Friday, June 29, 2012

Life One Week In…

We’ve survived the first week.
And I still am in shock that she’s here.

I cannot imagine her not being a part of our days and nights but most of all our lives. So far life as a family of three is off to a great start and Elizabeth is a fantastic baby!

Highlights from her week:

Day 1: Coming into the world! Meeting Nana and Papa Brogle, Uncle Jeff & Aunt Patty, Cousins Macayla, Lauren, and Jack. Snuggles from Mommy and Daddy. First bath in the hospital to remove all the vernix.
DSC_0123Day 2: Meeting Grandma K. (mommy’s mommy), friends of Mommy and Daddy’s, & heel pokes for jaundice. First hearing test, which she failed.
DSC_0124Day 3: Second hearing test, passed with flying colors. More jaundice heel pokes, & going home with Mommy and Daddy. First car ride.
DSC_0183Day 4: First outing alone with Mommy to the lactation consultant. We survived. First night survived at home; we didn’t get much sleep:) DSC_0004
Day 5: Much better sleeping and eating through the night and day. Going with Mommy to Daddy’s softball game for a little bit. First walk around the block in the stroller.
Day 6: First Doctor’s appt. Weight back up to 7 lbs. 8 oz. from a low on day 4 of 7 lbs. 2 oz. Lost her umbilical cord stump. Met Grandpa and Grandma Winter and Uncle Matt via Skype.
DSC_0015Day 7: Another outing with Mommy & Daddy to Target for essentials. She wasn’t impressed and slept the entire time. First bath in the big girl bathtub! Met Uncle Chris, Aunt Jen, and cousin Kate via Skype.
Glimpse into a day:
Elizabeth is an amazing baby…or I could be biased. Things are coming easily to both her and I. After getting some great encouragement at the L.C. on Monday, feeding has been going really well. She eats between every 2-3 hours and sleeps most of the time in-between feedings. She does much better at night in terms of efficiency which means I have been getting some pretty good stretches of sleep. She’s a very relaxed and mellow baby, very rarely cries, has yet to have a blowout or major spit up though I’m sure they are in our future. We spend a lot of time snuggling, napping, eating, and enjoying our time as a family of 3.

How’s Mama doing?
I’m doing surprisingly well. I often have to remind myself that I just had a baby and to sit and relax. Although having someone to snuggle up makes leaving things around the house much easier. Physically I’m feeling good. A little sleep deprived and a little sore, but both have been manageable. I feel really blessed that she’s a good eater and took right to feeding. Something I had been a little worried about before she was here. I’m lucky to have an amazing husband as well who is not only great with Elizabeth but extra loving to his wife.

One week in for Mommy:
Throughout the pregnancy I retained A LOT of water. I ended up gaining right around 35-37 pounds by the time she came. After leaving the hospital I was down 10 and after 7 days I’m down 22. They told me all the water weight would most likely be gone after a week; there’s still a little in my feet but I was able to wear my wedding rings today which I call success. I’m really surprised so much water was in me and believe me, I eat A TON now that I’m nursing! I can now, after 3-4 months, recognize my thighs, knees, and ankles…all of which looked like a tree trunk just a week ago. I’m not planning on doing anything to get the weight off except nursing and just going about our day. I’m in no hurry and know however my body decides to adjust is fine with me. Other than the occasional bout of tears in the first day or two home, I’ve been feeling emotionally really well and so overwhelmed with love for my husband and baby girl.

How’s Daddy doing? DSC_0025Daddy’s doing great! It’s been really fun to watch Alex evolve into the role of a dad. He’s never been the type to ooh and ahh over other people’s babies or even hold them. But from the minute he laid eyes on Elizabeth he’s been hooked. He was able to do skin to skin with her first in the hospital and loves cuddling with her. In fact, we often fight over who gets to hold her next:) There’s something about seeing your spouse with a baby that just makes your heart swell with love and pride. She’s blessed to have such a loving Daddy!

So there you have it, week one in a nutshell. We’re excited for week 2 and having Grandma around for the week. I can’t wait to see how she changes!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Welcome Elizabeth!

“ We give you thanks, O LORD, with our whole hearts…We give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. On the day we called, you answered us; our strength of soul you increased.”


Psalm 138:1-3

Our Elizabeth Mae.
3 years waited. 2 weeks early. 1 family complete.


  At the hospital in our delivery room…labor has started.
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14 hours after my water broke, she’s here. Our Elizabeth. 2:18 pm.
DSC_00737 lbs. 12 oz. 20 1/2 inches long. Glad she came a couple of weeks early!


Meeting daddy for the first time.
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Our family of three.

After meeting her Nana, Papa, Aunt, Uncle and three cousins. Tired girl.
DSC_0156Tiny toes.
DSC_0157Long fingers.
DSC_0162And a big yawn. She’s all tired out. That’s enough for today.


Time to go home…as our family of three.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Best Chicken Enchiladas

For over 5 years I’ve been trying to make really good homemade enchiladas. I’ve failed every time until this last week. Well, I didn’t really fail…they were just never that great. You know? These ones though, are delicious. They take a little bit of love to make but sometimes the best things take a little time. 

It was a necessity to learn to make them because we have a favorite Mexican joint in the Cities that just moved closer to our house. It’s dangerous…because their enchiladas are really good. And probably not as great for our waist lines. But that’s okay, because this past week I made some that I think trump anything from El Loro. Best part, you can make half now and freeze the others for leftovers…that’s what I did! Leave it to me to wait 5 years to finally follow a recipe EXACTLY…these are delicious and we don’t even necessarily like red sauce enchiladas with corn tortillas. But we’re converts now.

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Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chili Sauce
recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated Best Make Ahead Cookbook (worth owning if you ask me!)

Sauce and Filling:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
3 medium cloves garlic , minced
3 tablespoons chili powder 
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat & cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips (I used leftover breast meat)
2 cans tomato sauce (8 ounces each)

1/3 Cup water
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 can (4 ounces) pickled jalapeƱos , drained and chopped (about 1/4 cup) 
10 ounces sharp cheddar cheese , grated (2 1/2 cups)
10 corn tortillas (six-inch)


Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 300 degrees. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes; add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt, and sugar; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken and cook, stirring constantly, until coated with spices, about 30 seconds. (I just added my precooked & shredded chicken breast meat  here. I probably had around 1 1/2- 2 Cups worth)

Add tomato sauce and water. Bring to simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and flavors have melded, about 8 minutes.

Pour mixture through medium-mesh strainer into medium bowl, pressing on chicken and onions to extract as much sauce as possible; set sauce aside.

Transfer chicken mixture to large plate; let cool until you can handle it, shred, then combine with cilantro, jalapenos, and cheese in medium bowl and set aside. (Again, I didn’t need to shred but did need to let cool.)

Spray both sides of the tortillas with vegetable oil spray. Place 5 onto a baking sheet. Bake until soft and pliable, 2-4 minutes. Repeat with other 5. Place one tortilla on a flat surface and add a 1/4-1/3 Cup of filling down the middle. Fold the sides of the tortilla over the filling to overlap and place the filled tortilla seam side down onto a 9x13 baking dish. Repeat and continue with the remaining tortillas until filling is used up. (If you want to make half now and freeze the other half, fill 2 8x8 pans. Each 8x8 pan will feed 2)

Pour the strained sauce over the enchiladas and then sprinkle the cheese down the middle of the enchiladas. (If making two 8x8’s then place half of sauce and cheese in separate freezable containers)

To Cook Right Away: Change the oven temperature to 350 degrees, add sauce and cheese, cover the dish with foil and bake until sauce and cheese are bubbling, approximately 20-25 minutes.

Uncover and serve immediately!

If cooking the frozen pan: Unwrap the dish, spray the tops with vegetable foil spray and bake uncovered in a 400 degree oven until warmed through and lightly toasted on top, 10-15 min. Pour the THAWED sauce over the enchiladas, sprinkle with thawed cheese, cover with aluminum foil and back until sauce and cheese are bubbling, approximately 15-10 min.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Baby B - 36 Weeks

We’ve made it!!
DSC_0003*excuse me while I jump up and down because we’re FULL TERM!!*

This past week was jumpstarted by strawberry picking and finished off with a very relaxing weekend at home. During week 36 I actually got some things done and crossed off my list. Woo-Hoo! Lampshade and lamp purchased, hospital bag packed, name letter bought and project begun, rug pad laid down, car seat installed, curtains to be installed early this week, and bedroom is ready for Grandma when she comes.

Phew…it was quite the week!

There are of course still a list of things I would love to try and accomplish but at the same time I’m enjoying just putting my feet up and napping:) I told you all that I would let you know how the first check went this week…well my cervix is still really high so no progress noted. We’ll see what she says tomorrow! Has anyone tried evening primrose oil? I’ve been hearing good things but at the same time I’m happy to let her come when she wants!

I know I owe you all a nursery tour but the biggest problem is her room. It is so dark! It’s hard to find the right time of day to get good pictures but I’ll try this week after the curtains go up. I think that will help me think that everything looks close to being finished.

How big is baby?
She’s getting up there…she’s the size of a honeydew melon! Almost 6 pounds, though I’m thinking closer to 6.5 and around 18 inches long. Can I just say that I cannot wait for our pediatrician to track her height once she’s born and let us know her predicted height. They did that for me and I ended up just as they predicted. I keep wondering if she’ll be taller than me or a similar height. She’s *hopefully* still head down, though I’m not quite sure anymore. She has definitely not dropped because her limbs are still battling my rib cage!

How am I feeling?

Still pretty swollen and puffy…from the knee cap down. Nothing really works anymore so I’ve pretty much given up. I just keep thinking about how the end is near and how I’ve had it pretty easy this pregnancy. No morning sickness, no bed rest, heartburn has been pretty moderate, and no other major issues/problems. So all in all, I feel really good. And I’m still sleeping through the night! *knock on wood*

How am I changing?

Not many changes again this week. I’m thinking I will miss my belly once she’s here though. Most days it comes in really handy:) I’m still heading to the chiropractor twice a week and I’m anxious to see if his prediction of an easy labor will be true. I’m hoping he’s right. Also I’m clumsy as all get out…this week I happened to drop a light bulb, step on a shard of glass, and whack my head on the closet door while cleaning up the mess. It was quite comical even if I was the only one home!

Little Tidbits:

Days until Due Date: 20 !
# of scheduled Dr.’s visits left
: 3
Baby’s gestational age: 37 weeks 2 days
Total weight gain: I think right around 33 lbs. and I’m guessing from my pitted edema that includes quite a bit of water

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Strawberry Picking

Oh yes we did.
DSC_1374It’s been on our bucket list since we were dating. Over 7 years. Leave it to us to wait until I’m nine months pregnant to go. Either way, we finally crossed it off this weekend. Neither one of us can remember if we ever went as kids; we probably would have been like the little ones who were in the fields with us “I’m tired.” “Are we done yet?” “Mmm these berries are good.” It was hilarious!
DSC_1371Needless to say, our morning out picking in the fields was perfect. In the end we left with 7 pounds of berries and my hands are now pink. I couldn’t wait to get to work making jam. My grandmother made the best strawberry jam. Chunky, slightly runny, and perfectly sweet. It’s probably what all grandmother’s made; straight off the sure-gel box! So Sunday afternoon I made a quick batch, stored some berries for eating this week and I made some very delicious strawberry muffins bright and early Monday morning.
DSC_1380It was the perfect morning for picking; warm but not too balmy. You learn a lot about a person by the way they pick berries. Alex was so meticulous; only picking the big, bright red berries, taking his time. I, on the other hand, grabbed any size berry as long as they were bright red. Maybe it’s because squatting was more difficult? We spent almost an hour and the berries we picked at Lorence’s Berry Farm near Northfield, were big, ripe and plump! They are so delicious. I’m pretty sure the baby loved them too!
DSC_1377It was the perfect way to end the weekend and I’m sure by this coming weekend you will find us in a berry coma. All’s well that ends well! Anyone else have plans for berry picking? We can’t wait for raspberries and blueberries. We might need a babysitter when those are ready!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Father’s Day is Upon Us

This heartwarming video from Shutterfly had me wanting to call my dad as soon as it finished to say “I love you”.

And here’s a great way to celebrate dad…send him a FREE card from Shutterfly!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Fresh Strawberry Muffins

This past weekend Alex and I headed out to the fields to pick strawberries. It was a gorgeous morning, full of sunshine, and the crops were bountiful thanks to an early spring and summer. We had our pick of rows and thankfully the row we picked was full of fat, ripe berries.
DSC_1377With our box full, visions of strawberry goodies were already running through my mind as the car wandered through the country on our way home. I knew strawberry jam was a given…the recipe straight off the box. But what to do with the other berries. I checked all my starred recipes in google reader and came across this one for muffins.

I quickly threw them together this morning before I headed out to the chiropractor and they did not disappoint. Moist, filling, and bursting with strawberry goodness, these were a winner. I did cut the recipe in half and came out with 11 muffins so had I made the full recipe I’m sure my yield would have been more like 22 as opposed to 18. Either way, they are a great way to use up some berries you picked from the ground or up from the store.
DSC_1365 (5)
Fresh Strawberry Muffins
yield: 11-12
adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride

1 1/2 C of Flour, + 1/2 T

1/2 T baking powder

1/4 t baking soda

1/4 t salt

5 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup + 2T sugar

1 large eggs

1 1/4 t vanilla

3/4 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt (I used 1/2 C yogurt and 1/4 C Sour Cream b/c I didn’t have enough

Generous 3/4 cup chopped strawberries
Coarse sugar, for sprinkling tops (optional)


-Preheat oven to 400

-Mix 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt in medium bowl; set aside.

Cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

-Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition followed by the vanilla and almond extract.


Beat in half of dry ingredients, followed by a third of the yogurt.

Add remaining dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with the yogurt, until incorporated.

-Toss strawberries with the remaining 1/2 Tbsp flour and add to the mixer, mixing for just a few more seconds to distribute evenly (the batter will be very thick).


Spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray or line with paper liners.

Divide the batter evenly among cup


Bake for 8 minutes and then decrease oven temperature to 375 and bake for ~12 more minutes until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.


Let cool 5 minutes in the pan before removing and cooling completely.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Baby B - 35 Weeks

One more week has passed! I know I say it every week but I can hardly believe 35 weeks have gone by. She’ll be here soon…4 weeks, give or take. We’ve had a bet going in our house whether we think she’ll come early or late, so far we’re split and I’m not the one guessing early. Somehow I have to keep my sanity so I just keep telling myself I’ll go late. That way hopefully I won’t be disappointed if week 40 passes us by and extremely ecstatic if she comes sooner!
DSC_1367This past week was met with pure exhaustion. I’m not even sure it was the same as the first trimester exhaustion I experienced…pretty sure it was worse. That was the bulk of the week until I hit week 36 yesterday. Somehow a burst of energy erupted and I was able to clean through almost every nook and cranny in our house. Still going strong this morning although I’m not sure how long this will last.


This next week I’m excited to finish the final touches in the nursery and go to the doctor tomorrow. I can’t wait to hear whether we’ve progressed at all yet…keep you posted:)

How big is baby?

She’s as big as a coconut…crazy. Just over 18 inches long and 5 pounds she’s getting bigger. I’m pretty sure she’s a bit bigger than that but we won’t know until she’s here. I can tell she’s running out of room because while her head is burrowed deep in my pelvis her feet can still find my ribs, especially while I’m sitting. This week she’s busy growing and everything should be completely finished developing. I really cannot wait to meet her!

How am I feeling?

This week has been better. I caved and finally bought compression socks from Target…not sure why I waited so long. Within an hour of wearing them the pressure and pain subsided. Although they are not even close to fashionable they’re great for when I’m home or wearing pants. And for the first time in 4 or 5 weeks I looked down and saw what resembled ankles. I think I’ll keep them:) Other than my bout of exhaustion, I’ve been feeling some lower abdominal cramping on and off and low back pain. I’m so glad I’m getting to the chiropractor…I can always tell a difference in the state of my sacrum after leaving his office.

How am I changing?

Still no stretch marks but I’m pretty sure I failed to mention a different side effect of pregnancy. I have developed chloasma on my face. I never really realized it until a couple of weeks ago when Alex mentioned he liked all my new freckles:) At least he liked them! This past week I’ve noticed it’s getting a little more noticeable but hopefully it will fade after she comes. This doesn’t bother me in the least...surprising, since ankle swelling almost did me in:) Waddling has become the way in which I walk, I’m pretty sure she has dropped, and my bedtime is slowly getting earlier. Still can’t believe we’re a week away from full term…surreal!

Little Tidbits:

Operation Office: Currently underway. It’s a disaster and the only place in our house that must get organized before she comes. This week I promise to stop procrastinating!
Weight Gained: Slowing down, 1 pound this week.
Nursery needs: Found the lamp, now we need a rug pad, name letters, and a mirror.
Days until due date: ONLY 27!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sour Cream Old Fashioned Donuts

Growing up we were spoiled with the best donut place ever. In fact, every so often when we are back visiting my hometown in Wisconsin we stop in for donuts. There was one as a kid that I just loved…chocolate and vanilla dough swirled with chocolate and vanilla swirl frosting. It was and still is amazing. They are slightly crunchy on the outside and so soft and delicious on the inside. I haven’t found anywhere yet that has donuts as good.

In an attempt to recreate the past, I’ve tried to make donuts a few times. Twice I made raised yeast donuts and this past weekend I made Sour Cream Old Fashioned.
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Alex and I both agreed…when making homemade donuts go for the the Old Fashioned. These were so delicious…and the recipe only makes 12. So for those of you that might feel guilty eating a donut, you’re not stuck with an abundance. Even better, they keep really well in an air-tight container for at least a couple of days.

Not only are these easy but they come together really quickly. I bookmarked this off Pinterest on Thursday night and knew then that they would be made over the weekend. I even used the wrong kind of flour and they still turned out delicious! For some reason my brain read cake as bread and I was really worried. But I kept on and neither one of us could tell the difference.

The recipe for these mouth watering donuts can be found at Completely Delicious!

If you so dare, make these in the near future. You will not be disappointed!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Baby B - 34 Weeks

Another week gone by and one more week closer to meeting our daughter. Just 35 days left, we hope, until she’s in our arms. We cannot wait to meet her. With each passing day, excitement wells up all the more in my heart. Most days I can hardly believe this is happening. How we are beyond blessed to be right here. Somewhere we never fathomed we could be.
DSC_1376 (2)This past week we finally finished up our birth classes and celebrated that they are over! This week’s class was on breastfeeding and it was incredibly informative. I still am unsure if it will work given my PCOS but we’re hoping and praying it will. For so many reasons…get back in my jeans, anyone? Had to laugh because our instructor kept talking about how that is a very valid reason to pursue breastfeeding…I’m glad because after all the benefits to baby that’s my number 2 reason!

It’s amazing what is happening within my belly…that a living, breathing human being is created and formed and moving and growing in there. Alex and I have been taking quite a few walks together of late and our latest discussion was what to do regarding birth control after the baby. Touchy subject maybe for some, but I had to laugh when we first discussed it. After waiting for 3 years and multiple procedures/medication cocktails later, we’re pregnant. My thought is to throw caution to the wind and if we get pregnant when baby girl is quite new, we’d be ecstatic. Unfortunately we’re not all convinced this is the best plan. Any thoughts?

How big is baby?

She’s as big as a butternut squash! I believe it. She’s taking up some prime real estate in my belly. She weighs between 4.2 and 5.8 pounds, probably on the upper end given our ultrasound a couple weeks ago and measures up to 18 inches long. She’s just continuing to grow bigger and longer and as of right now other than her lungs, everything is fully developed. Which means if she decided to come sooner than later, she would most likely not have any issues. YAY!

How am I feeling?

This week has been quite interesting. Scattered throughout the week I’ve had some abdominal cramping and pretty intense low back pain. I’m pretty sure she’s moving on down but there are still days when I can tell she’s backing her bottom back up near my ribs. So maybe I’m progressing, maybe not. I’m thinking she’s just going to take her sweet old time coming into the world. In other news, it’s crazy what will affect your mind while your body is rapidly changing before your eyes. I didn’t know what to expect and was sharing yesterday with Alex how shocked I am that the swelling of my feet has affected me so much. Apparently in my former “thinner” life my ankles mattered a great deal to me:)

How am I changing?

While other than the aforementioned items and an obviously growing belly, things are pretty steady around here. I’m very grateful for that. I’m hoping that my body is slowly getting ready for labor as I would love to meet her sooner than later, but because I know she’s better off inside of me, she can stay in there for awhile longer. Though I do have to say, I’m excited to see where I’m at over the next few weeks as the Doctor’s appointments increase!

Little Tidbits:

Weight gain: Haven’t checked. The swelling makes me very unexcited to know. I’m in denial:) I’ll know more on Monday at my appt.
Nursery Items left: Shelf install, lamp, curtain install, mirror
Ounces of water injested per day: at least 90 ounces
To do this week: install carseat, pack hospital bag.