Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"Oh, Great Pumpkin, where are you?"

Since next Wednesday is the first day of Fall I'd like to throw out a little Autumn anticipation. The leaves have begun to change here in Clarksburg, WV and we've had a few cooler days so as far as I'm concerned, it's already Fall!

Ironically enough, next week we will be in Tampa, FL soaking up the sunshine! Ha! Jeromy has a 3-day conference for work and Miles and I are tagging along and are staying a few extra days! Why not? We never, ever get to go on a real vacation. Whenever we travel it's most always to see family. Which is great - but other than our honeymoon in Seattle and first anniversary in NC/VA/TN we've never taken taken a long trip "just because". So we are so excited. The Florida weather is still super nice in September and there are less tourists - win win! And at 5 1/2 months old, it will be Miles' first airplane ride, so pray for us pleeeaasse! :)

Then in October Miles and I will be traveling to my home state of Minnesota to meet his family for the first time. Jeromy needs to save up more leave so we can go again in the Spring, but that means we get to stay for 2 weeks. And there is no better place on earth to experience Autumn in all its glory (ok, so maybe New England) than Minnesota! I can already taste the Honeycrisp apples!

I so want to be right there right now!

Here are a few of the reasons I relish the Fall season (which I'm sure I'll be adding to!):

cinnamon/spice scented candles
cool weather
hot chili and cornbread (and chili cook-offs!)
candy corn
Autumn store displays
warm apple cider w/ cinnamon sticks
orange, yellow, and red leaves
potlucks and family get-togethers
craft festivals (even if you buy nothing but roasted nuts to eat while browsing!)
pumpkin bread
waking up to frost
apple picking outing
anticipating the holiday season (October, November, and December are such festive months!)
curling up by the fireplace in Caribou with a latte and a good book (not like I ever get to go but still!)
hiking in the woods
pressing leaves
baking something in the oven to help warm up the house
cozy sweaters and sweatshirts (and no more displaying my white legs!)
bonfires and s'mores
fresh apple crisp
crunching in the blanket of fallen leaves
creative scarecrows
sweet potatoes
butternut squash soup
crocheting on the couch
Halloween cartoon classics
pumpkin patches (and carving! and seeds! and pie!)
oatmeal raisin cookies
stove-top hot chocolate
Fall foliage drives
making caramel apples at home
trick-or-treaters (and getting to dress up and take our baby trick-or-treating this year!)
seasoned oven-roasted root veggies
sleeping in a comfortably cool house curled up in covers
start of Christmas shopping
wearing MITTENS!
corn mazes
browsing Fall magazine issues (chock full of comfort food recipes with tantalizing photos)
orange popcorn balls
lightweight blankets replaced by heavy comforters and quilts
generous table-spreads
kids jumping into piles of raked up leaves (can't wait to do this with Miles!)
wearing out the crock pot

*Feel free to add your own favorites!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Behind Good Manners

Kelly @ Love Well put up a wonderful post today on 5 Minutes for Parenting regarding teaching our children manners. Although a helpful article for the purpose it was written, I took something additional away from it in the form of a thought-provoking quote by Emily Post:

“Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.”

These words instantly reminded me of the time we were in Minnesota for Christmas this past year. I offered to set the table for dinner at my grandma's house. I was about done when she said something like, "Don't you know the forks go on the other side? And the glasses too??" She said there is purpose behind all the order in the world, much like the traffic or other types of laws, such as no speeding. For our safety. For predictability.

I admit I thought that reasoning a bit silly. I paused in my task and returned with, "Yes, but nobody is going to get hurt if the fork is on the wrong side of the plate as one might speeding down the highway. And besides, formal place-setting was invented by a personal preference; that doesn't make it the correct way."

I was trying to be respectful in my disagreement, but I wanted to speak up. Probably most in my extended family would have simply said, 'Yes, Grandma', no questions asked. In fact, I normally would, too. I dearly love my grandmother but I was simply trying to get her to think outside the box. (Though I should have considered how sturdy and comfortably familiar are the box-walls of grandparents!) Of course, I believe there is nothing wrong with the way she wanted me to set the table. Yet, she dismissed my statement and so I reluctantly complied to her table-setting orders, slightly bitter that my opinion did not count.

Is this a generational thing?? I still don't know how to set a table properly. Just so there's a plate, fork, cup, and half a paper towel - and food - at each place we're perfectly happy at our house. That's all the predictability we need.

But even though Kelly's post is intended towards parenting, the theme made me reflect anew on the value (not to mention biblical command!) of considering others above myself, even if I still think certain ways of doing things can seem unnecessarily tedious. If Grandma wants her table set a certain way, then it is not going to kill me to please her. For someone whose happiness is important to me, it should have made me happy to do it her preferred way.

Because, now that I think of it, if my husband puts my small batter bowl in the wrong cupboard I am tempted to fume! Nevermind that he just emptied the dishwasher for me!!

Sorry, Grandma! I love you!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

7 to 12-Week Stats

I've been keeping this running list ever since I posted his 6-week stats. And since he's 12 weeks (just a couple days from being 3 months!!) I figured I better get this posted before everything starts to run together.


likes being outside. It's a big ol' bright world out there with ever changing scenery, warm breezes, chirping birds and barking doggies! And Miles loves the Baby Jogger stroller! He's perfectly happy and content as long as he's moving!

lost most of his hair - but it's growing back now!

transitioned to size 2 diapers beginning this week! He is not quite 12lbs yet (he's approximately 11lb 10oz on our scale) and I know size 1 diapers can fit up to 14lbs but I didn't want to chance it and buy a big box he might not be able to finish.

is able to hold teething toys and put them in his mouth. Great substitution for the paci!! I don't know why I didn't think to try these things earlier. I just the other day picked up a pack at the dollar store and he loves them!

ditched the paci. Actually, we ditched it for him. We had a rough couple days and some slight fussing for about a week thereafter but after that he kind of phased out of his desperate-must-have-the-paci-at-all-times-or-I-shall-scream temperament. We are not anti-pacifier parents. If Miles were able to keep it in his mouth for more than 30 seconds we would have had no problem with letting him get attached to it. However, now that he is broken of the addiction we do give it back to him on occasions such as when I have to pump and he's fussy and needy, in the grocery store check out line when things are taking longer than anticipated, or at church if he didn't nap well at home and needs to settle down. Otherwise, we find other ways to soothe him, such as giving him a burp cloth or our finger to suck for a couple minutes. He can't keep something that is attached to us so this seems to work when he really needs something to help soothe.

doesn't sleep (or really eat well) when we're out and about. Total and complete bummer. I guess there are just too many distractions. The hardest part about getting Miles on a schedule has been the distance between our home and town. We are a half hour from everything so you have to take into consideration an hour of driving. Even if we left right after his nap we would never get home in time for his next one. Because we prefer to conserve gas and trips we rarely hit just one store when I take him to town. It's kind of an all-afternoon affair. But when we take our once-a-week trip it messes up any sort of schedule we had worked towards up until then. It's almost not worth it to try. I have been spoiled living a suburban life up until now, and I did not even anticipate what it would be like to live in the country with an infant!

has been cooing and giggling for a few weeks now. He especially loves to look in the mirror and laugh at himself and stomp his foot hard. It's so funny and entertaining! His expression is like a kid at a theme park! We wonder what he thinks of the "baby on the other side". Does he know it is him? Does he just think this other little person mimics his every move? Though I imagine he is still too developmentally immature to even perceive what his movements look like. But it's loads of fun, nonetheless. He could stand in front of the mirror all day if we let him.

indeed loves to stand! He is at the point now (12 weeks) where he will fuss unless you're holding him in an upright position. He just likes to be upright in general and looking all around the room. Sometimes it's hard to get him to look at you because he's so busy staring at a wall or some light fixture! He doesn't enjoy the swing or bouncy seat near as much as he used to, and I think it's because they are too reclining for his preferences right now. This should make him a perfect candidate for an exersaucer. We will be borrowing one in August from our friends whose baby has outgrown theirs, but we may need to scour Craigslist for one sooner than that because I have a feeling that little piece of baby equipment will save our sanity!!!

for some reason, keeps his right index finger always bent. A couple weeks ago I accidentally clipped the tip of that finger while attempting to cut his nails. Poor kid. I don't know if it's a coincidence that he keeps that one down but we're going to bring it up to his doctor because it cracks when you put it up for him. Could it be that he's been babying that finger since I clipped it and developed arthritis?? And that's not all, the other day Jeromy clipped his thumb on the same hand! He didn't cry for his 2-month shots but was pretty distraught when Mommy and Daddy mutilated him at home! (You feel so helpless when you do something like that - we are supposed to protect him!) We're biting them off from now on....

has many nichnames already: Monkey, Monkey Muck (?? It's Jeromy's), Little Monk, Bugaboo, Baby Boo, Buddy, Bubba, Bubby, Puppy, Little, Wiggly/Squirmy Worm, Mills (I know, tacky!), Otis (sometimes he acts drunk!), Sneezy (the kid sneezes at least 5-10 times a day!), and I'm sure there are many more to come!

goes through a periods of not eating very well, maybe 2-3oz at a time and we'd have to really work to get it in him. Other times he's downing 5-7oz at each feeding and I can hardly keep up! Lately though he's been fussing in our arms and wanting to lie down to eat (of course which is great for digestion!). He also prefers to eat the bulk of his meal before a nap instead of after, which irks me to no end, especially if we have to go somewhere and I know he's going to end up hungry and tired at the same time and will surely melt down. I don't know how to train him to eat his whole bottle at wake-up time without starving him until he learns.

...which brings me to pumping. Not sure how long I will be able to continue nourishing him but I am taking Fenugreek to hopefully keep my supply up. I'm pumping 4 times during the day and 1 to 2 times during the night. It can be a hassle for sure, especially because it kills a lot of spontaneity and keeps outings to town short, but I truly don't mind it all that much. Yet if it starts to create stress in our family I may have to stop. I have no plans to stop but the way I see it, we've made it this far and seeing how nursing didn't work out, this is an accomplishment!

*Edited to add: I wrote the above at 10 weeks, and things have changed now at 12 weeks. I have decided to wean myself off the pump. Ever so slowly, of course, and I just might keep one or two sessions so he still gets some breast milk. However, the middle of the night pump has got to go. If we do half formula, half milk we will waste so much formula since you have to use it or discard by 30 days. So I think we will just transition to formula and then I can freeze whatever milk I pump until I have a month or so supply and then he can finish out the year with that stash. I would so totally continue to pump but it's starting to interfere with our family, travel, errands, etc. It's easy on days I'm home, but I've had to pump while driving a few times and I think that's a sign it's time to try something else!

rolled over at 10 weeks 5 days - in his crib, swaddled, in the middle of the night. Scary Mama Moment! Though he hasn't rolled over since, which makes me think he didn't try to roll that night.

still seems to sleep the best if he is swaddled. We have put him in a Carters sleep sack a few times and noticed he tends to wake up sooner and/or can't put himself back to sleep while unswaddled. Which is fine, though sometimes he really fights getting into the swaddle in the middle of the night and it can be a pain to get him all wrapped up! I don't have the best patience in the middle of the night - especially since I need to go pump after that feeding!

*Edited to add: I also wrote the above at 10 weeks. However, the last couple days I've kept him unswaddled and let him sleep in a Carter's sleep sack. Naps have been fine, he seems to like the freedom. Nights have not been as good. He'd been waking up once per night for a brisk feed but unswaddled it's twice, and I think it's just because he's not used to it yet. Hopefully we'll start sleeping through the night sometime this century!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Do skinny people have better summers?

Somebody posed this question on Facebook today. Interesting question, is it not? Of course, I could wax about state of mind and healthy vs. skinny and all that, but I currently have a specific opinion on the topic.

From someone who was at her thinnest this time last summer (I got way into running) to now just having had a baby two months ago and still up 15lbs, I have mixed feelings.

For sure this summer is absolutely so much richer with a little one to share it with. You just can't top that!

On the other hand, getting dressed in the morning is none too fun due to the fact I don't fit into most of the outfits I wore last summer. I never used to have to think about what to wear, I'd just throw something on and feel great. This year, I change clothes at least twice (trying my best to resist the easy maternity jean) before finally feeling comfortable. Ugh. So in that respect I wish it were fall or winter so I could hide behind sweaters and not have to show as much leg!

All I can say is I can't wait until my baby is 6mo so I can start jogging with him in the jogging stroller!!! I do weights and squats at home but that just doesn't burn fat like running does!

Oh, and I definitely enjoyed eating more last summer because I could eat whatever I wanted without thinking! Not the case this summer - ha!

So do skinny people have better summers? Overall, I would say no. More comfortable, carefree summers? In my opinion, yes! Come quickly, cool, Autumn breezes, come!

This is mid-June last year, almost to the day. My general goal is to fit back into those shorts before short season is over.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Questioning Motives

My friend Naomi posted a blog that got me thinking this morning.

I often wonder if I sin constantly in my motives. I was just reading the Hiding Place where Corrie ten Boom confessed a realization of her own selfishness. Striving to reach the middle of the crowd during roll call so she wouldn't be as cold as those on the outside. Hoarding vitamin water for her ill sister Betsie, only administering it to her at night so no one else would see and want some. Defending her actions by thinking how they were ministering in the camp and sharing the gospel to the prisoners so they needed to be in fair physical condition because God was using them.

But how far do you take it? Were they sinning in their motives? Or was Corrie just being unreasonable and her actions actually just? I don't know. Am I sinning in my motives when I feel the least I am entitled to is a shower every day? I mean, Corrie didn't get to shower for months!! What about when I feel entitled to a clean kitchen floor? Or the opportunity to get out of the house because I am stir crazy? I think that by taking care of myself and maintaining a pleasant environment I can better take care of and minister to my family. Happy wife, happy life - right?

Is the fact that I question this an evidence that it is sin? Or is Satan whispering tiny lies, trying to distract me from the main thing by getting me to walk on eggshells around my relationship with God? If "eating and drinking to the glory of God" is a biblical concept, when does this turn inward and selfish? Are we as Christians even capable of truly honoring God with our choices or is there within even the most pure thought and action always this slight bent toward preserving self?

Do I just not trust God enough to provide for my needs, even the lesser visible emotional and social ones? Or do I simply invent "needs" for myself when my vision of Jehovah Jireh becomes blurred? The phrase "God is enough" implies such an abstract concept that I think most of the time I don't realize that my needs are even met. How very basic are my needs and how spoiled I have become!

Still, could there be folly in worrying so much about whether my motive is right that it prohibits me from just living and enjoying God's gifts and blessings? Where is that fine line? I wish He would have spelled all that out so we could know. But I suppose that's the Pharisee in me.

These things I constantly wonder...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens

I love endearing memes like this. Kelly posted about the simple pleasures in life and I am going to add my list. At least the list of today. Things change, and pleasures change, but it will be fun to record what brings a smile to my face at this stage of life. Hopefully it will bring out more gratitude in me.

I started writing this on 2/3/10 but never published it because I just kept adding to it! I am a list freak so you know I could continue this post for days and days! However, it was written pre-baby so of course now I have a whole slew of new favorite things...little coos, smiles, soft skin, tiny fingers, onesies and pacis.... Definitely another list for another day!!!

But here is my list of favorite things from back in February (in no particular order and certainly non-exhaustive). Oh, and somebody else used this title but it was my original title so I'm keeping it.

a completely clean house, especially the floors (ahhhhh...)

the first sip of a Caribou Lite White Raspberry latte that instantly warms up your insides

spending a couple good hours (at least!) in a used bookstore

the anticipatory scent of brownies baking

watching big, wet flakes of snow fall in the evening

new color of paint on the walls

opening a new CD

spontaneous back rubs from my husband at just the right time!

feeling my baby boy kick and move around and wondering what it will be like to hold him and look into his tiny face

...and when Jeromy feels the baby kick! (SO fun to see him connect!)

holiday candy clearance (I am a total sweets junkie)

leftover night! (AA-double-MEN!)

looking at my wedding ring and still not believing the life God has given me with such a wonderful companion!

washing my face!!! (I love feeling fresh after a long day)

reading Woman's Day or other wholesome chick mag

looking at pictures (or watching videos) over and over on Facebook of my sweet little 2-year-old niece Scarlett. Minnesota is too far away! :(

occasional bowls of kid cereal!

list memes like this (I enjoy introspection)

post-workout endorphins

opening a fresh bag of coffee beans and grinding them at home

shopping at quick and easy Aldi after traipsing around huge, overly crowded, and always dirty Walmart

perusing Craigslist for baby stuff (a new simple pleasure for me but oh. the. deals!)

along those lines...garage sale season and leaving your house bright and early with cash in your pocket, not knowing what you might find

eating chips & salsa at a Mexican restaurant (who needs real food anyway??)

sitting in bed with Jeromy at night reading books (together or separately)

reading "mommy" blogs

combining a sale with a coupon!

an evening thunderstorm

Dunkin' Donut's French crullers (maybe a guilty pleasure? I rarely have them so it's a treat!)

real homemade pizza (except for the sauce, we cheat)

a tall glass of chocolate milk (if I were to have a pregnancy craving, this is it!)

buying a new skein or two of yarn, even when I don't need any

grating fresh Parmesan cheese

laughing at The Office with Jeromy

looking for new recipes

a good long replenishing drink of ice water (I carry my Nalgene bottle everywhere!)

letting myself watch Rachel Ray, Regis & Kelly, or Andy Griffith (whichever is on) while running on the treadmill (the only time the TV is on during the day)

...or watching HGTV or Supernanny episodes on the laptop while ironing (ok, so the puter is always on!)

and to follow, how nice Jeromy looks wearing a shirt & pants I iron for him

going out to eat after church (isn't that always the best?)

updating my Facebook status with something fun or clever that I know I will get a million comments on

the smell of someone in the neighborhood burning leaves

looking into Jeromy's "droopy" eyes (as I call them)

Reese's Pieces, my current favorite candy munchy....and malted milk balls...and Twizzlers...and Twix...and Junior Mints...and Skittles!

getting goosebumps in the shower when the water is extra luxuriously warm

breakfast for dinner

when I find a new Netflix DVD in the mailbox

the evening before a non work day

getting an early start to the morning

a big ol' fat Honeycrisp apple!

drooling over this site. Oh, and this one, too.

classic children's books (dare I admit one of the books I'm reading is a Little House book??)

finishing a to-do list

bologna and cheese sandwich (mostly yuck, but which I haven't had for months since you're not supposed to eat nitrates during pregnancy - you want what you can't have!)

returning home from work to the smell of crock pot chicken

sending a card to someone

a fresh haircut

crisp Autumn air

wearing Mabelline Define-a-Lash mascara (lime green tube). I've gotten compliments!

the process of making cookies (especially the licking the bowl part!)

wearing my fleece around the house (I prefer dressing in layers to blasting the heat)

driving with a full tank of gas

chocolate soft serve (oooooh. Baaaaaby.)

browsing around Target with no shopping list (this is *dangerous*!)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Happy Baby!

Wordless Wednesday

Saturday, May 15, 2010

6 Weeks Already??

I'm still finishing up the birth story but I thought I'd post some 5 to 6 week stats on my Little Monkey.


Is alert more, crying less (yay!), and is even starting to coo! I thought we would never get anything out of him but a blank stare but he is starting to interact and that’s such a great payoff for all the hard work! Now I can’t wait to get full-up laughter out of him!

Is eating an average of 3.5-4oz at each feeding. Although he has drained a few 5-oz bottles in the last couple days so maybe he's moving up!

Loves his MAM paci! We use the 6mo+ variety as suggested by a friend that it would stay in better than the 0-3mo and we couldn’t agree more! Miles doesn’t even like the smaller one anymore. The paci thing can be a pain but also a life saver. Hoping to drop it by 6 months, preferably sooner.

Slept for a 5-hour stretch one recent night. He's gone 4 hours a few times lately but tends to stick to 3 to 3.5-hour stretches during the night.

Has tons of clothes but not too many things that fit him yet! He's long but still a skinny little thing! So he tends to wear lots of sleepers for now. I'm trying not to rush his growth but there are some really cute outfits I can't wait to put him in!

Is an excellent traveler, although is starting to not sleep when we are out-and-about. Too interested in the outside world I guess!

Is just now starting to like the swing. Correction: love the swing. It’s great for when I’m preparing dinner or dusting and have to bend over too often to wear him. His little eyes try to follow the mobile above the swing and he always looks like he's in another world!

Is starting to hold his head up really well!

Still needs swaddled but is outgrowing his Kiddopotomous Swaddle Me blanket in length. We just ordered a Woombie and hope he will sleep even better in it as it is less restrictive.

Poor kid, has a flat head on his preferred right side; working on tummy time to even things out. Our pediatrician isn’t worried about it and says it is common and should take care of itself when he learns how to roll over.

Is a super cuddle bug. He loves to be chest to chest with anyone. And I love this about him!

Enjoys the mei tai around the house, just not at first when I put him in, but he settles right down once he gets comfortable. Walked around Target for an hour with him in it a couple weeks ago and he was golden. However, he tends to fall asleep while in the carrier, even if I put him in just after a nap. I try to constantly talk to him and keep moving around doing things around the house to keep him awake but he still nods off. I think it's way cute, but he's slept only in his crib from day 1 and I don't want to mess that up. If I put him in his swing or bouncy seat he'll stay awake for up to an hour. Silly boy!

Has a receding hairline and looks like an old man! I would love for his hair to grow back bright red like his Auntie Elizabeth’s. I think at best we may either get strawberry blond or sandy brown like Daddy’s with red tints.

Mostly takes bottles of breast milk but still desires to nurse even though it lasts 5 minutes when he doesn’t want to work for the milk. I love that he at least still tries to nurse even though he prefers the faster flow of the bottle. I know he does it for comfort and I love the bonding. Just not when he wants to nurse when we are already late for his doctor’s appointment, Mister!

Had trouble gaining weight in the first two to three weeks. Started pumping and supplementing with formula, which was a hard decision but we wanted him to gain so we followed orders. I have started to pump around the clock and, while a lot of work I love it because: I know how much he is getting, feedings now take less time (though you have to account for pumping time afterward), my “control freak” nature is satisfied, Jeromy gets to help feed (hallelujah!), running errands has become a lot less stressful and hurried, breast milk stays longer at room temperature than formula, and I feel good that he is getting primarily breast milk now (maybe 2oz of formula every other day, if that). I only fear my supply dwindling. So far it has only increased as my pumping sessions have increased, so I continue to take it one day at a time and hope to offer him breast milk for as long as this keeps working.

Current weight as of 5/12 is 8lbs 12 oz, up almost a whole pound from his 7lbs 13oz he weighed two weeks ago! An ounce a day is what we’re looking for and what he’s finally pulling off! He’s even starting to get a little belly!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Coming Soon

Birth story in the works!

In the meantime...

Friday, April 16, 2010

First Two Weeks of Motherhood

My baby boy is finally here. It’s been a surreal last couple of weeks that is for sure! It’s like you know there is a baby in your belly. You feel all the little kicks, jabs, and other such Taekwondo maneuvers. You hear the heartbeat at each OB visit. And of course your bladder is constantly reminding you that something (or someone) is leaning against it like a pillow!

But then he comes out and you see him for the first time and you sort of freak out a little in your head. “Woa, that’s a human! You mean to tell me that a little person just came out of me?!”

Yes he did and he’s here to stay. His name is Miles Garrison and he weighed 7lbs 7oz and measured 19 ¼ in long. He came right on time – April 4th at 1:10am, Easter Sunday 2010. Needless to say we didn’t make the Sunrise Service!

Miles is the only name hubby and I could agree on. We both had a couple names on our separate lists - they just weren't the same names! And truth be told, I was still looking at name websites while in labor! But I was pretty certain that unless another name jumped out at us that Miles it was going to be!

Boy names are hard! Either all the good ones are taken (Noah, Cohen, Jacob, etc.) or mothers of girls everywhere have stolen them and made them sound pansy. (Taylor, Avery, Addison, etc.) There really wasn't much to choose from. Girl names I would have had no problem with. Oh well.

I had a few stipulations. First, I didn't want an ultra popular name like Aiden or Brayden (any of the "den" names I guess!). I would have felt bad if he had to endure five kids in his kindergarten class with his same name. I also didn't want too cutsy of a name. I wanted something that would carry into adulthood. Speaking of Brayden, can you imagine a 45-year-old with that name? I can't really. And third, I didn't want my son to hate me for giving him a totally obscure or weird name, nor something difficult to spell or pronounce. I wanted a classic, yet cool name. And I think we found one!

Garrison is after my dad, Gary. I wish he could still be here to meet his little grandson. The surprising thing is, Miles has a lot of my dad's features. Others have made similar comments about this and that makes his middle name even more of a perfect fit. And what's special is that Miles was born in April, the month my dad passed away two years ago.

We have fallen in love hard and fast with our little guy. He was perfectly healthy at birth and we are so grateful to the Lord for this heavenly treasure He has chosen to loan to us! We look forward to watching Miles grow and learn and become part of our family.

His little face is more adorable than I could have imagined. It is quite tempting to just hold him in my arms and just stare at him all day. Although that would not be good for either of us in the long run, as Jeromy needs clean underwear, Mama needs to shower!, and Miles needs to get comfortable sleeping in the nursery. But sometimes I just can’t help it. He’s so soft and cuddly I hate to relinquish him to his crib.

Of course, Jeromy and I are the classic novice parents. Wow, these first few weeks are really hard! The first two or three nights, however, were the worst. I don’t think I had gotten more than 6 hours of sleep total in the five days since the day before he was born. You get to the point of delirium where you start asking crazy questions like, “What were we thinking?!”, “Are you sure we can’t send him back?” and, “Can we switch to formula – please???”

We quickly set up camp on the floor of the nursery and that helped a lot. I tried sleeping in our bedroom but my ears were always perked up and that made falling asleep difficult. Every time I heard Jeromy breathe or move I thought it was the baby. But I could sleep better knowing Miles was just a few feet away and that I could tend to him at a moment’s notice. We also have a pack-n-play set up in our own bedroom but have never put Miles down to sleep in it. Mostly because I just want to make sure Jeromy, who is a light sleeper, gets plenty of rest for work the next day. And it doesn’t hurt for Miles to get used to sleeping in one place so he begins to associate his crib with sleep. So, it’s worked out well.

Miles is 12 days old now and I no longer sleep in his room. It is amazing the difference a week makes! He seems to wake up pretty consistently every three hours during the night, which is definitely doable for me. As long as I can get 1.5 to 2-hour stretches of sleep at a time, I’m feeling pretty good by morning. In fact, I’m starting to wake up just before he does, as if I’m on his feeding schedule now!

I’m normally a morning person, but I think it’s going to be a long time before you will once again see me bright-eyed and bushy-tailed before 8 or even 9am – ha! And that is ok. Life has become so very basic these days, just as, I’m sure, it’s supposed to be. The first week home I let everything go but this week I’ve cleaned a little here and there to keep myself sane. And I’ve tried to keep up with laundry since, as I told someone recently, there’s either yellow poop or milk stains on every article of clothing and I am just not that crunchy! But other than that, we’re not doing much else except feeding and changing diapers around here.

And oh my goodness, newborns go through a lot of diapers! I mean, I knew this going in but we have gone through more packs (which were labeled “jumbo” even) in the last two weeks than I counted going through in the first month or more! The frugal in me is truly struggling, especially when having to toss three diapers in five minutes because he just wasn’t “done”. Or the diapers with contents Jeromy refers to as “wet fart”. Oh, and I can’t forget the diapers he pees on before you flip the front and find the tabs. It’s hard not to think of each diaper in the trash as “another 16 cents”. But you love your baby and the money you have to spend on him suddenly doesn’t matter anymore. (Especially when he has diaper rash, poor kid!)

I’m not for sure, but I think I may have endured a bout with the Baby Blues. After the first couple nights, extreme fatigue threw me into an emotional mess. It’s not that I didn’t expect to be sore, tired, hormonal, and stir-crazy with a newborn at home. I knew life would turn upside down after having a baby. But when you’re in the middle of it, it feels like this is the way it’s always going to be. You think you’ll never get to sleep again, you’ll never get out of the house again, you’ll never get to give your spouse the time you know he needs, even you’ll never get to take a long shower or step on a clean floor again, etc., etc.

I would feel fine in the morning. I think once the sun came out I would feel like I’d been victorious over the hard night. Though foggy, I had conquered something difficult and was rewarded with another day where things might get better. Well by evening, just before supper, I started to feel down. Just glum. Lonely. Irritable. Weepy. Needy. Anxious. Stretched thin. I would hurry up and eat and clean up after the meal, then quick change into my pj’s and wash my face. I don’t know if what I felt was simply dread of what the night would bring or what but I hated the evenings. And I felt a sudden desire to be close to Jeromy, I guess for emotional support and mental reassurance. To obtain some sort of regaining of my sanity before I lost it again! And I didn’t want to feel lost to Baby World, unable to give to other aspects of my life, my husband especially. Whatever it was, I resented the sun for leaving me at the end of the day.

They say the Baby Blues lasts up until about Day 10 post-partum. I am encouraged to say that I think I have made it beyond that phase. I still welcome morning more than evening (though I have always been a morning person so that could be part of it) but I think we are going to make it – ha! Jeromy and I have gotten to know Miles and his ways a little bit more, and I think Miles has started to get the idea of how things in his world function. Diaper and clothing changes, bedtime and feeding sessions, a sense of daytime vs. night, etc. It’s amazing what a newborn can pick up in just a couple of weeks! You can really tell, as he becomes more alert, how his brain is starting to register things that are becoming routine. He knows that once he wakes up he’s going to get fed. He is fussing less and less at each diaper change. And he knows when he gets swaddled that it’s time to sleep. It’s really amazing to see him adapt before our eyes like that! And I know it will only get more fun (and easier all around) as he becomes more aware of his surroundings and interactive with us.

For the most part Miles just eats and sleeps. We can hardly keep him awake between feedings (and often during!).

When he chooses to keep his eyes open for more than a few seconds we stop and take advantage of the moment. I don’t know if he is an unusually sleepy baby or just not quite yet ready for all the sights and sounds around him, but he’d just rather not stay awake longer than it takes to eat. He also tends to get over stimulated quickly, and we are learning to stay within the limits of what he can handle right now. (Unless we want an inconsolable screaming banshee on our hands for the next hour!) Thank goodness for the swaddle blanket!! That and the MAM pacifier are the only things (well, and the breast, always the breast) that seem to bring him down from an out-of-control fit. When his arms start flailing with jerky motions you know he has become over stimulated and needs some help.

He doesn’t like new things (bouncer, swing, Boppy tummy time, wrap/sling, bath) so we are trying to reintroduce these things for just a couple minutes each day so he can hopefully get used to them. Yesterday I decided to experiment with the vacuum. Mainly because the bedroom floors need it, but also to see how Miles would respond to the noise. I had just changed him and, lying on the changing table, he appeared to be contentedly looking around. Yet I still didn’t know what to expect. I cringed as I touched the foot pedal to start the vacuum and of course he jumped as it revved up. But surprisingly he didn’t mind the loud noise at all! I don’t know if it’s due to the white noise or if he remembers from en utero the sound of me vacuuming once a week, but he was just as calm as ever. Which is a good thing because I had been wondering when in the world I would be able to vacuum with him either sleeping or eating. No worries!

I am so all-over-the-board with this! How do you sum up 2 weeks as a new mom in a single blog post?? The best part? I'm lying on my BELLY typing this! Never felt so good - ha!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Children's Classic Books and Vintage Basic Readers


Kelly's Korner is hosting a carnival for personal collections and it has compelled me to chime in. As a kid I collected agate rocks with ruby bands from our stone driveway (I would sit out there for hours with an ice cream bucket!) I also collected stickers. What 6-year-old girl growing up in the 1980's did not collect stickers? It was the thing to do! Collect and trade...although my mom hardly ever let me actually trade any of my stickers with my friends. I'm grateful now because I have successfully kept both collections of agates and sticker books to this day, a few things leftover from my carefree childhood.

My mom also held onto several of my favorite children's books, which are even more precious to me! Shortly after we moved into our house last Spring I couldn't resist setting up a children's bookshelf in our spare room (now our very soon to be nursery! *squeal*). I had to split my Little Golden Book collection with my brother but all of my old favorites are on this bookshelf!

I have a likely suspicion this one little shelf isn't going to cut it! One thing I've always said is that I won't spoil my kids with toys, but I will happily spoil them with books! One of my favorite places to shop is a used bookstore. Can I get an "Amen"?! Although I usually peruse all sections the first place I run (and if you're talking library book sales, I mean run literally!) is to the children's corner.

I don't have too large of a picture book collection, but I have recently started picking up Newberry and other classic chapter books that I loved as a child. Old Yeller, The Secret Garden, Little Men, Huckleberry Finn, Hatchet, Christy, The Yearling, Brighty of the Grand Canyon, Five Little Peppers, and series' like Little House and Betsy Tacy, etc.

One children's book collection I sort of "fell into" is old schoolhouse readers from the 1950's and 1960's. My great aunt Goldie used to teach in the Minneapolis school district and had a bunch of them saved in her basement. When she heard I was learning to read she gave me a few from her stash. I fell in love with them, especially the Ginn Basic Reader and New Basic Reader collections. They are filled with stories made up of simple, ordinary life mixed with timeless morals and a little imagination. No scary villains or over-the-top quirky characters. No dumbed down vocabulary to accommodate this society's ill-educated generation of American kids, myself included. (Sorry, it's true.) And no sarcasm or slangy disrespect like pollute so many children's book offerings today. (Captain Underpants, anyone??)

I just want to instill in my kids an appreciation for all the great classic books! They don't need a shiny cartoon cover to prove they are interesting! I used to read some of these stories to my former nanny charges and it warmed my heart to hear, a year or so later, that they had grown to love to read. So even before officially a parent I am a huge advocate of reading to your children - and at any age. Read often and choose your selections with meaningful care!

One of my favorite memories as a nanny is reading through The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe with an 8-year-old boy. This was before there was any rumor of a movie. I purposely did not preface the story with any of the Christian undertones or symbolism with which C.S. Lewis filled this book. I first wanted him to get wrapped up in the well-developed characters and climaxing drama. We got to the part where Aslan was going to sacrifice himself for Edmond and I asked my charge if this scene reminded him of anything. Something from even his Lutheran Sunday School perhaps? And I'll never forget watching his eyes perk up as the light bulb went on! It was a wonderful teachable moment that I look forward to repeating with my own children someday.

As I became an adult I couldn't shake my endearment of these old readers. In fact, if I see one anywhere, be it a yard sale or antique shop, I must buy it. I cannot wait to share this collection with my own children in hopes that they will grow to love these same stories. In many ways they let the reader transport back to 1962 homelife, and despite the lack of our modern day technology and other conveniences, I think it would have been a terrific age in which to grow up! A time when parents actually believed in the philosophy of the public school system - imagine that!! Were it not for the turbulence of the late '60s and horrible fashion and music in the 70's (sorry to offend those of you born a decade or two before me - ha!) I wouldn't have minded growing up in the latter half of the baby boomer era myself! So maybe it is because of the wholesome nostalgia of these stories I am so fond of them.

I mean, is the following passage adorable or what!

Monday, October 26, 2009

On Simplicity: A Piggy-Back Post Off Another's Piggy-Backed Post

I probably shouldn't mention that the following (not all) was originally intended as a blog comment. However, I get a little embarrassed when I overtake someone's post by writing a "book" on theirs, so I decided it would be better to post this on my own blog.

In a recent post Heidi @ Minnesota Mom referenced this post regarding simple living and how several in this society have seemed to redefine simplicity as something that doesn't feel all that simple anymore.

Sure, the "olden days" are often referenced as simpler times, and in many ways it was. Lack of media, advanced technology, and ready transportation probably accounted for most of it. But every day tasks were anything but simple! Hey, I love my washer and dryer and have no desire whatsoever to start using a wash board to do laundry. Especially my hubby's pit-stained T-shirts - are you kidding me?!

Of course, people aren't going to such an extreme, but a recent trend for many homemakers has turned towards sewing one's own clothes, planting lavish gardens for canning, baking from-scratch bread, etc. All of these projects save money and for the most part, enhance quality (though I suppose it depends on skill level!). Yet while I dearly love to make homemade bread on certain occasions, most of the time I happily purchase store-bought loaves. Nothing retains a status of special anymore when everything must be placed into the homemade or perfect category. I make boxed brownies more often than homemade, though I enjoy homemade much more. But then when I do make homemade, somehow they taste even better.

Some women today are feeling the pressure to do everything themselves, myself not exempt. I have not tried making my own laundry detergent or multi-purpose cleaner before, although the thought keeps nagging at me that I should. Why not? But time is money, and the generic stuff we use seems to take the stains out just fine, albeit with more chemicals. Perhaps one day I'll feel like trying my hand at the homemade stuff, but right now that would just make life more hectic.

I can't tell you how much pressure I get to scrapbook. Yes I am creative and yes I have made one scrapbook and a few other scrapping projects in the past. But I have seen too many women become consumed and/or overwhelmed by the never ending project. Not to mention the outrageous cost of all the materials! Hobbies are supposed to be stress relieving and leisurely, not pressured and burdensome.

And most recently, since I've mentioned the pregnancy, people have begun advising me to start scrapping the baby book now. I still haven't decided if there will even be a baby book. Who ever looks at those things anyway? And when the baby (and future kids) come along, I will only have less time to even think about scrapbooking, yet it will forever hang over my head if I start now. Why torture myself?

I think a lot of women start scrapping and then because they have invested all this time and money into it they feel guilty if ever they plainly gave it up. Or guilty that the second and third child will feel cheated because big brother or sister got this elaborate memory book and they didn't. Plus, isn't recounting events and memories a reason I blog in the first place? I would rather write a story about my child than arrange pictures of him/her on a page.

I recall this time last year when a lot of my friends declared they had decided to sew or knit all of their Christmas gifts. Talk about a money saver! Inexpensive yet love-invested gifts that mail for just ounces! I grew a little envious because I had just learned to crochet, yet there was no way I'd be able to work up a project for everybody on my list, and certainly not in time for Christmas! Then December rolled around, and my friends began to sound anxious as they furiously worked on their presents, it seemed, at every free second of the day and night. To me it sounded like simplicity turned quickly into nightmare!

In a perfect world with no distractions or interruptions, homemade everything sounds so much more valuable and wholesome, doesn't it? But to hang an inflexible deadline over your head and say, "I must do this!" just doesn't sound very gracious to self nor others who must then deal with our hurried pursuits.

I like small projects that have a clear beginning and an end. I don't want to fear taking pictures just because I don't want to have to add them to the "to scrap" list. Ha! But if I get the itch to scrapbook I will perhaps, as I have before, scrap my Christmas cards. But I think this year we'll just purchase them. :)

I'm sure some women can and do scrap without the pressure, but I know myself. I mostly think on a smaller scale. I'll paint a room, I'll crochet a hat (but not 20!), I'll make freezer jam instead of stove top. Easy, quick, over and done with. To me that is homemade simplicity.

Friday, October 16, 2009


(Um, can it be a little more obvious???)

Indulge me as I share my initial thoughts upon sight of those two infamous sticks above:


August 4, 2009

How can the pull to keep something a secret and to shout it from rooftops be so equally strong? The first thing I wanted to do when I saw that pink line was to call my family and update my Facebook status with an ecstatic announcement. The dialogue in my head went something like this:

Oh what the hay, tell the world!

No, don’t – you’ll regret it.

Maybe I could just tell my brother. My SIL is just 3 or 4 weeks ahead of me and I am dying with anticipation to share some First Trimester-banter with her.

Uh, better not. It’s safer.

Can’t let Mom find out just yet. Don't want to torture her by forcing her to keep the news to herself. Because we all know she just can't. :)

All I can say is, thank the good o’ Internet for the forums. Oh, the message boards! The one safe place outside your hubby to blab and squeal and openly rave about your newly-discovered “condition”. Jumping around on the boards lets you relieve a lot of that stored up excitement, at least enough to satiate your threatening-to-burst-at-any-moment-baby-bump-bubble. It’s not the same as telling your family and friends, of course. Not even close. None of the ladies on the boards are all that excited for you, not like your aunt or your best friend would be. Nevertheless, they are in the same boat as you, and soak up the giving and receiving of congratulations all around.

I’m actually sort of puzzled as to why women like to keep their secret under wraps for the first few weeks or even months. After all, the enthusiastic support of loved ones during most other new life ventures is normally appreciated. I gather one reason is most likely that a woman has to first get used to the idea that she is pregnant. Believe it, even. Allow for time to get used to the idea and let it sink in.

We had been trying since June, and after one month of no take, I wasn’t super optimistic about July. I went off the Ring and began taking pre-natal vitamins all the way back in November, and I was surprised that we were able to successfully prevent for the seven months before we started trying to conceive (TTC). The natural methods of birth control always intrigued me but I had a hard time trusting my body because my cycles are so irregular. And while I still don’t fully trust the results of my daily basal temperature (since I get up at least once or twice per night and the thermometer relies on a consistent, restful sleep), I was still able to make at least some heads or tails of the time of ovulation. I am not 100% confident about tracking my cycles, but at this point I don’t think I could ever go back to BC.

I was certain I would get pregnant the month we started trying, so when I didn’t I became slightly concerned that we might have to deal with infertility problems. So ridiculous, I know, after just one month. But what girl doesn’t think about these things? I hear just about as many stories about couples struggling with infertility and miscarriage as I do stories of uneventful, healthy, to-term pregnancies. I don’t know if infertility is actually more common in this generation or that people these days are just more candid and open about talking about these kinds of issues than in generations past. Probably the latter. But you don’t really think about it until it’s relevant. And if it happens to so many others, why could it not happen to you?

Two different brands of home pregnancy tests (HPT) later and you have to take a moment or two to realize:

“I’m pregnant!”

“My body can actually do this!”

“I’ve officially joined the Baby Mama’s Club!”

“Am I seriously going to have to clean up after projectile vomit and diaper blow-outs in just another eight or so months?!”

And if this has never happened to you before, planned or not, it’s a little freaky to think about. Surreal. Life-changing. Instant perspective-gaining. And if for the hormones alone, you really don’t care to have all your Facebook friends bombarding you with a million questions and advice. Not just yet. For as long as you decide (and don’t yet show!), these secret-harboring moments are all yours. An intimate time mixed with realization and disbelief. Sober gratitude and outright giddiness between you, your husband, and the God who created this brand new eternal soul. You can never get this time back.

So, we are going to enjoy it. As much as it absolutely kills me. Ha!

Another reason, I think, women like to keep their baby news to themselves is the wait to get beyond the risk of an early miscarriage. I guess this is so to prevent any awkward interaction between family and friends who don’t know how to comfort the grieving parents and the grieving parents who don’t know what kind of comfort they need. Maybe a cop-out, but a reason, nonetheless. Some women adamantly believe in spreading the word about their bun-in-the-oven for the immediate prayer support. Especially those who have previously miscarried and/or are considered a high-risk pregnancy. I don’t blame them.

I think I stand somewhere in between the two extremes. I could never wait 5 months tell everyone we’re expecting, though I know some who have. However, living 1000 miles away from most of my family and friends does give us an advantage. Since I don’t see these people on a regular or even occasionally doesn’t put me in moments of temptation where I might reveal the existence of our Little Peanut earlier than I would like. Keeping the secret from Jeromy’s family, however, will prove a little bit more difficult, as we’ll be seeing them for Grandma Roxie’s 75th birthday in just a couple weeks! It will not be easy to mums the word (especially if the birthday bash becomes a puke fest!), but hopefully we will stay strong.

I would like to wait until maybe I’ve reached the 12-week mark. As of today I am at 5 weeks and 2 days, thanks to my handy dandy cycle chart. I have an appointment this Friday morning for blood work to determine gestational age more accurately. But I still think I’m right, so we will see! At any rate, I don’t think I could wait much longer than another 8 weeks before blabbing. If I end up even waiting that long. But something about exclusively knowing about something is sort of fun, too!

So I had this super great way to tell Jeromy about the pregnancy. Of course, he knew I was having a longer cycle this month, but I’ve had a 34-day cycle before, so he was still pretty nonchalant. I had thought of taking a test on Tuesday (today) morning, but I got a sudden bout of unshakable curiosity Sunday night and took two tests within an hour of the other around 11pm-12am (while Hubby, unbeknownst to him, was sleeping the night away).

After I got my BFP (which is board talk for "big fat positive") I devised how my plan would go down the next morning. I had purchased a “Baby on Board” sign for $2 at Target back in April (just in case we “oopsed” before officially TTC. (There were a couple months I thought for sure we were pregnant, so I had to be ready!) Since I always wake up before Jeromy I knew it would be easy to sneak out the door and attach the sign to either the driver’s or passenger’s side window. He would either notice it when he got in the truck or a couple miles down the road, depending on where I would have placed it. At which time I would have promptly received a phone call, and I’m sure he would have turned around and gone back to the house to freak out with me. Genius, I know.

But, sadly, that’s not how it worked out. Though I’m sure we’ll still get plenty of use out of the “Baby on Board” sign.

After the BFP you couldn’t pay me to sleep. I laid down and could feel my heart beating hard at what felt like a million times a minute. I remember the progression of my very first reactions while holding the two sticks after they had turned positive:

“Nuh uh!"



“I am so freaking scared!”


“I am so freaking excited!!!”

And from there on out, it was pretty much elation. I have not been scared or shocked since those first few seconds. Maybe if we were still in our first year of marriage I might have been initially devastated, but this Little Thing is/was planned and that made for a quicker transition from “I don’t know if I’m ready for this?” to “I’m a mommy – yay!”

And I couldn’t stop thinking about the BFP, try as I might to turn off the brain and get some sleep. So I figured it would be more productive – and fun – to hop online and check out all the pregnancy websites I’d been anxious to have a reason to visit than to lie in bed and listen to Husband saw logs until dawn. Plus I didn’t want to wake him with my tossing and turning because I didn’t want to be tempted to tell him before I could carry out my plan!

Around 3am I got off the couch to hit the restroom in the hallway. Afterward I peeked into the bedroom and noticed that Jeromy wasn’t in bed. And then I saw the sliver of light in the doorway of the master bathroom.

Oh the horror! I ran to the door and opened it just in time to see Jeromy leaning over the sink right in front of – you guessed it – both HPTs. My fun little “Baby on Board” plan shattered to pieces as realization came over my sleepy hubby. As soon as he noticed the results of the tests, I bent over and looked in his face and said, “Hi.”

Jeromy wrapped me up in a big hug. For a moment neither of us mouthed a word. Then Jeromy said, “I’m happy!” I don’t recall what else we said but I think I told him that he wasn’t supposed to find out until the morning. But it was kind of fun how it happened because it turned out to be a special moment. I just didn’t want Jeromy to be up for the rest of the night and as sleepy as me the next day.

We laid in bed and talked – marveled – for the next hour. We prayed together and thanked God for this little life, for the privilege to become parents, and for a healthy and safe pregnancy. What an unforgettable time! I remember thinking that the last time I couldn’t sleep like this was the night before my wedding, and now it was the night I discover I’m carrying my first child! I finally drifted off to sweet dreams around 4am, thankful I was not scheduled to work in the morning!

I haven’t been experiencing a ton of symptoms so far. I guess they are supposed to intensify around the 6-7 week mark. Maybe I will beat the odds, who knows! But apparently, a lot of women like morning sickness and all that because it signifies that there is still a baby growing inside them. When the symptoms wane some women get scared something is wrong. My chest has been sore for a little more than a week, though at first I suspected it was due to an imminent menstrual period like normal.

Strangely, I’ve endured two evenings of pretty severe nausea, but none since. The first time, the waves started coming on while I was reading in bed at about 9:30 pm. It just kept getting worse and worse. I usually eat dinner pretty early, so by about 10:15 or so I thought I was just hungry like I sometimes get before bed. But I was too lazy to get up, eat something, and have to brush my teeth again before turning in.

The nausea wouldn’t let up, though, so I went to the kitchen spice cabinet, grabbed the bottle of peppermint extract, dabbed a drop under my nose (I heard peppermint soothes an upset tummy). That brought temporary relief but I soon got up again. This time I sliced some Havarti cheese on a multigrain baguette, but felt that wasn’t enough so poured half a bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats. I gulped that stuff down like I’d never eaten before!

I’m not sure if I just needed food or what, but after then taking a couple Tums I laid back down and fell asleep soon after, when the nausea subsided. (And without brushing!)

That was early, too, at least a week and a half ago, if not two. Perhaps there was a surge of hormones when the little bean implanted in my uterus that night? Who’s to say, but if that night was any hint at what’s to come, I’m about to become a physically worthless mama-to-be in a few weeks! But hopefully not. I usually eat every couple hours anyway, and I hear that helps a lot.


August 25, 2009

I am 8 or so weeks along. My first OB appointment is the day after tomorrow (yay!) and I’ve heard lots of stories of women whose doctors measure their babies a week behind. I don’t want to go backwards. 2nd Tri, here I come!

During the first 5 full weeks of this pregnancy I felt invincible. Not really tired or sick or bloated. Then week 6 hit and I learned really quickly what morning sickness is all about! I was hoping I’d be a lucky one and avoid getting nausea. Or at least that I’d be able to rise above it and function at 100% as usual. However, that’s not how things have gone down. This baby is kicking my butt!! Or rather, the hormones are!

I don’t know if I should be grateful or not, but I have not actually thrown up yet. I have found that eating every couple of hours keeps nausea somewhat at bay. It doesn’t make it go away, but at least it becomes tolerable so that I actually feel well enough to shower and go to work and maybe clean the bathrooms or something. The only trouble is, the “cure” is the enemy. Nausea is so frustrating because you know that eating will help but you can’t bear the thought of putting something in your mouth, chewing and, even worse, swallowing. Everything is revolting. Yes, everything. Yet you force down some form of substantial calories because it allows you to find some relief and perhaps even sleep a few hours.

I have to admit that I’m not bent-over-can’t-get-out-of-bed sick entirely 24/7. There is usually a little window around 4-7pm or so when I feel relatively fine. Thankfully, that has afforded me the ability to eat fairly decent dinners. My worst moments come between 2am and 10am. Such a long stretch of YUCK!!


And thus, no more words until week 15. The weeks in between include just more of that last entry. A lot more.

In Pittsburgh on our 3rd anniversary and one week into hiding our little secret! And let me say, The Melting Pot never tasted so good!

Happy Easter To Us!

Now if that doesn't make you go back to the question of 'which came first'?!

That's right, this brand new Mama Hen is incubating her ever first baby chick, estimated hatching on Easter Sunday! Specifically, April 4, 2010.

Though my posts are usually few and far in between, lately they have been extra sparse as, with tape to our mouths and mitts on our typing fingers, we impatiently waited out the first trimester. But once we saw our Chicken Little via sonogram last week, it was secret no more! Everyone I've ever (and never) known found out our news within a matter of hours.

This Age of Facebook made keeping things under wraps much more difficult than I'm sure it was for our parents' generation. It killed me to not be able to tell my closest family members and friends during those first few weeks. I just knew that if any of them found out the whole world would find out. Just like in this moment I know about a certain someone's pregnancy, though I am not supposed to know, except for another person (who, by the way, was also not supposed to know) decided to tell me. FYI: If you're asked to keep a secret, please honor that request! These people thought they could trust you! Needless to say, that did it for me, and our baby news became one secret I decided to keep to myself!

However, there are huge benefits to sharing such exciting, once-in-a-lifetime news with your extended family and friends on Facebook. Of course, we phoned or told in person each V.I.P. in our lives (parents, siblings, a few friends) who ought to know before your 1st grade Sunday School teacher finds out via the Internet! But after that, how. Much. Fun. is it to receive such an overwhelming response of congratulations all in one place?! Especially since we live so far away from many of my friends and family members, receiving so much support from everyone made it seem like I was at a reunion or something! It felt kind of like it does reading your wedding guest book over and over. So precious! Which reminds me, I need to copy and paste all of those well-wishes for the baby book!

Of course, nobody could be more happy about this baby than we are! I cannot wait for every milestone in this pregnancy (well, now that the worst of the morning sickness is behind me *knock on wood*) and all of the joys and fun challenges ahead with getting used to a newborn and raising our very own little person! As every expectant parent knows, this is one time that is both ultra exciting and ultra scary! Yet we have confidence that God will meet the unique needs of each day and that by Him we will become thriving parents. The result of our parenting is ultimately in His hands, as is our child.

Good intentions, good intentions! I had hoped to document in writing more of these first few weeks of pregnancy. But as alluded to above, the Big, Bad Nausea Monster came a-knocking at about week six. Even now, at almost 16 weeks, I have days where I feel better than others. But UGH! I was not a fan of pregnancy the duration of the last couple of months! You simply don't want to do anything when you feel that horrible. I went over a whole month without touching my house with a dust mop or cleaning rag. And for me to not care about a clean house meant this sickness was whipping my tail!

The first few weeks of the Crud I lived off chicken noodle soup and Sprite, though I knew my body needed more substance to get through the day (and night). So I tried incorporating more protein into my meals, chowing down lots of cottage cheese, gnawing on beef jerky, and over time scrambling more than a few dozen eggs. I also found that pasta/chicken casseroles did my tummy good, as did (and still does!) mashed potatoes. I do have to say, I miss my cold deli meat sandwiches! I frequently make grilled ham and cheese with tomato soup just so I can have shaved ham! (Besides, of course, the given yumminess factor of that entire meal!) I've tried nuking the meat to kill any possible bacteria and it's just not the same. But I know all this is for a good cause!

Just don't give me a banana, especially if it's the least bit overripe. I can't stand the smell, nor do I have any desire whatsoever to indulge. Which is actually a self-fulfilled prophesy. For more than 4 years I had been eating for breakfast a toasted English muffin spread with peanut butter (couldn't keep enough jars in the house!), a drizzle of honey, and sliced bananas over the top. In fact, I actually preferred the banana a little on the ripe side. One day, long before I got pregnant, I told Jeromy that once I'm pregnant I will probably repulse at the thought of this breakfast. Oh how true that remains! I still remember the last time I ate that for breakfast, around the time I started really feeling sick. I could barely eat a bite or two, though I fought it. I love this stuff, remember?! I think if I made that breakfast today, I could stomach everything but the sliced banana on top. Although I really don't have the desire to make or eat it at the moment. Hmm, maybe God's preparing me for a peanut-allergic child and is making it easier to wean me off my formerly beloved peanut butter. Who knows?

As for actually throwing up, I hadn't looked the Porcelain Throne in the face (except to clean it!) for years and years until week 12. I threw up 4 days that week, and then one day in week 13. What's up with that? Just when I thought the nausea was starting to taper off, WHAM! Usually I had found ways to ease the nausea if I felt like throwing up. For a while sniffing peppermint extract until I obtained a palatable calorie source seemed to work. But those days I threw up I quickly came to the realization that nothing was going to stop the floodgates this time! I think possibly I let too much time pass before eating something. Maybe I had been starting to feel overly confident that the nausea would go away by the end of the first trimester that I let my eating slide. That's my guess, anyway. Since then I've tried not being so stupid and keep snacks with me everywhere. Although I still gag/heave on my toothbrush most mornings, which is highly annoying...

At almost 16 weeks, I think I am finally beginning to show. Or at least I can't suck in as much as I used to! I think it's a combination of the growing uterus and my lack of exercise as of late. Some of that belly I'm seeing is more than likely real fat! Unfortunately, since being sick, I have happily gotten used to not working out. It's actually decreased stress in my life to not always have to be on the treadmill. The angel on my other shoulder, however, tells me I've turned into a lazy butt and that I need to at least get in some form of cardio. I am not used to becoming out of breath so quickly! And I don't like watching my buns and thighs grow along with my belly. I'm not used to this. Hopefully I will get back on the horse, but it's not looking like anytime soon. I really have become lazy! (Or maybe my priorities have shifted, I don't know.) I just don't want to become the woman who hides behind her baby, and now that everything is all about the baby, she lets herself completely go. I don't want to become her! Hear this, Blogworld: I refuse to wear Mom Jeans!!

Well, on that note :) I'll just take my place behind my adorable little peanut's first baby pictures and gush over his/her already-prominent cuteness! Of course we are biased, but even the ultrasound technician commented on how crisp and clear the images turned out. I wish they weren't copies of copies, but I could still stare at them for hours!

I love how you can almost count the fingers on that little hand! (This sonogram was taken at 14 weeks 1 day.) We call him/her our Squirmy Worm. The baby wouldn't keep his/her arms and legs still. It would cross and uncross its legs, and even flipped over several times during the ultrasound. (Jeromy said it reminded him of how he flips over at night!) Wonder if this is a hint of what's to come! We might want to stock up on baby gates!!!

In this image the little one appears to be sucking his/her thumb. We're not sure if that is actually the case, but we saw this a lot! It's too bad you have to retain such a full bladder during the sonogram because part of you overwhelmingly wants to be done so you can go pee, but mostly you just want to lie there and enjoy watching this miraculous life hang out inside your uterus! I had to keep restraining myself from laughing because it made the screen bounce, but it was so surreal I couldn't help it!

I looooove this profile shot. You can see the outline of his/her tiny button nose and lips. In this picture he/she looks like it's giving the "hang ten" sign! It was so unbelievable to watch the baby move around so much and not be able to feel a thing. They say you normally start to feel movement anywhere between 18-20 weeks, though some have said they've felt it earlier.

My next appointment is on October 30, two weeks from today, at which time the doctor will schedule the next ultrasound - where we should hopefully be able to find out the sex! My brother and his wife are about a month ahead of me on their 2nd pregnancy. They found out just yesterday that they are having a BOY. So the pressure is on because Jeromy wants a boy. I'll happily take either, but I really think it's a girl. We'll see in the next few weeks!!

Thanks for sharing our joy with us! I'll go back and post the initial thoughts I typed up the day after I found out I was pregnant and how I told my husband and all that fun stuff. And hopefully I won't continue to be such a stranger on the blog now that the secret's out! You were probably wondering if all this girl is ever going to post is recipes! Well, I can't promise no more recipes since we are, after all, in midst comfort food season! But I'll also try my hardest to write about other things besides just the baby!