Tuesday, March 27, 2012

We Remember

Days and weeks have passed since we knew you were with us. Your presence came at such a precise moment, answering, echoing our hearts. We haven’t forgotten.

Today I sit and remember. Last year at this time we never knew where He would take us. But just a month later, we celebrated you. And a month later your dear sister or brother, and now we await your sister. We haven’t forgotten you.

Times emotion wells up, hitting home. Life without you. At Christmas, singing “o sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation…” my mind immediately went to you both. You were at the throne, before the Christ Child, singing expectantly, in exaltation. And the tears poured down my cheeks. Imagining the glory before you. Missing you all the while.

And this sister of yours, as she kicks, making her presence known, has not taken your place in our hearts. The years we waited for all of you; never knowing if you would even be conceived. How grateful we are for minutes, moments, days with you. The years of waiting, pain and sorrow intermixed, are not forgotten.

Babies ours, at the throne, I wonder what life is like before your eyes. To have the Savior before you. To live and breathe in the presence of I AM. I want to be with you. I won’t know until He brings me home if we will ever meet face to face. To know if you look like me or like daddy. I’m certain you are beautiful, radiating the presence of the Holy one, and in light of that, nothing else matters. You are where you were created to be.

But in case you ever wonder, we love you. We remember you. We praise the Lord for you. For the pain, sorrow and joy surrounding. You are loved.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Nursery Confusion

I know, I know. I just let you in on our thoughts for the nursery. As soon as I clicked publish the regret started setting in. After a quick run to Joann with my mother in law, I was almost certain. The curtain fabric isn’t us.

I love it, it’s cute, but it’s not us. Not sure if that makes sense but all along I just couldn’t get these prints out of my head…

And my husband loved them to boot. So they’re ordered and a new plan is slowly taking shape. Winslow and Wellesley welcome to our home:)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Baby B - 24 Weeks

It’s been an exciting week for our sweet baby girl! We took off early this week to visit my in-law’s in Florida and are thoroughly enjoying a week of good R&R! The flight was uneventful, our luggage made it, our company is delightful and the weather has been beautiful…not much to complain about:) Although I did forget our camera battery; don’t worry it’s safe at home charging. At least it will be fully operable when we return…doh!

So in spite of our one fluke, there’s no picture of me this week. But I think the picture I do have is quite a treat:
Baby 25 weeks
That there is a picture of our beautiful baby girl! No we did not expectantly find ourselves in the ER, instead we thought it might be fun for Alex’s parents, since they’ve been in FL since Dec., to catch a glimpse at our baby girl up close. So we headed to a nearby ultrasound clinic, paid a small fee, and spent 30 minutes enjoying our baby! Not a bad way to spend some time on vacation. We’re pretty sure she’s got a dimple like her mama and were not at all surprised to see her hands up by her head. From the jumps of my stomach, we knew they had to be near.

And still more, we have our nursery options decided after the tech confirmed again, she is still a GIRL!

OB-baby girl #1(if you haven’t discovered the brilliance of Olioboard, go there quickly)

Walls: Blue
Crib: Arlington in white by Franklin and Ben
Glider: Valentino by Little Castle in Charcoal Linen
Curtain Fabric: Chanda Stripe by Annie Selke
Embroidery Pattern: for a pillow by Sarah Jane Studios
Dresser: Ikea Hemnes in White
Pink Pouf: Land of Nod
Rug: Still under consideration; green one from Serena and Lily
Accessories: Pink

Still to be determine: light fixture, side table, book storage, rug, EXACT paint color, storage in general, artwork

How big is baby?

Baby has been growing for over 168 days and is now weighing in just over a pound. What a champ! Still around a foot long Baby center says she’s as LONG as an ear of corn. According to the ultrasound, she’s still all curled up and looking nice and pudgy! As pudgy as she can at 1lb and 12 inches long:) Her brain is growing quickly and her lungs are just about finished forming. At our last appointment with our OB she mentioned we have now graduated to the 3RD TRIMESTER! Although most books state tri 3 starts around 27 weeks, she said since this is when baby is VIABLE, meaning there’s a good chance of survival and they would try to keep her living, she always makes this the marker! So yay for 3rd trimester!

How am I feeling?

Sore and red! Apparently my skin is more susceptible to the sun…I got my first sunburn while in Florida in what seems like decades! Hopefully I won’t peel and will be good as new when we get home. Otherwise I’m still feeling great, enjoying being active and ready to start on the nursery. Also relieved that my last day has been finalized. As of April 13th I will be done! Considering our house is still in shambles since the move, I’ll be happy to give it my full attention in hopes of some organization before she arrives!

How am I changing?

Back pain is still present at times and I’m sure it’s here to stay. My stomach is slowly growing bigger and I’m excited to see how big it will actually get. It’s pretty amazing what’s going on in there! Another change I noticed this week was that my hands are getting swollen. I stopped wearing my rings to bed weeks ago, but during the day I wear three on my ring finger and have had to take one off at all times. It’s also getting harder to take them off…pretty sure I might be in the market for a beautiful cubic sometime soon:)

Little Tidbits:

Weight gained: no idea, scales don’t exist on vacation:)
Baby things bought: many…there’s a Janie and Jack outlet here, um it’s a weakness!
To do once home: Order the crib and paint the nursery
Books read: 2
Looking forward to: Hunger Games with my book club!

QUESTION: What questions would you ask when interviewing a new Pediatrician?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Baby B - 23 weeks

Well we’re one more week into this! This week has been such fun; finally deciding on a fabric for the nursery, visiting our OB for our 24 week appt., spending the first beautiful spring day with family, and making decisions! I happen to be a pretty indecisive person and as much as I love decorating and planning, there are weeks like this one where I just want things done and ordered. Good thing we were able to make some of that happen! Relief!

Baby is doing great…I feel her all the time now, even our OB asked if she was always this busy. While getting her heartbeat recorded at our appt. she was kicking the monitor! It took our OB quite some time to get her heartbeat but she did and boy has it lowered. Right now her little heart is beating away at 140bpm…hmmm, hoping she’s still a girl:) Good thing we get one more ultrasound in a few weeks to make sure!

Speaking of decision making here is the fabric we are using for the nursery curtains. We wanted the room whimsical and fun yet not overly girly with plenty of room to grow. So this is what we settled on; hoping to get that mood board done for a post later this week! Way cuter in person…also this week we settled on our crib!

How big is baby?

She’s growing! Now at 23 weeks she’s as heavy as a large mango.
Still curled all up inside, she’s just over a pound and almost a foot long. We see her skwirm about inside, moving my belly all over the place and apparently loud noises are becoming more familiar to her. Good thing because this little one has no idea how noisy her mommy’s family can be:) She’ll be all ready to join right in! We definitely know she can hear things outside the womb because she knows daddy’s voice and kicks in response and she LOVES (aka…goes crazy at) church. Must be the singing!

How am I feeling?

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Honestly a bit overwhelmed with life and frustrated that things that came easy to me before are leaving me scatterbrained and clumsy. Trying to take one day at a time but my inefficiency is driving me a little nuts and if you remember I’m not the most organized/efficient person anyways. We made a decision that quitting work early might be the best solution for our family…there are so many things we appreciate: doing a complete job, having food in the pantry, dinner on the table and not take out, a clean house, undivided attention for my husband and his work, and less chaos, so in order for those things to be accomplished my part time job needs to go. Not my first choice, but I know it will be the right one. Hoping vacation next week helps me refocus and get rejuvenated!

How am I changing?

I haven’t noticed any big changes this week. Up one pound for a total of 12, still gaining little by little and feeling so good about it! I’m also definitely more emotional which is hard to work through. Before being pregnant, I was not one to cry at the drop of a hat or get my feelings hurt, but now, oh my, what a change. Not necessarily bad, but very different. Sometimes I’m sure Alex looks at me and wonders who I am:)

Little Tidbits:

Days until vacation: 2 YAY!
Major decisions made: 2 (fabric and crib)
# of times I wake up each night: 1
When baby is active: early morning and all evening
Names under consideration: still too many to count, although I have one favorite!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Baby B - 22 Weeks

Well another week has passed and we’re still doing great! Highlights from this week included lots of working and plenty of brainstorming for the nursery. I can’t wait to get started in there and for the room to start taking shape. Hard to believe that in 17 weeks we’ll have a little one in our house!

Other highlights this weekend: we headed back to WI to visit my family and my 8 year old niece Kate and I went to see Mary Poppins at the Performing Arts Center. She was ecstatic and I can’t say that I wasn’t…Mary Poppins was definitely one of my top 3 favorite movies as a kid and I know every word to every song. This Auntie thought it was fantastic! Being with family is always a treat especially since they haven’t seen us since Christmas time. A lot has changed since then:)

Looking ahead we’re very excited for warmer weather and heading out on vacation. I ordered a few things from Old Navy maternity that turned out really cute. Now I’m set with cute shorts and dresses that will hopefully help me make it through the beginning of the summer as well!

How big is baby?

Baby this week is growing right along. She’s as long as a squash, around 11 inches and weighs in at a pound. Baby’s eyes have fully formed but the irises have not taken on pigment. I’m willing to bet that she will have beautiful brown eyes. We checked out this site that helps determine eye color, entered our information and were given a very high chance of brown eyes. Not surprised since we have brown and hazel eyes and brown is dominant. Takes me back to Biology class!

How am I feeling?

Feeling good but I’m definitely beginning to notice that my smaller frame and short waist are not working to my advantage. I’m starting to feel a little winded when I do normal tasks and eating now has become a challenge of how much and how often. My insides are squished already and I can’t begin to think about just how much harder this will all get over the next 17 weeks.

My back has also been hurting quite a bit and I’m hoping to figure out why in the next week. We have another appointment with our OB and I want to make sure it’s not from standing all the time at work. May have to say goodbye to my part time job a little early. I think a trip to the chiropractor may be in my future!

How am I changing?

The belly button is fully out. It’s noticible through shirts and it’s one of the first things my dad noticed:) I was at the Y doing squats and lunges the other day in a big t-shirt and shorts and I came home and asked Alex if I still looked pregnant. His response: “your belly button gives you away!” Ha!

Little Tidbits: 

-Days until vacation: 8
-Pounds gained: 1, up to 11 total
-Items bought for baby: a few:)
-Looking forward to: picking out our nursery furniture after vacation and getting the room ready
-Shower dates planned: 2 and 1 to go

Friday, March 9, 2012

How to Make Bacon

This may seem a little silly. I mean, we’ve all made bacon before, right? But who loves the messy clean-up, spattering bacon grease, and definitely the house smelling like you just cooked up half a hog! I certainly do not like any of the above; but I love me some bacon. Especially when put atop toasted bread with the simplicity of a ripe tomato and leaf of lettuce. Bacon perfection.

Since we love us some bacon in our house, a few years ago I learned a tip somewhere. I’m sure it was probably from Martha or Ina…all great tips come from them, in my humble opinion. But this is how we’ve made bacon in the past few years and it makes the old production seem laughable.

It’s really easy. Last week we had club sandwiches for dinner. Might I say it was one of the best dinners we’ve had in awhile! But first in order to make a club we need to make some bacon.

Picture1 copy
Step 1:
Prep your pan. I use a jelly roll pan, also known as a sheet pan with a rim. Line the pan with tin foil. I use a 9x13 pan (found easily at stores like HomeGoods) and regular tin foil. (preheat oven to 400 degrees)

Step 2:
Set a cooling rack (the one you use for cookies) atop the tin foil. This helps the grease drip off the bacon (leaner, less greasy bacon) and the tin foil allows for really easy clean up.

Step 3:
Place your bacon on the cooling rack. We personally love Nueske’s bacon (like most food items, it’s from WI and it’s the best:)) but whatever bacon you choose it will be great!

Step 4:
Place bacon in preheated oven and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes. The bacon may not look as done as it might when cooked on the stovetop but do not worry. Let it sit for a few minutes and it will crisp up completely. Best part about bacon in the oven: flat slices, fully cooked, no yucky fatty ends, and perfect for a sandwich!

So there you have it. Perfectly cooked bacon and clean up is a flash. Just remove the cooling rack and wash in the sink. Let the grease set on the tin foil, wrap up and throw away. Couldn’t be simpler!

Now for the sandwich:
Gather up the best ingredients you can afford and find. When we want to do something right we head to Byerly’s (the fancier grocery in town) and gather up the best ingredients. They have fabulous white bread, excellent sandwich meats, and great produce. Believe me, better ingredients are going to make a humble sandwich taste AMAZING!

You’ll need:

-Ham and Turkey (sliced from the deli)
-Good white or wheat bread (the hubs is not a fan of wheat for this meal)

1. Make bacon
2. Toast bread, assemble sandwhich

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Baby B–21 Weeks

Seems like we were just talking about week 20…but that update was on the later side so this week we’re on track! One more week down and 19 more to go. I love that we’re on the down hill side of things!

This was filled with the same old stuff…keeping busy at work, hitting the y, errands, you know the stuff. As far as baby things go, it’s the week I pulled out fabrics and paint colors in hopes that something will catch my eye. Harder than it seems. Remember my couch post: narrowing down our baby style is almost harder than figuring out our own:)

How big is baby?

Baby is growing away…seems like yesterday she was as big as a grape and now she’s as long as a carrot! Mama’s so proud! Her eyelids and eyebrows are fully formed and her tastebuds are forming. Hope she likes what mama’s eating:) Right now the menu hasn’t been that varied but I’m hoping to change that soon! She’s also 10 1/2 inches and holding steady around a pound. Way to go baby girl:)

How am I feeling?

I’ve been feeling better. Last week when I was so exhausted I began to wonder if it was something in my diet. I’m not a huge protein eater in general but that is definitely one of the things that has been less appealing in pregnancy. So this past week I focused on getting more protein in and as a result I wasn’t quite as tired. Who knows if that was the cause, but I’m happy for the extra energy. Other than that I’m feeling great!

How am I changing?

All I want is water. I can’t get enough! This was the first week I really craved water and as a result, my trips to the bathroom have steadily increased. Also the sugar craving, well that’s slowed down as well. I think it’s so interesting what your body craves or you crave during pregnancy. This past week I couldn’t get enough of Rocky Rococo pizza. I went twice. Now I don’t want it anymore. Rocky’s is up in Brooklyn Park and it’s a WI staple. It’s not the greatest pizza but it’s what I grew up eating. My sister would pick me up from school and we’d spend the lunch hour feasting on pizza and breadsticks. Funny how many things of childhood make themselves known during 9 months of pregnancy!

Little Tidbits:

Weight gained: 1 pound, up to 10 pounds total
Days until we see my family: 6
Number of fabrics under consideration: 4
Baby things bought: 0
Days until Florida: 16:)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

An Old Favorite

Memories of breakfast with my mother are high on my list of things I remember fondly. See the thing about my mother is that she would make pancakes for breakfast any day of the week; I just needed to ask early enough before racing out to school. And I never saw her pull out a recipe.

She just knew it. By heart. I’m sure she can still whip up a batch of these delicious cakes with a moment’s notice and I hope she never succumbs to convenience because these have nothing on Betty. As I grew older, I found myself constantly losing the recipe only to call her up and listen as she recited the familiar ingredients across the line. I always thought this was her recipe, but after a few years she let me in on a secret. These may just be the recipe from Betty herself in her big red book. Hmmm, maybe Betty and mom know best!

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Either way, while Alex was flying across the friendly skies, I treated myself to a delicious stack accompanied by sweet strawberries for the day of love. I mean if I couldn’t have my first love I might as well have a food love nearby:)

Basic Pancakes (according to mom)

1 1/2 C flour
2 T sugar
1 T baking powder
1 egg, beaten
1 1/3 C milk
2 T oil

Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Beat the egg in a separate bowl, add milk and oil, then combine with dry ingredients until just mixed.

Heat skillet/griddle, spray with cooking spray or use a little butter, pour scant 1/4 C of batter on griddle. Flip when bubbly...enjoy!