Monday, March 29, 2010

Guess We Need to Go to Bend

OJ and I have been friends since college. We've taken many road trips from Winthrop here and here to most recently Bainbridge Island. She was there with me the weekend I met my biological father in college, the day my Mom's ALS diagnosis was confirmed and most recently when she found out I was pregnant, she had to pull over because she broke down in tears. There is NO ONE like OJ and I do love her.

I was busy cleaning out the spare room on Saturday and kept getting hung up reminiscing over pictures, cards and other keepsakes. Check out this little diddy OJ wrote to me during our New Testament class we actually took the summer AFTER we graduated. She has never been the greatest speller (although in time she did get my name right), and I've always been known to correct her (as you'll see below). But, that girl has always made me laugh and is truly a friend who is there whenever I've really needed her. She'd drop everything in a second to be there for me and I deeply cherish that about her. She's taught me a lot about friendship.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Nursery Purchase: Part One

I've slowly (and I do mean, SLOWLY) cleaning out the spare room that will one day soon be Baby D's nursery. I'm trying to move things out and GET RID of things along the way too. If we don't love it or use it - it's out. I've accumulated a load of items for Goodwill. A large box filled with picture frames which my Grandma Jo will just love. A bagful of CDs for Aunt Sue. Plus, I have Hummel plates that belonged to my Grandmother that I've never got around to hanging, which I will ship to a cousin that never got any of her things. This feels really good.

 [I do have my weaknesses! I'm stuck on things like my Mom's Barbie in its original box, her wedding dress and tiny little porcelain horses that belonged to my Great Grandmother. I'm far from a hoarder, but some things are just too hard to part with!]

I'd imagined myself getting most of the furniture for the nursery from Craig's List - that is until I keep seeing all these safety recalls. I know myself well enough to know I'd worry more than I'd relish in the savings. Plus, I've learned it isn't the crib that's expensive, it is the mattress. Something I'd end up purchasing new anyway.

Marcie was over last night and we found the exact crib on-line I've been wanting and for a great price - ordered a mattress too. All that with a rebate and free shipping. Take that Craig's List! It is a white Jenny Lind and I just LOVE it! It felt so great to get something to get Baby's room started. Wow, the fact that a baby is on the way is beginning to feel more real every day.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Building a Person

I love my new friend, Kiersten. She does crack me up. Here is the latest message from Ms. K.

Kiersten Sheppard March 25 at 1:18am
hey! hows building a person going?
I bet you're pretty exhausted...I heard the eyelashes are the hardest part....keep up the good work mama!
I bet you will build a beautiful baby :)
Do you know if it's a boy or girl? Any name ideas?
and I suppose I will have to make a trip to see it at some point...maybe after you get it out and wipe all the stuff off it...

Cottage Mashed Potatoes


My mother-in-law found this recipe some time ago and tends to make them on a special family get-togethers. These put regular mashed potatoes to shame. I'm not a gravy person anyway, so these potatoes are just my style. Scrumptious on their own.

They are sooo good and have been another pregnancy craving of mine. I asked Francie for the recipe a bit ago and finally plan to make them this weekend. YUM!

4 cups warm mashed potatoes (without added milk and butter)
2 cups small curd cottage cheese (drained)
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon grated onion
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted


In a bowl, combine potatoes, cottage cheese, sour cream, onion, salt and pepper. Transfer to a greased 2-qt. baking dish. Drizzle with butter.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Bake five minutes longer or until heated through.

(Note: We have found these can tend to be a bit runny when they first come out of the oven. Not to worry - as they cool they will firm up a bit although they are meant to be super creamy).

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Baby: Week 15

Week 15: Baby is the size of a navel orange.

Don't you love the fruity comparisons for size? Continuing toward forming normal proportions, baby's legs now outmeasure the arms. And, finally, all four limbs have functional joints. Baby D is squirming and wiggling like crazy down in the womb, though I still can't feel a thing and likely won't for several more weeks.

Although Week 15 is officially Friday, I wanted to post this now because we had our monthly check-up. I'm officially into the second trimester and Dr. S gave me hope the nausea would likely let up soon. She said I probably won't wake up and have it "go away" like it does for some, but more realistically it will just get better with time. She said the intermittently mild cramping I've experienced is normal - particularly given that I've got a tipped or tilted uterus. I asked if it has "flipped" forward yet and she said, "It's got to. Baby's got no room the other way." So many things to learn! So weird that Talea has the same thing. Also, given the tilted uterus, she said I likely won't show for another six weeks. She said I'll be able to tell, but others won't be able to for a while. GOOD NEWS!

The best part was still the heartbeat. She was searching for a bit and for a second I got nervous. I said, "Come on baby, don't be hiding now." Dr. S said, "Oh no, baby's in there. I heard it faintly. Don't worry." Next thing you know, I heard that familiar fast-paced whooshing. Of course, tears again. That really is the best sound I've ever heard. Our baby's heart beating in my belly. It's just the best.

We talked a little bit more about genetic testing and Bill and I both agreed to turn down everything - even the quad screen. It just isn't worth it to us. She answered more of our questions and was very supportive of our decision. She said we'll be able to check out more of the health of the baby in just five weeks at the next ultrasound. We also will find out the gender. So, April 20th first thing in the morning. Place your bets now!

Enjoying: Aside from hearing the heartbeat (that is beyond enjoyment) I'd have to say this week I've enjoyed having bouts where I'm feeling a little better. I haven't had a full day of feeling great, but even stretches without the familar queasiness are appreciated!

Not Liking: Knowing people will touch my stomach without asking. It already happened once and it shocked me. I'm not used to that!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Black Forest Dump Cake

Grandma Deana's Black Forest Dump Cake

Lately, foods can vary from tasting so incredibly delicious to something I am completely not into. I never know if it is just because I'm pregnant or not. Grandma-to-Be Deana made this Black Forest Dump Cake for a birthday dinner recently and it was very good. Normally, "dump cakes" aren't my thing, but this one was excellent. Bill doesn't like many cakes or pies, but he liked it too. I told him I could make it for his birthday this year. Then, I remembered what was also coming around his birthday (Baby D), so maybe not this year!

Makes 1 9x13 cake

1 20oz can crushed pineapple, with juice
1 c flaked coconut
1 3-1/2 oz pkg vanilla instant pudding mix
1 21 oz can cherry pie filling
1 18-1/2 oz pkg chocolate cake mix
1/2 c butter

Preheat oven to 350. Spread pineapple into 9x13 pan. Sprinkle a layer of coconut on top of pineapple and then a layer of dry pudding mix. Spread the cherry pie filling evenly over pudding mix. Sprinkle dry cake mix over pie filling. Cut butter into thin slices and arrange on top of cake mix.

Bake at 350 degrees for one hour and cool before serving. Serve with cool whip or whipped topping. YUM!

UPDATE 9/10/2010: Baby didn't come before Bill's birthday after all, so he got this cake on his big day! I snapped the above pic. It isn't the prettiest thing, plus I made it in my not-so-attractive, but super-functional Pampered Chef stoneware, but I tell you it is the YUMMIEST.

I knew I liked peanut butter

When we were up in Woodinville again looking at furniture, Ravi Dewan, the gal who sold us the dining room table gave me the best tip. I told her about what I had spilt on the top of my beloved table. I had hosted book club at my house and we were cleaning up after dinner and blew out the candleabra on the table and SPLAT! Wax went everywhere. I was so upset! Tammy sat with me for some time scraping away. We got the majority off and I have worked on it since, but have never been able to get that sheen of wax off in the center of the table. I usually try to hide it with centerpieces, but lately it has really been bothering me.

Ravi, who's refurnished loads of furniture over the years, recommended peanut butter. She said that has always worked for her over any expensive oil or specially designed product. 

I was feeling brave today and tried it. It worked! I just smeared and smeared the PB into the the finish. Used a little Meyer's to clean it up and you'd never know there was a problem. Had to share my little tip! Oh, peanut butter, you're always there for me.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Baby: Week 13

13 weeks. Baby is the size of a peach.

The last several weeks I’ve had good days and bad days in the morning sickness department, but this last week has been consistently difficult. Putting our dog Annie to sleep last Monday made me very ill and I was very sick all night. I’m not sure if it is just coincidence or just that my stomach hasn’t recovered, but I haven’t had a good day since.

Last Friday, I wasn’t feeling well at all and rode in the elevator with a co-worker with a HOT DOG and SAUERKRAUT. SICK! Hot dogs are my one major aversion and this literally grossed me out the rest of the day (just typing about it is enough to make my stomach turn!). Bill and I went into the grocery store that evening and I asked him to drive through McDonalds. I thought a vanilla shake might be a safe dinner. How excited was I remembering it was almost St. Patrick’s Day! I ordered a “shamrock shake” and that cool, green, peppermint goodness gave me a good twenty minutes of belly relief. Heck, I’ll take it.

My neighbor recommended “preggie pops” for morning sickness, but the stores in town are sold out. Our local health food store is ordering for me. I’ll hold onto hope that these will give me some temporary relief.

I’m still not showing, but I can tell things are changing. I have always had a pretty flat stomach and it does stick out a bit now and is starting to feel harder. I can feel the difference this week in the way my pants are fitting. My skin is a mess – it is dry, yet still gets breakouts. Fortunately, my energy is improving. I now go to bed at a normal time most days, but I do like to nap when I can on the weekends.

I’m really excited for Friday – officially second trimester. So fortunate this baby is still thriving and selfishly looking forward to the potential of feeling better in the coming weeks.

Enjoying: Generosity and kindness. My next door neighbor heard from Bill we were watching our nephews and niece. She knows I’m not doing very well and came over and asked if they could come over and play at her house with her daughter to give us a short break. I was so appreciative of this. And the kids loved it too. Thank you, Kim!

Not Liking: The terms “prego” and “preggers”. Is it just me or do these terms diminish something so amazing? Oh, let’s not forget “Baby Mama” or “Baby Daddy.” OK, I’ll stop now.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Goodbye, Annie Girl

After all the good news from last weekend, we had a sad, sad day on Monday. We had our dear Annie put to sleep. She was almost 15. She could hardly hear, started keeping to herself, was stiff and sore and on her last morning couldn't climb the two steps inside from the backyard. We knew it was time and the vet confirmed. She said she probably wouldn't have made it, but a couple of more days. I was planning to stay with her when she was put down, but when we talked more with the vet about it, decided it would be best if I waited outside. Bill stayed behind and I am so thankful. He held and petted our girl until the end. Thanks to Dr. Smith at Mountain View Veterinary Clinic - she was always so good with Annie and very supportive to us.

It was very emotional (I wouldn't recommend this being pregnant), but so thankful she is no longer suffering. I realized that day that Mom would be waiting for her when she passed. Her last breaths here would be with us and then she'd be with Mom - waiting for her at the Rainbow Bridge.

I have had her so many years and she's been with me through so much. She's been there for every joyous moment as well as every heartbreak. I've cried tears into her fur more times than I could ever count. We'll miss you, Annie girl. We'll see you again one day.


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