Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Our Big Baby Decision

As I'm sure most of you know by now, we're currently almost 18 weeks pregnant with baby #2, who is set to make his or her big arrival on March 29th (or March 15thish if I have it my way).

With our first child, we chose not to find out the gender and to be surprised in the delivery room.  He was a surprise, all right, but things hadn't gone as planned and due to a C-Section under general anesthesia, I found out that by little baby was a 'he' upon waking up in pain about two hours after his birth.  It definitely wasn't the birth or way of FINALLY finding out what gender our baby was that I had imagined, where the doctor calls out with excitement, "It's a _____!"

This time, due to the traumatic experience with the first delivery, we went into our pregnancy planning to find out what we were having.  But during the last couple of months I had serious second thoughts.  Did I really want to know?  I can think of a lot of benefits of both finding out during an ultrasound and waiting until the birth, so it was a really hard decision.  We finally settled on it- we are going to find out this time like we originally planned, but to make it more exciting for us and our family and friends, we are going to be having a gender reveal party!

Our ultrasound is on Wednesday, November 2nd and we are having our party the following Saturday, the 5th (assuming the baby cooperates).  I've put a lot of planning and preparation into it so far, and have some more to do.  It should be lots of fun!  I hope everyone finds it exciting and memorable.

I'll do another blog post about our party afterwards, but for now, I wanted to share the invitation that I made with you all.  What do you think?

Hope you all have a great week and fun Halloween!

Friday, October 21, 2011

The never ending to-do list!

Is it just me, or does it seem like everyday your to-do list gets longer and longer, even if you've been faithfully trying to knock tasks off of it?  Because this is the story of my life. 

If I pick a task to work on, I always think of two to three more things I need to add to my list before even finishing the original task.  Boy, do I wish there was a better way of keeping up with it all!  I'm open to anyone's suggestions!

This is a good portion of my current to-do list, but keep in mind, it doesn't include everything...
Put up plastic window insulation
Put all flower pots in garage
Dig up Dahlias
Cover Hydrangea in leaves
Finish collecting leaves and mow
Put up Christmas lights
Update perpetual calendar
Finish sewing Ryan’s vest (Halloween costume needed by 10/28)
Sew Arm Garters (Halloween costume needed by 10/28)
Catch up baby journaling (I'm only about 2 months behind...)
Finish B’s baby book
Start and complete B’s card book
Order photo book for Great Grandma Jan
Finish all details for our gender reveal party (there are a lot , but I don't want to give them away yet...)
Clean house from top to bottom
Finish cross stitch stocking by Christmas
Crochet someone's Christmas gift
Start finding and buying Christmas gifts
Research and buy a few necessary baby items (double stroller, new rocker, SIDS motion detector)
Take 16 week pregnancy photos... (I'm 17 weeks already)
Put up closet organizers in Brennan's closet
TRY to keep up blogging

I really do enjoy doing a lot of these things.  The problem is finding the time and meeting the deadlines while still keeping up with my rambunctious (to put it lightly) 20 month old, the dozens of loads of laundry and cloth diapers that pile up each month, keeping the house as clean and I can manage, and my very part time work schedule.  Maybe one day I'll cross off the very last item on my list and take a vacation!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Squirrel Burying a Nut

Have you ever heard the expression, "squirrel away"?    Well, I think this video describes it perfectly.  I had the pleasure of watching a squirrel bury a nut in my yard yesterday.  Every time I see it, it definitely makes me smile... a lot!  I hope you enjoy this video and it makes you smile, too!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Ma's Delicious Homemade Apple Pie Recipe!

Anyone who tries my Mom's apple pie agrees about one thing.  It is about the best apple pie they've ever had!

Well, with Autumn definitely here and the apple season at its peak, I thought that this would be the perfect time to share this wonderful recipe!

First, it's a good idea to prepare your filling.

Apple Pie Filling-
6 to 8 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
3/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Dash ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp. butter

Mix all ingredients except butter, cover, and set aside.

Now that your filling is ready and waiting, it is time to work on your crust.

Pie Crust-
2 cups sifted flour
1tsp. salt
2/3 cups shortening
5 to 7 Tbsp. cold water

Sift flour and salt together; cut in shortening with a pastry blender until pieces are the size of small peas.  Sprinkle water 1 Tbsp. at a time over the mixture, mixing just until dough starts to clump together.

Divide dough into portions and roll out so that the dough accommodates the size of your pan.

You can see the wheat decoration used for escaping steam.
Place bottom crust into pie pan.  Next, add the filling to the pan.  Divide butter into several pieces and place them on top of the filling.  Top with unbaked pie crust topper and press edges together.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.  Poke several holes to allow steam to escape (or use the tip of a knife to poke a pretty design in the top that serves the same purpose, but looks more gorgeous...).  Bake for 50 minutes at 400 degrees or until golden brown.  Remove and enjoy! 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Little Man... BIG chair! B's chiropractic experience

We began going to the chiropractor almost a year ago.    Brennan used to scream in terror at the chiropractor!  Luckily, he now loves going to get adjusted.  Check out this video!  It's too cute, really!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Columbus Day Facts

Credit: Discovery Education
Here in America, and in many other parts of the world, we are celebrating Columbus Day.  Maybe I should say observing, instead.  I did not personally put out any Columbus Day decorations, go to any Columbus memorializing church services, nor buy anyone any Columbus Day gifts (sorry!)  In fact, I don't know anybody who did any of these things, either.  Do you?

Anyway, since it seems like Columbus Day is such a little known holiday, I thought it would be interesting and fun to share some facts I found out about the man and the day.  Here we go!

  • The name 'Christopher Columbus' is only our English translation of his real name- Chrisoffa Corombo.
  • Columbus began sailing when he was only 14 years old.
  • The names for the Pinta, the Nina, and the Santa Maria are misleading.  The Pinta was still called the Pinta, but the Nina is actually a nickname for the Santa Clara, and the Santa Maria was normally referred to as the Gallega.
  • Columbus introduced horses to the Americas.  Until he brought them, the Native Americans hadn't seen horses since the original ancient breed had migrated away.
  • Only two of the ships made the full, round trip.  The Santa Maria shipwrecked on Christmas Day 1492.
  • Three U.S. states still don't acknowledge Columbus Day.  These are Hawaii, Alaska, and South Dakota!
  • Columbus landed on an island in the Bahamas, but never actually set foot on continental U.S. soil.
  • It wasn't Columbus' brilliant plan to a quicker route to the West Indies.  It was actually his brother, Bartholomew's!  Talk about a sibling rivalry!
  • Columbus was an opium addict.
  • Columbus and his crew brought something unwelcome with them to Europe- Syphilis!  There is genetic evidence to back this up.

Now that you know a little more about the man and the mission, I hope your Columbus Day is more about celebrating our past and less about the Post Office being closed!  Have a great Columbus Day!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fall Leaf Fun!

First we make the pile with a rake...

And then, we jump in it!!!

It is so much fun!!! 

It's also fun to throw leaves!  They tickle!

Puppy!  Where is your head?!?!  Come out here!
I'm gonna get you!!!  Jump in the pile, Emmy!

Bury me, Dada!  Cover my head, too!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My awesome garage sale find!

Now I'm not sure if anyone else could possibly be as excited about this as I am, but I just have to show you all of the things I found at this great little garage sale last week!

First, just let me say.  A lot of garage sales have toddler boys clothes.  The problem with most of these sales, for me at least, is that 99% of the clothing is either stained, have a picture of some lame monster truck on them,  or say something along the lines of "Mommy's Future Quarterback".  I can't stand this stuff!  The occasional sports-type shirt is ok, and there are times when it is nice to have some dirty old clothes to not worry about staining, but I'm not going to put my kid in something like that every day!

Well, this garage sale was just the perfect one for me!  There was virtually none of the stuff I didn't like!  Here's what I got: 4 comfy pairs of socks (3 are pictured), one pair of underwear since we are currently working on potty training and this may be good incentive!, 1 cool Paul Frank t-shirt, 1 sweet Harley t-shirt, 1 maroon Old Navy fleece 1/4 zip, 1 Old Navy motorcycle zip up, 1 dark blue THICK Baby Gap zip up, 1 pair of flannel 'old man' pj's, and a pair of New Balance tennis shoes that look like they've been worn twice ever.

The prices were pretty good- most t-shirts were $.50, socks and underwear were $.10, and the shoes and sweatshirts were $2.  I don't recall what I paid for the pajamas, but it couldn't have been more than $1.  These aren't the very best prices I've seen, but at the same time, these clothes were in pristine condition and well worth the money!

Yet, even with all these wonderful purchases, there was one more that Brennan likes the best!  His brand new toy stroller!  He'll admit, it isn't the manliest stroller in the world, but believe it or not, they don't make a lot of boy-themed doll toys (but they should just make them neutral so it isn't a problem)!  Every day Brennan spends time pushing his baby around the house and through the yard.  We do need to watch him carefully because like many of his other toys, this one has become a weapon to use against the dog.  He also occasionally tries to sit down in it himself.  I'm pretty sure it isn't strong enough to hold all of his 30 heavy pounds!

I'm planning to sew a new fabric seat for this stroller because this one is already beginning to tear a little.  I guess that proves that he's getting a lot of use out of it!  It will be a good excuse to rid ourselves of the princess seat that is in there currently and replace it with something a little more neutral.  

One more thing I'd like to point out: Brennan's baby's outfit is actually one of Brennan's very first outfits.  After Brennan was born so tiny, we had to go to the store to find a few tinier outfits! At 6lbs 2 oz, he was too small for almost everything we owned!  This was a newborn outfit that we intentionally shrunk to fit our perfect newborn baby!  It sure brings back sweet memories!  Can't wait to have another tiny baby to clothe with all those adorable teeny clothes!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

14 Week Pregnancy Update with Pictures!

I had another prenatal check up today with my doctor.  Everything went great.  I think what's even better is that every time I see my doctor, I like her even more.  She really REALLY listens and is very sympathetic and understanding to my feelings.  I definitely couldn't ask for someone more caring.  

Anyway, back to the baby.  As of today I am 14 weeks and 6 days.  My morning sickness is easing and I've been able to cut back on my medicine quite a bit, which has been very nice.  Hopefully soon I won't need to take any at all!  At my appointment we listened to the baby's heartbeat.  It was thumping away at a fast pace somewhere in the 160's.  I'm measuring almost right on... just a hair big.  Everything seems to be right on track and I'm so thankful that my baby seems to be healthy.  At this point in the pregnancy, our chances of losing the baby are less that 1%, so that is also very comforting.

My doctor told me that we'll do our 'big' ultrasound at the next appointment, so if we choose to find out what we're having, we'll know in a short 4 weeks!  As of now we are planning on finding out the sex, but I'm kind of having second thoughts!  We didn't find out with Brennan, and he came as a huge shock to us.  Yet, this time around, my 'need' to know isn't as strong as it was with him.  Ryan definitely wants to know, so I guess either way, he'll be finding out.  Besides probably finding out the baby's gender, we'll be taking a close look at my c-section scar.  We want to make sure the the placenta is not growing into the scar at all.  If it does, my chances of having a VBAC are very slim.  I'm still hoping to have a VBAC, but if my chances aren't good of having one successfully, I definitely want to know!  This is because if it looks like I should be able to have a successful VBAC, I'll need to actually go to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.  They are the only hospital around that does VBACs.  However, if it looks like my chances for a successful VBAC are slim, I'll choose to stay in our hometown and have a repeat c-section with my doctor since I've come to trust her so much!

Something that made me super thrilled today was how my doctor remembered that I'm a needle phobic!  She has already done her very best to accommodate me by postponing my initial blood draw until my 24 week appointment so that we can do it at the same time as the gestational diabetes screen.  That way I only have to get 1 needle stick!  Isn't she sweet?  Well today she told me, "Now I want you to be mentally preparing yourself for 24 week appointment.  We want to make you as comfortable as possible.  Are you going to need something to take the edge off or do you think you'll be able to get through it by yourself?  Is there anything in particular that you are going to need from us?"  I about fell out of my chair.  I've had understanding doctors before, but NOTHING ever like this!  She completely understands how I feel about everything (not just needles, but other stuff we've discussed) and does everything she can to help things go my way.  I just couldn't ask for a sweeter doctor.  Oh, and by the way, I'm not going to need something to take the edge off... I'll do just fine with my normal trusty EMLA numbing cream applied about an hour ahead of time and my understanding husband holding my hand!  Maybe I won't even cry?!?!

Well, that's about it for now.  I'm sure there will be more to update on soon... especially after the next appointment!  Can't wait for the end of March!!! (or the middle, hopefully!!!)