell before but I don’t consider that true camping as we had a houseboat on the lake).  Chevelon Canyon Lake is just past Woods Canyon Lake on the Mogollon Rim for those familiar with the area, but it takes about an hour and an off road vehicle to get to Chevelon from Woods Canyon Lake (the “roads” are VERY rough).

There isn’t direct access to the lake, meaning we had to hike about 3/4 mile from the staging area to our campsite.  Here we are heading down with all our gear, and Anneliese on my back.The hike down wasn’t really too bad, and it only took about 15 min to get to the lake, but it was pretty steep.  We managed to get everything down in one trip, not including the canoe that Chris and our friend John hiked back up to bring down.

We set up camp right along the edge of the lake, and with the exception of one other campsite with two people, we had the whole lake to ourselves (the number of people who can access the lake, and then crazy enough to hike down all their gear is slim, apparently).  There were 6 kids (all under the age of 6) and 6 adults in our camp.  They had tons of fun playing ourside, especially gravitating towards a pile that was obviously an old fire pit.  They were all filthy within 10 minutes of being at the site, so we just let do whatever the wanted and them totally cover themselves in dirt.

Being that we had to hike down everything we would need for camping, we packed as minimally as we could (with children).  We knew it would be chilly at night (the forecast called for the low 40s), so I put Anneliese in fleece footie pajamas, a fleece sleepsack, a cotton sleep sack on top of that, and a beanie for her head.  I also put a down blanket between the crib mattress and the tent bottom (we brought this Phil & Teds Traveller- it’s lightweight & folds small) and thought we’d be good to go.  We put her to bed the usual time and she went right to sleep (as was expected seeing all the playing she did and lack of nap that day), but no longer than 2 minutes after we crawled into bed a few hours later, she was awake.  Her arms and hands were freezing.  Remember we also had 3 other tents of kids/adults near us, so I pulled her into my sleeping bag (a mummy bag barely big enough for one adult) in hopes to minimize the crying and get her back to sleep.  Well, she did fall back asleep, but on the only way we both fit in the bag was with her laying on top of half my body.  Chris tried to get her to sleep in his sleeping bag but she wasn’t having it.  I knew there was no way I would get any sleep that way, so we put my fleece jacket on her, on top of all the sleepsacks, and put her back in her bed, and she quickly went back to sleep.  For 15 minutes.  She woke up again saying “I want to take it off!” over and over, so I again pulled her back into my sleeping bag, where we ended up staying the whole night.  She slept pretty well after that, I on the other hand got maybe 1 hour of shut eye (Christoph snoring next to me didn’t help the cause, either).  Ugh.  I decided somewhere around 2am that I definitely was not staying another night (we’d planned on camping for two nights).  I’m sure it would have been fine if we had a sleeping bag or something else to keep her (more) warm, but we didn’t and I wasn’t going to bank on it being any warmer the next night, and I am not used to this no sleep thing anymore!  I checked the weather when we got home, and it was 32 DEGREES that night!!

We did manage to get in a trip on the canoe out on the lake the next day before a storm started to roll in.  The boys tried fishing but didn’t catch anything; apparently it’s a pretty tough fishing spot.

We decided to head back out after lunch.  Hiking the 3/4 mile back up to the car was pretty rough.  I was pretty sure my heart was going to explode.  Chris again had to hike the canoe back up the trail, so we decided to make two trips with our gear back up since he was going to have to make two trips anyways.  We carried all our gear up the first trip, then we hiked back and I carried Anneliese up while Chris and John brought the boat up.  All in all it was a fun trip, but I now know that backpacking (at least with a child) is not for me.  I am already planning my beach vacation. 


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New Addition

No, not the “be here in 9 months” kind of addition; an addition to our house!  We enclosed part of our patio and turned it into a dining room!

We desperately needed a bigger dining space since we closed in the formal dining room when we reno-ed the kitchen.  That left us with just a little nook for our dining table, which was fine for the 3 of us, but made it pretty annoying to entertain since extending the table meant blocking the whole kitchen off.  So we started brainstorming on how we could make the living space of our home bigger (we didn’t need more bedrooms since we converted the old dining room and front living room to office space, giving us 3 bedrooms and 2 offices), and enclosing half the patio seemed like the best (and frankly, only) option.

We actually finished the project a few months ago, but I’ve been putting off taking pictures of it because I wanted to decorate it a little more.  But it’s become obvious that isn’t going to happen any time soon, so I’m going ahead with what we are currently living with.  It took about 6 weeks to finish the whole job, which included:

Building a new exterior block wall (digging footers under the existing concrete and constructing the wall).

Leveling out the existing slab (it was sloped for drainage of the patio).

Demoing the old exterior wall, including removing a large window and back patio door.  That meant we had to live with a large plastic sheet wall and furniture like this for a few weeks.

Enclosing the French doors that led from our bedroom to the patio.

Installing drywall, matching flooring, paint, and new French doors.

And here it is now!

It’s hard to capture in pictures just how much bigger this small addition makes the whole house feel (we only added about 150sf), but here’s a before:

And after:

Another before:

And after:

We also had to put in a threshold since we installed doors that would lead directly outside, so we had a brick herringbone border put in, and replaced our flagstone walkway to the pool with the same brick so everything tied in.  Here’s what it looks like now:

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