Friday, August 31, 2012

A Day of Gifts

This post title and format of this post comes from Tammy T's post the other day. She happens to be reading the same book I am, but apparently applying it better than me!

I felt pretty down at work yesterday, just tired as usual, just usual prego stuff, moms out there know what I'm feeling. Then I started recognizing gifts:

checking the mail and first, discovering a refund from overpayment on insurance premium that will cover groceries. Then opening a card from a friend we haven't seen in a while to discover well-wishes, Bible verses, and a gift card to treat ourselves to a date!

At Bible study last night, one I almost didn't attend because hubby had a few extra hours at home last night, turned out to be a surprise (TOTAL SURPRISE) baby shower! The gifts here were more than baby shower presents, it was the love of Christian young women who barely know me, yet wanted to do something for me and my unborn child. Experiencing this king of welcome to a group and being surrounded with what feels like love with no hesitation, is such a rare occurrence in my life. I don't have the words to express how my heart overflows with amazement and gratitude.

As I prepared for bed last night, the bathroom was still foggy from my husband's shower before work, I discovered a finger-scrawled note on the mirror reading "I <3 my wife!". Just the best thing to see before tucking myself into bed!

Thank you God for all the beautiful gifts of yesterday!

Surprise Baby Shower pix: (and might I add, if I had known, I would have tried harder with my appearance. no makeup, hair in a ponytail, clothes that say "at least i'm dressed. awesome! thank God His people loved me anyway!)

Ya'll have NO idea how excited I was to get wipes!

The girls were SO thoughtful with there gifts even down to the packaging :-)

This was awesome, one friend did the "mommy gift"! Bath stuff, creams, and all manner of goodness just for me!

HOW CUTE is this??? Baby bath toys!!! Little boy has all manner of stuff for bathing and wiping his butt now!

Have an awesome holiday weekend ya'll!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Baking Disasters

Yesterday when I got home from work I decided it was time to try my hand at bread-making. I love baking, I love bread, I love homemade bread, I'm tired of the store bought texture and overloaded sodium content in bread from the grocery store. I thought I'd be helping my family if I could make some awesome whole wheat break at home. $5 bag of flour that will last a few weeks to a month, or $5/week in grocery store loaf?

Here's how it went. I get through stage one and come to the first rising stage. Hubby gets up from his midday rest before he goes in for some overtime at work. He wonders if I plan on making supper. I figure I can make dinner in between the different rising stages.

While we wait on the "sponge" to "rest" (taken strait from the recipe lingo), I fire up the chicken. The "sponge" seemed "rested" so I move into the next stage... kneading.... for 12-13 minutes. Half-way through kneading, my contractions kick in. I blame it on lack of water, heated kitchen, heavy-duty kneading.

Once I'm through kneading, I jump back to the chicken, start the couscous, and start the stir fry veggies. Hubby is helping out with whatever he can as needed. Supper fixings complete, we get our plates loaded up, David is a little nervous because my contractions are kind of painful. He fills our biggest drinking container with ice water, helps me with my plate, and we get my feet up.

Shortly after dinner hubby has to leave for work. I rest a little bit longer and dive back into the bread making process. In between the bread rising, punching it down, letting it rise, and waiting for the oven to preheat, I'm resting with my ice water.

Ok, so 5 hours later this is what I end up with:

 Two disgustingly deformed excuses for bread in really heavy, thick rock-form...

...And one disaster of a kitchen, sadder also because hubby spent part of the morning cleaning it up for me and making it liveable again. 
Then, 128 ounces of water later, my contractions were under control and I could sleep as peacefully as any woman almost 8 months pregnant sleeps.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

My Week of the Unexpected

You may have noticed how quiet it's been around here for a few days. Remember how tired and sore I felt Monday? It didn't stop there.
Tuesday night I decided there were several things I could get done while hubby was taking a nap before work. About 9:20 when I was settling down, I began having back pain unlike back pain I had experienced before. I drank some water and moved onto my left side to see if that helped. From there I also began having tightenings in my stomache more painful than the braxton hicks I've had since 23 weeks.
I cranked up my water in-take. 40 ounces in one hour. The pain kept coming. I tried directed breathing to hopefully relaxe my back and stomache, finally I decided to go take a hot shower using the detachable part of the showerhead to bring relief to the "ouchy places". Nothing was helping, everything was intensifying. Finally it was about time for David to get up so I went to lie down in our bed. He was excited to see me and wanted to give me an enthusiastic kiss and hug. I had to put up my hand to stop him and barely got out "I'm in a lot of pain right now, take it easy." Imediately his countenance fell and I could see he may be on the verge of worry. I said "It's nothing, I'll be fine, I'm just trying to get things under control. 'Practice contractions' are normal." I was obviously in denial. While he was in the shower things got even more painful. I decided to call the after-hours nurse and see if she had any suggestions. She told me she would have a midwife call me back. By the time David got out of the shower I was timing these contractions, one minute apart lasting 2-5 minutes. I finally got off the bed, was standing and holding on to the bed post trying to practice all the awesome breathing I had been studying. When the midwife called back David had to talk to her because I really couldn't talk through the contraction I was having, I didn't even want to moan. It took the midwife 3 m inutes to give directions to David to get us down there as soon as possible.
David had to change twice... who knows why ;-) He was in rush/panic? mode. I was also feeling nauseas so he grabbed a bowl for me just in case, and we were off like a blueish-gray hyundai bullet.
Contractions stayed consistent. When I had a break I would hope that it was nothing, maybe I had food poisioning? My baby could just not be coming right now. We had just been to the clinic that morning for a check up. Everything was fine.
We got to the hospital. They were on baby delivery overload. Apparently while we were there someone had delivered in the ER waiting room. The room they put us in had just been cleaned after one woman barely made it out before dropping her blessing, and another woman delivered in there right before we came.
The monitors proved I was having actual contractions. I was dialated one centimeter. They began treating me like it was pre-term labor. The contractions lasted at this intensity for 4 hours. In that time they gave me three swab tests during breaks, of which 2 proved negative, which showed the baby wasn't actually set to come that night or even in the next two weeks. They gave me a steroid shot any way just to mature the baby's lungs and tummy to be on the safe side. The good thing is, the baby montior showed my son has a strong heart, the heart of a term baby, so even if he came early, though he'd be small, he'd be strong! The third test showed a bacteria that they believe could have contributed to the excitement, so they put me on antibiotics. They kept us overnight and I cleaned out three bags of saline for hydration purposes, which they credit to also helping control my contractions. I'm now on strict orders to drink exorbitant amounts of water.
I was told I could return to normal activities as long as I felt up to it and stayed aware of what was going on internally. Friday morning I decided I was ready to go for a walk... one loop around the neighborhood and I started having some mild contractions, I debated pushing myself, and then decided to play it safe and drink more water while putting up my feet.

I chalk this experience up to another lesson in "I'm not in Control". One of my biggest worries during that whole ordeal was how much we hadn't finished for the baby. The next day we had scheduled an appointment with a lawyer to officially name guardians, we had plans with a state trooper to have our car seat installed and inspected, we only had three outfits for him for when he first comes out, we didn't even own a receiving or swaddling blanket!!! I had checklists for what was to be done each week, and the baby was trying to come before it was all ready! We didn't even have our hospital bag packed!

Praise God, baby is still safe inside, growing a little more. This weekend we went to a huge consignment sale and went nuts on baby clothes, blankets, and hats. We now have several outfits for 0-3, 3 months, and 3-6 months. We have burp clothes. We have 5 blankets and 4 hats! I feel a little bit more like we some things ready for him. We packed a bag for us and started one for him, and I made a shelf just for his bath stuff in the bathroom linen closet.

Now to meet the state trooper... if they would onlly call back! Is 4 calls too many? Maybe I'll try one more time tomorrow.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sometimes you just have to give in...

Almost every day I have a lengthy mental to-do list, who doesn't?

Today didn't go exactly as I thought it would. This morning I thought I would get dishes done, work on my writing, do laundry, put clean laundry from a couple weeks ago away, and maybe start a craft project, take a walk, do yoga. After going to hubby's chiropractic appointment, calling a lawyer to draw up a will, calling three different places to see about getting our son's car seat inspected, it was time to meet a lady for lunch then dash off to work. At work things started going down hill. Everything ached, I was sleepy, and my belly skin itched :-(

I came home after work and GAVE IN to a shower and the couch. After my shower I pulled on an AE dress/tunic that has become a snug t-shirt, made my way downstairs and then got a lovely surprise... hubby ran the dishwasher for me!

I'm now taking the the rest of the night off, unless I get an unexpected burst of energy, watch girly stuff on netflix until I fall asleep, and see what I can do tomorrow :-)

Enjoy the pix!

When hubby leaves for work I always kiss him goodbye at the door then stand at the window blowing kisses and waving like crazy. The other day he sent me a heart and I noticed the trinity symbol on the passenger seat.

Monumental day! First time washing the baby clothes. While doing this I had the thought, "this is the last time I wash these new. After baby gets here I'll always wash them poop, food, and spit up stained." I admit, I'm not looking forward to poop stains.

Saturday night I made brownies then we made sundaes.
Brownie recipe:
4 squares of Baker's brand semi-sweet bakers chocolate
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
*place chocolate and butter in large, microwave-safe bowl, heat in microwave til melter. After butter melts, stir chocolate until it melts and blends into butter
*stir in sugar until well blended
*add eggs and vanilla
*stir in flour
*pour batter into 13x9 pan lined with foil (spray cooking spray on foil)
*bake at 325 degrees for glass pan for 30 minutes or until fork comes out clean, 350 degrees if using dark/metal pan

 Hubby sampling the redi whip ;-)

Sunday I tried out some barbecue chicken tenders. Turned out pretty awesome, I'll be making these again.
*You can buy chicken tenders pre-cut, or buy chicken breast and cut down to tenders
*in three separate bowls shallow and wide enough to dip, put flour mixed with black pepper, cayenne, and chili powder to taste (if you like a kick)
*It took two whole eggs for about 10 tenders, beat in a bowl
*bread crumbs, any you have on hand will work
*Have large skillet pre-heated on medium to medium-high, about 1 inch of olive oil, and 1 tbs of butter in pan
*take tender and roll in flour both sides, dip in egg both dies, then take through bread crumbs both sides, place in skillet as you complete each tender
*Let tenders become lightly browned, remove and brush both sides with your choice off bbq sauce (We like sweet baby rays, I added honey to make the sauce more spreadable and to give a hint of sweetness), place tenders back in pan, cook both sides about 1-2 minutes more or until done
*have some more sauce for dipping if desired

 I served with apple slices, but would have loved to also have celery with blue cheese dressing... my celery had turned soft and brown :-(

After lunch hubby worked for 2 hrs trying to get our car seat installed

These things are NOT easy! Plus, I think it's too big for our car. Hopefully tomorrow after our pre-natal appointment the person we're meeting at the hospital will help us figure out :-) Good thing there are professional for this kind of stuff!

We like to leave each other messages on the fridge board for each other ;-) David suggested posting this one... he's so sweet to think of blog content for me!


Friday, August 17, 2012

Something to think about

Who is God? What is God? These can be common questions. A few answers go like this:
Creator of the Universe
A Spiritual Being
Mythical Creature
A Mystery
We just don't know

As a Christian, I feel like I should have a good answer, but often I feel what I would say is inadequate.
Last night in the Bible study I attended on prayer, one of the last verses we looked at showed God describing himself to Moses.
Exodus 34:6-7 "The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, "The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and fourth generation."

So we see here characteristics of God. I am struck by the fact that God doesn't expect anything of us that He isn't himself. In James 1:19-20 " quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God." John 13:34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another." Matthew 6:14-15 "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Putting it all together: Colossians 3:12-14 "Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony." (All scripture references taken from the ESV translation)

Go forth today and Love, Forgive, be Slow to Anger!


Bump Update!
32-33 Weeks:

Baby is the size of a pineapple! He is weighing in at almost 4 lbs and is about 16 inches long. He is beginning to distinguish between breathing and swallowing and coordinating those efforts. He keeps his eyes open when he's awake now and can sense light and dark, which helps him have more of a bedtime. His kicks are SOO much bigger! Usually I can tell if its a foot elbow jabbing me, and when he sticks his butt up high under my boob... yea not so comfy ;-)
We are blossoming!
*What I wore: top/new york and company (an xsm that finally fits!); cami/charlotte ruse; pants/old navy; bracelet/maurices; watch/kohls

Saturday we had our first baby shower! Our dear friends Beth and Bekah coordinated the event for us! Before we stepped out, hubs got a shot of me at home :-)

What I wore: dress/thrifted; skinny belt/; flowers/thoughtful husband ;-)

This was a new baby shower game to me! Bekah got several candy bars and divided them between two teams. They had to use the names of the candy bars to write my "birth story". Look hubs being such a good sport ;-)

I was supposed to play judge, but I really hate picking a winner because that means I'm picking a loser... Everyone is a winner!! I think I ended up with more candy bars then anyone anyway :-) I love me some butterfinger, twix, and tried skor for the first time! Thanks ladies :-D

I love how this lovely new lady is frontin' her gangsta side already ;-)

Bekah!! We were college roomies. She's holding Anna for the other Bekah ;-)

 Yay baby wash and lotion! Thanks Melanie!

We were stoked to get the money humidifier for baby's room. It's just so cute! Thanks Beth!

Beth makes the most adorable hostess! Serving her homemade cupcakes with baby boy blue icing with little jungle animal toppers! Did you wear blue because we're having a boy?? ;-) (sometimes she's theme-y like that!)

Melanie and Jaime taking turns playing with the new babies!

Bekah with her little Anna and Emily getting a break from Kira so she can eat! Don't these ladies look awesome?! Just about 5 weeks from delivering!

Posing with my girls! Thanks for the shower ladies :-)

I got to hold little Anna! Both babies just slept through the party, unless they were eating!

The first and only time I saw her open her eyes :-) Such a sweetie!

Random... leaving the church building Sunday night we came across this "little" guy making his way down the sidewalk. Maybe he was trying to get his church on?

I have recently discovered a love for painting frames. This is the final and overdue thank you gift to a lady who did so much work on our wedding!

The other day I decided to experiment and see if I could make myself a mocha cappuccino.

It worked! YAY! Decaf coffee grounds, 1tsp cocoa powder in coffee filter, power on coffee pot, milk microwaved for 40 sec. then whisked till frothy, mix in sugar and vanilla to taste, pour cafe mocha!

Hope everyone has a FANTASTIC weekend!!!


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thoughts as I get ready for Bed

I'll start by saying I'm very thankful for the opportunity to go to a ladies Bible Study tonight. My sweet new neighbor (who is less new as the months pass, but I'll probably always say that like people refer to a new business location still as the "old diner" or "Joe's place"...) picked me up when she got off work and took me along. The part I'm struggling with... As soon as I walk in the door someone has to say "Wow! You've gotten a lot bigger." great. thanks. as usual. *sigh*

I don't want to keep being bothered by this. I love how this mom shared a lesson on comparing. Check it out so you know what I'm talking about!

Ok, so there is nothing really to compare in tonight's situation, really there's not and I know it. I'm 32 weeks pregnant and she is a fashionable, petite, young married who isn't really ready to be pregnant. I'm supposed to look pregnant. My baby is the size of a PINEAPPLE for crying out loud... a PINEAPPLE in MY BELLY! Ok. And pregnancy is beautiful. It is. Really. I love in my one prego book a quote from a mom said "I was the most confident after I got pregnant. My belly got huge and so did my butt, I didn't care I just felt beautiful." Go her. She rocks! I think yesterday I had even decided I didn't care how pregnant I looked, I felt beautiful. I loved knowing I'm growing my son. No one else will ever carry this little boy, just me. God picked me to be his mommy. God chose David and I to make this child and he's growing in me and it just expands the body for this one special purpose. Deal with it! Even this morning, at the doctor with David, both receptionists made a fuss over me being cute pregnant and my "cute little baby belly." Read that again. "little". Ok. almost done. I loved this discussion over here on confidence post-pardom (go to the July 10 post "Hanging Naked from a Squatting Bar").

Ok, so after all that, I'm letting all the innocent comments (I'm choosing to believe the comments are all innocent) go and just breathing in appreciation for this special time in my life, releasing the negative feelings as I exhale. Ahhhhh thank you yoga and directed breathing classes :-) :-)

Happy Friday Ya'll!


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

August Already? Really??

WOW! So I am 31 weeks pregnant, this kid could come in 7-11 weeks. WHOA! It's getting exciting :-) This weekend hubs and I had a chance to hit some consignment stores where we found some cute baby room accents and a little fleece camo outfit! I LOVE how baby's room is looking! I'll have to get some updated pix of the nursery!

Some randomness first:
1. Something I really hate about myself - I cannot tell a short story. I seem incapable of leaving out minute details.
2. Lately, for several months, I've found myself getting stuck in negative mode. I have no reason to give a negative spin to my conversation. Everything is great. I really have nothing but wonderful things to say about my husband and the baby coming, but I catch this tone in my voice, this rough edge to my conversation... I don't get it. Finally last night I started praying about it, hopefully I will start controlling it now.

Humorous things David has said:
*Walking by a Forever 21 I was admiring how pretty their clothes looked for the coming fall. He says "Yea, too bad they're made for skinny people." OOOooohh the look I gave him! I haven't let him alone about it since, even though he explained he was looking at the guy manikin and how skinny it looked and he was thinking he didn't look like that. Ok honey. Sure. ;-)
*After watching Olympics for a while Saturday, I commented that I was inspired to get into running post-pregnancy. I have visions of jogging with my baby in his jogging stroller (that we will hopefully be getting before he's born!). David says to me "You could start by running to the stove". Nice. The most chauvinistic thing he's ever said! He had a mischievous smirk on his face, but wow! I was shocked!

Ok, that's all folks!

Yesterday Meredith and Jesse were married! I'm so excited. All day I thought of them and prayed for them. Its so wonderful when two God-fearing, loving people find each other and just can't wait to start serving God together.

Last week we had an unexpected early visit to the midwife clinic. I wasn't worried or scared about anything but I had noticed a few things that I decided might be worth mentioning to the office. They said to go ahead and come in for a check up. I felt like it might be pointless to begin with, and definitely after we went did I feel frustration and anger for how the appointment went. I hadn't slept well for a few days, parts of me were hurting I suppose from baby stretching out and his movements have changed some, and I've been getting a few more "practice contractions" that actually hurt. So feeling like that, David even through his own exhaustion from overtime at a physically challenging job, had compassion on me and wanted to cheer me up and make the most of our day. He is so good at taking care of me. I love how it was so important to him that while we had the chance, he wanted to spend time together doing something. He kept saying "We don't get a lot of time together to go out and do anything, lets make a day of it." I love that he was sensitive to our lack of "going-out" time together. So even though I would have loved nothing more than crawling in bed and sleeping the weekend away, and I'm sure on some level he would have to, since he took the weekend off and made a point to say it was for us, I rallied for my hubby who was rallying for me :-)

Our weekend:
He brought me flowers :-) These were such bright, pretty daisies! They really reminded me of Meg Ryan in "You've Got Mail" saying "Daisies are a friendly flower", they just look happy! I love how happy David looks when he gives them to me and hears me express appreciation for their prettiness.

My first experience at a Johnny Rockets. David really wanted us to have that "old diner" experience.

We took turns picking out old rock 'n roll and classic country tunes.

Maybe not an old fashioned favorite, sweet potato fries!!!

MMMMmmmm!! Double chocolate malt!

To share!

You know how we love our burgers! I went with the classic and subbed in the "special sauce"!

For the first time in weeks we skipped Farmer's market! We were way too exhausted. It was exciting to sleep in and laze around the house. As aforementioned, when we finally got around, we hit consignment stores! I loved it! We got paid from 2 places I had previously dropped off some things, which funded the rest of our day! Baby stuff and groceries :-) Hopefully I get another check from my fav consignment store in town and I can get some supplies to finish gifts for people. I love participating in a small way in the small business exchange!
We decided on cooking a Mexican feast after all our running around. So fun! 
My first time making Mexican rice!!! I love that it actually turned out! My new pal Candace pointed me in the right direction, and I went from there. It was most gratifying that hubby was actually pleased and impressed with the rice! So here are my tips:
Rice cooker so you eliminate mistakes (unless you're a master rice chef!)
I used brown rice so 1 part rice, 2 parts water
Olive oil in a huge skillet, about an inch worth
Add rice, some garlic powder and black pepper
Apprx. 1 TBS tomato paste, water to equal about 2 TBS total mixture
Stir tomato mixture into rice
Add about 2 pinches of sea salt
Add cilantro at end, dried or fresh (i had dried on hand)

YAY! Multi-grain tortilla, only 160 mg sodium... lowest I could find in the store
I load my tacos/burritos with rice, meat, refried beans, cheese, sauteed red peppers, fresh onion, lettuce, tomato, sour cream! Soooo delicious!

It was a very nice weekend with my hubs. Sunday we ate leftovers and then slept the afternoon away until it was time to go back to church. Church was awesome, we really got to meet a lot more new people, I may have met a new walking buddy! Mother of 2 yr old twins and has one on the way, WOW! I could learn some things from her I'm sure :-)

Monday was such a blessing... Sunday night after David went to bed I got into a stressed, down phase and decided to yoga, then read a couple chapters out of devotional books and read the passages along with the lessons. I turned on Pandora to have study music. SO amazing!!! Laura Story "Mighty to Save" was the first song in the set. That is my ULTIMATE go-to heart jump-start song! The tone of my evening was totally changed. I was able to open myself up to God and just talk to Him about everything that had begun to weigh on my mind. So Monday morning when I woke up I was trying to hang onto everything positive God had shown me the night before. David was part of that. On his own, he began to clean our room, I went up and joined him and he told me he was going to dishes that day and fold laundry. What a sweetie! Because of his willingness to help me after his long night of work, I was encouraged to work on the nursery and meet some other goals I had. He stayed right there with me helping and encouraging me. So much to be thankful for!

Dinner after work last night! A new fav!!! I picked up mandarin chicken in the organic freezer section, little did I know it was meatless. It still turned out great! I sauteed it in sesame seed oil for a richer, nuttier, more Asian flavor. I used a whole romaine heart for the salad base, chopped raw almonds in the food processor, added sunmaid dried cranberries ( the least amount of sugar in dried cranberries I could find in the store), layered the "chicken" on top, and made my own dressing out of sesame seed oil, rice vinegar, a touch of light soy sauce, and sesame seeds! YUMMY! Hubby even liked the chicken and now I have a new meal idea for us: this "chicken" with rice, onions, mandarin oranges, and making our own egg rolls. It will be a date night in with "take out" made healthy, Chinese!

Have a great week ya'll!

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