Thursday, February 25, 2010

Burritos, Boobs, and Bundling Up

Well, there are three things I thought of blogging about tonight. Usually I would pick one and save the others for later, but then I never get back to them, and I thought "why not?" just do a post about all three things? So, here it is.

Burritos. I crave burritos. Or really any Mexican-type food able to be wrapped in an 8-inch flour tortilla and served with sour cream and a taco-type sauce. I need help. My poor husband has eaten every variation on this food theme that I can think of. Taco Bell (I think I only sent him out for this once this pregnancy), regular burritos with ground venison I seasoned with my own special blend of spices (I think we've had this three or four times already, don't judge), chicken enchiladas, chicken fajitas (another three or four times??), breakfast burritos for dinner (this was an act of desperation to be creative), and tonight I made my old standby, baked chicken burritos, again made with my special seasoning. I feel bad, but this is what I am really wanting to eat. For several weeks in my first trimester, this was the only thing that sounded remotely appetizing. But how many times can a man be expected to eat such food during the course of a pregnancy? As it is, we're on track to have such culinary fare about 60 times before Baby arrives. So, I need some new recipe suggestions. Anyone have one? Or 10???

Boobs. Miss is in the process of weaning. I thought I was very ready for this. I am ready for this. Mostly. She's ready for this, as you'll see below. I know it's the right time to start this process. The reason I bring this up today, is that today was the first day that Miss did not nurse during the day at all. See, she has been down to four nursing sessions per day for many months, first thing when she wakes up, late morning after her nap, mid afternoon after her second nap, and bed time. We dropped the afternoon nursing right when we got back from Hawaii. Today we dropped the late morning nursing. I got her up from her morning nap, changed her, and brought her downstairs to give her milk out of a sippy cup. She also had a cup of yogurt, which I helped her to spoon into her own mouth, for pete's sake (where did my little baby go?). Man, it's making me teary again to type it. "Why?" you might ask, considering that I'm still nursing her in the morning and at bed time. We're only halfway done with the weaning. The daytime nursing sessions weren't even my favorite ones. But they were different from the morning and bedtime nursing in that she was awake and kind of silly during them. She'd play with her toes, put her foot on my shoulder or sometimes in my face, look up at me and give me a big grin. The morning and bed time nursing times are just different, and now I don't have the daytime anymore, so I'm a little sad. And you know what? While I'm getting all sad and teary about it, she didn't even seem to notice anything was different! Which is actually a good thing I know, and confirms for me that this is the right time to make this change. So it's all good. To try to celebrate this milestone, I made her a smoothie for the second snack of the day.

She tried it.

Seemed to like it.

But then I think she got "brain freeze" and she wouldn't drink anymore!

Bundling up. If I were to get a grade for how well I have embraced winter since we moved back to a cold climate, it would be an "F." I just don't really love winter. I don't love cold. There are things I do like about winter, like a roaring fire and drinking hot chocolate. Watching Duke basketball. Christmas. The first few days of fresh beautiful snow that sticks to the trees and makes everything gorgeous outside. As long as I get to look at it from inside. You know, with the roaring fire and hot chocolate. Last winter I was enormously pregnant, and then Miss was definitely too little to go out in the snow when she arrived, so I was off the hook. This winter, I did not buy her a snow suit. She wasn't walking yet, and I did not think it would be fun for her to go out in the snow and crawl. I thought she was still too little.

But now she's walking. And in the past few days I've been thinking, "This is the only year she'll be little like this in the winter." It just didn't seem right to not let her experience the snow at least a little. Miss has a winter coat that I intentionally bought too big so I could fit lots of layers of clothing under it if necessary. But we still didn't have a snow suit or snow pants. I debated going and buying her a pair, but that just seemed so wasteful, since they surely won't fit her next year, and she probably wouldn't wear them more than a handful of times this year. Yet I was determined to get her in the snow and keep her warm and dry. And today was a beautiful, sunny, relatively warm day and I just decided to do it. So here is what I came up with to solve the no-snow-pants problem. Watch as the layers go on:

This sweater is layer #3 on top already.

Yes, those are plastic Target bags on her legs.

And a garbage bag to top it all off and provide a double layer of protection.
This is her, "Mom, seriously??" look.

And the "pants" in action. She wasn't very steady standing in the snow.

And she quickly ended up on her rear (this made a super cute butt print in the snow!)

She did okay for a while, and the pants worked perfectly.

Then things started to go downhill.


So we went back inside where she had tons of fun playing with all the stuff we had both been bundled up in.

And even though we had only been outside for about a minute and a half, I still made hot, hearty vegetable soup for us for lunch so we could "warm up." That's one of the other things I love about winter :)

A Momma in Need

I cannot imagine losing my husband. Ever. It chills me to my core to think about it. Yet this is just what happened to my friend Mandy's friend. This momma is 32 weeks pregnant, recently lost her job, and her husband was just murdered. I'm not usually one for pushing a cause, but this one got to me. I'll be sending some things to help. If you feel moved to do so, click here to see how you can help.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Okay, ready? Surprise!!

This is Baby, at about 13.5 weeks gestation. Baby is expected to make his or her appearance in mid to late August. We are so excited to be welcoming another little one into our family. Miss is going to be a big sis!!!!

The belly shot. This was taken on our lanai on Kaua'i of course, a few days before that ultrasound "photo."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Daddy. . .

. . . is a pretty funny guy.

. . . is a great way to get around.

. . . provides shade from the sun when hat and umbrella aren't cutting it.

. . . is a safe haven.

Monday, February 22, 2010

So what have I learned?

I know, Miss's birthday was last week. But I'm still in reflection mode. Thinking over the past year. Evaluating my choices and learning from mistakes. Being a mom is definitely a learning process. Over the past year I have learned so much about mothering and about myself as a mother. I know I certainly don't have all the right answers, but I am feeling pretty good about my process of learning what I think is right and what works for me as a mom, for Miss as a child, and for us as a family. So here are just a few of the many lessons I've learned:

1. I have learned to lighten up a bit. At first I was sooo worried about germs and dirt and well, everything, that I was stressing way too much and probably doing some silly things as a result. For example, when Miss was smaller and just learning to roll and sit up, I used to always put a clean quilt on the floor for her to play on. I was so worried she might get a dog hair on her! Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew that she would eventually be moving way beyond the borders of that quilt, and I would not be able to protect her forever from the perils of, *gasp*, the floor!!! But I couldn't help myself. Now, in all fairness, I think when she was so little that she couldn't lift her head very well, the blanket on the floor was a good thing. I just probably hung on to it much longer than necessary. Anyway, the point is that I have learned to loosen up and just enjoy watching her explore and play, even if she's playing with things I wouldn't choose for her to play with, like gross dog toys. I do have limits though. She isn't allowed to put the dog toys in her mouth, and I drew the line at hands in the toilet this morning :)

2. I have learned that Miss's most ticklish spots are her armpits and the backs of her chubby little thighs.

3. In spite of what I posted in #1, I have learned that saying "no," or some variant thereof, is appropriate and necessary at times. It's all about balance!!

4. I have learned that the most beautiful sounds in the world, hands down, come from my baby. Her laugh, her voice as she "talks," when she says "Mama" - music to my ears.

5. I have learned that nothing is more important than my family and being here to savor every moment with my daughter. The time flies by so fast, and that all those years I spent getting the degree that I'm not using too much these days, while still important, can be put to use later when my babies don't need me so much. Forensic psychology will wait. Growing babies will not. I won't ever regret not missing out on Miss's babyhood.

All that said, I haven't forgotten that I mentioned last week a surprise on the blog and another diaper giveaway. The surprise will be revealed in the next few days. The giveaway will be posted very soon. I'm still in the testing phase to write a review of the diaper. I have to try it overnight still!!! But I promise, that will be soon.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Let us eat cake. . . Or not

Miss's birthday party was yesterday. I think it was a big success. Lots of family traveled long distances to be there for her party and some good friends from nearby attended as well. Everyone seemed to have a good time. I know I did. Here are some photos:

This balloon is fun!!
"Happy Birthday to You!"
"Hmmm, I'm not too sure about this."
"Okay, I'll try it"
"It's all sticky. Get this stuff off my hands!"
"I'm done. Cake's not my thing."
"Whew, I really needed a drink of water!"
"Mmm-Mmm. I like ice cream though!!"
Time for presents!
"Wow! Look Mom!!!"
Family photo
We had such a wonderful day. It was my first real attempt at throwing a birthday party (getting beer and maybe some chips and dip for college roommates probably doesn't count). I think it went pretty well. Thank you so much to everyone who came to celebrate our Little Miss with us!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Year in Review - Happy Birthday Miss

I can't believe it has been a year already.
And yet at the same time, I can't believe she hasn't always been here.
The day my daughter was born she changed my life, and me, forever.
As I've watched her grow, I know I have never done anything more important or more fulfilling
than being her Mom.
I am so fortunate to have this beautiful, healthy girl to love every day.
Every minute with her is precious.
She has such an amazing little personality already, I cannot wait to see the girl and woman she grows into.
But at the same time, I want to freeze this moment and soak it all in and keep her here as my little baby.
Today I'm reflecting on this most joyous past year with my daughter.

Happy Birthday Miss. I love you more than I can say.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A family vacation

The trip to Kaua'i was a fantastic family vacation that I have such wonderful memories of. Even with an almost-12-month-old, we were able to do so much and see so many beautiful things. We took a hike in the gorgeous Waimea Canyon (above). We went to lots of beaches, as shown yesterday, sometimes to sit and relax and soak up some rays, sometimes to take a long walk along a beautiful shore. We saw crabs and sea urchins and lots and lots of chickens (there are wild chickens all over the island, apparently let loose by a hurricane in the early 1990s). We ate at many different restaurants and got to experience plenty of local culture in the mornings at the coffee shop where we often had breakfast and coffee.

The people on Kaua'i are so nice. Not just the locals, but other tourists too. We went one day to the Kilauea Lighthouse. Generally, we don't carry cash and just pay for things with a debit card. We were disappointed to find that the admission to the lighthouse had to be paid in cash only. Then the woman in front of us in line offered to pay our way so we could go in! I'm fairly certain she was another tourist, just helping out a fellow traveler. It was so kind and a great example of the kindness of strangers. The woman in the booth taking the admission money smiled and said, "That's Aloha!" What a happy place.

We also did quite a bit of shopping (mostly just looking). There are lots of small art galleries and we were able to purchase a piece of art done by a local artist. It's being shipped to us and I can't wait to get it and hang it on my wall as a memento of our trip. I'm happy to have taken lots of photos so that some day Miss can look at them and hear the stories of her first trip, and ours, to Hawaii.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


We went to many beaches during our vacation. All were absolutely beautiful. I thought Miss might enjoy trying out her new walking skills on the beach. She did not. There were two problems. The first was that she was scared of the waves. She clung to Ben for dear life when he held her near the ocean the first time we went to the beach. She got a little better about this, but never did let me put her down and dunk her toes in the water.

The second problem was the sand. Miss had an evolution in her relationship to the sand over the course of the vacation. The following photos illustrate this.

This is our first time on the beach (not Miss's first time ever, but the first time in many months). Here she is very unsure whether she likes this sand.

Definitely don't like it!!!

Several days and a few different beaches later, she's discovering that maybe sand isn't too bad.

The following day (last day of our trip) she discovered the joy of picking up handfuls of sand and pouring it on herself.

Yep, I definitely like this stuff!

Monday, February 15, 2010

One year ago. . .

Oh my, how quickly time flies. One year ago today was my due date with Miss. The day came and went without her arrival of course, but it was a fun day nonetheless and it's fun to reminisce about it now. Here is an excerpt from my pregnancy journal regarding this date last year:

"[Miss] didn't come by her due date! Yesterday was the 15th. Ben and I got dressed up and went out for a nice dinner. We didn't want to just sit around in the house wondering when our little girl will arrive. I realized that a woman is just not meant to wear pantyhose at 40 weeks pregnant! I couldn't get them on very easily while sitting down, so I tried to do it while standing up. I bent all the way over and managed to get my right foot in the hose, but then realized that in order to bend over that far I had to have my knees way apart and so my left foot was too far away to get it in the left side! I had to bend my knees and turn them way out while bringing my feet closer together and trying to keep my balance. Eventually I managed to get them on!"

I remember writing this entry on the 16th. Unfortunately on that day I had the stomach flu (I also wrote about this in my journal, but figured I'd spare you the details!) and I thought it might be the first signs of labor. Not so much. And though I'm sure the food we ate at the restaurant had nothing to do with the onset of my flu, I have no desire to go back to there to eat. Ever. It will forever be associated with vomit and just doesn't seem too appealing anymore!!

Here's a photo of me and my hubby before that dinner. This is the last photo of the two of us together before Miss's arrival.

I seriously cannot believe how large I was. Or that I chose to wear those shoes!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


We're home from our trip to sunny Kauai! It was marvelous. However, I must say Kauai is a very, very long ways from Wisconsin. As in about 10-hours-in-a-plane-with-a-12-month-old-long ways. I have to say, Miss did wonderfully handling the travel and the time change. But that doesn't mean it was easy. Each time she went to sleep on the plane, a total of 3 naps and one overnight sleep (yes, we flew all night to get home), she slept on my lap. This required me to slouch down as far as I could in a plane seat so that she could lie on my belly and/or chest and be on a good incline instead of straight up and down. So I practically straddled my legs and stretched them as far under the seats in front of me as I could. I had no support under my back, my butt fell asleep, and I nearly wet my pants at least once. I am so thankful that for the longer flights, between Phoenix and Lihue, both ways the flights were not full and we were able to have a full 3 seats instead of just the 2 we paid for to "spread out" a bit. The extra seat was critical to let Miss have some space to play during the daytime flight and to have more room to try to sleep during the nighttime flight. For the overnight flight, I stayed in the position described above for the first couple of hours, then I had to switch to lying on my back with my head on my hubby's lap and legs scrunched up to keep from hanging into the aisle. Then my knees started to ache from being bent so much for so long, so I had to switch back to my slouching position. Finally I resorted to placing a beach towel over the seat between my husband and me and lying Miss down to sleep on that. She seemed to like this best and really sprawled out, which left about 6 inches of seat at both her head and her feet for Ben and I to try to get comfy to sleep ourselves. Needless to say, he and I did not sleep Friday night. But at least Miss did. And she adjusted to the time change with no problem in Hawaii. She has had a little bit more difficulty with the switch back, but she's still doing very well.

Now, in having told you all this, I don't mean to sound in any way like I'm complaining. The trip was amazing and it was really worth the long travel time. I just get a small chuckle out of picturing our contortions in the plane so I wanted to share. Here are a few photos to show just how worth it the whole thing was.

This was taken on the beach that was within walking distance of our condo. It was a pretty steep and scary hike down to this beach, especially carrying a baby, so we only went this one time and chose other beaches the rest of the time, but I love this photo.

This is the complex where our condo was (you can see how the hike down to the beach would be steep!!)

The view from our lanai.

I will post more photos and tell a little more about the trip in upcoming posts. Also coming up, Miss's birthday is this week, I'll be doing another cloth diaper giveaway, and there will be a big surprise on this blog!!