Keeping Secrets

… is NOT one of my strong suits. Depending on the severity of the secret, you can almost guarantee that I will tell one person.

Luckily for the secret tellers, the person I usually tell is my husband. Who forgets what I told him after two hours.

Fine when it comes to secrets, not so fine when it comes to things I really need him to remember – secret or non-secret – such as the date of our 20 week appointment to find out if we are having a boy or girl.

No big deal… just the sex of our baby. Something we will live with the rest of our lives!

At the beginning of January I had a nuchal translucency test ran just to make sure everything looked OK with the baby … and so we could actually see the baby since the only ultrasound we would have is at our 20 week appointment. I had put this appointment in Matt’s phone as a reminder. And he remembered. But because of work, he couldn’t make it (if his work could physically fight, I would have kicked its a** up and down the street by now).

So I went by myself and while doing the ultrasound, the tech asked if we wanted to find out the sex.

Ummm… wha??? I had no idea that was something that she would be able to know that early on (I was just over 13 weeks at that point). She said with 75 percent accuracy, she could tell me. Since Matt wasn’t there, I didn’t know what to do! Should I find out, hold it over his head that since he didn’t make it to the appointment, I knew if it was a girl or boy.

Or not find out at all (BOOO!).

OR have the gal write it down and we would find out together.

Since he didn’t answer his phone to tell me which option to go with, I went with option three. So the ultrasound tech gave me an envelope with the important information inside and home I went.

Without peeking.

All day long.

It was a looong day.

We didn’t get to open the envelope until after 8 p.m. that night and ofcourse, as soon as we found out (with 75 percent accuracy) what it was, I wanted to call my family.

But we also wanted to be more sure that it was what the note said it was… so we decided to wait until our 20-week appointment.

But ever since then, my dad, the all-time WORST secret keeper, has continued to question me, beg me to tell him what we are having.

He must have me pegged for a fool! The last time I told him to keep a secret, he sent out a mass text to everyone in his phone that he was going to be a grandpa… before we had told anyone!

This pregnancy, my sister decided to out me on Facebook.

So you can see why it is hard for me to keep secrets. I come from a family of non secret keepers!

But I must pat myself on the back this time around. Though I have divulged the secret information to a few select people, I have not told my family or friends what we think we are having. And that’s a LONG time to go having to watch what you say when it comes to talking about the baby.

My sister asked Matt to give her the first letter of the sex of the baby. Matt replies ‘B’. I look at him, like, ‘Dude? What are you doing?’

He responds, “Baby starts with ‘B’!”

You know what also starts with a ‘B’, honey?

Good grief…

So… we are a week away from releasing the secret.

You can expect a text from my dad with the news!

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Happy Valentine’s Day

From my Valentine to yours…

And yes, she is smart enough to type ‘Happy Valentine’s Day! Love, Sloane’ in to the iPad! 😉

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And just in time for Valentine’s Day…

Well… isn’t this just cute?

Olympic Swimmer Proposes to Girlfriend

Not bad looking either!

Also… I went and saw ‘The Vow’ last night. I was nervous the movie would be a flop after seeing six previews prior to the movie starting of AWFUL movies coming out. I  mean seriously… I think I’d prefer to watch a two-hour documentary on the life of snails than watch some of these movies coming out!

But, luckily, ‘The Vow’ was a very good movie! Completely sad at times, but with a great ending. But yet another movie with an over-the-top representation of love. The kind where you question your own relationship and how it could not be as extraordinary as it is in the movies. Why do they always do that?!

Anyway, I recommend it if you’re searching for something to see… ‘Breaking Dawn, Part 1’ also came out over the weekend and I HIGHLY recommend it. The best of all the Twilight films – acting wise. Both Rob Pattinson and Kristin Stewart actually do some acting, not just fumble over their words and try their hardest not to look at each other. It will REALLY REALLY question your relationship! 🙂

Happy early Valentine’s Day!

AND…

GO CATS! 

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Time to Fix This Here Kitchen Up

As many of you know, Matt and I purchased our Minneapolis home sight unseen.

That’s right… We did not physically view this house before we paid a large load of cash for it. We didn’t test drive before we purchased.

It’s not something I ever would recommend to anyone… in fact, I myself did not want to do it. But in that moment, we didn’t have many other options. We needed to be moved by mid-June when Matt really got busy with his job. Every house we had looked at on our one-time home search visit did not do much for us. This one popped up online one day and we decided not to pass it up.

Like I have said in previous posts, God works in funny and mysterious ways… and is also quite smart because he decided to give a sixth-month pregnant woman, who was moving to a brand new city with zero friends and zero knowledge of where she was, a break on the house part. The first time I saw our house (besides the online pictures which rarely do justice anything!) was the day I walked into it to live.

And it was wonderful! Compared to the numerous other houses we had looked at on our home search visit, it was HUGE… and just a good-looking home… in my eyes. Thankfully, my dad had come up a week early to help Matt get a few rooms painted, but that was all that needed to be done!

Well… to get us started…

We have no plans on moving anywhere at the moment, but we do know that when that time does come, we need to have a few things updated… such as the kitchen.

Our kitchen is what you would call… very small. I walked it a few minutes ago and it’s 11 feet wide by 10 feet long.

I never understood the real importance of counter space and cabinet space… until I moved here! I still love it and we have made do. But I know what I will be looking for in my next home… A BIG KITCHEN!

Here is what our kitchen currently looks like:

Yep... it's small!

Left half of our kitchen ....

Right half of kitchen....

Sink, dishwasher, cabinets...

 

So as you can see… it’s a small space. Luckily, there are nice appliances… which makes it look cooler?! I donno…

Anyway, we have been to Lowes and Home Depot the past two weekends doing some browsing. Right now, we are going to focus on new back splash for behind the sink and the left wall, behind the stove, fridge, etc. We are also going to install new countertops, a new sink, and new flooring.

This is where we need some help! We are SO confused! Well… I am confused. My husband would never admit that!

I usually can tell if things are going to look good together or if they won’t. When it comes to clothing. Or home decor.

When it comes to choosing the correct color of countertop to go with a white kitchen and the correct backsplash to go with both of those things, I get very confused! Below are thumbnails of backsplash that we are interested in.

Option 1, 2 and 3 are all glass tile backsplashes… after awhile, they all look the same! We don’t want anything too crazy or bright…

Option 4 is a natural stone backsplash (there is also a darker version of this as well we like). We had considered using it either behind the sink or behind the stove… not on both?

Option 5 we came across as we were leaving and kind of REALLY liked it. Our thought was to put it behind the stove? But then what kind of backsplash do you do behind the sink? Would the glass tile still look OK?

 

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

Option 4

Option 5

And then we have the countertops. We are leaning towards a darker gray (which makes me question if it would look OK with any of the above backsplashes). Did I mention how confused I am (we are)?

Counter option 1

Counter option 2

Counter option 3

Counter option 4

 

So… that’s what I have for you. If anyone has any opinions, hints as to how to actually pick, advice, tips, ANYTHING… please feel free to express those thoughts here!

Then if you feel like telling us what color of flooring would look good, I’d be appreciative.

And to conclude…

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH (that’s me screaming because I’m clueless)!!!!!

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Winter Mystery

We survived our first winter in Minnesota last year, which we were told was a completely out of the norm winter. Eighty-plus inches of snow was apparently a little out of their typical snowfall amount.

Crazy.

So I figured that this winter we might experience a normal Minnesota winter. Or at least a more typical version of what diehard Minnesotans would call ‘normal’.

Diehards would be my friends – all three of them (:)) who have lived here their entire lives. These diehards would call me a diehard southern… because they think anything south of the Minnesota border is a southern state. You can imagine the look on my face when they say these things to me!

ANYWAY…

According to my diehards, this winter is not a normal Minnesota winter.

And why is that?

Well, to date, we have had less than ten inches of snow actually fall (according to my guesstimation) since November and for the month are probably down four inches from the average. We got an inch-plus from Friday-Sunday of this past weekend, which brings me to the temperature part of weather.

We are suppose to be in the upper 30’s-40’s all week!

Which means the snow will be gone probably by tomorrow afternoon.

And the poor ice skating rink down at the park will be a puddle by Friday.

My question is… where the heck do I live?

This is totally normal weather for Kansas! Snow one day, 80 degrees the next… but Minnesota? I wasn’t expecting this. And I believe it to almost be a tease! When you get 40-degree weather, your mind is saying, “Well… why not we just move on to spring? Let’s get to 60!”

BUT … I have a Minnesota will say, “NOT SO FAST, Allyson Clark!”

“Here’s 40 inches of snow for you. OVERNIGHT.”

So… we’ll enjoy the nice weather while it’s hear and dream of our green grass days. Which are probably still four months away.

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Nap Whisperer

Since returning back from our long Christmas break in Kansas, Sloane was having major nap issues. And by issues, I mean she wasn’t taking naps.

Which is a major issue for a few simple reasons.

She needs to rest.

And mom needs a break.

And that’s about it!

I could get the girl to fall asleep in my arms but getting her to her crib and laying her down was not working. She has a sixth sense about her bed. As soon as she gets horizontal, she immediately starts crying. Could be out cold… but would still wake up!

Mix this in with the temper tantrums that she was throwing and I was pretty sure that I was going to lose my mind. My poor mom got an earful of sobs from me one evening when Sloane hadn’t napped and cried basically all day because of not getting her way.

And after that, I knew we had to get this nap situation figured out.

The first step in solving nap problems is to first lay blame on why the child isn’t properly napping, in which I blamed myself and my husband. We had rocked Sloane to sleep for naps… since she started taking them way back when (I don’t even know when this really started which frightens me now that I have another one on the way  and I remember NOTHING!). That was the easiest thing for us to do because just going and laying her down in hopes that she would just calmly lie there and fall asleep wasn’t working. It never worked. But something had to give!

The second step is deciding if the child is ready to go from two naps to one. This is a hard thing to admit because though Sloane might have been ready for only one nap a day, I wasn’t ready! Two naps a day meant I got to take a shower in the mid-morning. Two naps a day meant I didn’t have to wake up earlier to jump in the shower before my husband who leaves for work before 7 am. One nap a day meant I was going to have to completely fix our schedule and routine.

Which is exactly what I had to do. Oh, how change and I clash!!!

But we did it. Because it had to be done. For the sanity of all parties!

So last Thursday, Operation: Sloane’s Nap kicked in to full gear.

I had noticed by 12:30, the girl was really in need of rest. So we had our normal lunch at noon, we went into her room, we read a book and rocked for a few minutes until she was sleepy but not asleep. I layed her down in her crib only for her to immediately roll over and start crying. I told her it would be OK, closed her door and waited.

Luckily, she was tired enough that after two minutes of crying, it got quiet.

And two and a half hours later, she was up and ready for the rest of the afternoon.

The next day, it was one minute of crying and three hours of sleep.

The last three days have been zero crying and two-three hours of quiet.

I don’t know if I should be really angry with myself for not trying this approach earlier or just be very thankful that we finally figured it out and she’s taking naps again!

Either way, I’ve only cried once since my tearful phone call to my mom … and it was over nothing. I’m allowed to cry over nothing. I’m pregnant!

So hooray for naps and routine and sound machines that play all day and all night long…

Oh, I forgot to mention the sound machine? OK, OK… so maybe I’m not entirely responsible for the wonderful naps she has been taking. But I am not ashamed to admit that I would have bought ANYTHING to get that girl to rest. 😉

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Yikes.

It’s sad.

You know you haven’t posted a new blog in awhile when you login to write a new blog and EVERYTHING has changed! The way I even login has changed!

I’d apologize, but after awhile, people get tired of hearing apologies … and excuses … and numerous reasons as to why I haven’t done what I promised I’d do.

Which is blog more frequently.

And as always… I will blame one person and one person only.

My daughter.

Partially because it’s true and partially because the kid can’t stick up for herself just yet. So I’ll use this one for awhile!

But in all seriousness, I am sorry – to my aunt and best friend who are probably the ONLY ones who still check this thing! And for that, I must say…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY (yesterday) AUNT SALLY! You’re the best! 

Gosh… there has been alot that has gone on since my last post. I guess I should start with the most important, most shocking, and most exciting slash terrifying.

We might finally get our house sold!

OK, OK… that’s not really (at all) the most important, but it is happening (with fingers crossed and prayers said daily). If you’d like to join in on the prayers, we’d appreciate it!

What IS most important is that we are expecting baby Clark no. 2 in July!

Are we insane you ask? Ofcourse!

Are we ready? Never!

Do we know what prevents babies? Bloody hell, yes!

But what I have realized in my 29 years of living is that God works in very funny and very mysterious ways. And though this baby was as much of a surprise as my surprise birthday party in seventh grade with my favorite Madonna song blaring in the background as I walked in, it is an extreme blessing and one that we are thankful for!

If only I had blogged post telling Matt the news. Really, only pictures would have been able to describe that moment.

A photo of me with my hands on my face, tears flowing like a faucet. And Matt, grinning from ear to ear, with his hands on my shoulders, telling me everything will be just fine!

Anyway, baby two will be arriving around July 10, which means I only have six more months to try and figure out how to raise two children under the age of two (Sloane will be 21 months old when the baby is born). I know it can be done, as my cousin Megan’s first two babies are less than a year apart. God bless her. 🙂

What else has been going on … I mentioned the house being sold, but the correct term would be ‘under contract’. You’ll know it’s finally sold and out of our possession because you will be able to hear me screaming for joy (literally – all the way from Minnesota!) the day of closing – which is approximately March 15 … but we’re hoping sooner! We’ve had more than enough drama to last us a lifetime with this house… and the house is only five years old! It is now time for another family to take control of it!

Sloane is 15 months old and as busy as ever! She is crawling (quickly) all over the place and wants us to hold her hands so she can walk everywhere. I truly wish that she’d wake up tomorrow and just start walking on her own! I know most parents probably don’t wish for that, but obviously from my news above, I’m insane! 🙂

In my world, she is still a baby, but in the real world, she is a toddler (also in my husband’s world – who thinks we baby her too much… now who’s the insane one?). So she is doing toddler things. Such as throwing temper tantrums, our latest toddler thing to cross off our list! And it’s amazing timing too because I can’t get enough emails from every baby website I’ve ever signed up for telling me how to deal with temper tantrums. It’s even being discussed at our toddler/parent class we attend weekly. Our doctor said she is going through this stage a little earlier than others, but the good news is that she will probably grow out of it sooner. I hope so! Preferably before baby two arrives!

She really is a good baby (toddler) though! She loves people and kids and is very social, which is completely entertaining to watch! She makes Matt and I laugh daily and I can only hope that baby no. 2 will be as easy (KNOCK ON WOOD) as Sloane has been (for the most part)! We find out if baby is boy or girl (though we already have an idea from a previous ultrasound… but will hold off telling until …) on February 22.

Though we have lots of things going on in our lives, I find it important to note that 2012 is PACKED FULL of new babies! Five of the seven of us who lived together my senior year of college are pregnant – one was due yesterday (so baby will be here any day!), one is due in April , one in May, one in June, me in July, and one in August. Plus I have found out of atleast three other girls from my sorority – in the pledge class below mine – are also pregnant. My recommendation is for anyone and everyone who does not want to get pregnant any time soon to stay away from anyone involved with Kappa Kappa Gamma. We are a fertile bunch right now … it’s almost scary! 🙂

Lastly, one of my favorite people in the entire world, Trey Doty, got engaged over Christmas break. My brother, sister, Matt, Sloane and I had just been out to see the Doty clan one day over break and after we left, we got a text about two hours later, saying Trey was engaged! We were quite sad we weren’t there to witness it in person – staring out the window with the rest of the Doty clan! It only would have made it that more special!

We are SO excited for Trey and his fiance Ashley. I know she already knows this but she has landed herself a VERY good one! I just love him to death – he basically is my other brother! And speaking of that, my real brother is his best man … this best man speech will be a classic. And if I get it videotaped in October, I’ll be sure to post it!

And with that, I feel as though I should leave you to digest all of this information. My goal is to try and get back to my blog writing atleast once a week. But, as always, it is so much easier to say than do! But… one should always have some goals!

Everyone have a great week!

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