Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What the?

Most of the time I can't believe I am pregnant. In fact, almost every morning I forget that I have a belly. It's quite the shocker when I look myself in the mirror. Doodle moves quite a bit though to remind me he's around and growing. I love that.
Why is it that I still don't feel that pregnant even though I am further along? Don't get me wrong, the baby kicks, acid reflux, and throwing up in my mouth never ceases, but the fact that I will have a baby in three months still seems out of this world.
Maybe I am just in a daze in my life... I still can't believe it's Christmas time and it's 3 days before the big day! I have baked well over 400 cookies in the past three weeks, read Christmas stories, spent nights decorating and doing Christmas crafts with Ryan, listened to hours of Christmas music, watched Christmas movies, gone to Christmas parties and plays and have been spending extra time on the people around me in various ways... and yet I still can't believe it's Christmas! Ryan has even been giving me the 12 days of Christmas this year! Maybe it's the swaying palm trees and the lack of decor around town that is throwing me off. Still, I am trying to absorb and think about Christ and Christmas, culturally, as much as I can. I love this time of year and I don't want it slipping by without a good fight!

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Moment of Kahn

For those of you who don't know this, there is a common family heritage among the female members of my Mother's side of the family. It's called ridiculously strong women... (emphasis can be put on ridiculous in certain situations). My Great Grandmother Kahn being the one who carries this trait strongest. When we went to Grandma Kahn's house as a girl we were expected to sit quietly on her couch listening to conversation or to go outside. Even though she can be a tough cookie, I never thought of her as mean, on the contrary, I absolutely adore this woman. BUT you could not pay me to cross her!
So the qualities of such a personality trait sometimes include the words, spitfire, sassy, stubborn/unbreakable, opinionated/sure, and most often loud. Though the trait can be a weakness it has also been a strength from past experiences. After all my Great Grandmother is in her 90s and I think the only thing that will break her is her own body not cooperating to her mind's demands.
This trait has definitely trickled down the bloodline and with a latin background (meet a latin woman to know what I am talking about here) on my fathers side and the Kahn trait on my Mother's, I am bound to have moments of being a ridiculously strong woman.
So now that you know what a "Kahn (maybe I should say Harde since that is my Great Grandmother's maiden name) Moment" is... I can tell you that I had a moment of it last week. Ryan and I went to the Nutcracker ballet here in Queretaro. The ballet was accompanied by a children's choir and the Orchestra Filarmonica. It was a fabulous show and exceeded my expectations. Their was a lot of talent and many many hours had obviously been put into the music, costumes, dance, and props. I always think it's a good sign when the orchestra starts playing and you have to make a double take to make sure the musicians are playing live and it is not a recording you hear.
Well, I loved the entire performance, but was very disappointed with the audience! In my defense, I really did try to ignore the heels going up and down the passageways during the show, the chatter during the scenes and the random scattered applause at mere music pauses... but the end was unacceptable in my opinion. At the end of the performance the dancers, choir and orchestra were given different spotlights, of course so that we could applaud them. You cannot imagine what happened... maybe only half of the people there applauded! No whistles, no standing, no woots .... there was hardly even an applause. In fact several groups of people got up and left prematurely, when they were supposed to be applauding. I felt so embarrassed! I couldn't believe it so of course I can't keep my mouth shut and start bursting out words of disappointment. I just couldn't stop going off on how horrible our audience was and I kept glaring at the young adolescents sitting in front of me that stared at the stage with crossed arms (I can understand this behavior a little better if their was disorganization and bad planning, but this performance was wonderful and the tickets were very inexpensive!). I was so upset and it wasn't until Ryan started telling me to keep it down and nudging me to let it go that I realized... ops I had a Kahn moment.
Yup, that's how it goes... you start getting loud, animated, passionate, and can't let it go. At least glaring was the most I did... but I got a pretty mean glare.
Just saying... sometimes I try to keep this Kahn trait in check... but sometimes it just can't mask itself! and sometimes I think people just need to hear it.
Am I ridiculous sometimes? Yes, very. Are some of the woman in my family ridiculous at times? Yes, they have their moments. But I do love how strong the women can be in my family, so here is a shout out to them!

Friday, December 3, 2010


Okay, so I decided that it's about time I add photos of Doodle... (I need to do more shout-outs for this favorite tyke of mine!)
I can't find week 16 photos, which is a bummer cause those were the best ones. and our doc
only gave us the video and not the MP3 pics from this last visit, week 24:(
I will add the others as soon as I can!

Here is week 6 of our little bug

This is week 11, now more like an alien than a bug

I wish I had week 16! This is when he starts looking more like a baby!

This is week 20, of course I had to put a crotch shot up... finding out the sex was a highlight at this u/s

Another week 20, he was nuzzled down so we couldn't get a very good shot of his profile:(
Here is a pose of his meaty thigh though

So like I said, I don't have week 24 in picture form:( The little squirt took the same position as week 20s though, so again we haven't had a shot of his profile in a while!
Instead, here is a pic of the lovely stomach instead...
24 w 2 d

So Doodle still doesn't have an official name. But, he is full of personality and moves uncontrollably sometimes. Ryan has been feeling him a lot lately. I can feel his little hiccups, but my favorite is when he bounces on my bladder like a trampoline!
haha, I really have liked second trimester! Other than occasional nausea and maybe a little more emotional temperament, there have only been highlights the past couple of months!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monarch Butterfly Excursion!

Up in the mountains in Michoacan, Mexico (a 3 hour drive from where we live), you'll find Monarch butterflies that migrate from the US and Canada. They make this migration every year in November and stay there until February. Monarch butterflies only have a life span of 8 months, so it's quite miraculous that generation after generation, these butterflies continue their migrations to the same exact spots in Mexico.

So, since, I am not getting any smaller these days, Ryan and I decided to make a list of all the little trips we want to take before baby Frank comes. Seeing the migrating butterflies was one of them. We drove to a small town, Mavatio, Friday night and slept in this tiny and very old hotel room. In the morning we drove to the mountains, then up up up to the top we went. Thankfully there is a road for most of it. Then, you hike (more like a stair stepper exercise, if you ask me) for 45 minutes till you get to the top of the mountains where you see the branches of dozens of trees weighed down by all the butterflies. There were thousands of them perched in the branches. The butterflies do not leave the branches and fly around
unless the sun shines on them. And unfortunately for us, it was pretty cloudy. We had a burst of sunshine for maybe ten minutes and several of them started flying around.

It was so neat to see them all. These photos don't do justice, but the quantity of monarch butterflies hanging out in the trees was pretty incredible and as you looked around yourself you would find more and more trees in the distance with the same thing. The place we went to was
a reserve so they have many of the trees roped off to protect them. and even crazier to think about is that there were several other reserves and locations to see the butterflies in the neighboring mountains!
We had a beautiful weekend! Enjoy the pictures!

Here is Frankie, posing for a pic as we hiked up the mountain

A view going up the mountain with a pretty decent slope

This little one was perched on a twig next to me with an injured wing.
Poor thing wasn't doing so well.

Fly my pretties! Fly, Fly!
(It was pretty hard to get a shot of them flying around unless you caught
their silhouettes in a patch of blue sky)

Most of the butterflies were high in the trees, but occasionally a few
would come down and model for us:)

Here is my attempt to show you the butterflies in the trees.
Basically all the brown on the branches are them. With their wings closed,
you don't see their orange until they fly. You can make out the shapes of
their wings a little better in this picture.

We met up with a bunch of other people when we got to the top.
Everybody was very respectful and quiet as we all watched.

Woohoo, here comes the light...! Can you see how the branches are all heavy looking?
Basically the leaves on those branches aren't leaves, but butterflies.

Here is another shot, where I think you can see the
reddish brown of their wings better

Another butterfly gone solo and not too shy to come say hello down by us
(Though he was still pretty high up!)

Go Belle!!!

Belle had her first cheer competition of the season Nov. 20th.
She and her team ROCKED!!
of course, they took first in their division....
and they were even rewarded the highest scores that they have had in awhile!

High kicks, jumps, and screams!

Getting ready on the bus at 6 am! That's my girl!

Havin fun with the girls before the performance

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fall's Beauties!

So this is another belated blog, from last month. I went home to WI the end of Sept./beginning of Oct. I went at the prime time! I was getting pretty homesick for fall and sick of being at home so much. What a treat to go home and see the leaves change! I also got to help my sis, Belle, with Homecoming activities at school. I spent tons of time with my Mother! The trip, overall, was wonderful and was sooo needed. I felt very rejuvenated and lively by the time I came home again! Thanks Mom and Dad for spending time with me!

The first several pictures are from walking around the lake in Oconomowoc. This is one of my family's favorite things to do. It was my Mother's birthday this day, and this is what she requested to do. It was a lovely day!
The first pics are a stop-off along the walk. This is La Belle Cemetery, where my grandfather (Poppy) was buried. I always consider this one of the most peaceful places on Earth and have several loving memories of it when I visited it as a young girl.

The next pics are along the walk around the lake.

Yay!! A football game.
We didn't stay long, as we had to run a few errands, but I was so craving a good American football game. This is Oregon High School's homecoming game and we beat our rivalry from Stoughton!

Before the game was the local homecoming parade. My beautiful sister, Belle, was on the cheerleading float and I drove my Dad's car for some of the homecoming court!

Belle at the homecoming pep rally. Poor Belle was bombarded with hoots and hollers from Ryan and my Dad. This sort of thing embarrassed the crap out of me in high school, but I admit that it's great support! Go Belle!!
Belle is the one in the back, being held up!

This had to be my favorite moment while I was home. Dad, Mom, and I went to the lake in Madison and sat out on the pier, talking.
Man, did I love that time with them! Here are some pics!

I love these two!!

While driving back from some garage sales, Mom and I stopped at a farm and picked out some fall squash to decorate with and to eat! Not a big fan of eating this stuff, but they are neat to look at!

I absolutely loved being home! It made me excited to move back!
Not really into the belly shots, but due to the family and friends requests... here you go peeps. Not too much to look at, just looking wider. Only week 16 here. I have gotten a lot bigger the past three weeks! Ill post another one soon... er than later:)

Happy Halloween!

Around mid September, I got worried about the holidays. I know that
living overseas during the holidays is never quite as good as when
you are in your homeland. So to cure that loneliness, I decided
to follow suit after my Mother (like she did in Nicaragua) and do extra fun festivities
to fill the void.

For Halloween, I decided to make my own party. I discovered something interesting
about myself as I planned this party too... I enjoy planning
and making parties but then when the hour of the party arrives, I am already over it.

So let me explain.

I have been planning for this Halloween party since September where
I spent hours creating a menu, finding crafts to do to decorate my house,
discovering the perfect eerie music
and thinking up games.
I think I gave Martha Stewart's website an extra 100 hits this month.
I decked out my house in cobwebs,
old looking curtains, fake mice, glow-in-the-dark eyes, the works, to make it
look like a haunted house. I spent hours working on cutouts and hand-made invitations.
Then I spent several
days before the day of, making carameled apples as party favors,
baking everything from scratch and even making floating hands for
Dead Man's punch. I figured out a matching costume with Fronk and everything else. I
have to say I actually enjoyed most of this, but the real reward
came a couple hours before the party when everything was finished. You can't tell
from the pictures, but I must say that it turned out pretty rad.

Then, an hour before the party, I decided that I didn't really want to have
it anymore. I just wanted to eat my food and sit under my black light in peace, listening to horror music.

Oh well, the party went on. and I spent the rest of the night running around playing host.
I had a handful of teenagers come over, as I
figured they would most appreciate the party, not being able to go to late night
Halloween clubs
or doing any of the trick or treating.

Here are a few pics of the evening...

Just starting to get the party started.

It was a costume-only party. I forget how little teenagers like to dress-up. But, I admit that I do remember the days when all you want to do is put on overalls, say you're a farmer and call it a night.
Some came out pretty decked out though. Mirna, below, had one of my favorite costumes. Dressed neck to foot, she
was covered in gauze and other medical taping. Very fun mummy!

Pretend Ryan is a greek turned to stone and not a dead angel. I was Medusa. Never a good sign when you have to explain your costume. Oh well.

Game time! My favorite game, not pictured, was trick-or-treat Fear Factor. You can find
so many great things at the butcher, here in Mexico, for this game.
Ryan rolled trick first and kicked off the game eating "dragon" (chicken) foot soup.
haha. I was nice
enough to let him eat the soup around the foot, instead of eating the foot:)

Here are pics of a couple other games.

It was so fun watching Ryan getting into the games. It was like the kid came out in him!

Yum, food. Here are a couple of fun treats I came up with.

Turds on a platter....

and bloody worms!

It was so fun coming up with this stuff. I really did love getting it all ready.
The night was fun too and after a decent clean-up,
my house is back to normal!!

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Celebrating Mexico's 200 Years!

Last month, here in Mexico, the 200th Independence Day was celebrated. Bicentenario, as they fondly referred to it, was a big deal where they had been planning and having celebrations for Mexico's Independence in various cities across the country all year long! (that was a mouthful, sorry!) The largest celebration, was of course, in DF (Mexico City). Though, Queretaro does play an important role in the country's liberation. Queretaro is a larger, colonial city, where peace treaties were signed and later where the Mexican Constitution was signed. Therefore, we had our own festivities as well!

Thursday night, the 16th of September, is the "kick-off" to the Mexican Independence festivities. At eleven o'clock at night, every body screams out "Viva Mexico" several times and is formally called "La Grita". Prior to the grita this year, we went to our ward's dinner. It was a potluck where each member brought some kind of Mexican dish to contribute. I didn't dare attempt anything Mexican in the wake of such talented chef's, so I brought Sprite:). Needless to say the food was delicious. The following pictures are at the dinner with some of our favorite ward members!

Below is me with two of my Young Women, Stephanie and Mirna!

Ryan excited to be eating some delicious Mexican food!

Another YW, Jenny, who came home from Benemerito
(the Church's "high school" in DF. It sort of reminds me of a mini BYU).

The next morning, on Friday, we woke up and headed down town to a parade. We waited nearly an hour for the parade to make it down to the end, where we were waiting. We had fun waiting with Violet as she kept trudging back and forth in a dirty puddle. awesome. When the parade finally made it down, I was shocked that 90% of the parade were different groups of students from different schools, marching. Yup, no clowns or floats at this parade my friends. Puro students! oh yes and some military with the latest and greatest at the end.

Below, Violet and I are waiting for the parade to pass by!
(Violet does great with crowds, so we continue to expose her as much as we can to make her friendly and unafraid.
We are also pretty proud of our dog, so you will see her a lot in the rest of this post!)

The students marching ... in uniform, ahhh I would overheat!

At the end of the parade Ryan found a sweet tank...

Later that night we went to Centro, where the philharmonic symphony of Queretaro was playing outside in a plaza. It was packed and so we didn't stay as long as I would have liked. I love listening to the live symphony! The music was played to a narrative of the Mexican Independence saga, with actors acting out the battles and scenes.

Ryan and I got a little tired of standing so we went to another plaza and enjoyed the dancing water fountain.

And of course, we had to try one of the many vendors that had conglomerated down town for the festivities. Nothing like a homemade churro straight from Mexico (it was filled with cajeta (a type of caramel made from goat milk)). mmm.

The next day we headed out to the park. For those of you who don't know, going to the park is one of my most favorite things to do, especially with Fronk. It's peaceful, beautiful, and a great place just to sit and talk. Below is one of our favorite parks to take Violet to, as there are not many people and lots of natural boundaries, we are able to let her run free a little.

and the dog pictures come full force!!

The next series of pictures are some of my favorites! Fronk loves to indulge Violet in long sessions of fetch.

Sometimes they have stare downs as Violet contemplates giving up the ball for another round of fetch

Also, sometimes Violet loses track of where the ball went!

She knows that jumping up most definitely does not speed up fetch! Sometimes she just can't help herself.

Fronk got creative with the camera:)

and this is where the fetch games end... Violet spied a small family on a picnic blanket not too far off. She is never aggressive with strangers, rather she gets really excited and tends to jump up. For people who don't know her, this normally scares the crap out of them. Ryan ran after her and this is her being "dragged" back to her leash.

She is extremely friendly and for the most part a pretty good dog! (aside from jumping up and the fact that she still mouths a little)

And what good weekend wouldn't be complete without a round of bowling? sigh. I have never been good but when the extra slick floors threw off Ryan's curve ball, I pulled in a pretty tight second!

ba dah ba dah ba dah, ba dat's all folks! well, for this post anyways!