2 Men I am in Love With...

During Arctic Blast 2008 and the subsequent holiday down time, I have done little more than watch the Food Network. My two favorite chefs are Alton Brown (who knows everything scientific about food) and Guy Fieri, who travels the country trying out the nations best diners, drive in's & dives. I am in love with both of them. Don't tell Luke. The biggest problem with watching food tv is that all i want to do afterward is eat or cook (and eat). Maybe I should try watching the exercise channel....nah.
This year Grandma Jo surprised us with white elephant gifts from around her house. Jack scored this magnificent flower calendar which he tried to pawn off on anyone who would take it. No one took it.
From 2008_12_27

Grandma Jo & Kevin
From 2008_12_27

David & the future Mrs. Hamilton!
From 2008_12_27

I'm not sure what is going on w/my hair- I look like pigpen from Charlie Brown!
From 2008_12_27

22 weeks=5.5 months!

From 2008_12_27



From 2008_12_25

From 2008_12_25
Thomas was PUMPED about his spy book
From 2008_12_25
So was luke...
From 2008_12_25
what really happens to the kids toys

From 2008_12_25

From 2008_12_25
Kim melted chocolate all over her pants :(
From 2008_12_25
Jack & Dad
From 2008_12_25
Mom made Patty a stained glass SAM!
From 2008_12_25
Christmas Sisters!


time machine blog: ugly sweater bday parties

Jack & I had an ugly sweater bday celebration a few weeks ago. Here are pics (my computer was out of commission, so i'm just now getting caught up!)
From 2008_12_13

Ash & Lilly- matching home made tie dye christmas sweatshirts
From 2008_12_13

stephens kids- jack doesn't appreciate having to wear his sweater...but i actually thought it was kind of a nice sweater!

From 2008_12_13

...but he likes sister kisses!
From 2008_12_13

the happy newlyweds
From 2008_12_13

kimberly won the award for best ugly sweater ever- it is a sweater DRESS which has been bedazzled. She paired it with a fashionable purple belt to complete the look.

Let it Snow...

From 2008_12_22

From 2008_12_22

Cutest snow dog ever.

From 2008_12_22

our house in the snow (like this needs a caption)

From 2008_12_22

snow dog fetch- harder than it sounds

From 2008_12_21

Luke- cleaning off his windshield---so we could take our 2 trips to the grocery store that day...out of sheer boredom

From 2008_12_20

how to keep your paws warm
From 2008_12_20

This is what we do when we're snowed in- we put boxers on our dog & then make fun of him

From 2008_12_14

first thing in the morning- not quite awake, so cut us some slack on the beautiful people expectations



Our home laptop is out of commission until my new AC adapter arrives...hopefully tomorrow. So no blogging with pictures (i'm on my work laptop) and no christmas gift slideshows that I intended to work on for the kiddos. This puts me in a very grumpy mood.


20 weeks minus jack

here's the pics preceeding jack's attempt to eat my baby. First I am looking to the side (why is he running at me?) then his hands are in the frame, and the post below is him trying to eat my belly.

20 week/bday party

For our bday's we had a jack & michelle ugly christmas sweater bday party. Also it was my 20 week point, so we took a prego picture by mom & dad's tree. Jack swooped in at the last minute to pretend to eat the baby. I can't put my finger on exactly why, but this pictures is just wrong.

Me & ash- she MADE her ugly sweater!
PS- more pics coming later. My home laptop's power cord broke so we'll upload more pics later. Thanks Patty for letting me swipe your pics!


28th Birthday

This was my best bday ever! I woke up, ran a solid 4 miler that felt great (first one the felt good in a while!) and then we went to watch our baby on ultrasound for an hour. I got my hair cut & colored (blonde, for the new year) and then we went on the Portland Spirit dinner cruise. Yum. Good food- and the christmas boats were out. For my birthday luke was charged w/getting me something "thoughtful and sweet," which I request every year. Well this year he delivered! He wrapped my favorite perfume in a piece of yellow lined legal paper. As I unwrapped it I realized the piece of paper was a whole page of things he loves about me. I begged and pleaded, but he will not let me repost the kind things he said. He read them to me out loud, and it was the best most wonderful thing he could have ever given me. What a wonderful man I have found.

Brrr- on the top deck of the boat


Right after the ultrasound as we were waiting to take the tram up to OHSU. Very happy and thankful mom & dad!

Big Lip

I am obsessing over the ultrasound pictures. It looks like my baby has a giant upper lip area. You know, the part between the nose & the top lip? It seems evident in all the pictures. What if my baby comes out looking like beer-chugging Barney from the simpsons??? I calmed myself with this thought: There is no genetic reason to suspect a giant upper lip. On the way home tonight I was talking to my dad about this, and he started laughing & said, "have you ever seen me without a mustache???" I gasped in horror, and he said, "call your mom & ask her." Great.

mutilated car, courtesy of michelle

you can't really see the dent in this shot....but believe me, it's there.


Baby Middlebrooks- 20 weeks!

Baby's right foot- so cute! Not sure if this baby will get the cursed middlebrooks talon toe- too early to say...

3d image of our scrawny 10 oz baby- his eyes are not open even though they look like it

hiding behind his or her little teensy hands - which look deformed but they're not

Look at that little left hand pointer finger & thumb- SO cute!

profile of our precious little child

Today was so, so amazing. We got to watch our baby on the ultrasound for an hour- and the guy took 3d pics too- something we weren't expecting at all! So awesome- I have to say the 3d pics are a little eerie, but still amazing. I feel like I'm in shock- is this little thing inside me!?!? He/she put his or her hands up by his face all the time- it was such a human gesture- so surreal. We are so thankful to God for all these good signs- good heart, spine, brain, etc. Blessings abound! We did NOT find out the sex- we looked away (actually luke covered my eyes which was smart b/c I kept trying to peek!). It will just be a big surprise next May!


Grace and the F-word

Some of you more altruistic types (well, probably just my mother in law) may be thinking- "Oh! Grace and the F-word. She must mean "faith." Grace and Faith - she is probably going to impart some of the spiritual wisdom she's aqcuired as pregnancy has given her a sense of elevated clarity. "

No- I mean the bad F word. Which is what I REALLY REALLY wanted to say last night as I scraped my brother in law's brand new SUV along the wooden post in his parking lot. I was returning from McDonalds in his car (where the car seats were) with 3 of my nieces/nephews and as I pulled his car into his parking spot I felt this bump- and in a rude voice (I am the worst auntie) I said - Richard! Did you open the car door? And poor innocent Richard looked at me confused & said, No- I didn't! Upon closer inspection I realized I was TOUCHING the wooden post. This is when I really wanted to say the f word. But I couldn't because my kiddies were in the car, and I had just driven them to & from McDonalds with NO HEADLIGHTS ON (in my car they come on automatically...) so I had already endangered their lives, clogged their arteries, involved them in a car accident and falsely accused my nephew of disobedience... I couldn't subject them to foul language on top of all that.

I got out of the car to survey the damage. I hoped for a light scrape...but no. There is a giant dent and 2 or 3 feet of white paint scraped from the post onto the car. Not good.

Then I get back to Chris's apartment, and he is rocking Cassandra to sleep when we come in. So I have to wait in the living room for him to come out so I can confess. A thousand opening lines ran through my mind. None of them seemed right. It was like sitting in the principles office. I knew Chris would be totally cool about it, but I was SO mad at myself! I called Luke in the meantime, and bless his heart, he said he knows an auto body guy that he can trade carpet cleaning with to get it fixed. Then he laughed at me.

Finally Chris came out, I don't even know what I said to him. But here's the point- he was the picture of graciousness. Nevermind I had just violently assaulted the first and only brand new car he's ever bought! He was so easy going about it all. When we went to look at it, he said, "Oh! That dent will just pop right out, and they can probably just buff all that paint off." Which is a total lie, but it was a kind thing for him to say. I think I had steam coming out my ears b/c I was so mad I'd done something so stupid. So I figured it was time to go, and as I left he smiled and said, "Drive Safe!" What a guy. I'll try & get a picture posted - you would be shocked what one little post can do to a nice new car. Luke's calling the shop today to see when we can get it fixed. Sigh.


My Lovely Lady Lump. Check it out!

Posted by Picasa19 weeks! I have been "feeling" lately that this child is a boy.

My Favorite Ornament...

In the cousins christmas ornament exchange a few years back I was lucky enough to get this beauty.
Posted by Picasa



My Father Had A Kidney Stone Too.

My dad will not quit mentioning how much sympathy luke got vs the puny amount of sympathy I gave him for his kidney stone 6 months ago. Well, in my defense, I didn't know my dad was in so much pain. He must have had a smaller kidney stone than luke, or maybe he is just tougher. I am not about to take sides. So, in a much belated entry....

My dad had a kidney stone this summer! poor guy. He is so tough- he suffered through the pain all night before going to the ER in the morning. He is the toughest guy I know. I feel so bad for him. I wish there was something I could do to make him feel better. I would have given him a footrub or something (and if you've seen his feet you know the size of this sacrifice) if only I knew he was in so much excruciating pain. Poor guy.

Win an Ergo Baby

these are apparently all the rage. enter to win a free one:
Husband Bashing Story

Is setting up a Christmas tree in your house a marriage threatening experience? It is at my house. Every year. I picked out my tree yesterday, brought it home, and this year to avoid a fight, luke suggested he hold it still & I screw it in. How is that a girl job? Or fair? But I wanted the tree up so I did it. And then the second it was semi-stable he left to go eat pizza with Chris. BOO. I had to decorate alone. Not that he has ever helped before, but usually he’s at least at HOME. I have SUCH fond memories of decorating the tree when I was little. But now that I think about it, I bet my dad was in the other room watching football too. Men. Hmph. This is why I’m having a child- for company when I want to do things like go to the zoo, feed the ducks, decorate a frickin’ tree.

Redeeming Husband Story (with Manipulative Wife Twist)

I also stopped last night to pick up dog food. Without much trouble I hauled the awkward 33 lb sack of kibble 2 blocks to my car. When I got home I asked Luke to bring it in – which he did. I met him at the door & went to take it from him, but he refused given my “delicate condition.” He wouldn’t let me carry it. Nevermind I lugged it from the store to my car, he wouldn’t let me carry it 5 feet to the kitchen. In fact I think he LIKED it. Like whenever I bring him a jar I can’t open and he rips it open & beams at me while handing it back talking about “so strong…what would you do w/o me…such a man…blah blah blah.” This is sweet of him, but it could be the end of him too. He has now affirmed in my mind that the damsel in distress ploy WORKS. I will use this to my advantage. “Oh Luke, the baby is kicking me- will you fold the laundry” “Luke- my back is killing me- will you make dinner?” “Luke, I feel so tired and weak, will you floss my teeth for me?”


The Absolute WORST Christmas Songs Ever

Everytime I hear the song "Christmas in the Northwest" on the radio I want to gag. I couldn't find it on itunes, but I found an AWESOME parody video on youtube. I wish I had thought of their idea. Please please check this out- listen to how she really wails out the lines "Christmas in the NW, it's a gift that we can sh-a-a-a-re," and "it's the gift God wrapped in greeeeen" and some dumb line about if you took away the gifts from the kids well at least they'd still have a tree (which would be sufficient consolation for all the kids I know).


Another song I really really cannot deal with is called "Same Old Lang Syne" by Dan Fogelberg. I will post my favorite lines below- but mostly I encourage you to just listen to it at
http://www.geocities.com/bjaes.geo/lyrics/syne.htm because really the music is more pathetic than even the words.

Opening line"Met my old lover in the grocery store" (gaaaaag)
Deadbeat chorus: "We drank a toast to innocence,We drank a toast to now.And tried to reach beyond the emptiness,But neither one knew how."

Songs I love for Christmas....
1. Christmas at Sarajevo by Trans-Siberian Orchestra
2. Sarah McLachlan's songs "wintersong" and "Song for a Winter's night" - they are kinda melancholy haunting christmas songs but they are beautiful
3. Vince Guaraldi's "Linus and Lucy"
4. Third Day's "O Holy Night" and "Christmas Like A Child"
5. The cherry on top: "Santa Likes to Rock It" by the tractors

The Male Equivalent of Childbirth

Last night Luke got out of bed at midnight in terrible pain, and proceeded to puke and sweat for the next 2 hours. I assumed he had food poisoning, and with great sympathy, dozed back to sleep.

At 2 he woke me up, and we decided to go to the ER. When we got there in the bright lights I saw his face was all swollen and bloodshot from so much puking- and he was as white as a sheet. Luckily ER traffic at 2:30 is pretty light, and they set Luke up in a room right away. I have never ever seen anyone in so much pain- poor guy was writhing- he couldn't lay still. Finally around 3:30 they ran urine tests that showed a lot of blood in his urine. They gave him IV pain meds. It was the funniest thing- in literally less than 2 minutes he was out- snoring & all. Can I just say I am so thankful for medicine and doctors and insurance? And as a side note, I think my aspirations of natural childbirth flew out the window. They say kidney stones are as close as a man can get to the pains of labor. no thank you.

Luke was out like a light, and they had to do a CT scan to see if it was in fact a kidney stone. I went w/the technician which was lucky b/c she could not rouse him to get him moved onto the CT bed. Using my most authoritarian voice I persuaded him to move over- and he was snoring again before he even got scanned. Watching the CT scan was so amazing- I could see all his internal organs in cross section. Pretty cool.

In the end, it was indeed a kidney stone. The kicker was that by the time they did the scan the stone was almost to the bladder, after which the pain subsides. It means that the poor guy suffered through the worst of the pain w/no meds....all because we thought he was just food poisoned! (I am the worst wife ever) By 5 am when he was done with his IV fluids the doctor discharged us. As he came in to help me wake Luke up, Luke asked, "If it hurts more can I come back again?" He was so cute- he apparently did not hear the conversation that involved the doctor handing us 20 percocet :)

When we got home we went back to sleep, and then when he woke up he peed out his kidney stone. He had to pee through a strainer to catch the stone for inspection by a urologist. I know it is super gross but I could not NOT take a picture for the blog.

Poor boy- and this was AFTER the pain subsided. He looks like someone gave him two black eyes!



Luke holding 2nd cousin, Baby Harrison

My favorite picture- mostly because Kim is .5 of the way in it

Tera & Taylor- cleaning up tomatoes


Chris & a tired Thomas