Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Day One

Well here we are, day one of the official move! Eric took off before 5:00am this morning and is well on his way to the first stopping point.  Tonight it's Denver, which I understand is not exactly on the way.  But his older brother lives there, so it is worth the stop since they may not see each other for some time.  That leaves Henry and the mama here for the next two days, but I have a feeling the time is going to fly since there is still much to do.  It didn't start out as the best of days, but I hope that's not what the week will look like for us.  Henry woke up with enough attitude to cover all the toddlers on this half of town, and trailed .03 steps behind me all morning whining and being generally difficult.  Adorable.  I then had the sudden urge to check our online banking to find that the check I had deposited had gone to some strangers account.  I hope they weren't too attached, because it all got sorted out but it was certainly unwelcome stress.  As long as I'm complaining, my computer cord somehow got smashed and no longer works. Isn't that always how it goes, things get difficult the second you're on your own?  Well, the sun came out and our moods improved, thankfully, so here's to a better week.  I already feel bad for complaining over nothing, but it feels good to just throw the bad energy out there.  All better. 
I have started packing up our new carry on with some little surprises for Henry, though now that I think about it he will probably be exhausted and hopefully sleeping for much of the trip given the time of day we'll be flying.  Basically our trip starts at nap time and ends well past bedtime but with a confusing three hour time change. He's always handled it incredibly well and so I hope the same is true this time!
I always like to go to the dollar section of Target before a trip, because you can find simple little things to entertain on a long trip that don't take much space or money.  This time I picked up some tiny little Easter play dough that we can use on the tray table in front of us, stickers, special snacks, and I picked up a handful of new books at Barnes and Noble since the little bookworms birthday is just days away.  We should be set!  Two more days of family and preparations, and off we go for our next adventure.  Or I guess back to our old adventure?  Either way, it's a new chapter and it's coming fast.  Over the next few days you can find me wrestling with one of my 039238 bags to accommodate a large amount of extra stuff I found at the house. I'm an example of organization at it's finest, I tell ya. ;)

I apologize for boring you with no pictures to look at, but Eric has the camera on his drive and is hopefully taking a load of beautiful pictures! Just the shattered iPhone until Monday.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Chaos

I'm taking a few minutes to put my feet up and check in, at the end of what seems like one never ending day.  In reality, it's been a long week, but it's hard to tell the difference.  Honestly we are just trying to keep our heads above water here.  I'm starting to think that maybe it isn't just our last-minute style while moving that makes it so tough, (it sure doesn't help, though) but that maybe this rushed feeling is unavoidable when it comes to a big move.  We should be used to it by now, but, my goodness.  The reality is only just starting to sink in.  For days weeks we talked about this move, made lists of things that needed to be done, etc. but then one day it was just here and everything went from regular routine to the house in shambles and us spending our last night there with what felt like no warning at all.  We realized in bed one night that hey, it would be our last time sleeping in that house, and now we are moved into my mom's while we tie up loose ends at our place.  Our pod left yesterday, and we ended up needing to leave quite a few things behind that we had hoped would fit and come with us.  It's a little hard to say goodbye to big pieces that we wanted to keep and now know we'll have to buy again when we get there.  I don't love the feeling of heading there without the right things to make a place feel cozy and home-like (not to mention organized), but I suppose I always need the reminder that those aren't the most important things.  It will come together.  Being 12 weeks away from welcoming a new person into our lives makes me feel the pressure to have things settled and comfortable though, that's for sure.  Among all the days of packing, we are squeezing in some much needed days with family.  Today we had a little family get together for Henry's birthday  (next week! AH.), and took a little break from the chaos that is the house/move.  Tomorrow morning it's back to it with final packing, sorting, purging, goodwill runs, and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning.  I haven't had a chance yet to start getting nervous for Eric's drive north that starts on Tuesday and won't end until the wee hours of Sunday night, but that's next up.  Then, preparing for our flight up there, and the initial steps of settling before Eric gets there.  I'm filling up with both anxious nerves and excitement.  Fresh starts can be so frustrating, scary, thrilling, and refreshing all rolled together.
I haven't the slightest idea where my camera cord ended up in all the madness, but I'll do some searching tomorrow and share some photos soon.  I was a little bummed that we didn't get all the pictures I had hoped from Henry's little get together today, or of us before sending off our pod... but the memories are all there and stored away.
I'm off to enjoy the fireplace at my feet and the baby bounces in my ever-growing belly.  I welcome and am thankful for each movement, as it's been a quiet few days for the little girl.  I don't know if she's been resting a lot while growing, or if I've just not stopped to sit long enough to notice, but I've missed the movement.

So that's where we are, friends.  In the middle of pure busy-ness with no end in sight.  I sure hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  I'm hoping to sneak in a bit of exercise in the next few days and far fewer desserts.   It's tough to turn down a treat, but I think after these last few days I'm ready to just see fresh food again. Eek. Celebrations are wonderful but not so good for the leftover energy (lack of!)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Weekend Away

We escaped the chaos of packing and moving for a long weekend this past one, and went to visit my sisters a couple hours away in Des Moines.  My Mississippi family came to visit, and it was wonderful to have everyone together again.  It hasn't happened since last April, almost a full year ago, so we were overdue!  We stayed busy eating (always lots of eating with us, it seems), chasing after all the babes, and whatnot.  My sister did a maternity session for us before we took off, and I'm so thankful!  It was earlier in the pregnancy than we'd usually do them, so my belly is smaller, but we leave next week and didn't want to miss the opportunity to have her do them.
Now it's back to reality.  And reality is, our house is in shambles and we have only 4 days until every belonging is to be packed and loaded onto a pod/shipped.  Enter PANIC. I'm confident we will get it all done in time, but sometimes I think how nice it would be if we weren't such last-minute people!  I'm starting to feel some anxieties about leaving and starting the whole settling process all over again, but it comes with a fair bit of excitement too.  I'm anxious for things to be all set up at the new place, and just trying to remind myself of how much time that really takes.

Prepare for photo overload below!

My Dad, Stepmom, and all the grandbabies. 







Tuesday, March 12, 2013

On a Rainy Day...

Sometimes, a rainy day just feels really good and refreshing.  It can make home seem even cozier, and the change can feel so good.  But then there are those rainy days that feel downright gloomy, and for me this entire weekend felt just like that.  I think it was the mix of the snow on the ground with the rain falling, and the fact that we were over tired and watching our house empty out as we packed.  That combined with some sad news made for an odd feeling weekend, and I woke up Saturday morning thinking it was time for a little pick me up.  I am not a huge breakfast maker, and generally not a baker, either.  I always eat breakfast, but I go for simple things that I can shovel in quickly.  Just like Henry, I like my breakfast fast!  I like cooking a lot more than baking, so I'm not usually the type to bake for breakfast.  But Saturday's gloominess called for a treat.  I have been seeing biscuits all over my Pinterest feed (I follow some awesome people if they're posting biscuit after biscuit recipe!), and while baking biscuits from scratch never occurred to me, I found a recipe for blueberry biscuits from Pink Pistachio that looked totally doable and not so intimidating.  It was the easiest thing to throw together, honestly!  I think it took about 10 minutes total, and 20 minutes after that we were enjoying delicious blueberry biscuits that were not too sweet, and perfect for breakfast.  I'll be making them again, that's for sure.  They were the perfect way to brighten a gloomy morning.  Maybe I'm a breakfast maker and baker after all?

To make you'll need:
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg ( I substituted cinnamon because it sounded good and was at the front of my cupboard)
1 1/2 cup whipping cream
1 cup blueberries (or just eyeball however many you want!) 
*There are additional ingredients listed in the original recipe to make a blueberry compote to top the biscuits with.  I didn't make it, and just enjoyed them plain/with a little smart balance on them.  But the compote would be a delicious addition I'm sure! Let me know if you try!

The rest is simple.  Mix the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl, fold in the cream leaving the dough lumpy, and then fold in the berries.  Knead briefly on a floured surface.  Just enough to get it mixed together and into a square.  Cut into 12 segments (or however many you'd like depending on desired size).  Don't cut all the way through, leave them connected at the bottom.  Bake for 20 minutes until they are golden on top at 425.  

I love a recipe that is quick and easy, and doesn't have to be perfect.  I'm going to try this with strawberries this week.  Enjoy, we sure did!



Monday, March 11, 2013

25 Week Update

I meant to do a 24 week update, and then realized I'm 25 weeks so we'll do that instead!
I can tell that our little girl has grown a lot in there since my last update at 20 weeks.  I was just starting to really feel her then, and now we love to sit and watch the little thuds from my belly.  I love feeling them just a much, but seeing it jump is always so exciting, and I'm quickly reminded that there's actually a little person sitting right here with us.  We saw the midwife yesterday, our last appointment with them before we move and go back to the midwives I work for and adore.  All was well, with her heart rate in the 130's, my belly measuring right at 24 weeks, and we found that when Henry is with me and I'm just singing and chatting with him, my blood pressure stays low.  I don't have a real problem with blood pressure, but I always get nervous when it's being checked and so it is always higher at first.  Apparently not when I sing twinkle twinkle to my boy! So that will be the new plan.
I was happy to report that I haven't started swelling yet, but I'm worried it's going to come soon.  I retained a ridiculous amount of fluid with Henry, I honestly looked like a water balloon walking around waiting to pop.  Ask anyone who saw me at the end, it was shocking.  I'm holding out hope that it won't happen this time around, as my sister just delivered her second with no swelling this time after the same experience the first time.  But I know that it's very possible it will happen, and I'm just enjoying every single day swelling free!
Physically I feel great, other than this nasty cold I have.  Things definitely seem to feel different the second time, but that's expected I suppose.  My pelvis aches in ways it never did with Henry, but I cannot complain.  I've been exercising regularly and trying to spend a good bit of time stretching afterwards.  I need to get better about stretching on days that I am not at the gym!
Sleep goes back and forth, but I'm in one of the good phases right now.  I either sleep like a log like my usual self, or I have insomnia where I spend 2-3 hours awake each night after waking up to use the bathroom. That happened last time too, and I don't really mind being awake that much.  I don't love the extra exhaustion, but it's just part of the experience.
I have had no strong I-must-have-this-now cravings at all, but I've definitely leaned towards a few things and gone through phases with food.  At this point, I craved things far more with Henry, and this time I'm eating my regular diet.  I enjoyed doing the "Things I'm Into" posts last pregnancy, so I will start those again this week.  It's fun to look back and see what things I was gravitating towards at different stages.
Let's see, the only other thing I can think of that has changed in the last few weeks is my weight and wardrobe.  Squeezing into non maternity clothes is getting to be a big joke, and yet I still try occasionally.  Thankfully, I was able to do a little shopping for new maternity shirts last week and I hit the jackpot as far as deals went.  I'm really feeling so much better because non maternity shirts are a no-go now, unless they reach my thighs basically.  I still don't feel very big most days, but my pants tell me that I have in fact, grown.  I'm not sure if I'm just not remembering things correctly or what, but I feel smaller this time around, so in my head I can still button certain pairs of pants.  In reality, I cannot.  Eric laughs at me when my shirt pulls up and he sees my pants inches away from closing, fastened with a hair tie.  In my quest for new clothes, I skipped pants all together.  I wear the same couple pairs of maternity pants, or I just make do.  I think because with Henry I was working full time so there were a lot skirts being worn, dresses, etc.  Now none of that stuff works for me because I don't want to bother wearing a skirt and tights to sit at home or crawl on the library floor.  In a few weeks I'll be working again, so I will put the skirts and work pants to good use.  As much as I want to buy more clothes (it feels so good to be put together, and the new tops have really helped with that) I feel like there is no point because in 3 months I'll be done with them, likely forever.  With Henry buying clothes made great sense because I knew I'd use them again, and now I'm fairly sure I won't, so a little part of me would rather save money to buy better fitting clothes for my after-baby self.  Eek, that was a bit long winded for a chat about clothes.  But they can make a big difference in the way you feel when your body is changing so incredibly much.
Anyway, I feel like things pick up from here!  From 28 weeks on I felt quite large and like the end was really near, and I'm only 3 weeks away from that point! That's wild to me. It's flying by.  I imagine I'll have a growth spurt between now and then and my small-medium baby bump will jump to big.  We'll see!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Phones, Computers, and Being Present

I found a post floating on the internet last week.  I think it has been quickly making its way around, so maybe you've seen it too?  It was a letter to a mother (or rather, all of the mothers) on her iPhone.  Ringing any bells?  The tone of the letter immediately put a bad taste in my mouth, as it seemed a bit extreme for my taste.  Holy guilt trip.  But the message, is something I've given a lot of thought to recently.  I go back and forth on the whole topic of my phone, computer, and social media in front of Henry.  My personal opinion, is that it's important that Henry learns that I'm still with him and loving him completely even if I'm not on the floor playing 100% of the time.  After all, the house sadly needs to be cleaned, I have emails to check, things to look into, etc.  I don't want to feel guilty for doing those things because the vast majority of my time is still spent engaging with him, and I think it's healthy to feel confident in Mama's love even if I'm working on something near by.  However, it is so easy to bury my face in my phone when I feel like I need a break.  And honestly?  I'd like a short break quite often.  But Henry more than ever, cares what I think about the things he's doing and is constantly calling my name and looking at me for a reaction, an excited expression, and words of encouragement.  He spends what feels like hours each day excitedly shouting "Mommy too! Mommy too!" and I have become much more aware of the way he probably feels when he looks up expecting a big smile from me and instead sees me staring at my phone.  I'm not saying that I plan to put my phone away for the whole day, because like I said think it's okay that he sees me doing other things, and interacting with him at the same time.  But I think balance is key.  Because without a doubt, he is the very most important part of my day, and I don't want to allow myself to be distracted during times when he needs me to be present.  I keep reminding myself (and this may have been in the letter, I can't quite remember) that some day down the road, and it will come all too soon, Henry won't be looking to me for my opinions and reactions, my hugs when he does something silly or my cheering when he does something helpful.  The time really does go too quickly, and more than anything I want to be present during this stage.  To strike a balance, I do the majority of my computer work during nap and after bed, and when I need a quick break during the day, I try to hold off until he is busy working on something independently.  I'm far from perfect, and I know that some days it doesn't work the way  I want it to.  Some days I just need a few minutes to zone out, or I have more things than usual to take care of on my computer. Deep down I know he's fully confident in my love for him, and that we spend plenty of quality time together, but it's just a healthy reminder to myself to keep it in check a little more.

Like I said the letter itself was overboard for me, but the quote at the end struck a chord:
"May our eyes rest upon those we love, first and foremost, and may everything else fall away in the wonderful, noisy, sticky-fingered glory of it all."
For me, I'm trying to skip the guilt of the whole topic.  Rather, just to remember that as much as I enjoy checking in on facebook and twitter (and I know that's okay), that he is absolutely more important than any of it and as long as he knows that in his little heart of hearts, then we're okay.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Checking In

Eek!  I am so relieved to be back on here.  I have just made it out on the better end of some strange computer problems, and I'm thankful that I was able to fix it at home by some stroke of luck.  I am admittedly terrible with computers, they confuse the heck out of me, and I was so sad to see that I was having issues that would probably cost me a good bit if I took them in to get fixed.  I was moments away from loading Henry up to go have it done, when I tried a few random buttons and voila! Here I am.  It's a Wednesday miracle.
I've been missing for a few days, as I have been in Mississippi visiting my dad.  He played the lead role of Tevye in The Fiddler on the Roof, which is a role near and dear to his heart.  My oldest sister, her two oldest children, and I loaded up and drove the 14 hour drive on Saturday, stayed until Monday evening and then she and I stayed awake all night and made the drive back!  We were eager to beat the snow that was to hit Iowa, and equally eager to see our little boys that were home with the papas.  Henry did great while I was away, which I knew he would.  I did fine too!  I missed him by the end of the first day of course, but it's so much easier to leave when he's this age because I can talk to him on the phone, and I know that he is extremely happy going about his business with Daddy.   We had hoped for some nice hot weather, but the closest we got was one day of spring... we were happy to take it!  A day of sunshine and 70 degree weather has never felt so good!






1 & 2// Playing at the park for a few hours to enjoy the weather and stretch cramped road-trip legs.
3//My dad dressed as Tevye
4//Well... most people might bring a reasonable little gift home for their toddler after a trip.  My sister and I? We brought home tiny frogs.  Eric was less than impressed with that choice since he will be driving them to Alaska in three weeks.  I think we should say the pregnancy is using up the reasonable, smart part of my brain.
5//24 week baby girl... update on that this week!

Well I'm glad to be back, and hope you're all having a wonderful week!  We have an appointment with our midwife tomorrow which I'm looking forward to, and I'll be back this week with more to share!