Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

Happy Memorial Day! I was reading The Pioneer Woman, and I enjoyed this post of photos in honor of Memorial Day.

This Memorial Day weekend will be much different from last year's, with all our tomfoolery. Rather than cruising around Territory Days with the magnanimous Swans, Mike is working a booth at Territory Days. We're selling ice cream sandwiches with our favorite caterer.

Mike will have been gone from 7 am to 8 pm every day of Memorial Day weekend, serving sweaty people in mid-driffs ice cream sandwiches. Not to mention the many hours it took to prepare the weeks leading up to the event. In retrospect, it's way too much work for the payoff. (You have to pay so much for the booth, that it's nearly impossible to make the money back, especially if you're not selling something with ridiculously high profit margins like funnel cakes.) Live and learn. I just feel bad for my sweetheart who has been coming home exhausted every night.

Of course, as with any fun event, Mike likes to start it with a bang, and he nearly cut the tip of his thumb off. This cut (below) continues under his nail all the way to the edge of the nail. The whole tip was nearly bit off by the gate of the truck the ice cream cart was loaded into.

Is it just me, or do things like this often happen to my lovely hubby? I would like to be a sympathetic, sweet wife, but I had to ask him to please stop telling me about it, before his in-depth, vibrant cutting details made me puke.

I myself have not been working hard and cutting off fingers, but galavanting about, having fun, though not nearly as much fun without Mike. Happy Memorial Day to you!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Where's My Stinkin' Belly?

My weekly email from BabyCenter said this today: "At this point, you may find your belly becoming a hand magnet." Uh yeah.

At 22 weeks, I still look simply suspiciously chubby.

With an added feature of a double chin. (Or maybe I always had that. Or maybe it's just the lighting.)

As we all know, pregnancy is all about getting attention. How am I supposed to get attention for simply looking like I've eaten too many Cheese Puffs working at home these past 5 months? Remember what Sarah looked like last week? In light of her belly, I feel that I am being cheated out of all the attention, sympathy and unwanted belly touching that is my right as a nearly 6 month pregnant lady! That's all.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Baby and Bath Room Update

We've come a long way since what will be our baby room and child's bathroom looked like this. Last I updated you, the bedroom looked like this. Now, after we refinished the dresser and bought our crib and got our bed set (which came with matching decor), it looks like this:

Now I just need to decide how to decorate the walls. And that is where you come in! I have the cutsie wall hangings that came with the crib set. (Complete with giraffes, leaves, and birds. Put a bird on it!) I'm thinking of hanging these over the crib. But I also still have a lot of open room, and I don't know how to decorate for babies (beyond putting birds on things). What would you do with this wall or on top of the dresser? (That is if I hang those wall hangings elsewhere.)

Or what would you do with this wall? I'm hoping (hint, hint, hint) for a gliding chair to go in that empty spot on the wall.

I like wall decals like this one, but I'm not sure I want to spend so much money on a plastic thing you stick to a wall.

So, really, I need your help. What should I do? (Note: Mike is against the idea of painting something ourselves because, as he puts it, "We're not artists.")

In bathroom news, the bathroom that once looked like this no longer looks like this.

Destructor Mike tore it to shreds until it looked like this.

But the busy little beaver has been, well, busy, and now it looks like this.

Yes, Mike is busy tiling away once again (and watching Futurama to boot). Once he's done tiling, I'll post pictures of our newly finished bathroom. That is, if you'll give me ideas of how to decorate the baby room.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Crashing the Dawn Treader and the Great Fallacy of Our Age

Before The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe came out, many of us wondered how a secular studio would handle such an overtly spiritual theme: that someone (or something) must sacrifice himself to pay for the mistakes of another, as Aslan sacrificed himself for Edmund. The surprising and pleasant answer was: faithfully. But I suppose it would be hoping too much to expect a studio to faithfully represent the spiritual themes in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader as well.

Why review a movie that came out 6 months ago? Well, because I just got around to watching it and because I think it's an important example of the spiritual themes that used to be common in our society being replaced by the more palatable modern themes that are the ideological gods of our time.

It's easy to see why it happened in this movie and not in the first one. After all, self-sacrifice is still considered noble in our society, whereas a belief in sin and repentance is repugnant to us. But that's what C.S. Lewis wanted to illustrate, and so I must presumptuously speak up on his behalf and point out how they removed his ideas and replaced them with the prevailing ideas of our own secular modern world.

In the book, we're told, "There was a boy named Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it." (Oh, how I love Lewis' writing.) Eustace is insufferable. He is selfish and sneering. He turns into a dragon because his mind is full of "dragonish" thoughts. The ugliness within becomes the ugliness without. But after being a dragon for a time, Eustace repents. He realizes what a mean, awful boy he has been, and he wants to change. He tries scratching his dragon skin off, but after removing his snake-like skin three times, he realizes he can't do it. There's always another layer of dragonishness that he can't rid himself of. Finally, Aslan steps in. He rips Eustace's dragon layer off, and he is washed clean in a well, where Eustace turns back into a boy.

Though Lewis rarely exposits in his fiction, his theme is clear: Eustace couldn't become good on his own; he needed Aslan to change him, and it only happened once he had truly repented.

But such an idea that we, in and of ourselves, are not enough, that we are not perfect, that we need someone else to change us and make us better is diametrically opposed to our cultural mantra and, sadly, to the themes of our stories (and this movie).

The theme of the movie The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is, like every kids movie these days, "Be Yourself." Just be yourself. You don't need to be anyone but who you are. Who you are is good enough. Just follow the goodness in you and be true to yourself and everything will be great.

As Carrie Underwood sings over the closing credits, "Exactly who we are is just enough." And according to the movie, exactly who Eustace Clarence Scrubb was was just enough as well. Although he does apologize to Edmund for being beastly, the focus is on Eustace's personal transformation, aided by Reepicheep, in which he learns that deep down, he really is a brave, strong warrior. He doesn't get turned into a dragon because that's who he really was on the inside, he gets turned into a dragon because he's "special" (as Reepicheep says). Being a dragon helps him find courage, strength and even self-sacrifice. The focus is not on how Eustace needs someone else to help him, because exactly who he is is enough.

The subtle change in Eustace's character arc would have been less noticeable had it not been reinforced with Lucy and Gael's (a young stowaway on the ship) transformation. Through the course of events, they both learn that they shouldn't want to be anyone else, but just be themselves. Lucy doesn't need to be beautiful like Susan and Gael doesn't need to be brave like Lucy, because who they are is "just enough." It seems innocuous and true enough in this case, but the overall course the movie charts is a far cry from what C.S. Lewis had in mind when he wrote about Lucy's desire to be beautiful like her sister.

Like many of the lies that entangle us, this particular deception is derived from truth. As part of a larger whole, there is truth in the idea that you need to be yourself. The mistake is in letting any one truth become an overriding god, an absolute value.

When the message of Eustace's uniqueness and value is divorced from the truth of Eustace's sin and need for redemption, that message becomes dangerous.

We were each created unique and wonderful (Psalm 139:13-16). We are pieces of art, created the way we were for a unique purpose (Ephesians 2:10). What extraordinary and beautiful truths! Often, we need to be reminded of them. We need to be reminded of our uniqueness and value. Maybe we've been beaten down by others, mistreated, abused. We need to be told of our worth when everything in our environment conspires to tell us we're nothing.

But what happens when this one truth becomes not reactionary, but the primary truth of a culture, divorced from any belief in our imperfections and our need for help (from anyone, let alone God)? The message changes. The message becomes: I am god. I am god of myself because I don't need to be or become anything but what I am. All I need is me, and all the goodness I need is contained in me. I just need the courage and absolute freedom to pursue it, and I will be perfect. (Just read Satan's speeches in "Paradise Lost" to get a pretty good idea of the logical endpoint of this point of view.)

We beat our drums and nod in time with Lady Gaga, saying "I was born this way," and agree with little girls in commercials proclaiming "I don't need to be anyone but myself." Even a song like Pink's "Less than Perfect," which deals with a crippling fear of inadequacy, deals with it by screaming a simple assertion of perfection (although even she seems to realize it isn't true). But we sing along with her, without batting an eye, "Pretty, pretty please, don't you ever, ever feel that you're less than f***ing perfect."

I like Pink, but I have to take exception to the assertion that any of us are effing perfect. It sounds like a nice thing to say, but think about it. Do you really know anyone perfect? Think of just one person who has never hurt another person. If you came up with anyone, you probably don't know them very well. Pink admits that she's "made a wrong turn once or twice, bad decisions, that's alright." They're just bumps in the road. Nothing that we can't "dig" our own way out of, and nothing that's serious enough to make us believe we are less than perfect. (Or, as old-fashioned, stuffy people would say, "sinful.") So we sing to ourselves that we're perfect, against all the evidence, and we drill it into our children's minds with every well-intentioned story.

We are lying to ourselves. We're not perfect. There's a word for people who think they're perfect and are completely focused on themselves. They're called sociopaths. And we'll never find a way out of our brokenness unless we realize that. But how can we be surprised at our delusions when the primary theme to every child's movie these days is "Just be yourself"? (Think Shrek, Megamind, How to Train Your Dragon, really any children's movie that's come out in the past 10 years.) Yes, we ought to "be ourselves," in the sense of not despising and rejecting the unique way in which we were made. But when this value is paramount, it moves from self-acceptance to self-aggrandizement to the outright denial of sin and, ultimately, to placing ourselves in the place of God.

We are each the wonderful handiwork of God. We don't need to loathe ourselves in favor of Suzie down the street. But it's equally true that we are each broken and imperfect. Like Eustace, we have all chosen selfishness, pride, jealousy, hate and pettiness over good, love and justice at some point in our lives, and we've hurt others because of it. But unlike Pink's assertions, we can't just dig ourselves out. We can't just scratch off our outer layer of dragonishness to reveal our inner goodness. We need someone else to save us. To change us. To reveal the true work of art we were each intended to be (and which we never will fully attain in this life).

Eustace and Edmund needed Aslan. We need Jesus. We are not perfect and complete, and we can't do it on our own. Through what Lewis calls "deep magic," Jesus' death on the cross can make reparation for our imperfections, and through his blood our dragonishness is washed away and we are clean.

And that is why I take such exception to an otherwise mediocre movie. It is the difference between the "gospel of self" and the true gospel of salvation, forgiveness, and redemption through Jesus Christ. The gospel of self is a false gospel; there is no real hope or real good news to be found there. This chronicle is a false chronicle of Narnia. Only Jesus saves, and that salvation will only be found if we're willing to leave the prison and false hope of self for his saving grace, where our unique selves will truly be found.

"I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:25-26

*This post was written with the help of Mikey.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Mike and I decided to commit to a baby name. We really enjoy how his sister Krista lets the family know the name beforehand, so you can refer to him/her by name in utero. It's bonding.

When we first found out I was pregnant and we were still in the freaking out phase, I briefly stopped my freaking out to say, "Hey, wouldn't Alex be a cool name?" Amazingly, Mike didn't say, "I hate that name," as he is wont to do with all other name suggestions. We also both have a penchant for long Greek names, some of our favorites being Diomedes, Persephone, Ariadne, etc. But not being willing to saddle our child with a crippling name, we decided on the lovely and still long and Greek name of:

Alexandra Noel Van Schooneveld

Noel isn't Greek, but it is my middle name, and I've always loved it. Mike is partial to me, so he's OK with passing on my name.

In other news, here is my 21-week preggo photo, taken with my 19-week pregnant friend Sarah. When she got pregnant the first time, I wished that I could be pregnant with her, and now I get to the second time around!

Update: As I sat here, Mike just felt the baby kick for the first time. His eyes bugged out of his head and his voice got really high, like it does when he's incredulous. Very cute. By far my favorite part of pregnancy is watching my husband's reactions.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I don't have much to say these days, but since Liz asked me to "entertain her" and you can't so no to a pregnant lady (or so I'm trying to convince my husband) I'll make something up.

The big question around the Van Schooneveld household these days is: What will our baby girl, Mamber, look like? I'm hoping she's cute. I think we have pretty good odds.

(Interjection of funny Mike quote: At small group a couple of months ago, Mike was talking to an expecting couple, one of them a blue-eyed redhead and the other a Mexican, and said, "Your baby has a really good chance of being cute." Noticing the other expecting couple in the room, he then added, "You guys probably won't do too bad either." Oh, Mike.)

My sisters both looked like cherubs as infants. With huge blue eyes and curly dark hair and chubby cheeks, they looked like Elizabeth Taylor baby models. I was cute too, but maybe not quite as dramatically adorable as they were.

Mike was a self proclaimed "pretty" boy. He had blonde hair, green eyes, and a nice thin nose. (I'm hoping the baby gets his nose.) I would scan a picture of him for you to see, but that would involve walking up the stairs, which is more than I can muster right now.

But I can make it up to you with an adorable photo of moi.

I make no claims that my good looks extended beyond age 3, but you have to admit, I was a pretty cute toddler.

Having given this much thought, Mike and I have decided that our baby's features would be best divided thus:
-Amber's eye shape
-Mike's eye color
-Amber's lips
-Mike's nose
-the hair is a toss up

Therefore, I project (thanks to the incredible technology of Morph Thing) our baby will look like this:

Mamber Van Schooneveld I

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chillin' Out, Isaiah Style

When my boss was here last week, we did my quarterly performance review. His primary piece of guidance to me: Relax. I am a conscientious person, which is a good thing, but it also can mean that I need to chill out a lot of the time lest I drive myself and everyone around me crazy. I've been thinking about this in various areas of my life, and I think it would be a good goal for all of them, especially as I move toward parenthood. So in the months that follow, I'm making it my goal to contemplate this verse:

"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you." Isaiah 26:3

I don't want to be chilled out simply because I'm a relaxed surfer dude (which I'm not and never will be), but because my trust and hope is in God and my mind is steadfast or, more literally, "stayed on God." I looked up all the translations of this verse, and my favorite is still by far the good ol' NIV '84, but here are my personal translations for my own situations:

"You will keep me in perfect peace in my work because my mind is not fixed on myself and my own ability to please everyone and be perfect, but because I trust in you for my acceptance, idendity and provision."

So often when I'm anxious at work, it is because I am focused on myself and my own brute attempts to make people like me, to be a "good worker" and, ultimately, to make money. But ultimately, my trust should be in God, who doesn't fail or change, rather than me, who fails and changes fortnightly.

"You will keep my mind in perfect peace on rainy days when no one wants to buy ice cream and on sunny days when the line is out the door and we are understaffed. You will keep my mind in perfect peace when our gelato case breaks and there are sticky fingerprints on the doors and the numbers aren't what they should be, because my mind is not fixed on our own ability to "succeed" but on you, because we put our hope for provision in you and not ourselves and not the weather."

One of the things we've learned in our short life as ice cream moguls is how weather dependent we are. Now we have experienced perhaps the smallest hint of what a farmer must feel when he sees the hail clouds approaching. We could torture ourselves with worry over the weather and the myriad things that can and do go wrong, but our hope isn't in sunny skies or even a successful business, but in God.

Self Image
"You will keep my mind in perfect peace even when I'm gaining weight above the curve recommended for pregnant women because my mind is fixed on you and not my hips, because I trust in you for my identity and not slim thighs."

I always need to chill out in the weight department, and pregnancy has turned out to be no different. It is hard to watch the scale creep up at ever increasing rates when I have worked so hard daily to not let it do that. The scary part is the fear that I will never lose it again because, pardon my French, losing weight is a bitch. But my hope in this life is not in my pant size, it's in God.

"You will keep my mind in perfect peace because my mind is fixed on you and not on my own ability to control situations, be the perfect mom, or ensure my chosen course for my child's life, because my trust is not in circumstances or myself, but my trust is in you as the true Father and Maker of my child."

As I've mentioned, I've had a relatively worry-free pregnancy thus far, thank God. But, as many of my mother friends have told me, something switches in your brain when you become a mother and your heart is suddenly running around outside of yourself. On the positive side, God somehow fills mothers with incredible, sacrificial love (perhaps a small shadow of his own), but on the other hand, this newfound love has driven many a mom mad with worry. A friend of mine was telling me the other day how her sister, even now that her baby is over 1 year old, wakes up several times a night to check that her child is still breathing (even though the child is perfectly healthy).

I've been reading a book that focuses on Psalm 139, and it's quite a different experience to read this passage from the perspective of the host womb, rather than the perspective of the child, as I always have:

"For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be."

It's amazing to know that these words I have always treasured for myself are true for the little girl in me. God is paying far more attention to "knitting her together" than I am. (I'm just laying here on the couch eating chocolate covered macademia nuts.) His eyes are on my child, and he is her Maker.

I bring it up because isn't this the most freeing thought when it comes to parenting? I am not alone with my inadequate love and abilities and temper to be a "good" mom. My child is God's before she is mine. I have responsibility for her as a steward or as a hostess, if you will, but it is God who ultimately is the Father. So once again, I can relax because my hope is not in myself, but in God.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Canadians in Colorado and a Mother's Day Tea

This week, two of my coworkers were here from Canada, so I got to go to various meetings with them. Although I loved getting to visit my friends at Compassion, I was also reminded of how much I love working at home. (I had to get dressed four days in a row! Sheesh!) On Thursday, I got to take them to see some of our sites here. First we went to Garden of the Gods. That's my boss Adam on the left and fellow writer/editor Aaron on the right.

We went to Manitou for lunch (Adam's Mountain Cafe) and walked about the town and sampled some healing spring water. Adam enjoyed seeing our "real" hippies who live in a commune and play drums on street corners, rather than their wannabe hippies.

I drove them up Lower Gold Camp Road to get a better view of the mountains, and we wound around to Helen Hunt Falls (named after the writer, not the actress). Probably not spectacular falls if you live next to Niagara Falls, as they do, but still pretty.

It was nice to see my coworkers to get a little socialization, so I don't start biting people and misbehaving in public for lack of practice.

Today, my sisters and I threw a Mother's Day Tea at my house. (My mom was in Hawaii last week.) Here's a pic of my beautiful mom and her three daughters. (And this can stand in for my 20 week picture; I feel the need to say this to justify how chubba-wubba I feel I look in this picture.)

We also got to have my grandmother with us.

And my wonderful Aunt Cin was there too, but alas I didn't get pictures of her on my camera. My creative sister Chris made menus for the tea.

I got to use some of my china and this cute little teapot Mike's grandparents got in Japan (I think).

And Mike's grandparents silver tea set.

Our first course was tea sandwiches, and our second was fruit and scones.

And for dessert, we had these beautiful "homemade" mango tarts from Chris.

And this beautiful "homemade" cake from Tara.

And to finish, Tara and Chris did all the dishes, which was the perfect ending.

Happy Mother's Day to these lovely women in my life!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

It's a Girl!

In the very last photo, you can see the lens of the baby's eye (the left eye). Isn't that weird? It's either the lens or our baby has already started wearing a monocle. We are reading a lot of Lord Peter Wimsey these days...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Lilliputian, Space Alien, or Tinkerbell?

I officially am now feeling the baby moving all about in my belly. When we saw the ultrasound on Monday, the baby was moving a ton, which probably gave me the confidence to identify the feelings as the baby.

It's the weirdest thing ever, if you think about it. The best way I can describe the feeling is if I imagined what it would feel like if a Lilliputian or Tinkerbell was in me, kicking and floundering about.

So my baby either looks like this:

Or like this:

(The little ones, not Jack Black. Let's pray my baby doesn't look like Jack Black.)

Then again, I can't help but think of space aliens when I feel a kick. Like last night when I woke up at 4 a.m. (ravenous, of course) and feeling the baby kick, all I could think of was this clip from Space Balls. I can't help but think it's actually a space alien inside me, waiting to burst out and begin singing. But in my memory, I prefer to picture Michigan J. Frog singing and dancing, rather than that slimy lizard. So my baby also could look like this:

I guess we'll have to just wait and see!

And while I'm on the topic of babies, here's a blog post about parenting I found both funny and helpful.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Weekend Review

This weekend, we went to Sterling for mother's day to see Mike's parents. On Saturday, we went out to the Pawnee Buttes, famous, as my friend Pam pointed out, for being where Elly Zendt was bitten by a rattlesnake and died in the book Centennial. We didn't see any rattlesnake, but we did see the rare Spiny Prairie Hog Lizard (not actual name), and he was very cool. I would post a picture, but he wouldn't look as cool as his name sounds. Here's the buttes. (If you could actually see the surrounding country, you would see that it is utterly flat, which makes these buttes the most spectacular thing within 150 miles.)

Isn't that horsey, second from the right, beautiful? If I was a pretty pretty princess, that would be my horse.

They say that when you are pregnant, you get sunburns far worse. I participated in a scientific study to confirm this. My northern barbarian husband and his Norse parents aren't sunburned and I, swarthy gypsy that I am, am the color of a freshly cooked beet.

After our nice the way, walking on a flat surface at 4,000 feet sure feels a lot better for a pregnant lady than our usual straight-up hikes at 7,500 feet...we had a nice afternoon sitting out in Mike's mother's garden. I enjoyed laying under the branches of a spreading tree, where a sweet little chickadee peeped down at me and hopped, branch to branch, positioning himself until he was directly above me. Then he pooped on me. I love nature.

Today after a nice walk along the Platte River (to get in some more 4,000 foot exercise), we began driving back to Denver. We got over halfway when we realized I had left my work laptop in Sterling. I asked Mike if I could blame this on pregnancy brain (which he says is a myth). He said no. But the joke was on him, because he still had to drive all the way back to Brush, which is by far the loveliest stretch of I-76, what with it's long vistas of flat brown plains that make the Kalahari look like an inviting oasis. Luckily, Mike's mother was kind enough to meet us in Brush and cut our trip short by an extra hour.

Once in Denver, we got to see my parents who just got back from Kauai. Lucky!
And lastly, here's a completely unrelated photo that was supposed to be posted for Easter, my baby's first Easter basket (pictured with my lovely Aunt). My sister was sweet enough to get me a pampering preggo Easter basket and my mom got the baby an Easter basket.

Do you see how much I'm showing? See what looks like a roll of fat halfway down my middle? That's a baby! It's not actual fat, I assure you. Happy Easter and Happy Mothers Day!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Woes of Prenatal Consumption

I never thought I'd say this. Never ever ever.

I'm tired of eating.

I love food. One of the things I love most about the created universe is how I get to wake up each day and eat...several times! The wonder of it all! I get excited each time my belly starts growling and it means that I get to go eat. I envy those men around me who seem to need 5,000 calories a day.

Or at least I did. Now I'm not so sure.

Like my father, I get very fussy when I'm hungry. OK, my father doesn't actually get fussy; he gets focused. When his belly is growling (which is roughly 73% of the time), nothing matters other than getting food in his belly. That's how I am. But fussier. I become quite unpleasant when hungry.

And now that I'm pregnant, the percentage of time I spend hungry has gone from approximately 73% of the time to 99% of the time. As soon as I turn around after a meal, I'm hungry again. I'm going to have to take out a loan to feed myself.

Six months ago, I would have thought this sounded like dreamland. But pregnancy likes to throw in several wrenches to spoil all your fun. Suddenly I've lost my capacity to reason. The slightest smell of something or the mere thought of another thing can suddenly turn an innocent glass of juice into an agent of the devil.

When I first got pregnant, a friend of mine told me how she drank lots of V8 (the fruit stuff) to get her veggies in. Not being a veggie pro, I quickly bought a case of 50 cans of the stuff. Two cans into the case, the mere thought of it reminded me of raw sewage alleyways in slums I've visited. I don't want to drink it.

I keep other snacks around the house to calm the raging beast that is my stomach, but they all fall prey to overconsumption or unreasonable aversions. I've eaten so many nuts that if I ever seen another almond, I will smash it down the disposal. And then curse at it. At one point, Mike brought home a large jar of cashews. I swear they had the evil stain of fish on them. I couldn't bear the thought of eating them, nor my husband's subsequent breath. (Side note, I tried one of these cashews weeks later, and it was a perfectly innocent, non-fishy cashew.)

But food aversions aside, there's a whole new fun digestion system your body has installed to deal with. Tums have become my best friend. I'm so hungry all the time, that I would like to just binge on a huge plate of pasta, but any heavy food will make me wretched for hours. I'll feel like I can't breathe. If I eat one burger, I'll feel as though I ate three.

Beyond the discomfort, I have motherly guilt. It's not like I'm beefing up for a wrestling match and can eat heaping plates of fetticini alfredo. I'm trying to give nutrients to a baby, so it's not any fun to be indulgent.

Oh cruel world!

So I have to choose between eating filling food and feeling sick or eating another bowl of yogurt, another apple, another bowl of cottage cheese, or another damned almond. (This isn't cussing. In my current state, I beleive almonds may be a damned food, along with sweet potatoes, and cans of V8.)

The answer is usually ice cream. I have it in abundance, and it keeps my belly full (without making me sick) and can assuage my motherly guilt with its high calcium content. So I suppose this baby will follow in the footsteps of many esteemed Van Schoonevelds before him/her, having ice cream be his/her main food group. Perhaps I can write a bestselling novel after my baby inevitably wins a Nobel Peace prize and overthrows the Balkan states (assuming he/she takes after both mommy and daddy), called "Baby by Gelato," extolling the virtues of an all-gelato diet.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Glacier Update

I thought I'd give a little Glacier update. We were recently reviewed in the Colorado Springs an article about frozen yogurt. :) Gotta love that. There are new frogurt places popping up all over the place, so I'm so glad they gave us a review too. Check it out here.

April has been one of the harder months so far. While March was unseasonably warm, April was unseasonably cold. Lots of snow and clouds. So it was a slower month, but we're hoping May will pick up with some nice warm weather. We ran into various other troubles (gelato case was down for several weeks, our ice cream maker hurt his back, etc. etc.). But as always, Mike handled the stress like a pro. It always makes me proud to see how well he deals with completely new and flabbergasting experiences.

Mike has been filling in as our ice cream chef. Recently he's made a couple of new flavors including cotton candy ice cream, Vermont maple honey gelato and grape gelato. With May begins the (hopefully) busy season for us, so Mike will become busier and busier. We are still amazingly blessed with all the opportunities we have coming our way!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Dresser Redo

Mike and I have both had bursts of energy, so we've been working hard on all our home projects. First, Mike finished up our dresser redo. I had painted this dresser blue out of boredom at one point in my life, not really thinking about the consequences. But now that this dresser will serve as our changing table, I wanted to make it stick out a little less. Here's old blue.

Mike sanded it down, then found some paint from projects of years' past and painted it a neutral biege. Then he antiqued it with a liquid gel, and speckled it with some walnut stain we had lying around.

Last, I wanted to make this dresser look like it sort of belonged in the same room as this furniture, so we bought some rubbed bronze hardware to replace the silver. And voila!

Much less of an eyesore. And speaking of eyesores, we started work on this eyesore of a room.

First, we had to make room for more storage, so in a flurry of activity, I filled 3 large black garbage bags with items for the Goodwill from my closet. I said goodbye to a lot of good clothes. Someone will be happy at the Goodwill. Now our closets are in company order, and it feels so nice.

Next, we cleaned out the bathroom. We had to buy another storage bin and clear out room in the garage, but we did it. And now the bathroom looks slightly less heinous.

But still pretty bad. We went to Home Depot last night and got everything we need to redo this bathroom. We figured out that with the difficulty/price of trying to find new cabinet doors and a new top (ours is stained with paint), we'd be better off buying a new one, so we got a new vanity, water saving toilet and beautiful slate for the floors. Most people probably wouldn't put slate in a kid's bathroom. But we're not most people. I can't wait for us, ahem, Mike, to get started!