Friday, October 28, 2011

Recent Reading

I finally finished "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" trilogy. I think I can say that the last book was my favorite.
I got all three books for Christmas last year and am just now finishing up. It's not because I didn't like them because I really did. They are all very intense books and definitely a different type of writing than I had ever experienced before. However, I really enjoyed that. It felt like I was really branching out. I would warn though, if you haven't already read these, they are a little graphic in some parts and there are some disturbing images. I am looking forward to seeing the movie that comes out in December. I really like Daniel Craig as an actor and think he will do a great job playing Mikael Blomkvist.

Next up, I needed a lighter read. Well this book definitely delivered in that department.

Something Borrowed
In my opinion, it is a little too light. I read it maybe a day and a half and was less than thrilled. Maybe it was because I had just come off a heavier read but it just all seemed so shallow and young to me. Don't get me wrong, I love a good chick flick and I'm sure this movie will be good for that. I just didn't love the book all that much. I was thinking about getting the second book, Something Blue, but thought better of it and feel like I don't need to read it just because it is what comes next.

Now, I have moved onto something that is becoming more relevant in my life with each passing day.
Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn (4th Edition): The Complete Guide
A friend let me borrow this book that they received in their birth class. Our birth class is a little different than the one they took so I thought it would be good to read this book along with taking our class. {That we started last night.} I really like it so far and just finished the birthing chapter and onto reading about possible medical interventions. Since we are planning natural childbirth, obviously our hope is to have no medical intervention, however, we understand that things to come up and want to be prepared for as much as we can and many possible outcomes. I think this book does a really great job at outlining all aspects whether you are planning a hospital or out of hospital birth. So far I would highly recommend it if you didn't receive it or something like it with your birth class.

Last night at our class, our instructor recommended a book that educated on immunizations. This is a pretty hot topic right now and it is very overwhelming. She said this book is really good at just explaining what each vaccination is and then we can make our own informed decision rather than be influenced by the mainstream, internet or a pediatrician.
The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child (Sears Parenting Library)
What books have you been reading lately? What are your thoughts on any of these books? For you moms out there, any thoughts on immunizations {I know it can be a touchy subject so no pressure to answer and I respect everyone's opinion on the matter.}?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Another Wednesday upon us. Thought I would come up with a list of things I'm loving.

I am loving that in about fifteen minutes I will be eating these cookies that I had to make.
Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies Recipe
Source and Recipe
I am loving that this weekend we are visiting yet two more beautiful babies born to close friends.

I am loving this traditional, Washington fall weather. Sun breaks, rain, cold, fog.
I am loving these Pinterest finds.
{super cute, natural decor...}
Pinned Image
{Simple and easy...}
Pinned Image
{Well, I have the cornstalks, I just need the flowers...}
Pinned Image
I am loving my mama for being so supportive of me during this last stretch of pregnancy. {I would put a picture of her up but she doesn't like that very much.}

Of course, I am loving my biggest supporter, my wonderful husband

I am linking up to:
So head on over and share what you're loving!

Monday, October 24, 2011

33 Weeks

33 weeks brought with it our appointment with our midwife. So great to hear her heartbeat again as well as hearing that all my vitals are great, my weight gain is looking good and that it appears she is making her way toward the head down position. She also gave us some handouts regarding when to actually call the midwife if we are in labor, a list of supplies to bring to the birth center and a list of pediatricians. Of course I have read tidbits on this information in different places but having it actually come from the midwife made our impending milestone seem that much more real.

Week 33 also continues with the heartburn. I slept sitting up the whole night last night. I was tempted to come out to our recliner chair but it makes me sad to think of not sleeping in my own bed!

I am happy to report that I still don't have any stretch marks. I really hope I didn't just jinx myself with that statement.

I had my first shower with family and family friends this weekend. It was so much fun and nice to be surrounded by loving people who are all excited to welcome this sweet girl. As I was sorting through our gifts this morning I think the whole ordeal sort of hit me. We are really close to having a baby. Sorting through clothes and blankets and deciding it's time to start the washing process made it all seem very real.

The only thing I can really say I am missing these days is life without heartburn. It just feels constant and gives me a constant unsettled feeling. If asked before I was pregnant how I thought my eating habits would be when I got pregnant--I would have answered with a resounding, "I can't wait to eat anything and everything all the time!" {I mean, that's a bit of an exaggeration but I thought I would have no actual problem with eating.} However, this pregnancy has brought with it an inability to come up with food that sounds good and actually feel satisfied when I eat it. Major bummer. I love to eat. Which I talk about here, here, and here.

BabyCenter tells us this week that she is just over four pounds and around 17 inches long. She is continuing to lose her alien look and look more like a newborn. Also, her skeleton is hardening.
Isn't my husband so lucky that this is how beautiful I look on a Saturday night?! Yikes!

Diaper cake by my mom

My cute mom. Thanks for the wonderful shower, Mom!

Handmade blanket, so adorable.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WIW: To Game Night

Last Saturday we headed to a friend's house for a game night and some dinner. I figure I spend enough time in comfy, stretchy, sweats-type clothes that I thought I would try and look cute for the evening.
Shirt: Nordstrom, about 2-3 years ago

Pants: Yes, they are jeggings. Fred Meyer,
$3 last week

Beautiful boots: Nordstrom, this year, 
anniversary sale
Belly: Grown by me

This was my first WIW post. Ben thought it was a little funny taking pictures of me but then I think he kinda liked it at the end. 
I was a little unsure about jeggings for a long time but I didn't really want to invest in skinny, preggo jeans but I wanted something that looked like jeans to tuck into my boots. Perfect find at Fred Meyer for $3.
Hopefully I will continue to do these posts, it was kinda fun!

Linking up at:
pleated poppy

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What Crosses my Mind These Days

Holy crap, I am having a baby soon.
I can't wait to meet my baby.
I have a million things to do.
Man, I'm tired and don't feel like doing anything.
How in the world is my labor and delivery going to go?
Will my baby be healthy?
What do I even DO with a baby?
Do I know how to be a mom?
How does anyone ever know how to be a mom?
I can't wait to see Ben hold the baby.
I sure am counting down the days until I'm done with work.
I need to wash my blinds.
I need to wash my curtains.
I need to wash baby clothes.
I need to make some meals.
How much am I actually going to be awake at night when the baby comes?
Will breast feeding come easy to me?
How will the dog take to the baby?
I haven't even held my child but the thought of leaving her {with someone else} already terrifies me.
Will my arms strengthen quickly so that I can bounce my baby to her heart's content?
I just cannot wait to see Ben be a dad.

These are my daily thoughts. Seriously. Sometimes all of this makes me feel like a crazy person. But then I think, of course not. All expecting mothers think these things. Right? Right?!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Our Trip to the Patch

Nothing like a fall day--crisp, foggy, smelling like burning woodstoves--to trek to the pumpkin patch. So that's what Ben and I did yesterday. He was very gracious in going with me and helping me pick out gourds, pumpkins and cornstalks. It did make us pretty excited to take our baby there one day.
A Christmas tree with pumpkin ornaments?

Hmmm, is this the one?



Found one!

Pumpkin for the baby!

Thanks for carrying my cornstalks!

Tiny apples

We had a fun time and got really good prices on everything.  It was a really cool farm where they had  a lot of activities such as hay rides, a pig show, a petting area, putt putt golf, U-pick vegetables and apples. Sure beats going to the grocery store to get our fall gourd items!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

31 & 32 Weeks

I am getting a little lazy in my weekly posts. I'm not sure why. I made the comment to Ben the other night that we are getting lazy in our picture taking as well.

BabyCenter estimates she is around 3.75 pounds and around 16.7 inches long. She is gaining about a 1/2 pound a week. Seems like a lot! It also says she has fingernails, toenails and hair and her skin in becoming soft and smooth while getting ready for birth.

With these past couple of weeks, the heartburn has really ramped up again. Despite my efforts in taking my Zantac and eating Tums in between Zantac doses, it still burns. I am going to try to find some Papaya enzymes this week as recommended by a couple people. I have also resorted to sleeping sitting up. Not uncomfortable but not really ideal. And I always seem to slide right back down during my sleep, bringing on the heartburn and waking me up.

I am definitely happy to get to the end of the work week. I am tired, achy and ready for a few days off, for sure. I understand that it is okay to rest when I get off work and that usually gets the sometimes crampiness to go away, my hips to stop aching, however it is still a hard transition. I am used to getting off work and getting things done. Not laying low. So I have been trying to transition into taking things a little slower, getting things done mostly on my days off, and trying to get to bed as early as I can because 4:15am comes early. I am not ready to stop working. I don't just want to sit around waiting for her to come but in the next couple of weeks I may be looking to give up some hours. Just trying to listen to my body. And the baby. Oh, Lord it's already starting.

On an appetite note, I have really been trying to make an effort at eating more frequently. It seems to help with me not feeling nauseous as often. The only thing that is hard about this is that nothing really sounds good to eat so it is hard to think of things every couple hours that I want to eat. But on days that I can I feel a whole lot better. I think I had my actual first craving yesterday where an actual food came to mind and I went to the store to get it. Artichokes. I wanted steamed artichokes. However, I didn't get them because I thought that it was seriously the biggest ripoff in the store. I mean I haven't bought them in a long time but $3.99/artichoke seemed a little ridiculous for these tiny heads that I would have scarfed down in a couple of minutes. Oh well, maybe next time.

She is moving a lot. They are bigger movements, which is fun. I am having a hard time identifying body parts so I am hoping they will help me out at my appointment this week. I don't think she is head down yet so I guess I will find that out as well.

My belly button looks more and more funny by the day. It is pretty much flush with the rest of my stomach as opposed to my usual innie. We will see how the next couple of weeks go and where the button decides to end up.

Within the next couple of weeks I think I am getting maternity pictures. I have a customer that expressed to me that she needs a new model. So we will see if she is asking for money or not {we haven't really discussed details} and decide whether we will do it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wise Words

I just can't get over on a daily basis how fascinating the blog world is. I mean, I'm not really a huge part of it, I don't always link up when I think about it, host guest bloggers, try to be a guest blogger, etc. Maybe someday I will be more driven in the sense of "getting my blog out there," but for now I am content with writing about my life, experiences, marriage and adventures. I get super excited when I get a comment and really excited when I have a new follower.

It really is amazing how I feel like I come to "know" these women whose blogs I read because of how personal they get and what they share about their lives. It is really fun to read words that ring so true to me because we are all in similar seasons of life.

I have been a fan of Little Miss Momma for awhile now and although I do think she is super woman, she likes to remind us all from time to time that she is not. She is a real momma who wears sweatpants a lot which usually have macaroni and cheese on them. {Her words, not mine.} So today, she guest blogged over at The Wiegands a really powerful post. I had read this post before on her blog but I just couldn't help reading it again. I think for a mommy-to-be this is a post that is very important to understand.

Another blog I follow, The Arizona Russums, follows a newlywed couple {well, married over a year now}  and their migration to the southwest while working and her in graduate school. Her post cracked me up up today because I had actually been thinking for a few days about writing a similar post. I totally related to what she was saying about her hair and it made me feel better about the daily conundrum I have with my locks.

I just started following a blog, Living Like the Kings, and Kat cracks me up daily and it is so fun catching up on her and her husband's journey as a couple and now delving into parenthood. This post {she was guest blogging on The Mommy Diaries} was hilarious and who knows, in the next year I may find myself in the same predicament!

As always, I find so much wisdom in the posts at the Blue Eyed Bride. She has two beautiful boys and seriously has given me so much insight into what being a mom and now what being a mom of two can be like. Obviously I am focusing on the one for now but I appreciate all of her writing.

One of the first blogs I ever started reading was Life After I "Dew." Honestly, I have never looked back. Shannon's real life writing and sarcasm keep me smiling a mile a minute. A similar blog is I Love You More Than Carrots with AP and C. These women know how to keep it real in the mommying department.

I do read a couple of other blogs like Bower Power and Young House Love which I love for different reasons than the ones mentioned above. However, I do like how these two work in their real life situations as well as all of their DIY projects.

My point being, I really love being able to sit at my computer for hours upon end half an hour and really soak in a lot of information on so many subjects that I am dealing with. The blog world is really amazing and I guess I just wanted to, along with telling you every blog in my reader {just kidding there are way more that I stalk}, hopefully get a big thank you out to these writers. Your blogs are amazing, I appreciate them and always look forward to more advice, insights, laughs and cute pictures of your kids...or houses...or hair. Basically whatever you're willing to share--I think it's awesome!

What are some of your favorite blogs? What wise words have you heard by reading your blog reel? What is the reason you blog or the reason you read blogs?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Baking Binge

I am very happy to report that I have gotten back into enjoying cooking. For a couple of months there, I just really didn't want to do it. I did. But wasn't really loving it like usual. I would get hungry but just really wanted someone else to prepare the food for me.

I am also happy to report that with the cooking has come baking. Maybe it's me getting into the nesting phase. We shall see.

First off, last week, I started with Chocolate-Buttermilk Brownies. I got this recipe out of my trusty standby:
I'll spare you the step-by-step directions because you can simply visit their website to see for yourself but here is what my pan looked like. I added pecans to the frosting which was delicious and I love nuts in my brownies. They also were a little more like a cake and in the cookbook it says that another name for the brownies has been known as a Texas sheet cake. Whatever you want to call it, we called it yummy.
Next up, I had never made anything with yeast. Or that needed to rise. I don't know why. For some reason, bread just sounds intimidating to me. I feel like if one little thing went wrong, I would get discouraged and give up. I know, right? Great attitude. 

Anyway, I was flipping through my Pioneer Woman cookbook and decided I would give her cinnamon rolls a try. The recipe says that it will make 40-50 rolls. Well, Ben and I don't really need that many cinnamon rolls and I didn't want to use all those ingredients if they weren't going to turn out. I mean, 9 cups of flour is a lot! So I decided to cut the recipe into a quarter. I know, it's kind of weird but I thought half even still sounded like a lot. 

I even wrote in the cookbook what the measurements would be so I wouldn't get mixed up. However, for some reason when I got to the flour I only cut it in half. So I heated the milk, oil and sugar like the recipe says. 

Then I added the yeast.

Then I added too much flour. And the mixture was really dry. However, I still didn't catch my mistake. So, I mixed it the best I could. And set it out to let it rise. I let it "rise" for about two hours. I came home and it looked exactly the same.

I was discouraged. My mom stopped by and looked at it. We couldn't figure it out. All of a sudden the light bulb went on and I remembered how much flour I put in. I started over. First two steps down, mixed in the flour, let it rise and the rest was history.

Oh yeah, I added pecans to these, too. We like pecans.

Frosting mixture.

Well, hello lovelies.

On goes the goodness.

These were so good. I am so happy they turned out because I would have been discouraged if they didn't. Now that I have made them and know what to do, I would up the batch next time. They also really aren't that time consuming. Just simple, sugary, buttery, cinnamon-y goodness. And the maple frosting is to die for. We enjoyed them all weekend. Go to the PW website and make these and I promise you will please anyone  you want with these babies.