Monday, October 29, 2012

fingers crossed this was my last appointment!

i had my 38 (1/2) week appointment today. i am getting a little tired of the 3 hour appointments and am very hopeful that this will be my last one. i have one scheduled the day before my due date, so i will probably not be that lucky, but i am banking on joel being at home for the next one, so at least i can sit there alone for a few hours.

bella was very well behaved, until we walked in the house, and then she lost her mind and started kicking the door, screaming for shredded cheese. which, of course, we ran out of last night. so, that was fun.

she spent about 5 minutes in her room, the whole time screaming, "i want me baby sister!!! i want my baby sister!!" it left me a little confused. but she is better now, and has also been informed that baby sister is not going to help her.

as for the appointment:

cora seems to be doing well, and measuring around 8 pounds. the doctor asked, "how big was your first? because this one is going to be pretty big". yay. that sounds fantastic. she said it's either that or my due date is miscalculated, which i am hoping is the real case and we see a baby in the next little bit!

she was bouncing around like a jumping bean during the ctg (heart rate monitoring), so i was hooked up for 45 minutes. as inconvenient as that was, it was a bit reassuring, since she isn't moving nearly as much as i remember bella moving. her movements are very intentional and mostly feel like she is stretching out her entire body, rather than spastic somersaults, like bella used to do.

i am 2 cm dilated, which is better than 0, but means little to me, since i walked around at 2 cm with bella for 2 weeks and then was induced.

total weight gain: 12 pounds. up about a pound from my last appointment, 2 weeks ago. as i was typing this, bella took my pretzel stick and asked, "momma, can i have this please?" i had just taken a bite out of it and sat it down, then reached for it only to find she had it. so maybe that's the reason for the little weight gain.....

cravings lately: ice. lots and lots of ice. i had read a while ago that ice cravings were linked to iron deficiency, but didn't think anything of it until the dr told me my iron was low today. so, that makes sense. and also explains why i am SO tired.

i've been having some contractions, but nothing really regular. just very uncomfortable.

once halloween passes, cora can come any time, but i am really hoping to be able to take bella around this year. her costume is most likely going to be her coat and some sweatpants over her cheer leading costume, because there is still snow on the ground and the forecast for that night is something like, 30 with a chance of rain. but i am really excited about it! living on base, there is a lot going on, so i think it's going to be pretty fantastic. the plan is to have some of her little friends over for dinner then get bundled up and go around until they are pooped.

and then we come home and i will eat all the candy put her candy in a small jar and eat hide the rest.

we also had some pictures done last week by my amazing friend. she is seriously the most creative and talented person i have met in real life. i fancy myself a bit of a crafter, and she puts me to shame. leaps and bounds.

bella was not cooperating and duke was constantly sitting backwards, so i was really impressed with the shots she got.

this one might be my most favorite of all. 

here is the link to all the pictures:
the password is Duke.

i have big plans to wallpaper the house with the pictures she took as soon as i win the lottery figure out which ones i want! and i am hoping she will sign up to be my official photographer and will follow my children all over the place taking pictures of them.

that's all for now. my big belly needs to rest.

it's the little things about the little ones

i was catching up on my facecrackbook this morning when i saw someone post about getting a beaba babycook in 220v so she could use it over here.

(if you aren't familiar with the babycook, you do not cook your baby with it. i kid. it's a little steamer/food processor that you use to make baby food)

it gave me that little giddiness i get whenever i think about bella as an infant.

some days, this toddler thing makes me feel like i am losing my mind. her will is definitely stronger than mine most days, and there are moments i wonder if i will survive it.

but i digress.

infancy and babyhood was my bag, baby. i felt so perfectly where i was supposed to be. it was like i was born to have little bitty babies who couldn't talk back or sass.

i cloth diapered. i nursed like a pro (after that first 6 weeks of sandpapery torture). and i made all of bella's baby food. we had moments of "what the heck am i doing", but for the most part it seemed so natural to have a wee one. again-no back talking and sassing. it really makes all the difference that they lack the ability to talk or the desire to run away from you.

i've said before, i am excited to nurse again. i never thought i would be that mom. before i was pregnant i knew one mom who nursed. ONE. she raved about it. and i thought it was weird. not me. nope. no way. yucks. it didn't bother me that she did it. i just wouldn't be whipping out a boob for a baby to use as a pacifier. but after everything we went through to get pregnant, and all the research i did about nursing, i was determined it would be my future. (that's all i will say about that. i support feeding babies. formula or breast milk, just do it.)

cloth diapering we will do again, because for a full 2 years, it was great. there were minor set backs that we worked through, but for the most part it worked for us, until we stopped to potty train, then moved across the globe and kind of gave it up for the ease of transport of disposables. they are now newly stripped and awaiting a little baby bottom.

but baby food making-that's something we never stopped. it has just taken many different forms over the years. nutrition has always been pretty important for joel and me. i believe that proper nutrition starts from birth (actually, from conception, since the baby gets so much in the uterus. ) i decided on a no sugar diet, and wanted it to be as unprocessed as possible. which meant, i made just about everything i could.

it was incredibly rewarding. and when i read the girls post this morning, i had this flooded memory of making food for bella and how much i enjoyed it. i've been stocking up on some organic baby cook books and recompiling the old recipes i used for bella in the last few months, and while we still have a good 7 months before baby food will be on our radar again, i am excited all over again for making baby food.

bella always had such a fantastic appetite, and ate with such gusto, i often felt like wolfgang puck in a homeless shelter. seriously, she ate as though each meal was the best meal she had ever had. i love me some little appreciative babies.

now, most of the time, she acts like i am trying to poison her, but again, that is one of those "toddler will" things-once she tastes what the momma is cooking, she returns to her old self and gobbles it down. my girl has a great appreciation for food. i'm hoping little cora is the same way.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

almost there and some nursery pics

17 days left.

the reality of that is a little bit like a smack in the head.

when people ask if we are ready, my answer is two-fold. am i ready with all the things-yes. i was ready 3 years ago when i bought it all the first time around. we have made maybe 3 purchases for this baby-typical second baby routine, i guess. and am i ready to be not huge and uncomfortable and running into things? absolutely yes.

if you've seen "what to expect when you're expecting", you have met me. i am the blond character, played by elizabeth banks. you know, effie wait....

every uncomfortable, inconvenient side effect of pregnancy that exists, happens to me. i especially identify with that part in the movie where she is speaking to the group of women at the expo, and she says to her husband, "gar-bear, i'm sorry, all i want to do is punch you in the face....."

i so get that. don't get it twisted. i love mah man. he is an awesome father, a great provider, and a pretty rocking computer nerd, which means, i always have awesome technology things going on that i don't have to think about, and let's be honest-i don't do computer thinky things very well.

but i have that hormonal ragey thing down pat. it's pretty irrational. and i hate to admit it. i usually have pretty good control over my emotions. i am not a big crier, or a big screamer. i rarely lose my temper with people, even my tiny terrorist of a child. and i generally would say i am a "glass is half full", kind a gal. or at the very least, i'm a "the glass is there, regardless of it's fullness or emptiness" kind a gal.

but something about pregnancy makes me lose my stuff a bit.

but i digress.

the second part of "am i ready", the part about having two girls, two daughters? nope. i am not ready for that. not in the slightest.

i don't get girls too much. they kind of scare me a little bit. and to have two, well, i am a little afraid for my sanity. whenever bella plays with other little girls, there is lots of screaming and fighting and pouting happening. that being my reality? does not excite me.

i know, toddlers scream regardless of gender, but girls screams are just so....high pitched.....and constant. oh, and the severity of their drama. please. someone hold me.

i am really holding tight to the dream that "your kids will be polar opposites" and praying that we go the opposite way, as in LESS dramatic, and not more so.

all that said, i am really excited for cora to arrive. i love snuggly little newborns, and i cant wait to see some of the cute little outfits i've been washing, on her. and oh tiny babies. i can't wait to nurse again (although, i know i will miss having my body as my own) and i love how bella loves babies.

here are some updated shots of the nursery, it's not quite done, because i am waiting on some matte board to come in for the pictures, and i need to find some more embroidery hoops. it's not like i can just run out to hobby lobby, so i am being forced to be a little more resourceful.

waiting on some more hoops to finish up

waiting on a hot glue gun.....

and the letter "o"

waiting on some matte board to use in the frames (that blue bird will not be in there) 

waiting for a baby, to fill these cute clothes! (this will be her hospital outfit)

sweet little elephants my dear friend made. these will fill the frames once the matte board arrives.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

freezer meals, aka dinner time cruise control

with this pregnancy coming to an end, i have been logging some serious pinterest time hours trying to find some fantastic meals i can freeze and forget.

what this translates to is, i'm tired of cooking and doing pretty much anything and really want to enter that lazy "fat lady" zone without my family suffering too much. i already can't bend over to clean up after bella, which means the whole house looks like toys r us and a grocery store had a baby and then blew it up.  so i am hoping a little thought and preparedness will allow me to put dinner on cruise control for a bit.

pinterest is failing me. epically.

the last 4-5 "freezer meal" plans i have tried have been seriously lacking in all ways. for one-there are always too many ingredients. i kind of zone out after 5 or 6. and if i have never heard of an ingredient it, there is a slim chance i will find it in the commissary. but also, they very seldom taste like something i can tolerate, let alone convince bella to eat.

so i am on a mission. i've started doing my own versions of freezer meals. mostly crockpot cooking freezer meals.

here are a few tried and true that are both toddler and husband friendly!

white bean chicken chili

  • 1 lb chicken, cubed (you can use precooked to make this even easier)
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or you can use 2 14 oz cans chicken broth)
  • 2 (14oz) cans white beans
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • in a skillet, saute chicken over medium-high heat, with olive oil garlic powder and salt (if you are using precooked chicken, you can skip this step, and add salt and garlic powder to the chicken when you put it in the bag)
  • add chicken plus next 6 ingredients (up to sour cream) to freezer bag, and freeze.
cooking directions:
  • thaw* and put contents of bag into slow cooker.
  • cover and cook on HIGH 1 1/2 hours
  • turn off cooker and add sour cream and evaporated milk. stir well. serve over corn bread or rice.
(this recipe has been a favorite of ours for years. it's so yummy.)

bourbon chicken

  • 1 lb chicken breast or tenderloin
  • 2 tbs minced onion
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3/8 cu bourbon (or vanilla extract)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • add all ingredients to freezer bag and freeze
cooking directions:
  • thaw* and place in a baking pan.
  • preheat oven to 325.
  • cover and bake 1 1/2 hours
 crock pot burritos
  • 2-3 lb london broil or top round roast
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 (8 oz) cans of tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • add all ingredients to freezer bag and freeze
cooking directions:
  • thaw*
  • dump into slow cooker.
  • cook on high 4-5 hours or low 6+ hours.
serve with everything you need to make a burrito. 

carolina bbq
  • 3 lb pork butt or shoulder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp worcestershire 
  • add all ingredients to freezer bag and freeze
cooking directions:
  • thaw*
  • dump into crock pot.
  • cook on high 6-7 hours, low 8-9 hours
  • shred pork with a fork

*i mention thawing in each post. apparently you don't have to thaw these freezer meals for them to cook just fine, but i find that they fit better in the crock pot AND it makes me feel a little better about the cook time. so, i just pull them out the night before and they are all ready in the morning.

so, that's what we have tried thus far. i have no pictures, because, well, i have none. i don't generally make a habit of taking pictures of my food, as i am too busy stuffing it in my face.

i'll try to add some more soon.

you are welcome.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

the most obnoxious thing on tv

can we talk for a minute about something on tv that is really annoying?

no, i'm not talking about the debates.

what even is this hot mess? we have avoided it like the plague for almost 3 years.

until today.

bella got to choose something to watch on tv for a bit, so i could clean up last nights dishes. 

big mistake. i'm thinking the creator was on some serious drugs when he thought this one up. i'm not so sure he is off of might be the most obnoxious thing i have ever seen.

i let her watch it, only because it allowed me to be super productive, but i may need to learn how to block it for the sake of my sanity.

first of all, what is this??

i mean.....seriously.

second of all, i get the appeal for toddlers-boogers, farts, sticking weird things in their mouth and yo, gabba gabba (is that the correct punctuation? what is a gabba gabba?) all sound like really awesome things. but i'm not really keen on teaching her to pick boogers or laugh at farts. just because my almost 3 year old thinks it's a good idea does not, in fact, mean that it is a good idea.

after semi-listening/watching one episode with her, i am slightly fearful of her developing add, or maybe having a seizure. it skips around so quickly from one thing to another. again, it holds a toddlers attention. but a shortened attention span that jumps from one thought to another is not exactly what i want to instill in her. you know, like for when she is trying to do anything in life that requires an attention span longer than 30 seconds. which is everything.

and really? grown men in weird costumes, singing to children about their tummies and sillies creeps me out. it's right up there with ice cream men in white vans with no windows and strangers offering my kid candy. there is just something not quite right about it.

i'm just saying.

for now, i will let it go. i think if i make a big deal about it, she will just want to watch it more. but it is going the same road as sponge bob- "that one is broken". i know. lying is bad. but i'm not really lying. that is one broke show.

save me, "super why!"

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

36 weeks

i am a bit behind on this one, but i was waiting for my appointment today to post. at this point i am 3 1/2 weeks from my due date, which is mind boggling. this pregnancy has gone pretty fast, even though it has been a bit more of a struggle than the last one.

i mentioned before about trouble breathing and dizziness, so this morning i had an ekg to make sure everything was a-ok. and it is. and my blood pressure is back to normal. i still have a bit of trouble with the faintness, but i am going to chock that high bp up to having a long dr.'s appointment with a rambunctious toddler in tow. i've never had high bp, even during pregnancy, and that was a one time thing, and hopefully it will stay that way.

my nst was perfect, cora is perfect, and there is no progress towards labor, so that's all good news. i've gained 3 more pounds since my last appointment, for a total weight gain of 12 pounds. if i gain a pound a week til the end of this pregnancy, i will hit 15 pounds which makes me kind of happy.

i FINALLY got the nursery cleared out and (sadly) departed with my beloved papasan chair. i got all the clothes washed and put away (it seriously looks like i robbed a gymboree.....), got the crib all set up, the glider put in place and the dresser mostly cleared off. all that is left is to decorate, which is the fun part!

we have bought nothing for this baby. pretty much. i did have 2 showers where my gracious friends so generously indulged me in things that are all soft and fuzzy and new, we are reusing almost everything from bella and have found that we simply need less than we thought we did as first time parents. we sold some of bella's things that were "must haves" that turned into "no one really needs this". funny how that works.

so now, all that's left is to have a baby!

Monday, October 8, 2012

writing on the walls

we had our first "incident" with wall writing this weekend. i honestly can't believe it took her this long to put pen to wall.

i was pretty sick. like, up all night, "morning sickness" sick. so i was sleeping.

joel was home. i'm not sure if daddy's just don't register on toddlers radar as competent adult figures who are capable of retrieving appropriate drawing things, or what.

when i was feeling better, and noticed the crime, i confronted her.

me: "bella, why did you write on the wall!?"

bella: "aww, i real sowwy i drawed on the wall mommy, bup, 
i wanted to draw and i couldn't ask you for paper." {super sad pouty face} 

ahhh. it's my fault. that makes sense. 

so, i explain to her why we don't write on walls. because, you know, that makes more work for mommy, and mommy is not into more work. 

speaking of more work for mommy, we have this strange sense of wanting to teach bella about consequences. which means i get to sit in the hallway with her while she scrubs the wall with a magic eraser. for an hour. 

the theory of teaching your children about having to be responsible for their actions is theory. 

in practice? it takes a really, really long time. and a lot of patience. 

and also? a camera. 

who has this much fun cleaning? wipe that silly smile off your face, this second, young lady. but wait until after i take your picture......

and finally? you go buy a gallon of paint for the hallway, because after bella tried, mommy tried and daddy tried, the pen still didn't come off. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

oh, woe is me.

i'm not one of those ladies who enjoys pregnancy.

i'll come right out and say it: with the exception of the outcome, i hate it.

i love babies. i want lots of kids (by lots i mean, give me 6 months to see how 2 goes, but i probably want more, after i forget what pregnancy is like). and i am SUPER grateful that i even possess the ability to conceive and carry a child.

but this 40 weeks of torture is just not my bag, baby.

i spend about the first 18-20 weeks sick. don't say/cook/think/look like any meat product, or i might ralph on your face.

in both pregnancies, weeks 18ish-30 have included moving across the globe-so i can't truly speak to the miserableness of pregnancy in that time frame. but let's just say that if i get pregnant in 3 years, someone shoot me.

finally, the downward slide from 30-40 weeks for me include a return of morning sickness, heartburn that won't quit, the inability to breathe and eat, RBS (restless body syndrome-totes made that up), combated by an overall sense of "someone hand me a pillow, i will sleep right here, thankyouverymuch."


and all those doctors visits? every 2 weeks i feel like an animal. i miss my appointments in the states, quite honestly. the novelty of having an ultrasound every appointment went out the window when i also have 3.5 hours of poking and prodding and listening and feeling to get through. with a toddler in tow.

so all that complaining aside-today i had an appointment. i will be 35 weeks on friday, so the misery is almost over. glory be.

i lost weight. am showing no signs of pre-term delivery. but my blood pressure is kind of high, and that whole "i can't breathe" thing is leading me to a date with an ekg machine. boo-hiss. i'm sure it's because there is zero room left for lungs what with a baby in there and all, but the doctor didn't think it was very funny. and i've been given magnesium, for the restlessness that keeps me up all night.

the trouble is, i get very little feedback at my appointments, and it's mostly the doctor talking to the nurse in german. i'm all, "wait, what was that?" and they're all, "oh, you're fine". but i definitely heard "pre-eclampsia" and "high blood pressure" which scare the pants off of me.

my hospital doesn't have a NICU, which means if there are any baby complications, she will be sent to another hospital, while i hang out in this one for 4 days. that kind of ruins all my plans, man. so, i will be praying for nothing to go wrong, am cutting out red meat and anything else that spikes blood pressure, and maybe i will start drinking red wine.....that lowers BP, right???

seriously, i'm pretty sure everything is a-ok, because no one sent me home with any instructions, per se.

the good news is, the baby is steady freddy, and i am still wearing normal clothes (pants mostly, and about 75% of my shirts) which rocks my socks off, because maternity clothes kind of cramp my style. which is to say, i am just too cheap to buy clothes i will wear for 2 months, and then by the time i am on the next kid will be unfortunately dated. but i am enjoying wearing leggings like, 24/7. and lately will put on anything that is clean, or at least doesn't stand on its own.

i couldn't help myself. 
by the way?? it's october!!!!! that is one thing i am not complaining about. the weather is fan-freaking-tastic, and it's finally fall!