Thursday, June 28, 2012

The day that kicked aces all over town.

So, the world knows we found out yesterday that our beautiful, growing baby is a little girl.

I just reread that sentences 7 times in complete awe of how amazingly blessed we are...

A baby girl.

The husband has dubbed me The Prophet; my gut instincts rarely, if ever, lead me astray. I don't let my mind get into things and eff it all up, knowwhatuhmean?

Before Gary deployed it was on my mind about finding out the sex of our wee human. I asked him, on two separate occasions, if he thought finding out the sex would help him feel more plugged into the pregnancy while he was away, since he's going to miss so much of the pregnancy and the birth. It wasn't something where I was trying to find a loophole to our not-finding-out plan so that we could give in; it was something genuine that I couldn't shake as what would end up being the right decision for us.

So, Wednesday was the morning of my 20 week ultrasound. I prayed (a lot!) and soul-searched about finding out the sex; not because it's some huge ordeal whether we found out or not. The end result of this pregnancy is absolutely perfect either way. But, because finding out Jake was a he when he was born was an amazing experience and I didn't want us to make an impulsive decision. And, I want to be everything to everyone so I don't want any family to give us crap (in a joking way I hope!) if we did decide to find out!

The ultrasound tech asks if we're finding out and I say that I'm not sure, and basically gave her all the background you guys just read. So, she says, "OK, how about I'll print out the sex-revealing picture and tape it and you guys can decide what to do?" Ummm, let me kiss you right on the mouth for how perfect you would end up making our day.

I drive home with the picture sitting on the passenger seat. Taunting me.

The plan was for Gary to call me when I'd be back from the appointment and we'd decide what to do. We made sure to remind each other that this was our decision. And, that very, very few people know what it's like to have your spouse miss out on your pregnancy. It's been harder than we realized to be apart during this time.

So, I said, "Well, it's sitting right here in front of me! Whatcha think?"

My stomach hit the floor when he said, "Let's do it!!"

She said they weren't allowed to write "girl" or "boy" on it. Hence the yoda-type reveal ;-)
And, for those who aren't sure how to look at this, the legs are open to the right, pacman-eating one of HER arms :-)

I whispered, "Oh my God"

Then, I yelled, "IT'S A GIRL!!!! I KNEW IT!!!!!!"

Such an unbelievable morale boost.

We sat in silence while we absorbed just how amazing this was. And, then we got all mushy and shit, but I doubt you guys are as interested in that part ;-)

We could not be happier that we did it. We didn't find out with J because Gary was here for that, but we found out now because he's away. I think both of those decisions were the best we could've made.

It's so weird because I feel even more plugged into the pregnancy now. Even though I KNEW our Littlest was a girl, confirming it was so, so amazing. And, to call her Baby Girl is incredible.

One of the best days ever.

We have a little girl xoxoxo

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

20 weeks!

Halfway there!!

BIG developments for me past few weeks! Besides the belly officially popping in my late 18th week, one morning I was getting in the shower and noticed some yellowish crusties on the nips, which I'm pretty positive were the beginnings of colostrum!!! I had the biggest wienie of a time getting my supply going with Jake his first month that I'd ADORE for it to go simply this time! I did end up meeting my goal of breastfeeding him for 13 months, but I'm all for anything being easier--I can be pretty lazy. I did read, from baby intel sites, that colostrum doesn't usually show up until toward the end, but actual women have been known to notice it much earlier. But, this coupled with boobie soreness (the only boob issues I had while pregnant with J was that, at first, my nips couldn't be in the shower water), I'm hoping thinking it may work out just swimmingly this time ;-)

Winna winna chicken dinna!


Please excuse the loose, dirty gaucho pants I hate to love. This was before I had changed into the skirt I was going to wear for the day :-)




<---20 weeks with Littlest
21 weeks with Jake------->
Overall, feeling so great and loving it! :-) This pregnancy hasn't felt much different than Jake's. Then, I felt fine, no complaints. Happy pregnant lady! But, this time? I feel good. Like, so good I forget I'm pregnant (which I still adore saying with the white-hot intensity of my entire uterus). I know I'm not carrying a sizable baby yet, but it's still worth mentioning that I feel notably light on my feet. I get minor back pain at night once in a blue moon, but nothing I'd complain about. I'm just really happy with how things are going :-) I feel strong and good and like I'm really absorbing how miraculous a time this is, as opposed to the surreality of my first-timer pregnancy with Jake. What has two thumbs and is a seriously happy people-maker? THIS GIRL.

How far along? 20 weeks

Weight Gain: No change since last appointment; still 1 lb gained....not complaining!

Maternity Clothes? Once in a while. I swim in most of my maternity clothes right now, but there are a couple outfits I have that don't make me look like a circus tent.

Stretch Marks? None new. (But, remember my advice about stretchies? GO GET ALBA! AMAZEBALLS!)

Sleep: Me and sleep are BFFs

Best moment of the week: Belly poppage! No more bloat! YAY for crossing one more thing off my quasi-early-pregnancy-awkwardness list!

Miss Anything? Sushi. RIGHT. NOW.

Movement? More and more everday! I actually got a full-on punch or kick one night that was so strong and obvious it surprised me! I'm able to feel our Littlest from the outside, too! Best feeling in the world :-)

Food Cravings? Peanut butter, Subway sandwiches, lobster, and the smell of garlic. I REALLY want to eventually satisfy that lobster craving. It's hardcore. Like, rip off my left arm and replace it with lobster so I can snack on the go. Fo Sho.

Food Aversions? Sweet potatoes and, occasionally, food in general

Sex: Trying to not find out this time either!! You guys know we're not finger-outers (we love hearing what we have when little baby becomes an outside human!), but it gets me all kid-on-Christmas-morning thinking I could just know...TOMORROW. 

Labor signs? Nope

Belly button, in or out? In

Wedding rings, on or off? On.

Looking forward to: This won't happen during the pregnancy, but I can't even say how much I look forward to the day I introduce Gary to his second child <3

Weekly Wisdom: Don't believe what they tell you; peeing 73 times a day is for the birds.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

It's a beautiful life.

I saw this quote recently, coupled with a picture of a screaming, crying toddler that read something to the effect of, "My child isn't giving me a hard time. My child is having a hard time"

Quote: Preacher, Me: Choir

I don't think anyone reads this blog and, necessarily, walks away with this thought, but, as difficult as transitioning to deployment-life can be, things aren't always "bad" here. I don't always cry. I just don't mind talking about the times I do. I'm not trying to pretend life is pretty all the time. But, it's pretty effin' perfect for us.

Is it a giant suckfest when J has the few, two-year-old moments where he looks at me and I can read the CNN-like scrolling dialogue in his head that goes something like, "Hey, mom. I'm about to tell you to suck it. So, get ahead and prep for that."? H-E double hockey sticks to the YES.

One does not simply overlook a moment like that.

But, this kid and I have something I feel just has to be rare. We have our World War III moments, but those are not even close to being the norm. And, we ALWAYS make up and move past it.

I get kisses every time I lay him down for nap, or down for the night, or when I drop him off for his once-a-week date with hourly care.

He hugs me if he, just as surprised as I am for the most part, hears spontaneous tears.

He hugs me randomly.

He searches for my praise when he writes "1,2,3" and "J" in sidewalk chalk in our backyard with his big, dimply smile.

He likes to make me laugh.

He shares his toys with me. Which we all know is code for, "I SERIOUSLY LOVE YOU, MAMA"

He has to sit on my lap, & recline onto my chest, when we read "Panda Bear, Panda Bear What Do You See?"

Life: it's not too shabby over here.



The two great, outside-my-belly loves of my life <3








Sunday, June 10, 2012

Transitions can suck it.

I planned for this. I prepared for this. 

I was kicked in the ladyparts by this.

I knew that once Gary deployed it was going to be a patience-thinning, sleep-losing, pain in my ascot extravaganza of crap until we figured out our new normal. Well, it has been. Jake has been going through a lot and I finally figured out that I was going through more than I realized which is why my patience seemed to run out earlier than usual.

Then, like Murphy's-Law clockwork, Jake decided to show me he was ready for his toddler bed. Another transition on top of everything else. Just imagine me Anchorman-dropkicking a small animal. That's how great it was...

Jake has always been very physically capable. His fine motor skills have always been on the side of kickass, which isn't always found in kids his size, & he resembles a cat in the way he almost always finds his feet regardless of the situation. Totes. So, I wasn't necessarily worried about him hurting himself once he, literally, started jumping out of his crib like he was a 16 year old delinquent hopping a fence. I just wanted him to have the opportunity to get back in there for some sleep.

Well, he's a big boy, in his big boy bed, and he adores it :-) Of course, there were the few days of roughly-napping and EARLY wake-ups, but we're over the ugliest of that hump. And, his room isn't even that destroyed in the mornings or after nap! Transition-crisis somewhat averted!

But, my favorite surprise has been Jake counting every.single.thing. He started doing this a while ago now, but he counts to 15 backward & forward and it, honestly, surprises me how quickly he can go between the two. He even goes back if he happens to have forgotten a number. I didn't even know he knew past 10! He's so proud of himself and I LOVE hearing him do it. He loves finding numbers on aisles, on the clock, and even counts the letters of his name after he spells his name. I wish Gary were here to hear him doing all these things with so much confidence & enthusiasm. Growing up boy!

But, as good as it feels to be in the second trimester, the transition of doing this parenting thang solo is sooo tiring! I am just wiped by the end of the day! The only reprieve is that the boy likes me again. Which kind of rocks since him hating me made me want to poke holes in a box and ship him to his grandmama. Thankfully, as things have gotten better so have my energy levels! And, I've been working out 5 days a week to stay healthy for our beautiful, little player-to-be-named-later, but it has proven invaluable to get those endorphins during the trying times. 

Since we seem to be finding our new, I've began focusing on things that will help to pass the time and keep my hands from becoming idle.

I have 2 giant poster boards waiting to be drawn on like I drew this Tweety for Jake the month before he was born. I'm trying to do things exactly the same for this tiny person as I did for Jake, but I'm unsure of what to draw this time around! I s'pose I have a little time to decide ;-)


I wasn't introduced to the making of fleece blankets until after Jake was born, but I went ahead and got this one done for Littlest because, I assume, I probably won't be drowning in oodles of time once I have two wee babes and the husband isn't home yet!

I wanted sooo badly to make this blanket girl-themed! I SWEAR I have a little girl in my belly, but we've got 22ish weeks until I can start personalizing stuff!



I saw this on Pinterest and could not force myself to resist making it! I bought the materials and the next day it was done. Of course, it's to support the husband, and all the other troops, but isn't it too cute!? I adore it and I love that feeling I get from making stuff :-)

I have MANY more home-d├ęcor-projects planned in my near future (even going to make ice cream!), but can we talk about these--->

(I, preemptively, ask for your forgiveness. I feel Helen Keller would take better photos than me lately...)



GLADIATORS!!!!

When I bought some maternity clothes a few weeks back, I would have harbored major sadface emoticons if I had passed those up! I've wanted Gladiators since last summer and I ADORE them! I wore them with this super cute maternity outfit. I looked completely ridiculous in the maternity outfit, since I'm still not quite there yet (of course, that could change by tomorrow morning! ;-)), but the Gladiators I wore with the ensemble made me totally not even care!

And, guys, can I just share one last thing? I made my first loaf of bread!




It's a cute, baby of a thing, but it was bore out of necessity. Ya see....my brother, Patrick, came across French Toast Pancakes (recipe here) and hinted, as subtly as an iron to the cranium, that he wouldn't hate if I made them. But, I didn't have heavy enough bread, so I decided to make some that I could slice however thickly I needed them and BAM. BREAD.

It's the first time I've used my breadmaker (that I got for $15 off campbellyardsales.com!!) and I.AM.HOOKED. The house smells amazing and now there will be something new I get to make in the mornin' :-)


It's totally all about the little things! :-)


Friday, June 8, 2012

Foodie Friday!

We're coming out of, what seems to be, the end of transition pain-in-my-assness (more on that next week), but, in the meantime, I've been keeping busy because creating, in one way or another, has always kept me sane. Among some of the new things I've made are some DE-LISH dishes that have been humongo hits up in here!

First up-- Lasagna Buns (find the recipe here here)
If you don't already, 'like' $5 Dinner on Fbeezy; that's where I got this recipe. It is too cheap to make and my brother (who's hanging out with us for the summer between his sophomore and junior years of college) raved about it! Our little man, Jake, highly enjoyed it, too :-)

First, make the sauce. And, if you can, let it simmer for about an hour; that's when the flavors really marry (<----check me out! Stayin' classy...Ron Burgundy?) and the sauce is so much better. And, you guys? NEVER buy premade sauce again! To make this sauce it cost me $1.68!


Homemade ricotta! Tastes EXACTLY like the real stuff! Unless I missed it on her recipe, which is totally possible when cooking around a 2 year old who NEEDS you to count with him because it's more fun as a pair, you just gotta find your own consistency. I used 3/4ish of a cup of sour cream, and for the spices I used oregano, salt, and fresh ground pepper.


Add your browned ground beef to the sauce, which had simmered about an hour.


I bought already-split sandwich rolls, so I didn't hollow them out like she suggests because I felt they'd become too flimsy once the really saturated ingredients were layered on top.


Replace the top bun and bake for this magnificence---->


I feel like John Stamos said this because, one day, this meal would exist....
Have mercy

You want this on your taste buds, fo' sho.

And, this is just an obligatory cute picture of my Biggest because he's starting to like me again (pretty sure he thinks *I'm* the one who sent Daddy overseas. And, homeboy was pissed) so I thought I'd capture this moment in time in case it was fleeting....


Cake Batter Pancakes!
Hayoo!!

I'm really appreciative that my 2nd brotha is out here keeping us company this summer and one of the ways I tend to show people my appreciation and care is by cooking for them. Doesn't hurt to be my friend ;-)

So, I made these pancakes because there's not going to be a birthday in this house for a wee bit and my brainlogic couldn't handle making a random cake. This way it's, at least, justified!



Before making the batter, I needed to make the cake mix. This is the recipe I use for from-scratch cake (only combine the dry ingredients and omit the shortening). Since you only use a small bit of the cake mix, I put the rest in mason jars where it'll be used over time for these pancakes! Guess I'll just have to make these again. Couldn't be wasteful, dontchaknow....


I had to work on the glaze. Not sure if it was an altitude issue or what, but I needed to add a lot more milk to get to this consistency.

& we only had Valentines sprinkles, but nobody seemed to mind!




My apparent-food critic brother said they were sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. If anything, they're pretty!



Like I said, I've been keeping the hands busy so my eyeballs have been glued to Pinterest, which is where I found this mask. I did it yesterday and my hair is uber soft! I swear to Lady Gaga that my hair has doubled since I've began making a small human and applying this felt like it was being licked on by kittens. It rinsed easily and my hair is bombdotcom.


Ok, kids, have a great weekend!