Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pregnancy Compare

Since I am getting down to the last few days of this pregnancy (12 days left, eeeeek!), I thought it would be interesting to list out the similarities and differences I have had with each pregnancy.  The list of differences is going to be much bigger that's for sure.

Differences

* Heartburn - with Jack, my heartburn was unbearable the last month of my pregnancy.  I couldn't eat anything without having to either get up in the middle of the night for Tums or to throw up stomach acid.  I have had minor heartburn this time but nothing that isn't curable with some chewable antacid. 

* Swelling - with Jack, my hands and feet got so swollen that I could no longer wear normal shoes.  My little sister and I went to Target with a month left of my pregnancy just so I could buy "fat" shoes.  While I did have to take my wedding rings off, my swelling is to a minimum and I am still able to wear normal every day shoes.  My ankles get a little fat in the evenings but that's about it.

* Morning sickness - had it all the way through the pregnancy with Jack to the point I took medication.  This time?  Minor morning sickness in the first trimester.  Not even bad enough to warrant medicine or any methods to help it.

* Stretch marks - I had none with Jack.  Until after I delivered and then I got some tiny grey/white ones under my stomach.  This time?  I have a few near my belly button but they aren't hideous.  They are just light red/pink.  I blame my scratching of the buddah bellah.

* Nesting - I did absolutely NO nesting or cleaning with Jack when it was time for him to come.  This time, I feel like I have to get everything done RIGHT NOW.  That could be because of the holidays and being so incredibly busy, but regardless, this house is clean, all the baby laundry is washed, everything is organized.  I feel accomplished.  Cal could come tonight and I would feel okay with the state of our preparedness.

* Hip pain - oh God, it was bad.  So bad with Jack that I would wake up in the middle of the night crying in pain.  I would constantly have to sleep on the couch because it provided more cushy support than even my pregnancy pillow could.  This time?  It's minor and I only get it if I don't roll over enough. 

* Carpal tunnel - because my swelling was so bad with Jack, I got carpal tunnel that didn't resolve itself for a few weeks after he was born.  This time?  None.  No sign of it.

Similarities

* Movement - these boys are ACTIVE!  I have videos of Jack in utero trying to do a breakout routine as I got closer to my due date.  I should record a video of Cal because it would be exactly the same.  It's so strong sometimes that it takes my breath away. 

* Cravings - with Jack, I craved fast food in my first trimester and orange juice in my last.  This time, while my cravings aren't incredibly strong, I did crave fast food (especially burgers) in my first trimester and juice in my last.  The juice doesn't have to be orange.  It can be apple, grape, orange or whatever is on hand.

* Pressure - while I don't remember it specifically with Jack, I know I had uterus pressure close to delivery.  I have it this time too.  Yowza!  It feels like this little guy is going to come jumping out of me at any time.  I am trying to close my legs when I sneeze just in case.  Ha!

* Fatigue - with Jack, I was so amazingly tired in the first trimester.  I didn't notice that this time with Cal but I am incredibly tired in the evenings.  I blame the active toddler I am chasing around.  I know I should get as much sleep as I can now because I won't be sleeping for the next two years anyways. 

It's amazing how good I have felt this time around.  I remember thinking with Jack that I was so miserable and hated being pregnant and that's because I was miserable.  This time, I really have enjoyed being pregnant.  It's been such a breeze that I worry I am going to have a really hard baby!  I keep hoping that Cal will be just as different as my pregnancy has been.  It would be awfully nice to have a baby that can breastfeed, doesn't have reflux or terrible sleeping issues, gagging issues or chronic ear infections. 

I can't wait to meet him and see just how different he is from Jack and to see what is similar about them.

12 more days!

Holiday Catch Up

Christmas came and went but we were so busy that I didn't have a chance to post much.

* I was off work starting the 22nd but am back today.  The days off allowed Jason and I to shop, wrap, assemble and get caught up for the upcoming day of festivities.

* I am still pregnant and getting to the point where I am pretty miserable.  I was feeling great up until this point but now bending down causes me to lose my breath.  I have so much to do and just don't have the energy to do it.  My belly is rock hard most of the day.  I feel like I have to pee but yet when I go, it is just a trickle.  I have less than two weeks left.  I CAN DO IT.

* Jack got spoiled rotten for Christmas.  We tried not to go overboard but of course, that didn't go so well.  Between two "big" Santa gifts (a kitchen and a tricycle) and gifts from several family members, our house looked like Toys R Us puked in it.  Thankfully we were able to offload some gifts to my in-laws.  They have more room than we do and new toys over there are cool.

* We spent Christmas Eve over at Jason's Mamo's house.  Jack had a good time running and playing and spending time with his Mamo and Papo (Mamo's significant other). 

* We woke up at 6:30 on Christmas morning and Jack had fun playing with his new kitchen and scooting around on his bike.  Jason took his time getting up but we were over at his parents around 9:45.

* The afternoon was spent over at my Aunt and Uncle's.  The whole West coast family was there which was nice.  It was a packed house.  We exchange "stockings" with the adults and manage to haul in a bunch of fun loot.  The kiddos get actual presents.  Jack was so overwhelmed with gifts by the end of the day that he didn't want to open the rest of his gifts.  So I helped him.

Here are a few pictures from our festivities. 

Mommy and Jack over at Mamo and Cliff's.

Jack "helping" Cliff open a present.

Jack seeing his kitchen on Christmas morning.

Opening presents over at Nana and Papa's.
Jason and his enormous stocking over at my aunt and uncle's.

Jack opening yet more presents over at my aunt and uncle's.  He got these trucks from my cousin and they were a favorite!

On another note, I am still getting used to my new camera (thanks Jason!) so it took me a while to figure out how to upload all these puppies.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!  Now my next endeavor is to have a baby.  OMG.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Food!

Lately, I have been doing a lot of cooking and not because of the holidays.  As a matter of fact, I have done very little holiday baking/cooking.  We are trying to keep our eating out budget to a minimum so this requires me to cook more often.  Also, with Jason home during the week, dinner is a must in our house.  Before he was home I would just eat a PB&J or have a bowl of cereal for dinner.  Jack would get a healthy dinner, no worries.

Here is what I have cooked lately:

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Lasagna

Beef Enchiladas (no link.  I doctored a recipe I got from Betty Crocker and made it my own)

Spicy Chex Mix (the ONLY holiday baking I have done) - I double the recipe and add two tablespoons of Tabasco and about two teaspoons of cayenne.  Be warned, it's HOT.

Chicken and Black Bean Burritos (very similar to the linked recipe but in place of the salsa, I used Rotel and then also added a packet of ranch seasoning and some additional spices.  I shredded the chicken and we had it in burritos with a little cheese and salsa)

Spaghetti and Italian Sausages (no link.  If you can't figure out how to cook sausages and heat up sauce, you might be in trouble!)

Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans is what we are having tonight for dinner.

Tomorrow night will probably be leftovers since we still have some of the Chicken Burritos left as well as spaghetti and I know we won't eat a whole meatloaf tonight.

It's hard to plan so many meals during the week.  I am trying to keep them simple and inexpensive.  Simple so I can easily whip up something after I log off work, inexpensive for obvious reasons.

Here is my short list of meals that I want to have in my repertoire:

* Meatloaf and mashed potatoes
* Spaghetti with meatballs/sausages/meat sauce
* Baked chicken with sides
* Pork chops with sides
* Macaroni and cheese (homemade)
* Soup and sandwiches.  Taco Soup is a huge hit in this house
* Red beans and rice
* Casseroles of many varieties:  Tuna, hashbrown, chicken and rice bake etc.
* Breakfast for dinner
* Chicken pot pie (homemade)
* Slow cooker meals!
* Chili and cornbread
* American Chop Suey.  HUGE favorite in this house.

If you can think of any other good and cheap recipes to add to this list, let me know!  I would like to keep a good rotation in the works so we don't get bored. 

I give my sister props because she cooks dinner every night for her hubby, toddler and herself after chasing around an active toddler.  She better respond to this post because I bet she has really good ideas!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Day One

Today is the first day that Jason is a stay-at-home dad.  The transition has been slightly rough for him.  First off, he didn't try adjusting his schedule yet.  He got a whopping 2 hours of sleep last night since he wasn't able to come to bed any earlier than 4am. 

I think he's going to do just fine.  I know it's still early but I can hear them from my "office".  They have been reading books, hanging out on the couch, eating and just being boys.  Poor Jason.  He's so tired that I have jumped in to help him a few times today.  I showed him what an acceptable lunch consists of for Jack.  I told him approximately what time Jack should go down for his morning nap.  I did the dishes for him this morning during a work break while he took a shower.

Nap time was rough.  He put Jack down awake which isn't something I do.  Karen, his daycare provider does this with no problem.  However, Jack needs to learn a new way of doing things so Jason got him drowsy and put him down in the crib awake.  He cried for a few minutes but then went down for a 90 minute nap.  Jason took this opportunity to nap himself.

Bedtime has been pushed back an hour.  This is so Jack doesn't get up at 5am.  Jason would like him to sleep until a more reasonable time, like 6:30 so an 8pm bedtime will now become the norm in our house. 

This means dinner will be pushed back too.  Sense a theme here?  Instead of a 5pm dinner, we will aim for 6pm.  No longer will we be old fuddy duddies and eat so darn early. 

I will be cooking dinner most nights which is not something I am used to.  I am used to giving Jack a meal and then eating a bowl of cereal or something later.  However, with Jason at home, we will need to eat right?  I have made a list of quick, easy and economical meals to add to my repertoire.  Tonight's dinner is going to be spaghetti with Italian sausages.  Quick, easy, and cheap!

This new schedule and arrangement is going to take a lot of adjustment and getting used to for all of us.  I will try not to whine or be overdramatic as the changes occur.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Fluffy Mail

Jason and I received a generous gift from his Mamo for Cal last week and I knew exactly what I wanted to spend the money on:  DIAPERS! 

I haven't purchased many cloth diapers yet because I was scared to actually pull the trigger on cloth diapers.  I wasn't sure which styles would work for Cal.  The cost of buying such a big quantity at one time.

But after a lot of research last week, I decided to purchase the following:

6 Charlie Bananas one-size with 12 inserts (the package I bought came with 6 small and 6 medium/large)
2 Flip diapers and 6 inserts
6 Sun Baby diapers and 6 inserts
24 pre-folds

Add this to the existing Flip and Thirsties cover I had purchased many months ago, that will give us 16 covers and 49 inserts/pre-folds.

I also purchased a wet bag for the house and two smaller wet bags for Nana's house and the diaper bag.  I also purchased a sprayer (I already have a Spray Pal on hand from when the pre-order was going on).

All these items cost us under $350 total.  That is for everything!  I think that is a great investment.  I just hope that with the variety of diapers that I purchased that some of them work for Cal.  If not, I heard it's pretty easy to sell them.

Today, my first order came!  The Charlie Banana pack came in the mail and I can't tell you how ridiculously excited I was to open the box and feel the diapers.  I haven't used them yet (obviously), but from what I can tell, they are so incredibly soft and well made.  And can I tell you how CUTE they are?  Jason is scoffing at the hot pink diaper but it came in a "value" pack so I didn't have the option to trade out the pink diaper.

Who knew diapers could be so cute and exciting! 

I still have some research to do on how exactly to fold these puppies.  I am hoping there is a tutorial or something on each company's website.  I already have done the research on what detergent to use as well as cloth diaper safe cream.

Now for the picture.  Here is our cloth diaper stash so far.  Nothing is washed yet.  I am still expecting a ton more mail in the coming days.

Cute right?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Weekend Intended Quiche

I had this recipe bookmarked to make on Sunday with leftover ham.  However, after having photos taken and dealing with a cranky toddler, we ordered pizza instead.

I am not one to waste food so in a hasty decision today I decided to whip up this quiche for my lunch. 

It was very easy to put together.  I cheated and used pre-made pie crust but to make up for that, I shredded my own cheese.  Since I hadn't frozen before baking, I put in the oven at the recommended temperature and baked for approximately 35 minutes. 

The result?  A beautiful golden quiche that tasted amazing.  If I were to make it again, I would probably add a little bit of onion for some flavor.


I might have had two pieces.

34 Weeks

Today marks the start of my 34th week.  That means in 5 short weeks (or less), Cal will be here!  It seems time has flown by. 

I will start this post with a maternity picture.  My friend Jenn over at PDXMomma took them for me and from what I have seen so far, they turned out great!  I can't wait to see all the pictures.



I am carrying more torpedo style this time around.  With Jack I was pretty flat and low.  With Cal, I am carrying all in my belly and it's RIGHT OUT front.  I look like I swallowed a watermelon. 

What has been going on with me:

* I don't want to sound trite, but I feel pretty good.  Of course, things could change and I could start feeling awful tomorrow.  My only complaints are a very hard and heavy belly by the end of the night and some minor sleeping issues. 

* With Jack I had horrible hip pain.  It was so bad that no pregnancy pillow, no amount of position changes and couch sleeping could help.  I would wake up in so much pain in the middle of the night that I would cry.  This time?  It's minor.  I think it's because now my body knows what it's doing.

* I don't have heartburn.  With Jack, I would have to ask myself with every morsel of food "Will this give me heartburn?".  This time?  It's minor.  I have had it maybe twice and it was only when I ate super late.  Last night I had two pieces of pizza and root beer pretty close to bedtime and I didn't have heartburn.

* This little guy seems to like wedging himself up under my ribs.  His little butt is always on my left side.  What feels the most odd is when he shifts positions and his little head or his arms bonk my cervix.  Yowza!  Talk about a suprise! 

* I had an itching issue last week that required me to run into the OB's office for some labwork.  My arms, legs and belly were so itchy that I actually scratched some raw spots into my skin.  I had this last time with Jack too and they ran a liver and kidney panel to make sure everything was okay.  I will call today and make sure the results are normal. 

* I am about to finally purchase our big cloth diaper order.  I plan on ordering two more Flip diapers along with inserts, 6 Charlie Banana diapers with inserts and 6 Sun Baby diapers with inserts.  Add this to the two covers that we already have (pathetic, I know) and that will be about 14 covers.  We can add some as time goes on but I am hoping this is enough of a stash to start out with.  I will still need to buy some wet bags and a sprayer, but that should be about it! 

* I need to pack my hospital bag but I don't have all the things that I need for the hospital.  I am waiting for Christmas so I can use the gift cards and money that I get to buy nursing tanks, bras and a robe for the hospital.  Let's just hope Cal doesn't decide he wants to come early!

* I am worried about how I am going to take care of a toddler and a newborn.  The only saving grace is that Jason won't be going back to work so I will have tons of help.  I don't think either of us know just how much work this is going to be and I am scared.  We are both going to try and be more relaxed this time around.  I will not freak out if breastfeeding doesn't work out.  I will not freak out if Cal doesn't sleep well (Jesus I really hope he sleeps well).  I will not freak out to take a shower in case he cries.  Seriously, can I just be more relaxed this time?  I was such a basket case with Jack and I think that is why I don't remember a lot of his newborn stage.

That is it for updates from me.  And to add to this baby preparation panic, can you believe that Christmas is 19 days away?  I am not prepared!  Time needs to slow down for sure.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Jack's Christmas

This post is all about Christmas and how spoiled rotten my son is.  I swear, we were paring down the Christmas gifts this year after last year's toy explosion but Jason obviously didn't get the memo.

Long before we started purchasing gifts I knew I wanted to get Jack a play kitchen.  He loves the one at daycare and he loves opening and closing doors.  I had my eye on a couple but mainly wanted wood and small-ish since we have a lack of space.

This is what I ended up buying:

I am hoping it will be a big hit.

After I had ordered the kitchen, Jason announced to me that he had purchased Jack a tricycle.  How cute that he thought of a gift on his own and bought one?!?

This is what he ordered:


Also on Jack's Christmas list are:

* 24 month sized clothes
* Pet net for his massive collection of stuffed animals (purchased)
* Slippers (purchased)
* Play food sets
* Elmo Rockin' Shapes and Colors

Since Jack already has two big gifts we are going to try and tame what else we buy for him.  He will get a stocking but I think with a couple of other minor purchases (like some new books), that will be all we buy.

HOWEVER, he still has gifts at Nana and Papa's to open.  And gifts from his aunts.  And gifts from my Dad.  Among other gifts.  Seriously, this child is going to be spoiled.  I don't know how much more this tiny house can take in the way of toy explosion.

I need to constantly remind myself what Christmas is all about.  It's not about material gifts or spending money or baking.  It's about Christ, family and giving back to others.  So when I go shopping I will have to reign myself in from buying any more crap!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's Been a While

I have been a bad blogger.  But I had my reasons.  My entire family was sick.  Jack had yet another trip to the ER after vomitting 13 times in an hour.  Jason came down with an awful cold, I got two colds (although pretty minor) and then there was the whole holiday thing, yada yada.

At any rate, I am back.

I have lots of updates so I thought I would break them into categories.  Easier to keep track of my thoughts that way.

Jack

* After another trip to the ER on November 19th, Jack is feeling much better.  Since people are temporarily lactose intolerant after stomach viruses (who knew?) we still are giving Jack soy milk.  This is to give him a chance to recover and build up some of the good bacteria in his belly.  He took the ER visit in stride.  After vomitting literally 13 times in less than an hour, our pediatrician told us to hightail it to the ER.  That amount of throwing up is NOT normal.  Coincidentally we had been to the Children's Museum the day before so I am pretty sure that is where he picked up the latest bug.  I am going to place my child in a plastic bubble for a few months.

* Jack was home with me exclusively for 10 days.  Between being sick, having days off from work myself, and having a daycare provider with sick kids, we spent a lot of time together.  I tried to keep us busy with trips to the Children's Museum (fail!), the grocery store, trips to visit my in-laws and other random things.  Boy this child is active.  Seriously.

* The other day Jack was home with me and clearly in need of a nap.  He was being a holy terror and I said to him "Jack, you are driving Mommy nuts".  He looked back at me and said "Nuts".  Clear as day.  Jason and I could NOT stop laughing.  It was so funny.

Baby Cal

* Well, after settling on baby Cal's name, it appears we have changed our mind.  We decided that even though we love the middle name Charles, Cal Charles just doesn't sound right.  So Jason and I talked and decided we will probably go with Calvin Wyatt.  This is not set in stone so we will see what Cal looks like when he is born and then decide for sure.

* I am 33 weeks along which means Cal is going to make his appearance in 6 weeks or less depending on if I happen to go itno labor early.

* We pretty much have everything we need for Cal with the exception of diapers.  Jason's Mamo asked us what we needed and when we told her diapers, she said "I will write you a check and you can buy what you need since I can't shop".  This makes us happy!  We are hoping it's enough to get all our cloth stash and buy a couple of packages of newborn diapers so we don't have to cloth up in the early days.

* This little guy is running out of room.  His kicks are becoming much stronger and the rolling is down to a minimum. 

Me

* Work has been slightly crazy.  That's another reason that I haven't blogged as much.  I am working or tired after working that I don't feel like updating. 

* I am getting to the point in my pregnancy where I am getting uncomfortable.  My symptoms have not been nearly as bad as they were with Jack though.  When I was pregnant with him at this point I had so many things to lament about:  Heartburn, terribly painful hips, swollen hands and feet, pregnancy carpal tunnel and a hard time sleeping because all of the above.  This time my main complaint is just a hard belly and having trouble breathing.  Thankfully my hips are doing okay so far since I religiously sleep with my pregnancy pillow.  I don't have a hard time sleeping (yet). 

* I had my 32 week appointment yesterday even though I am 33 weeks.  I am really trying not to freak out but there were some things that came up that were slightly alarming.  My doctor didn't seem overly concerned, but I am.  My blood pressure was up (138/85) which is high for me.  When the nurse weighed me, she asked me to step back on the scale because she thought she had made a mistake.  Apparently, the last two appointments my weight has held steady but yesterday, I was up a total of 10 pounds.  That is a ton for me since I have only gained 14 pounds the entire pregnancy. After my BP check and my weight gain, the nurse said she would do my urine dip and come back if there was protein in my urine.  If there wasn't, she wouldn't come back and not to worry.  Well, when I was talking with my doctor, she did come back.  I did have protein in my urine.  I know enough about pre-eclampsia to know that all of these are symptoms.  I was asked if I had any noticable swelling, which I don't think I do.  My doctor said that if my BP was high at my next appointment we would chat.  I have no idea what he means.  But in the meantime, if I have any headaches, dizziness or noticable swelling I need to call immediately.  Well that sure puts my mind at ease.

* I made a lot of fun things for Thanksgiving.  I made two pies, one pecan and one pumpkin and two casseroles:  Sweet potato and green bean.  They were all a hit at our family gathering.  I felt accomplished.  I haven't baked/cooked that much in a long time!

* I have maternity pictures this weekend.  I am nervous because I haven't had professional pictures of myself done since our wedding.  I hope I don't look like a whale.  I am on the lookout for some cute boots to complete my outfit.  Thankfully my friend Jenn is doing the pictures so I know even though I might look terrible, the pictures will turn out beautiful!

* I got my hair cut on Saturday and it feels wonderful.  It looks better, I feel better, my head is lighter and it's a nice boost to my self esteem.

Everything else

* Jason is putting in his notice very soon.  As soon as he gets his vacation paycheck in hand, he is giving his two weeks. We are nervous and well, nervous.  We can afford this but it's going to be such a huge transition for him.  Not only for his schedule being turned upside down but to take care of two little boys.

That's about it for now.  I am sure I forgot some stuff since it's been so long since I posted.

I hope everyone is well and gearing up for Christmas!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Randoms

Today is Friday and I have today off!  I have extra vacation time that I need to use up before the end of the year and my mother-in-law is out of town today (she usually watches Jack on Fridays) so a day off today worked out great.

* I took Jack to the Children's Museum today.  He had a blast playing in the water room, in the Lego exhibit and in the dig pit.  He is very much an independent player and doesn't pay any attention to the other kiddos.

* He strung together two words yesterday!  He has done this before but it's usually like "Bye dog" or "Hi kitty".  Yesterday?  It was "More milk".  Jack has also recently started saying Thank You.  It comes out more like "Dang ooo" but hey, it works.  It's never too early to teach good manners.

* We are finally sick free in our home.  After roughly three weeks of stomach viruses, colds, and other maladies, we feel much better!  Jack is now back on milk and very happy about it.  Now what to do with a half gallon of chocolate soy milk?

* Jason and I celebrated our anniversary last weekend and while we had a good time, it sucked that Jason was sick.  We had a nice dinner, breakfast and tons of conversation.  The room wasn't our favorite (it would have been more enjoyable had the pillows been comfortable) but all in all, it was a nice break.  I even enjoyed a glass of wine.  I sipped it over two hours and it will be the only alcoholic beverage for this pregnancy. 

* I am starting to feel a little better about Cal coming.  I managed to put together a nine bin storage unit for the boy's bedroom and went through eight Rubbermaid bins of baby stuff.  It is now all organized and labeled.  The newborn to 3 month sizes are all washed and mostly put away.  So if this little man comes now, at least he has clothes to wear!

* Christmas shopping is underway.  I am a slacker this year and started late.  Jason ordered Jack a Schwinn tricycle and I ordered a wooden play kitchen.  Those will be Jack's "big" gifts.  We will also be stuffing a stocking for him and possibly getting two more small gifts.  I want to make a run to WalMart (normally I am not a fan) on Sunday for some stocking stuffers for the rest of my family.

* Jack has been sporadically sleeping through the night.  His sleep overall has improved and I couldn't be happier.  Murphy's Law says that he will start sleeping great right in time for Cal to make his appearance.

* We decided to keep the tiny kitten I rescued last week.  After a clean bill of health from the vet and falling in love in about 10 minutes, little Lisa is now a part of our family.  She is extremely energetic and has that "kitten" personality.  You know, the kind where they climb curtains and run all over the place?  She loves playing with Jack's toys.

* My c-section is officially scheduled.  January 10th at 7:30am.  We need to report to the hospital at 5:30am and by around 8:30, we should have a new baby!  This is barring that he doesn't come any earlier.  Don't get any ideas Cal.

* Jason has less than a month of work left before he quits to be a stay-at-home-Dad.  We are both nervous.  Him for having the responsibility for taking care of two kiddos.  Me for the financial burden and being the sole bread-winner.  We have discussed it and if it doesn't work out, it would be perfectly fine for him to go back to work.  I won't hold it against him and he won't feel embarrassed that it didn't work out.

That's about it for us this week.  I am 31.5 weeks pregnant.  Just about 7.5 to go before we have our new addition!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Christmas Survey

I stole this from my friend Rachel over at B&R Plus 1....More.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?  I am not a fan of eggnog at all.  It just seems......wrong.  Egg?  In an drink?  Hot chocolate all the way.  Even better if there is a bit of peppermint in it.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?  Wrapped definitely.  When I was a kid, my parents would disguise their handwriting so we wouldn't know that Santa presents weren't from them.  We plan on getting a play kitchen for Jack for Christmas.  Not sure how I am going to wrap that one.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?  I do white lights on our tree but growing up my parents always used those big fat colored ones.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?  I did once but only because someone gave me some.

5. When do you put your decorations up?  Usually the day or week after Turkey Day.  I used to go all out but with a toddler, we have scaled down a bit.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish?  I have to choose just one?  Oh my.  Too bad, I will list my top three.  The Chex Mix I make (I make it a bit spicy.  Jason and I could eat a whole pan in a day or two if left to our own devices), Christmas cookies - Peanut Butter Blossoms specifically, and the Christmas rolls my mother-in-law makes for Christmas morning.  So yummy!

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child?  My parents would bundle all us kids up and pack chairs and a thermos of cocoa and we would trek over to the skating rink at White's Park.  This is when I lived in New Hampshire and the outdoor pond would freeze over.  Why the chair?  Because when we were young and just learning to skate, pushing a chair in front of you was the easiest way to keep your balance. 

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?  I was about 11 and I cried when I found out.  No joke people.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?  Nope.  We like to prolong the excitement and tear into everything on Christmas morning.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?  This year we will do mostly non-breakable ornaments and a smaller tree since Jack is of the age where he wants to touch everything.  Last year he didn't pay much attention to the tree at all thank goodness.  I have ornaments that I have collected all my life that go on my tree.  I have ones that I made in grade school, some that I have purchased while on vacation, some that my family has purchased for me and other special ones.  Some years I do an all blue tree with only blue ornaments and it turns out beautiful.  One of my favorite ornaments by far is a Old World glass tomato that my mom bought for me.  I have a lot of Old World ornaments and they always make it on my tree.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?  I love it!  Portland doesn't get nearly enough.

12. Can you ice skate?  I love to skate.  Haven't done it in over 15 years at least.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? I have so many.  As a child, I remember getting a scooter from my mom's best friend.  We didn't have a lot of money growing up and she would always make our holidays special.  I also loved the year that my in-laws bought us all the baby bedding stuff we needed.  That was very special.  They bought us Jack's mattress, crib sheets, bumper, and his glowing Seahorse.  They spoiled me that year.  My favorite gift from Jason probably had to be the year he got me my KitchenAid mixer.  I knew what it was when it was delivered to the house and to be honest, I was not excited.  I was like "he got me a mixer?".  But in the end, I loved it.  There are so many times I use it and think of him.

14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?  I love the holidays but the most important thing is to keep up tradition.  I could not make it through the holidays if I couldn't do the "traditional" things that I do every year.  A shopping day with just Jason and I wrapped up by dinner out.  Stockings for the adults over at my aunt's house.  Christmas rolls for breakfast after tearing into gifts at my in-laws.  Starting last year, I made a new tradition and got Jack Christmas jammies and read him The Night Before Christmas.  I will continue this tradition every year.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?  Christmas cookies!  Of any sort really.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?  See my answer above.  Christmas jammies for Jack and reading him The Night Before Christmas.

17. What tops your tree?  I have a beautiful blown glass topper.  It looks like a genie's lamp.  That is the best way to describe it.
18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving?  Would it sound selfish if I said receiving?  I am really bad at gift buying.

19. Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum?  Yuck to eat. But I always buy a box to hang on our tree!

20. Favorite Christmas show? Movie?  It's a toss up between Love Actually and It's a Wonderful Life.  Every year on Christmas Eve I wrap last minute presents and watch It's a Wonderful Life.

21. What is your favorite Christmas song?  A song from the 80's called "Do They Know It's Christmas?".  It's a compilation of British bands/rockers singing.  I crank that up every time I hear it.

To wrap up this post, I cannot wait for Christmas this year.  Last year was fun because it was Jack's first Christmas but I think he "gets it" a little more this year.  I want to do so many things with him:  Cookies for Santa, watching him open all his loot, singing Christmas songs.  Watching Christmas through a child's eyes is so special.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Unexpected Kitten

This morning as I was driving Jack to daycare, I was crossing a very busy intersection and noticed something running across the road.  I slowed down, expecting it to be a rat, but instead, it was a kitten!  It was a small little guy in the middle of a very busy street.  I swung into the center turn lane, threw on my hazards and got out hoping to grab the kitty.

Little kitty ran away and under a fence before I could grab it.  I felt awful.  I jumped back in my car and drove about half a block and saw another kitten!  This one was in the gutter and I was able to safely pull over, grab it and then get back in the car.  Don't fret moms out there.  Jack was safe the whole time.  I didn't go far enough away from the car that he was in danger. 

I held the kitty on my lap and dropped Jack off at daycare.  Poor little thing was shivering and purring at the same time.  And I will be honest, she smelled. 

I can only assume that some asshole dumped a litter of kittens.  The area is all businesses and no houses nearby so I don't think they would have escaped from a house.  I didn't see a momma cat nearby.  They might be feral but regardless, that situation is not safe for a tiny kitten.  They would have gotten run over.

Kitty came home with me and I woke Jason up to help me bathe her.  Like I said, she was stinky.  Of course being the softie that he is, he instantly fell in love with her.  I keep referring to her as a her because she's a calico and most calicos are girls.  I believe the percentage is 95% girls.  She was such a good girl while we were bathing her.  She just sat in the sink and mewed a little bit. 

Once we got her cleaned off, I put a towel in our kitty carrier and put here in there away from the other cats.  I let her rest for a while and got some cat food and wet it down with some canned food.  She scarfed it down immediately.  I will run to the store later and pick up some actual kitten food.

Now here's the issue.  We don't need another cat.  I know Jason wants to keep her but we really can't take another cat.  I have put my feelers out and asked my in-laws if they want her.  My mother in law is coming over this afternoon to see her and I have a feeling she is going to fall in love.  Good!  They can have her.  If they don't want her, I am going to negotiate with Jason.  One of our other cats needs to be put to sleep.  She has health issues that aren't getting any better and she isn't living a productive life.  She has needed to be put down for quite a while but Jason just can't bear to part with her.

I feel guilty.  I feel guilty that I couldn't grab anymore kittens.  I even drove back the same way on the way home to see if I could spot anymore kittens.  I am so scared that they are going to get run over.  I wish I had done more to find the others.  I feel guilty about thinking of putting our older cat down.  Why is guilt such a nasty rude emotion?  I know deep down I did what I could to at least save this one.

What makes me the most mad is how anyone could dump a litter of kittens?  It was an incredibly busy road and they were going to get run over.  How hard is it to take the kittens to the Humane Society if you don't want them?  Or post an ad on Craig's List?  There are always people that want to adopt kittens.  Especially ones with a sweet face like this girl.


I think "kitty" is still young to be away from mom even though she ate some cat food.  I would guess she's around 5 to 6 weeks old.  She is still too little to use the big cat litter box so I temporarily made her a litter box out of a box lid (I think I am already smitten, ugh!).

At any rate, that is the story of the unexpected kitten.  Please pray that those other babies got rescued and not run over.

Mish Mash

I have a lot of random stuff to post about.  It's easier to do snippets rather than type everything out.

* Jack hasn't thrown up since last Wednesday!  I credit the soy milk.  The only side effect?  The world's stinkiest diapers.

* HOWEVER, he now has another virus.  After a very high fever Monday and a trip to the pediatrician, his poor little body is recovering.  When will this poor child catch a break?

* I have a 4 day work week which is awesome considering how crazy last week was.  I plan to spend my Friday off by finish up the painting in this house.  I lead an exciting life huh?

* Our 5 year anniversary is Friday.  I can't believe it's been 5 years.

* On another anniversary note, we are staying the night here on Saturday and enjoying a nice dinner at the Black Rabbit.  It's one of our favorite places to go.  I have already scouted the menu and I know that Jason is going to be ordering the rib eye.  I will probably get the steak medallions unless there is another special that catches my eye.

* Have I mentioned that my older sister is expecting another baby?  And it's going to be a BOY!  She already has a 2 year old and this baby is due in March.  I love that we are going to have newborns at the same time again.

* I am ridiculously excited for the holidays this year.  I love Thanksgiving and Christmas and when you have little ones, it just seems so much more special.  My due date is shortly after Christmas which makes me a little bit nervous that I am going to go early but I will remain positive!  We have lists already for Jack.  We plan to buy him one "big" gift and then a couple of smaller gifts.  His "big" gift is going to be a play kitchen.  It's wooden and nice quality and small enough to fit in our small living room.

* The Duggars announced that they are expecting baby #20.  Why does everyone seem to have a negative opinion about this?  Yes, she is of an advanced maternal age.  Her last baby had complications but they don't have any correlation to her age.  I am personally happy for the family and think they are so grounded and faithful.  Haters need to zip it!

* I made an interesting soup this weekend out of Food Network magazine.  It's a variation of a chicken noodle soup.  It contained toasted spaghetti noodles, chick peas and a bunch of cilantro.  It was very healthy and tasty!  I would link the recipe but it's not on their website.  Intead, here is a picture:



* This pregnancy is so much more different than Jack's.  I have been lucky enough not to have hardly any of the same symptoms.  I didn't have severe morning sickness.  My hips don't hurt as much.  My heartburn (when I have it) isn't horrible.  I have gained weight at a slower rate.  It just seems so different!  I wonder if my body knows what to do this time or something?

* I have a kitten post that I am going to be doing later.  I am pretty disgusted by humanity right now.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The "Yuck"

I have gotten to the point where I have time to actually post about Jack's stomach issues.

Last Saturday, upon waking up and eating breakfast, Jack threw up.  Threw up his entire breakfast right where he was sitting in his highchair.  Poor little guy.  He seemed fine after that though and wasn't running a fever.  In the next hour, he threw up two more times, mostly bile/water.  At that point, I got a little concerned and so I called my mother-in-law.  She hadn't fed him any new foods at her house the day before and he hadn't gotten into anything weird.

Since my son has had a stomach virus before and the hospital explained how to go through a re-hydration routine, I decided to try that.  I gave Jack half a Zofran tablet, waited minutes and then started him on small doses of Pedialyte mixed with grape juice.  Note: We didn't have any in the house so my mother-in-law stopped by with some liquids and some saltine crackers.  How nice of her!  Jack seemed fine after that but we still took it easy for the rest of the day.  I gave him very bland foods (crackers, non-acidic fruit like bananas, etc.) and his regular milk and he seemed fine.  No more throwing up. 

Saturday night he went to bed as usual.  Jason went out on Saturday night.  I woke up around 12:30 and decided to go check on the little guy.  He had completely flipped himself around in his crib because he had thrown up and didn't want to lay in it.  First, cue the bad mommy feelings.  I didn't even KNOW he had thrown up.  He didn't fuss or cry or anything. 

I then had to get him undressed, cleaned up and re-dressed.  He must have been so tired because I picked him up from his crib and laid him down on his changing table and he didn't even fuss.  Normally he hates being changed in the middle of the night be he seriously just laid there and didn't move.  I decided rather than stripping down his crib and changing the sheets in my blurry state, I would just bring him to bed with me. 

I texted Jason and he came home immediately.  He really didn't need to since Jack was sleeping but he did and I am grateful.  He brought a towel in to lay under us and no sooner did he do that, Jack threw up again.  I don't think I got much sleep the rest of the night since I was so worried about my boy.

Sunday was fine.  I didn't give Jack milk.  At the ER they said that milk is hard to digest and can irritate their little stomachs.  I had remembered that and followed through.  Jack didn't throw up all day on Sunday and seemed fine.

Monday he went to daycare and had milk - I thought it was fine since he was fine all day on Sunday - and threw up at breakfast and pooped through three pairs of pants.  I had to go pick him early because he ran out of pants.  Sigh.  I called the pediatrician and talked to a nurse that I didn't really love.  She made me feel pretty stupid but explained I should keep him off milk for 24 hours.  When I explained I had been doing that and he threw up as soon as it was reintroduced, she disagreed with me.  Apparently I am a liar.  He had no milk for afternoon snack, dinner or before bed in the hopes to give his little tummy a break.

Tuesday:  No milk, no puking but still had the diarrhea. 

Wednesday:  I told daycare that if he was able to keep his breakfast and morning snack, he could have milk for lunch and afternoon snack.  At lunch, it would be over 36 hours with no milk.  He did fine.  Except at dinner.  He threw up his entire dinner in his highchair.  Sigh sigh sigh.

Thursday:  I called the pediatrician because at this point it seems it's been a long time for this virus to clear up.  The better nurse was much more helpful.  She explained that stomach bugs can last weeks.  And it's not unusual for kids to be fine on cheese and other dairy but have a reaction to milk.  She suggested switching Jack to soy milk for a period of time to give his tummy a break and to give him yogurt to replenish the good bacteria in his belly. After a week on the soy he can start having milk again but slowly reintroduce it.  If he starts vomitting again, back off the milk.  If this all continues for about three weeks, he needs to be seen for a GI consult.

All this time I have thought maybe it was a lactose issue or milk allergy.  It still could be but I want to rule out the stomach virus first.

This whole long drawn-out story leads to this:  Jack now is on soy milk indefinitely.  At least now he gets his "milk".  He was upset at not being able to have it.  He gets a cup before bed which helps him sleep.  He hasn't been sleeping well which means this momma hasn't been sleeping well.

And to add insult to injury?  He now appears to have a cold.  Seriously, this child never can catch a break.  I am tired of this stomach "yuck" and I am sure Jack must be as well.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

28 Week Appointment

On Friday I had my 28 week appointment.  I double-teamed my appointments that day.  I did my 1-hour glucose tolerance test in the morning before work and then had the appointment with my OB in the afternoon. 

When I was pregnant with Jack I failed the 1-hour test miserably.  It could be that I fasted beforehand which I didn't realize was not very smart.  This time, I ate some scrambled eggs for breakfast before I drank the orange glucose solution.  The results were available yesterday and if there was a problem my doctor was supposed to call me.  Considering I haven't received a phone call, I will assume that I passed.  Thank goodness because that 3-hour test is brutal.  I got really sick when I had to take it the last time and I was not looking forward to doing it again this time.

My appointment was pretty routine.  I had my blood pressure checked which was higher than usual.  I typically run right around 110/65.  Friday I was at 135/70.  The nurse mentioned that she wanted to have my proteins checked to see if I had any in my urine.  If I did, obviously, this is an issue.  If not, then my blood pressure will be watched closely to make sure I don't have any underlying issues.  The biggest concern they have is pre-eclampsia but at this point, since I haven't heard anything, I will consider no news as good news.

Up until Friday I had never asked about my weight gain or even looked at the scale to see how much weight I have gained.  I told myself with this pregnancy I would go easy on myself and not track every single calorie like I did with Jack.  I had high expectations of myself the last time and in the end, I was disappointed.  This time, I want to have a healthy relationship with my weight and not worry unless the doctor says something to me specifically.

I asked.  And I was very shocked at the answer.  14 pounds.  I honestly thought it would be much much higher.  By 24 weeks with Jack I had gained 16 pounds.  So at 28 weeks I have gained 14.  I am very happy with this.  Of course, I know this could change dramatically and the scale could jump a huge number but for now, I am happy.

My OB and I talked about when I would deliver.  He generally schedules routine c-sections for 39 weeks.  I asked him if I would be allowed to schedule for a day earlier at 38 weeks 6 days.  That is the 9th of January and a Monday.  I don't have any valid reason other than it's a Monday and it would be easier on my mother-in-law's schedule (she is planning to take a week off when the baby comes) as well as Jack's daycare schedule.  I realize that both of these are very stupid reasons and I should want to keep this baby put for as long as possible.  That is why I was not disappointed when my OB explained that in the last couple of months the hospital changed its policy and they don't allow women to schedule a repeat c-section before 39 weeks. 

This means Cal's official eviction date, if he hasn't made an appearance already, will be Tuesday January 10th.  I like this date.  First, it's a nice even number.  Second, it's a Tuesday which is the same day Jack was born. 

Mark my words:  I have a sneaking suspicion that Cal is going to come earlier.  Jack was 9 days early.  I think Cal is going to be 10 days early.  Not sure why I think that but that is my marked prediction.  Now that I officially stated that, he will be right on time!

My last update is regarding my labs.  At my lab appointment I was told all the blood work would be back Monday.  My nurse said that if there were any results that were off (low iron, protein, I failed the glucose test, etc.) that they would call on Monday.  Here it is Tuesday and I haven't heard anything.  Like I said before, no news is good news! 

I am officially 29 weeks pregnant today.  10 weeks to go!  Holy shit.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I had a whole post typed out about "the yuck" and my 28 week appointment but I deleted it.  I will post an update on "the yuck" when I feel like Jack has officially gotten over it.  I thought he was doing better but alas, he's really not.

Instead, here is my little Yoda.  I only took him to four houses for trick-or-treating since he has been feeling off.  He was way more interested in picking up rocks and putting them in his bucket. 


"Hey Mom, look!  People give you CANDY!"

Someone thought he was a lamb.  I can't say I blame him.  He sort of does look like a lamb.  Maybe a light saber would have helped his costume a  little.

Yoda is sorting through his loot.  I think he picked up more rocks then candy.


Now hopefully Yoda will use the force and sleep okay tonight.  No "yuck" in your crib buddy okay?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Nursing in Public Debate

I swear, The Bump is a source of good debate material!  Yesterday there was quite the heated argument about nursing in public on one of the boards.  I was surprised to see that while most women support nursing, about 50 percent supported nursing in public without a cover.  I saw post after post stating that women who are nursing should use a cover or a blanket.

This is such an interesting argument to me.  I wholeheartedly support breastfeeding.  I really hope that I am successful this time around as I was not with my son.  He had reflux issues, had to be "taught" how to eat and I suffered from constant supply issues.  I pumped almost exclusively for 6 months and then had to start introducing formula.

I only successfully nursed in public once.  I remember feeling so scared that someone would comment but in retrospect, Portland is so liberal that it is doubtful anyone would have spoken up.  I used a cover and tried to be discreet.  Afterwards I felt so confident in myself!  The opportunites to nurse in public were very far and few between for me but when they did present themselves, I always tried to keep other people in mind.  I used a cover, or left the room if I thought I would make anyone uncomfortable.  This was due to my own body image issues, not because I thought people would be offended by nursing. 

I wish more people would be accepting of breastfeeding in general.  If more people would accept it, nursing in public wouldn't be such a huge issue.  I plan on trying again and if I am able to nurse successfully, I will have no issue nursing with or without a cover depending on how my baby tolerates it.  I just have to get over some of my body issues first ; )

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Genius Argument

I belong to a community of message boards (The Bump) and today's heated argument was about whether your child is advanced or super-duper smart.  I have always felt Jack was a little behind based on what other posters say their children are doing.

Back when I first had Jack, I was on these message boards a lot.  I eventually had to stop posting.  Mostly because of my PPD and constantly comparing my child to the other kids.  I was jealous of all the moms whose kids slept through the night, had no problem nursing and on and on and on.  I am not sure what made me start posting again.  Maybe I have finally found my groove feeling like I have a good, healthy, normal kid.  Maybe it was boredom.

At any rate, some of this comparing has come back recently.  I see a lot of posters saying their toddlers can count to 10, say the ABC's, etc.  I think to myself "Wow, Jack can quack like a duck and that's about it".  My child says quite a few words but not pronounce most of them correctly, understands most of what we say, repeat some things, say some animal sounds when prompted and point out body parts.  If I compare that to what other kids his age are doing, he is behind.

Today, someone pointed out that they felt most posters who brag about how smart their kids are probably embellishing the truth a little.  Huh.  You know, I have often felt the same way. 

I know most people want to think their kids are smart.  I for one think Jack is smart in some ways but not all.  He is certainly not well advanced when it comes to speech and language.  He was pretty advanced in his motor skills and still is.  He crawled fairly early (not super duper early), walked early, uses utensils pretty well, drinks from a cup, etc.  I am not deluded and think that my child is a genius.

You know what kid is smart?  My nephew.  When I was visiting in May, my nephew was 18 months old.  At that time, he could name all kinds of things.  He could say fruit, shoes, what's that?, nose, dog, etc. etc. etc.  I commented to my sister several times about how smart he was.  And you know what?  She never once claimed he was a genius.  I think people with smart kids know it and don't feel the need to broadcast it.  People who claim their kids are smart probably just feel like they need to prove themselves.

There are all levels of smart and all children develop at different rates.  Just because my 21 month old doesn't recognize colors yet or count yet he isn't stupid.  In the reverse, if your child does, that doesn't mean they are a genius. 

I am not sure what the point of this post is.  Maybe that the comparing in my head should stop.  Because it will never get anywhere.  I need to accept that my child is fine and developing at a normal rate.  And I am never going to claim my kiddo is a genius unless he can solve world hunger by the time he's 2.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

All About Baby #2

I am officially 28 weeks and 1 day pregnant. That means in 11 weeks or less I will have another little boy in the house. My doctor performs repeat c-sections at 39 weeks. I have a feeling I am going to go into labor a little earlier than that though. I could be wrong, but that is my feeling.

First off, I am getting a little more nervous that another baby is going to be here in 11 weeks. We are nowhere near ready. With Jack, his nursery was being cleaned and organized at this point. I am having panic attacks that I am going to go into labor early and won't be ready for baby #2.

That being said, Jason and I have talked about fast-tracking getting ready. We haven't bought a crib yet. Not sure if we will at this point. I plan to keep the baby in our room for the first couple of months using a Fisher Price Rock N Play so he won't need a crib at first.

What else do we need to do? I need to go through our shop and pull out all the newborn gear: My breast pump, all the bottles, clothes, swing, bouncer, tub, etc. I have a day off in the beginning of November and I plan to start the sort then.

Second, I need to come up with a storage system for the boy's room. They are going to share a room and with another crib in there, it's going to get cramped. I am going to utilize the closet for a storage system of some sort. I am thinking of something along the lines of a Cubicle storage system with baskets. We have some room in the dresser, which I will use. The Cubicle will have a ton of space for onesies, burp clothes, blankets, etc. That way, we can squeeze another crib in there without it being too incredibly cramped. Jack's toybox is coming out into the living room where my desk lives currently. This whole wall will become a baby/toddler play area. Toybox, play kitchen, bouncer, swing, etc. My desk is going to be moved into our bedroom so I can work from there while Jason stays home with the boys.

This is not going to be easy. Living in a 720 square foot house with two small children is NOT ideal. We have plans to move in the next year or so pending the sale of our house.  We must make do at this point.  We have no choice!

In other baby news, we have most likely chosen the name of this little boy.  Most people are going to hate it but that's okay.  That's the wonder of having a baby:  YOU as the parents get to chose the name.  Not other people. 

Funny story about this name.  Jason and I were chatting on Saturday night and I was getting increasingly mad at him.  Every name I suggested he would say "Eh".  Meaning "I don't really care for any of those".  The problem was that he wasn't offering any suggestions himself.  I asked at one point "What names DO you like?" and he couldn't answer.  At one point, I read off the name Calvin and he says "Oh, I do like that name".  Calvin!?!?  I emphatically told him I hated it.  I love the nickname Cal but I just can't get happy with Calvin.  It reminds me of an old man's name.  A creepy old man.

By Monday, the name was growing on me.  Calvin.  It doesn't sound THAT bad.  It's certainly better than Egbert or Alcanzer. 

By Tuesday, I had agreed that Calvin would probably work.  I love the name Cal so I plan on using that more often than Calvin.  I swear I have some weird pregnancy hormone thing going on because two days ago I was laughing about the name.  No I really like it.

So, without further ado, Calvin Charles Lastname.  Charles was my brother's name and it's also one of my nephew's middle names. 

I know this could change at any minute but for now, we both like it and that's what matters.  I probably won't share with everyone (most of my family and Facebook friends don't read this blog anyways) but if we do, I am ready for the negative comments. 

I have an argument though.  There are a lot of famous people with the name of Calvin/Cal.  Cal Ripken the baseball player, Calvin Coolidge the President, Calvin Klein the fashion designer and John Calvin the religious figure.  So if people tell me "ewwww" then I will point out that I am sure Calvin Klein doesn't think his name is ewwwwww.

Sorry this post was all over the place.  I am tired and getting to the point in my pregnancy where I am uncomfortable so I am not sleeping well at night.  Must.Get.More.Sleep.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Jack's Favorite Things

If Jack were able to talk or write, this list would be completely from his mouth. These are a few things that he loves right now. As you know with toddlers, they are fickle and the things they love changes on a daily basis.

* Balls. Throwing them, talking about them, looking for them. When we were at OMSI the other day, he spent almost an hour playing with nothing but.

* Elmo. He loves Elmo's World on Sesame Street. If he could watch Elmo all day, he would. He asks for it by name "MoMo?".

* Doors. He loves to open and shut doors. This holds true for cabinets, regular doors and things like his toy box. He loves to say "door" and if we are on a walk, he makes a point of showing me all the doors. One day at my in-law's house, he said "door door door door" for 15 minutes and ran up and down the kitchen pointing at all the cabinets.

* Spaghetti or anything in a tomato sauce. I could probably cook up insects and smother them in spaghetti sauce and he would eat them. And in the reverse, he would probably eat any noodle known to man.

* Sleeping with mom. This mom is not a fan. I used to be. Jack slept with me until he was about 15 months old. But now that I am pregnant, huge, uncomfortable and we are trying to get Jack to sleep in his own crib, he yearns to be near me even more. He does come to bed at around 5:00am for some snuggle time which I like. But having a toddler roll around, smack you in the face constantly and kick you in the gut is not fun.

* Time with Nana. Jack ADORES his Nana. He loves to go to her house on Friday and sometimes cries when we head home.

Like I said before, this list could very much change by tomorrow. But for now, this is a love affair.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fir Point Farms

I have been looking forward to today for over a month. I wanted to take Jack to his very first pumpkin patch/farm for some fun fall activities. He was too little last year but this year I knew he would enjoy the animals and all that comes with a pumpkin farm. My friend Michelle suggested Fir Point Farms when we were on our way back from the State Fair over a month ago. She told me about all the activities and what sold me? The homemade warm donuts. Me and donuts? BFF's.

The weather was very nice today. Not too warm and not too hot. The drive was very short. Once you got outside the city, it was about 15 minutes away. We got to the farm early enough that it wasn't super crowded. I had done my homework and knew how many tickets I would need to purchase for Jack and I to do all the activities that we would want. I also stocked up on quarters for goat food.

Jack had a blast! He loved all the animals. He wasn't quite sure what to make of the goats eating out of his hand, but after a couple of tries, he would pick up one nugget of food and try to stick it through the fence. He "talked" to the goats, cow, chickens, bunnies and pigs. He loved watching the baby piggies eating and digging in the dirt. A couple came over to the fence and he thought that was the cat's pajamas.


Jack and I went on the barrel train ride together as well as the hayride. He really enjoyed both. He thought the tractor pulling both were pretty neat. But his favorite activity of them all? The giant slide. I paid three tickets for him to go up and down and up and down and up and down and up and down. Seriously, no wonder he took a 2 hour nap this afternoon. All that climbing and sliding is enough to wear anyone out. I was very surprised that he wanted to go down all by himself because as you can see, it's quite the slide.

Jack didn't care much for the nuthouse (it's a little log cabin with the bottom few inches of the floor filled with hazelnuts) or even the pumpkin patch but I did get him to show me a tiny pumpkin just right for his size.

Another activity he enjoyed was the pony ride. At first, he was scared to sit on the pony even after petting him. Once the ride got started though, he held on like a big boy and even enjoyed himself. I think I have a picture of him cracking a smile.

And the donuts did NOT disappoint. There is nothing quite like pumpkin or apple cider donuts straight from the fryer. Good Lord, I could have eaten a whole bag of them.

Fir Point Farms has a nice farm stand with all kinds of produce, candles, fresh pies, cider and other yummy treats. I purchased some cider because it's hard to find real apple cider. You either have to buy it at the farmer's market or at Sheridan Foods. The grocery store's version of "cider" is really just apple juice.

It was a fun morning. We will definitely be going back next year, although Jason will have to wrangle Jack while I carry our new little one.

And for those of you in the Portland area, here is the farm's website:
http://firpointfarms.com/

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Husband Rocks!

This is such a different post from my whiny vent the other day isn't it? I promise my husband doesn't read this blog so he does not know that I was upset the other day.

This weekend was particularly rough. Jason was gone most of the weekend, which is fine, but he didn't tell me about it beforehand. I had planned nice dinners both nights and was looking forward to having some family time. Instead, on Saturday he went to the gun show (classy right?) and then attended a bachelor party. Fine. I still made dinner even though I didn't eat it. At least the leftovers were available to the two of us when we were ready to eat them.

I was in a bad place on Saturday. I had to work most of the day and was cranky. Jack was cranky. By the end of Saturday, I was angry with Jason. I felt like he didn't want to spend time with his family. I felt like his friends were more important than we are. And after a conversation last week about us not being able to afford to celebrate our anniversary (his words not mine) I felt like maybe he didn't want to be married anymore. Especially since he purchased a very expensive item this weekend. So he can buy a $600 toy but not spend anything on our anniversary which we supposedly cannot afford? I was not happy.

I didn't say one word to him about how I was feeling. Sunday rolled around and I was in a better mood. I didn't have to work much and when Jason woke up, he told me he had canceled his plans with his friends to stay home. I promise you, I didn't say anything to him. He must have known.

So what happened on Sunday to turn me around? Jason stayed home with us, his family. He went to Jack's tumbling class with us. And he surprised me with plans for our anniversary. Apparently his excuse for not being able to afford it was a cover-up because he had made plans already.

At this point I am feeling like crap. Clearly, my whiny vent was a little premature. Clearly I don't give my husband enough credit. After all, he is awesome most of the time. We are all allowed to be "bad" once in a while. He isn't any different.

What am I looking forward to in the next month? Spending my 5 year anniversary alone, with Jason. We are going out to McMenamin's Edgefield for happy hour and then dinner and then an overnight stay. Alone. Without Jack.

In a nutshell, my husband rocks. He planned this all himself. And I love him for this.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Weekend Review

Let's not mince words here: My weekend sucked.

Not because my kid was sick or out of control or anything. Only because I was on-call for work and literally had to work all day on Saturday. Of course this was the day that my husband was not home at all. So dealing with a toddler who didn't want to nap coupled with the fact that I was attending to work was hard. I didn't even have the energy to eat dinner on Saturday night (I made a lovely chili in the crockpot along with cornbread). I don't even know why I bothered making dinner when Jason wasn't home to enjoy it.

Sunday was a bit better. I was on-call again but since it seemed to be slow at work, I managed to get a couple of minor errands in and Jason and I took Jack to tumbling class. I planned on having my little sister over for dinner as well. I *was* going to eat dinner on Sunday no matter what.

The weekend is over and while it was not great, I survived. This next weekend is going to be much better. I plan on taking Jack to Fir Point Farms. It's a farm with a pumpkin patch. It's his first time to a pumpkin patch (he was too little last year). That is our grand plan for Saturday and Sunday is another round of tumbling class.

Lord help me I just hope this upcoming weekend is better than the last.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Funky Funk

Every few months I get annoyed and irritated with my husband. It's always the same issue over and over again: His work schedule and the amount of freedom he has.

The past few nights we (meaning me) have been trying to get Jack back into a normal sleep pattern again. Since we have been home, Jack has actually sleeping and going to sleep pretty well. The occasional night he will wake up and I will try and get him back to sleep but not always.

This is where my vent comes in. My husband works swing shift. I am used to this schedule. However, when my husband goes out with friends two or three nights a week after work, leaving me home alone with a toddler having issues sleeping, he has absolutely NO ROOM to criticize my parenting.

The husband goes out after work often. Which I normally don't have issue with. This week it's really bothering me though. Jack has woken up twice in the past week and hasn't been able to go back to sleep on his own. This means he comes into bed with me. I refuse to listen to him screaming when something is clearly wrong. Last night, he had a completely soaked diaper and soaked jammies. I am not going to just let him cry. I am going to remedy the situation and change him and then bring him to bed with me so we can both get some sleep. Earlier in the night I had no issue getting him back to sleep so it's not like he is waking up and screaming just to get his way.

Jason came home at close to 3:00 and says "So you gave in to his demands huh?". I explained that he had woken up earlier and I got him back to sleep with no problem. The reason he was in bed with me was because he was stressed about being wet and I had to change him. I asked Jason to go check his bed and see if it was wet. Guess what? It was.

I'm sorry but when I am doing 99% of the parenting myself you had better believe that any advice (even from my husband) is going to get my hackles up. He is constantly saying things like:

You can't let him control you
He needs to learn
I know it's hard to hear him cry but.....

Sorry dude. You don't have to listen to him screaming in the middle of the night. You don't have to deal with behavior issues when I bring him home from daycare. You don't have to feed him his meals or bathe him.

While Jason is home on the weekends, he chooses to play his computer games rather than help me. Yes, I could ask for help, but more than half the time, I get a big sigh and an eye roll. That pisses me off. The man has it very very easy. He doesn't have to cook, clean, any house projects, take care of the child (except at night time when he's not out with friends and even then, it's easy), take him to outings, grocery shop or anything. Hell, I pack his lunch for him. He has it easy.

I feel taken for granted a lot of the time. When I try and tell him that he has it easy, he agrees but once in a while it would be darn nice to get a "thank you". And stop telling me what to do. When you start staying home and taking care of the kids full time than you have every right to criticize and judge.

Now, on to my second vent. I wish *I* could go out with my friends. Heck, I wish I could go get my haircut without having to ask my husband to watch Jack. It's annoying and I deserve some time by myself or to have a girl's night. Having a girl's night is hard because I am alone with Jack during the week. I can't ask my in-laws to watch him unless it's a Friday because they get home from work so late. My options are limited and I have to ask them well in advance if they can babysit. If I want Jason to watch Jack, I have to make darn sure he doesn't have any pending plans. He often will make plans and not tell me leaving me high and dry.

I am in desperate need of some time with my friends. I can count on two hands (barely) the number of times I have been out with friends since Jack was born. It's sad. And it's starting to take a toll.

This is a whiny vent and like I said, it happens a couple of times a year. I need a good night's sleep, a tasty meal and perhaps a massage and then I will feel better.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Saturday Cooking


I was really in the mood to bake and cook today. After not being able to cook or bake in my own kitchen for over a month, I really wanted to get back in the swing of things.


Fall is in the air and what better way to celebrate fall than with a spice cake. Betty Crocker's recipe had way too many ingredients that I didn't have on hand so I went to my trusty website for finding any and all recipes: http://www.allrecipes.com/


I found a lovely sour milk spice cake recipe. I wanted to jazz it up a little by adding some raisins and apple and I am glad I did! The apples made the cake incredibly moist and I don't think it needs frosting. If you absolutely have to use frosting, I would suggest just some whipped cream.


Here is the linky to the recipe. If you feel inclined to add raisins, add about 3/4 cup of raisins. If you want to add apples, peel the apple (I used a Honeycrisp apple) and cut it up to about the same size as the raisin. Use about 1/2 cup.

And the obligatory picture:


For dinner, I had thawed some pork chops and didn't want to make any old mashed potatoes. Boooooring. Instead, I decided I would make Jason's favorite side dish: Macaroni and cheese. Not just any macaroni and cheese but his mom's recipe. It's pretty good. She adds a little heat with cayenne pepper and white pepper.


Here is the picture of what it looks like before baking:




And here's the after picture:




Yum right?

And the recipe:

Macaroni and Cheese

4 cups cooked elbow macaroni

4 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup flour

2 cups milk

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1-1.5 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese


1. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and then whisk in the flour. Let the flour cook to a golden brown.


2. Slowly add the milk while whisking constantly. Let the milk heat to almost boiling. It will get very thick. Just before boiling, remove from the heat and stir in the cheese. Depending on how cheesy you want the sauce, add more to your liking.


3. Mix in the elbows and then pour into a greased casserole dish.


4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

I served the mac and cheese with our baked porkchops and green beans. Yes, we like canned beans in this house. After having frozen green beans for several years while living with my mom, I grew tired of them. Canned all the way.

To cook the porkchops, make a breading out of plain bread crumbs and whatever spices you like (I used smoked paprika, granulated garlic, salt and pepper). Dredge the pork in the breadcrumb mix and place on a pan. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20-25 minutes or until done.


Voila! My day of cooking. I think I am going to take it easy tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A to Z of Me

I borrowed this from my friends Katie and Hope.

A. Age: 33. I honestly had to think about this. Sad.

B. Bed: Queen.

C. Chore that you hate doing: Cleaning the bathroom. I hate everything about it.

D. Dogs: None. My Mom got one when I was about 18 but that's about it. I prefer cats.

E. Essential way to start your day: Does this involve actually waking up? Coffee with some sort of flavored creamer.

F. Favorite color: Sunny yellow. It's so bright and happy!

G. Gold or silver: Silver please.

H. Height: 5'7"

I. Instruments you play: I played the flute for many years and also know how to play the drums (not well), tuba and piccolo.

J. Job Title: Senior Application Analyst

K. Kids: One boy, 20 months old and another one on the way!

L. Live: Portland, Oregon. Known for it's rainy season that goes from September through May.

M. Mother's name: Deborah

N. Nicknames: Pachey

O. Overnight hospital stays: My c-section when I had my son.

P. Pet peeves: People who don't drive the speed limit whether it be driving too fast or too slow.

Q. Quotes from movies: I love the movie "JFK" but can't for the life of me think of any good quotes.

R. Right or left handed: Right handed

S. Siblings: Two sisters and a brother who passed away in 1986.

T. Time you wake up: Dreadfully early. 5:00 during the week, even earlier if the hubby brings the boy to bed with him. On the weekends, I am extremely lucky to make it to 6:00.

U. Underwear: These days it's granny panties for me. I used to wear thongs under my professional work clothes. Those days are long gone since my work attire is jeans and a t-shirt.

V. Vegetable you hate: I am not a fan of a lot of raw veggies. I will eat them cooked but raw? Gross. The veggies that fall into this category are carrots, broccoli and cauliflower.

W. What makes you run late: This rarely happens but when I do, it's because I am waiting on the husband to get ready.

X. Xrays you've had: My nose. I broke it when I was 13.

Y. What happened to Y?

Z. Zoo animals: I love the zoo. LOVE IT! My husband and I went on our first date there. I am obsessed with the cats (cougars, bobcats, etc.) and I love the Lorkeet exhibit. You can feed them apple juice.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Final House Updates

Of course there is always more to do when it comes to house projects. At this point, I will call our house "completed". I still have to paint in some places and hang some pictures but I want to share the final pictures. For those of you who are friends of mine on Facebook, these are duplicate pictures.

The bathroom before.



The bathroom after. The burgundy tile was ripped out, new drywall was put up, new shower tile and I painted it a nice color called New Penny. Even though it looks a little peach, we love it! I also bought a new shower curtain to brighten the space. Long term: New light, paint the little shelves that surround the walls and a new, smaller pedastal sink.




The living room before.


The living room after. The carpet was removed, the wall heater (it's on a different wall from this picture) was removed, new trim was put in and I painted. I still have painting to do and the blinds to hang back up. In this picture you will see I was going for a "lived in" room with Jack's toys all over the floor. Long term: Area rug, a door mat, and a new home for my work desk.

The kitchen before.



The kitchen after. The countertops and backsplash were replaced and new trim put in. I haven't painted yet but it's on the list to do. Long term: Paint, install a shelf above the stove and change out the hardware in the cabinets.

Jack's room before.

Jack's room after. The carpet was removed, new floor was laid and new trim installed. Long term: Hang his corner shelves, get an area rug, install the curtains and blinds and make room for the new baby's crib. I have a hard time thinking about this!


I don't have pictures of our bedroom right now. Mostly because I hung up some blankets instead of curtains (classy right?) until we can get everything rehung. This room didn't change dramatically anyways since there was already wood floor in there.


These are "lived in" pictures and how our house looks on a daily basis. I don't fake my pictures or clean much before I take them. I hate staged pictures where not a speck of dust is out of place.

That is the end of our month long project folks! I am glad it's over!