psychoanalyze this.

i've heard it's common for preggos to have weird dreams about their babies/labor/whatever before the actual birth. i haven't really had too much difficulty with this during either pregnancy.

with atticus, i had one dream in which he was born with all of his teeth, and then my grandma kidnapped him from us because we didn't vote for obama in the last election, making us unfit parents.

last night i had a dream that penelope was born. todd and i sat adoring her on the hospital bed, talking about how well labor went and about how impressed people will be when they see how many tomatoes i had to push out before she came...apparently in dreamland, it's normative to birth PILES of tomatoes before you actually have the baby. and the more tomatoes, the better. luckily for us, our hospital room was pretty much a ball pit of tomatoes. they were rolling onto the bed and out the door.
any freud fans out there who want to interpret this for me? i'm thinking that, since i seemed to be happy about all the tomatoes, it seemed to be a pretty successful labor in the my subconscious seems to be thinking pretty pink and blue thoughts about pushing out a kid. good to know.

new team mascot.

so, i've noticed everyone and their mom belongs to a "team"... like team van voorst, for instance. not that everyone and their mom belongs to team van voorst - we're actually quite exclusive. but many families identify themselves by "team (last name)."

so, to distinguish us from among the multitudes i have decided to rename us the bengals.

go big or go home.

we van voorsts like to go all out. if you're going to do it, do it. right? right. van voorsts BREAK!

here are a few bragging points of our all-out mentality from the last few weeks:

todd played the AWESOME husband card and showed up after work with unexpected flowers (TWO bouquets - go big or go home). he also has recently been quoted as saying, 'rap music is what happens when boys are never forced to be men.' sweet AND smart.

atticus has successfully given up his paci during non-sleeping hours. he was also a CHAMP two fridays ago when we had an early doctor appointment, complete with shots and blood drawing, followed by preregistration at the hospital, followed by a 3-hour shopping trip....he was in such a good mood the whole time - sans paci! seriously, why was i so blessed with such an easy-going kid?

and not to toot my own horn or anything (toot), i also was a champ for our long friday complete with 3-hour grocery trip. i even carried all 16 bags and 5 gallons of milk (yes, you read that right) in the house by myself (well, with the help of the stroller) and put it all away. i also earned the award for oldest, grossest pajama pants this morning when i sat down and the whole crotch ripped out of them...and i continued to wear them for a good few hours because, let's face it, who was going to see them?

penelope has apparently mastered wii sports.
in honor of todd's new favorite phrase, "nut up or shut up," i think i give the van voorsts a gold star for...nutting up.

sick days

yuck...for the last week, the van voorsts have been taken down by the crud.

i started feeling yucky last wednesday, had some serious flu on tuesday, and spent wednesday recovering. on thursday atticus woke up with a cough, on friday he woke up with a runny nose and a fever. by the weekend, whatever he has was in full swing; he spent saturday vegging on the couch watching march madness.

(please ignore the hairdo - i was going for 'the geraldo' but until my mustache comes in, that doesn't really come across.)

he is still cruddy. he's got a major cough, gross nasal congestion, and he can hardly breathe when he sleeps...meaning he doesn't sleep. at 5:30 this morning i brought him into our bed and he (thankfully) slept another 2 hours, otherwise it would've been an early morning.

so here's to hoping that a) it's not RSV like i suspect; b) even if it is, he starts feeling better and we can come out of quarantine; and c) todd doesn't come down with something next.

and in pregnancy news:

1) i have an ultrasound thursday morning
2) i just caught myself putting a mug full of pens in the microwave and hitting the start button.

are you kidding me? is that SNOW?!

one big fat frugal flop.

(and a frugal success to make up for it).

a while back i switched from using rinse aid in our dishwasher to just filling the dispenser with white vinegar. i couldn't even tell the difference, so i admit i got a little bold. because of the phosphates in dishwasher detergent, i thought i'd feel more comfortable using more natural (read: edible) ingredients to clean the dishes. it worked for laundry, why not for dishes, right?

so i found a bunch of recipes online, but most of them called for borax, which is poisonous and hazardous to male reproductive organs, so what could be the harm in just leaving it out?

well, i don't know if it was the lack of borax or the concept of homemade dishwasher detergent in general, but it was HORRIBLE. everything came out with food still stuck on it, plus a layer of powdery grime, and it all smelled like watermelon (since the recipes called for straight citric acid, which i would have to special order, or invisible kool-aid for its citric acid content). gross.

so there you have it. sometimes splurging for target-brand dishwasher detergent, phosphates and all, is worth it. (don't get me wrong, i still use way less than the box calls for and use baking soda for the missing detergent.)

on to happier homefront news, i'm loving the cloth wipes i made. since i've been using cloth diapers for a few months, it's SO NICE to be able to just throw the wipes in the diaper pail and wash them with everything else as opposed to having to throw them in a separate trash can and having my bathroom smell like old poop.

i keep the dry wipes in an old wipe box, and the solution in a spray bottle. then i spray it on the wipe or directly on his butt as needed. i feel like they work better than store-bought wipes!

here's the recipe for the solution:

half a bottle of water
some almond oil (or olive oil or normal baby oil would work)
a few drops of tea tree oil
some castile soap (or baby wash)

not super scientific, but that's how i roll. (maybe that's why my dishwasher recipe flopped.)

flea market montgomery.

on saturday, megan and i took atticus to the flea market at the fairgrounds in des moines. i must say, i was struck by two things when we walked in: just how PACKED it was with people, especially considering the rain, and how this was not at all what i expected.

call me crazy, but if it's not flea market montgomery (see below), when i hear 'flea market' i think antiques and crafts...not bubble shirts and beanie babies. yikes...both megan and i were a little overwhelmed.

luckily, in the far back corner, there were a bunch of more antique-y type dealers (including the one selling the exact same vase that megan bought at pier 1...sketchy). i was super excited to find a precious little yellow quilt and a pillow made from an old quilt topper for penelope, as well as a couple old hankies/napkins/whatever to make a cute little pillow. atticus was very excited that i bought him a peanut butter cookie.

when i brought my loot home and showed todd, though, his response was: 'how much did you pay for that ratty old blanket?'

me (thinking he'd be proud of my steal): only 12 bucks!

todd: you spent 12 bucks on that?! what would it cost new?

ahh, yes. the recurring difference of opinion on what is cute for a baby girl's room: in todd's words, he likes 'classic' whereas i like 'old lady.'

i have no arguments. he's exactly right. it's like naming a baby 'jim' or 'esther' or 'carl' - how funny is it to pair old people stuff with new babies? i just keep telling todd to wait until the nursery comes together...i think he'll like it. in the meantime, i'll have to just enjoy my 12 dollar ratty old blanket in solitude while i watch flea market montgomery.

recent pictures

in honor of grandpa tony and grandma jacqi's new computer, i figured we'd do a blog of pictures.

making kissy faces at the table.

learning how to play the guitar with dad.

getting very excited about his cloth diapers. (or, more realistically, getting excited about being mostly naked.)

making funny faces at mom.

cheesy, milky smile.

cuddling on the couch with mama.

wearing daddy's underwear on his head and making funny faces through the mesh on the pack 'n play.

playing inside the end table, a favorite past time.

and, lest you be deceived and think he's all fun and games, we have serious moments every now and again.
we miss you, grandma and grandpa, and are excited to see you soon!!

what atticus has been up to lately

as you can see, i'm getting bigger (and this was taken almost 3 weeks ago). since i've had a little more difficulty getting around the house and keeping up with things, atticus has stepped up to help me out.

he gets up and gets ready for the day. someone's got to bring home the bacon (or really, just cook it) if mom's not up to the task.

after a long day of eating and playing, there sure is a mess to clean up! with a smile on his face, this little ray of sunshine gets down and dirty.

(this is his new favorite face. it makes tedious jobs a little more fun.)

whew! after such a long day, he likes to go in his room by himself and relax in his recliner.

what a great helper!

trying my hand at freezer cooking.

when atticus was born, i was shocked at how easy a newborn was...yes, his sleep patterns took a while to settle in, and it was hard to leave the house, and i was doing MOUNTAINS of poopy laundry. but for the most part, he slept 20 hours a day, and i had 20 hours a day to kill doing other stuff.

the second time around, this will not be the case. while penelope is sleeping, atticus will be awake. while penelope is awake, atticus will be awake. and chances are, during the rare times atticus is sleeping, penelope will likely be awake.

which leaves little down time. (nothing compared to the 20 hours a day with atticus...ahhh)

so, to save myself some time and effort on the back end, i'm going to try cooking some of our meals in advance. don't get me wrong, my freezer is often stuffed and overflowing, but not typically with pre-made meals. i'll occasionally freeze some soup or something, but since i'm not a big 'casserole' person, freezer meals haven't really been my thing.

so this should be interesting. yesterday i put together a list of meals that i can make in advance and freeze...however, i will be spending the next few weeks trying to actually make room in the freezer, so i won't be cooking them right away. i'm a little intimidated, so any advice from veteran freezer cookers would be welcomed. (anastasia...)