Thursday, December 15, 2011

one month


Today you are one month old. You are such a sweet and funny baby. We are completely in love with you and can hardly imagine life without you.

You are growing so much and changing every day. You are awake a lot and making new faces and expressions. You love to look around especially at faces and bright colors. You are starting to like your activity gym. You like to hear music and you love to be bounced. Most of all you love to be held and cuddled. You are happiest all snuggled on Mommy or Daddy's chest. You also like to go on walks in your baby bijourn and to take baths. You tolerate your swing and bouncy seat for brief periods. You hate having your diaper changed or your clothes changed. You also do not like to be swaddled, put into your car seat or set down. You love your hands and seem to like them near your face especially when you are sleeping.

You are a beautiful baby and you make us smile every day!

Here you are at one month!

weight: 7 lbs 8 oz

length:19.5 inches (?)

clothes: newborn (some are still too big but you are growing into them)

Monday, December 12, 2011

due date

Today is Margot's due date and Wednesday she will be one month old. I can hardly believe almost a month has gone by. So what has Margot been up to this past month???

Her first holiday--Thanksgiving

cuddling with Uncle Sean on Thanksgiving

Hanging out with Daddy

Being dedicated at Church

Sleeping soundly with Auntie Jess

picking out a Christmas Tree

Decorating her first tree

Breakfast at Brails

Some more sleeping...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

One Week

Margot is one week old today!

She is such a sweet good baby. We came home from the hospital on Friday but had to return to the hospital Sunday because she was too jaundiced. After two more nights at the hospital we were finally able to come home for good. Going back to the hospital was hard on all of us. Margot had to stay in the special bed with the lights and she did not like it. When we first put her in she cried and cried and we couldn't take her out. It was heart breaking and I started crying and poor Chris had both of us to deal with. She finally did adjust and stopped crying every time she was put in the bed. It was also hard because we couldn't hold her except to breast feed her. After waiting so long for our baby it was hard to not be able to hold her. We sat by her bed and touched her head and talked to her and overall she did okay. But needless to say we are so happy to all be home and settling in a bit. Chris' Mom is staying with us right now and it has been an enormous help. I have been able to just focus on feeding and cuddling Margot and trying to get a few naps in. So far there have been a lot of funny firsts for both Chris and I. Diaper changing is sometimes a two man job as she HATES to have her diaper changed and responds by peeing all over the place as soon as you have the diaper off. We have a beautiful cradle for her to sleep in next to our bad. It never occurred to us that she wouldn't sleep in it and so our first night home we set her down to go to sleep and soon found that she had no intention of sleeping alone in that bed after being held for 2 days straight. We are still working on her sleeping but I think making progress. Last night she had two stretches in her cradle with only a little fussing. She is also so very tiny. None of her clothes fit and Chris parents had to go buy her preemie clothes so she had clothes to wear. We also had to go buy new blankets because all our blankets were huge and we had to get her preemie diapers. She just swims in her car seat and swing. And she looks so tiny in Chris arms. All around though she is a very good little baby and cute as can be!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Margot is Here!

Margot Jessica was born Wednesday November 16th at 11:16pm. She is 6lbs 2oz and 18 inches long. She is just perfect and we are so in love with her!

Friday, November 4, 2011

35 Weeks

Today I am 35 weeks pregnant. Which means we are only one week away from full term. Chris pointed out the other day how much better it feels just knowing if I did go into labor today she would be okay. It's a lot better then the 28 week scare that put us on bed rest. It was really stressful for a while but we are thankful to have come so far.

So how are we doing at 35 weeks...

I am HUGE! I really should post a picture of myself. It's hard to believe I can get any bigger.

I am waddling. But I don't even care.

Margot's room is pretty much ready. We have a few empty picture frames that need filled and I need to finish her sampler but other than that it's done. Thanks mostly to my Mom and sister and many others who worked to get it ready while I've been on bed rest. I'll try to take some pictures this weekend.

We almost have everything we need for her.

We do need to pack our hospital bag and install the car seat.

Our new favorite conversation is guess when Margot will arrive. It goes something like this, "Maybe I'll go into labor on Thanksgiving..."
"Maybe she'll be born on Jessy's birthday..."
"What if I go into labor when you are in court...."
"Maybe she'll be born December first..."

Regardless of when she decides it's time we are just about ready for her!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Our Weekend in Recipes

Friday Night to combat our colds...

Chicken and Rice Soup

cooked chicken (about 1-2 cups)*
1 cup brown rice
2 carrots
2 stalks celery
1/2 onion
2 quarts homemade chicken stock

Bring stock and rice to boil. Add chopped celery, carrots and onion. Reduce to simmer and cook 45 min-1hr until both rice and veggies are cooked. Add chicken and cook another couple of minutes until heated through. You could also add other veggies such as peas, corn or green beans at this point. Salt to taste.

*I cook a whole chicken in the process of making the stock. Place chicken in large stock pot along with onion, celery, carrot, garlic, fresh herbs, bay leaf and peppercorns. Bring to boil, skim, reduce and cook one hour. After an hour remove the whole chicken and set on plate. Once cool enough to handle remove meat from chicken and set aside. Return carcass back to stock pot and cook for another few hours. I used half the meat from the chicken in the soup and saved the other half for another meal.
Adapted from Nourishing Traditions

Saturday morning.... Homemade beef stock
Place beef knuckle bones (or some combination of beef bones for broth)in the large stock pot. Cover with water and add 1/2 cup vinegar. Let sit one hour, drain and cover with fresh water. Add onion, celery, garlic, carrot, fresh thyme, bay leaf and peppercorns and cook it for 12-24hours. We started ours at noon on Saturday and topped it off with hot water before bed and let it cook until 10am Sunday morning. Cool and then strain. Season with salt.

Saturday night...

chicken with curry sauce

cooked chicken
1/2 onion chopped
1 Serrano pepper seeded and cut into large slices
2 Tb butter
1 Tb olive oil
2 Tb Indian curry paste (or curry powder)
1 cup homemade chicken stock
1 14oz can of coconut milk (whole fat)
Juice of one lime
fresh cilantro
fresh or frozen peas thawed

saute onion and chili in butter and olive oil until onion is soft and translucent. Stir in curry and cook a minute or so. Add broth, bring to boil and whisk until will combined. Add coconut milk and cook at simmer until sauce has reduced in half. Add lime juice. Strain sauce and return to pan. Add cilantro and season with salt to taste. Add chicken and peas. Cook until heated through. Serve over rice.
Adapted from Nourishing Traditions

Sunday Morning...Toast with Homemade cream cheese, honey and jam

Homemade Cream Cheese (Recipe from Nourishing Traditions)
1 quart whole fat yogurt
cheese cloth or bread towel
mesh colander
large bowl

Place colander over large bowl. Line with cheese cloth or bread towel. Place whole carton of yogurt into colander and let sit all day. After 8-12 hours pour reserved liquid (whey) into jar and keep in fridge. Place long handled wooden spoon over yogurt and tie towel around it to make bundle. Leave bundle hanging over bowl over night. I usually transfer it to the fridge before bed. In morning add remaining whey to jar and place cream cheese in container. Will keep for one month.

To make cheese taste more like cream cheese you can salt the yogurt in the beginning.

To make honey cream cheese take about 1/4 cup of the cream cheese and add 1-2 tsp of honey. Mix well with fork until smooth and creamy. Spread on toast and top with fruit or jam.

Needless to say our weekend was delicious! I am especially enjoying our cream cheese. What have you been eating recently?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thursday Randomness

I read somewhere that babies in the third trimester can taste your food, and that foods you eat while pregnant and nursing are foods your baby will be more likely to eat when you start feeding them solids. For this reason I have been trying to eat a lot of diverse and interesting foods, such as greens, squash, sweet potato, curry, Chinese food, beans etc. However, I pretty much have been craving cheerios and banana's, eggs and chicken broth. Not exactly the most interesting of flavors.

Can we just take a minute to acknowledge how awesome cheerios and bananas are? I mean really, are there as many combinations as perfect and refreshing as cheerios banana's and cold milk? I think not.

When I was a kid I never would drink the leftover milk in my cereal bowl. The cereal and fruit makes it sweet and I didn't want to drink sweet milk. Then I started buying my own milk and I quickly changed my ways.

We have delicata squash from our last CSA box and it is delicious. If you haven't had it you must try it. I know a lot of farmers markets and higher end grocery stores carry it. The best way I've found to fix it is to simply cut the squash in half, scrape out the seeds, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and place face down in baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes until tender. Add some butter and salt and pepper. It's the perfect taste of fall.

Last night some friends of ours brought us dinner and their 1.5 year old. He quickly demonstrated just how un-baby proof our house is. How is it that toddlers have such a knack at identifying the dangerous/disgusting things first. He went right for the plug ins, cords, garbage can and fire place pokers.

Yesterday I was watching Julia Child and she made tripe. This did not make me want to eat tripe. She had a whole tripe on the show and it looked just as disgusting as it sounds. Then I watched a show about homemade sausage. This was much more to my liking.

Well happy almost Friday! What are your weekend plans? I'm looking forward to my husband actually being home for a while. He's had a lot of evening meetings and events lately. I am also so excited for my church baby shower. I haven't been able to go to church for almost 6 weeks so I'm so excited to see all my church friends.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Varieties of Birthing Experience

I am a member of the City Club of Eugene's program planning committee. A few months back during a meeting I had to step out to take a phone call and while I was out it was decided that I, being about 5 months pregnant at the time, would plan a program on birth. This is always the risk you take stepping out of a meeting:)

The program I planned took place on Friday. Unfortunately I couldn't attend due to my bed rest but I was able to listen to the program on the radio. Here is the link It's called WELCOMING BABY TO EUGENE: Varieties of Birthing Experiences. And it features a child birth educator, Carolyn Jenkins, Colleen Forbes, Certified Professional Midwife, Michele Peters-Carr, Certified Nurse Midwife and Kay Yanit, Labor & Delivery Nurse at McKenzie Willamette hospital. I was so pleased with how the program turned out.

I have to say that when I first started planning this program I was very irritated. I was irritated that people assumed just because I was pregnant I wanted to plan a program about birth. However, as I worked to put it together I really enjoyed it. I've become very interested in issues around labor and delivery since I've been pregnant and preparing for my own birth. I was able to use a lot of my experience to shape the panel. One thing I wanted to highlight in the program is the outside things that influence a families decision about how they birth their baby. When Chris and I found out we were going to have a baby our first instinct was to use a midwife. We are both very interested in natural and preventative medicine and I have been seeing a naturalpathic doctor for years. A midwife who would be more focused on helping us have a natural delivery seemed like the best option. However, we soon learned it was not that simple.

In our area there are four options for your birth. An OBGYN in the hospital, the Nurse Midwifery center which is next to one of the hospitals, an alternative midwifery center, or a home birth. Our insurance only covers an OBGYN in the hospital or the Nurse Midwifery center. When we called the nurse midwifery center we were very disappointed to learn that you don't work with one midwife. You see whichever midwife happens to be on call during each of your visits and when your baby is born. Furthermore, if there are complications you may be transferred from the center to the hospital and be transferred to the care of whichever OBGYN is on call. We felt very strongly that we wanted to have the opportunity to establish a relationship with our provider. Yet going outside our insurance was not an option for us. So we ended up with an OBGYN in the hospital. We have been very blessed to find a wonderful OB who we love and who has been very supportive of our desires to have a natural birth. We've also been grateful as we've faced complications for her skills and knowledge.

It was very interesting to us how much our choice was limited by these conditions. In planning the program I wanted to relate what the different childbirth options were and what factors impacted families choices. I also didn't want a presentation that favored one method. As I have learned about birth I have realized that different models are right for different families.

For us we believe a natural birth is best and we are doing everything we can to prepare for that. But given the complications we've already had we are also grateful to birth in a hospital that will be equipped to intervene if it becomes necessary for either me or our baby.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Margot's Book shelf

Last week my book club came to my house so I could still be apart of the discussion despite bed rest. I have been a part of this book club since it came together almost 4 years ago. At our meeting they all surprised me with a book shower! They brought cake and each member brought their favorite children's book for Margot. And one of the ladies made Margot a Mother Goose quilt. It was so much fun and so exciting for Chris and I to open all those wonderful books.

We already had some children's books that were mine when I was a child and now with all of these Margot's book shelf is brimming with wonderful books to read. Chris and I try to read to her every day and we've a had a lot of fun working our way through the various books. Here are some of our favorites, first from my childhood:

This book was my favorite as a little kid. It takes place in Russia and is about a peasant who has magical powers and lots of wisdom and the Czar who lacks wisdom. The illustrations are amazing.

And some of our new books we love:

As famous as this book is I actually had never read it until someone gave it to us. I love the colorful pictures and the fun room.

Another one I hadn't read. This book is so sweet and has beautiful pictures.

Again another I hadn't read. This book has quickly become my favorite. I think I've already read it to Margot half a dozen times. It's a beautiful book.

What are your favorite children's books?

Thursday, October 13, 2011


I am feeling very random and restless this thursday afternoon.

-Tomorrow I am 32 weeks pregnant. This means we are just 4 weeks away from the "safe" point of the pregnancy. Right now I'm guessing we are about 6 weeks from Margot's arrival. I have a feeling she'll be about two weeks early--although its' just a feeling--who knows.

-I have been on bed rest for alomst a whole month.

-It's weird to watch seasons change primarily from the windows. I do get to leave the house but not very often.

-I have been watching a lot of Julia Child lately. Chris got the French Chef shows for me from the library. They are excellent. I've also been watching a lot of Good Eats because I heart Alton Brown--he's hilarious.

-The downside to watching cooking shows is I am inspired to cook something and can't. I miss cooking and can't wait to have my kitchen back.

-What else have I been doing?

Reading: Great with Child, on Becoming a Mother by Debra Rienstra. I am almost done with this book and have really been enjoying it. The Princess Diaries books (again). I just love these books they are mindless and hilarious in the best way. What to Expect the First year, now that we are so close to actually bringing a baby home I've been getting a little panicky about how to take care of her. So I've been reading on infant care. I'm sure it's irrational pregnancy hormones talking but I will become convinced at 4am that I'm going to incapable of taking care of our baby. I also try to read to Margot every day. Usually I read the bible or a children's book. I just finished reading the Mother west wind stories to her.

Watching TV: I try not to watch too much TV but you can't read all day long as much as you may enjoy it. Besides Julia Child and Alton Brown I also have been watching Glee, Cheers and we just finished the first season of Modern Family.

Cross stitching: I'm still working away at my baby sampler for the nursery. I don't even want to think about how many hours this thing has or will take me before I'm done. This however is really the only thing I can do to satisfy my nesting instincts so it's good.

Knitting and listening to the radio: Most days I listen to all things considered on NPR while knitting. Sometimes I listen to NPR other times too.

- I am very excited for this weekend because Lauren is coming for my shower and is going to stay with me and Chris parents are also coming to town. Saturday I'm having a baby shower thrown by my dear friend Jessica and I actually get to leave the house and see people!!!!

Happy Weekend:)

Friday, October 7, 2011

New Roles

Since I have been on bed rest Chris and I have found ourselves in new roles. Since we've been married I have generally managed the house and the kitchen. I make grocery lists, meal plans, clean out the fridge, cook, do housework and all the laundry. He's always helped with those tasks but never had to oversee them. Now he does. Probably this is good for both of us. He is becoming more aware of what is involved in taking care of the house and I am forced to let certain things go. We're growing.

Last weekend we had friends over for dinner. We'd made the plans before I was put on bed rest and we really wanted to see our friends so Chris said he'd just do all the work. I was so proud of him. While I remained on the couch directing him, he cleaned house, cooked dinner, served dinner, did dishes, served dessert and so on. And he was such a good host. Plus his dinner was delicious. I made up the recipe as we went and it turned out so wonderful. He is starting to become a really good cook. It's really fun to watch how much he improves. We didn't take any pictures but I thought I'd share the recipe anyway. This was a great meal for entertaining easy, cheap and delicious.

Braised Chicken and tomatoes with Cous Cous

1 chicken cut up or 6-8 thighs and drumsticks
2 Tb cumin
1/2 cup flour
salt and pepper
lard or vegetable oil
2 leeks chopped and rinsed
2 cloves garlic minced
5-6 fresh tomatoes chopped
1 tsp corriander
1 bay leaf
1 cup chicken broth
cous cous cooked

Pat chicken dry and season with salt, pepper and cumin. Dredge chicken in flour and brown in hot oil or lard until brown on each side. You'll probably have to do this in batches. Set chicken aside. Add splash of olive oil to pan then add leeks. Cook for a few minutes then add garlic. Cook another minute then add tomatoes, salt, pepper, corriander and bay leaf. Add chicken back to pan then pour in broth. Bring to boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook about one hour.

Serve over cous cous. We served this along with glazed carrots and a salad. Sauteed spinach or chard would also be really wonderful along side this chicken.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Finished Project

We now have a red front door and matching red Adirondack chairs on our front porch. I love our new bright and cheery entrance. I'd hoped to put up a fall wreath and plant some Mums for our porch but that will have to wait for next year.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pregnancy Update 30 Weeks

This week I am 30 Weeks pregnant. I can't believe how close we are to meeting Margot.
Here are some pictures of the bump from last week (29 weeks).

So how are we doing at 30 weeks?

We have our crib and Chris is going to put it together this weekend.

We've had one baby shower and have another coming up next weekend.

Margot is growing well and is now over 3lbs.

I have completed two weeks of bed rest. I'll be honest bed rest is kind of horrible. Luckily I can work from home which I know helps tremendously. Work at least takes up 8-9 hours of my day. I have spent a lot of time reading, knitting, listening to records and the radio. People have been really sweet about coming to visit me which helps so much.

As much as I don't enjoy bed rest it appears to be working! We had another ultrasound and doctors appointment yesterday and the doctor was really pleased. There are no new signs of early labor and Margot is continuing to grow and thrive. So while I have to stay on my back for another 6-10 weeks at least it's keeping her safe inside. My mother in law told me that every day she stays inside is three less days in the NICU. So we just have to take it one day at a time and keep praying for a full term baby.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Nursery Updates

I am really glad we were able to get as much done as we have on the nursery before I was put on bed rest. This was definitely a group effort. Friends helped us paint, my Dad came to help Chris install the light, my step-father loaned us his palm sander. My Mom made baby blankets and is working on the the crib bedding now. I love how it's coming together and I think it is such a perfect pretty little girl room.

This is the view from the door. The room is very small. All the furniture is in except the crib which just needs to be assembled. It will go on the wall opposite the window.

Here is our completed dresser project. I'm really happy with how it turned out.

Here is the rocking, nursing, reading corner. Complete with a bunch of my childhood picture books.

And my favorite part: the chandelier!

Isn't it pretty?!

We still have to add the crib, curtains, crib bedding and some wall art. From this point forward I have to direct others to finish it up but I know we will get it all together in time.

Monday, September 26, 2011

No More Nesting

Last week we had a bit of upheaval here at the Potter house. Last week during what was supposed to be a routine ultrasound I was sent home and put on bed rest. I am now on day 7 of bed rest. Luckily I am able to work from home via my lap top and blackberry. I am also allowed a once a week trip into my office for Friday morning committee meetings just for a few hours. And of course I get to go to the doctor every two weeks for copious amounts of ultrasounds and test. Other than that it is home and on my back.

I'll be honest--bed rest sucks a lot. However, bed rest is much better than our baby being born at 28 weeks. Hopefully the bed rest will keep Margot safely inside until at least 36 weeks. Apparently she is very eager to join us--silly little girl.

It was a scary and stressful week but now we seem to be settling into a new norm of sorts. Poor Chris is now stuck doing everything--cooking, cleaning, picking up, grocery shopping, errands, fetching me things and running his practice. However, we have been so grateful and amazed at an outpouring of love, help and support from our friends, family and church community. We've had visitors, meals brought to us and help with all sorts of things.

The hardest part about bed rest besides sheer boredom is not being able to nest. I can put away baby things, organize and re-organize closets or ANYTHING. Oh well. Such is life. At least Margot remains safely inside kicking up a storm. And on the upside I can now wear yoga pants as much as I want.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Nesting Instinct

Saturday night around 9pm Chris said, "I think your nesting instinct is kicking in because I can't keep up with you." I think he may be right. We've had a scary long ongoing "To Do" list for months. And this Saturday I woke up with a strong urge to tackle as many chores as possible.

Here's a glimpse at our Saturday:
7-8: sort through all books and gather ones to sell back to Smith's
8-9: make breakfast, do dishes, shower, get dressed, soak beans for baked beans
9-10: weekly grocery shopping at Winco, return home and put away groceries
10-11:30: Sell back books at Smith's and go to Lowe's to buy dresser knobs, light bulb and curtain rods
11:30-12: make chicken, rice casserole for lunch and get beans cooking for baked beans
12-1: pick up the house start baby laundry while Chris put new knobs on baby dresser
1-1:30pm- eat lunch
1:30-2:30- Chris painted front door red while I did dishes, picked up assembled baked beans
2:30-3:30- sit and read on font porch
3:30-5- go on long nature walk at Fern Ridge
5-6-Chris made dinner while I got off my feet
6-7- sort by size and fold and put away baby clothes
7-9- watch movie
9-10 Chris head to bed while I finish dishes, put away remaining baby clothes and take a bath

I am pretty sure I've never had a more productive Saturday in my life! As productive and wonderful as our Saturday was we still have quite the "To Do" list left. I hope this "nesting" sticks around for a bit so we can get it all done. Here's what's left on our pre-baby To Do List

Stain book case
hang mirror
trim back roses
trim hedges
edge yard
eradicate ivy
find nursery wall at
sew nursery curtains
assemble crib
print photos and update photo albums
finish baby sampler
interview pediatricians
hospital tour
make meals to freeze

Friday, September 16, 2011

Menu Friday

Lately we've changed how we do food at the Potter house. The old model has always been that I plan menu's, make grocery lists, go to the grocery store and cook dinner each night. Occasionally I would enlist Chris' help either to do dishes as I cook or aide in the cooking. However since I've been pregnant our model has changed dramatically. I still generally make the menu. Sometimes this is done with Chris* and some cook books of his choice (Betty Crocker) but often on my lunch break with a variety of websites or lately random dishes I know by heart. Either we grocery shop together or Chris ventures out on his own with a list in hand. Then each evening he cooks dinner. I sit on the bar stool in our kitchen and chop things, read him the recipe and offer general advice on heat, stirring, browning etc. It's amazing how much he's learned over the past several months. I find my advice is needed less as he becomes more confident with various cooking techniques. Sometimes it's a little frustrating to be relegated to my stool on the sidelines but my swollen feet greatly appreciate the relief and by the time Margot makes her appearance Chris will be nearly as competent in the kitchen as I am. This should make for a much smoother postpartum period for all of us.

Our menu's have also changed quite a bit. In order to help Chris cook we try to focus on quick and easy weeknight meals. So we have less Bon Appetit recipes, less ethnic food and more Betty Crocker. I also try to pick things he particularly likes. I know I'm more excited cooking something I really like. The man loves meat and potatoes. He loves meat loaf, stroganoff, stuffing, casseroles, chili, and meat loaf. And because we are watching our pennies these days we try and choose economical meals. Here is our menu for the week to come:

Fri: Chicken and Rice Casserole (recipe jotted down on random scrap in my recipe box)and sauteed spinach

Sat: Roast chicken with braised french lentils, roasted carrots and salad

Sun: Dinner at my Dad's

Mon: chicken tostadas with fresh salsa and sauteed zucchini*

Tues: Potato leek soup (Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French cooking) and salad

Wed: Taco soup

Thur: left overs

Fri: steak, scalloped potatoes and sauteed spinach

Chicken Tostadas
1 cup cooked shredded chicken
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 cup fresh salsa (either green or red)
1 cup cooked or canned black beans
shredded cheese
chopped green onion or chives
sour cream
fresh salsa
1 cup masa

place masa in bowl and add just enough water to make a stiff dough. Form into tortillas and dry fry on high heat in non stick skillet. Place tortillas on plates and lower heat in pan to medium heat. Place chicken in pan. Sprinkle with chili powder and cumin. Add one cup of fresh salsa. Let cook for 5-10 minutes until heated through and some of the liquid has cooked off. Top each tortilla with black beans and cheese. Add chicken and top with lettuce, salsa, sour cream and green onions.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I think the third trimester is my favorite part of pregnancy so far:

I got to register for wonderful sweet soft baby things
I haven't cried in over a week (a record for my pregnancy so far)
There is no doubting I look pregnant and not just chubby
Our nursery is coming together and I am so excited to see it completed
Baby showers are happening soon
Margot moves all the time and I love it
Chris can feel Margot move
Fall is here and when fall is over our baby will be here

This elation could also be contributed to the fall weather. It's a pleasant 69 degrees today and I am wearing a dress with tights, riding boots and cardigan and it's perfectly comfortable!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fall + Nesting

Fall has arrived. I have always loved fall but perhaps never as much as this year. Not only was I desperately waiting for a reprieve from the summer heat but this fall has so many wonderful things to look forward to! Fall has always brought out my nesting instinct. But this year fall will coincide with pre-baby nesting and I am excited. The past two weekends we have started to really make headway on our pre-baby to do list and the cooler temperatures will really help us tackle those last few yard projects. I am celebrating a ten day forecast that doesn't come above 75 degrees.

This weekend we should finish painting our front door red, pot some mums for the porch and finish trimming back our trees and hedges. I hope to share a photo of our cozy front porch all ready for the new season on Monday.

What I'm looking forward to this fall:
completing my nursery decorating project
finishing our front yard clean up
decorating for fall
breaking out checkered table cloths, warm candles and gourds
scarves and riding boots
warm cozy soups
roasted root vegetables
planning our Thanksgiving menu
baby showers!

And best of all when fall is over it will be almost time for Margot to join us!

What are you looking forward to this fall?

image found here

Friday, September 9, 2011

Pregnancy update: 27 weeks

Today I am 27 weeks pregnant with Margot. We are officially in the third trimester! Her arrival is definitely starting to feel closer with just this last home stretch to go. Last weekend we got a lot done to prepare and I hope this weekend is just as productive. Her nursery is all painted (Thank you Beth and Joanna!) and so is the dresser. We still need to find new dresser knobs but we hope to do that this weekend. The nursery is also cleaned out and only has baby things in it.

Last weekend I registered while Lauren was in town to help me. It was fun but a little exhausting! So many baby things. I just loved all the wonderful little girl things.

At 27 weeks Margot is the size of a head of cauliflower, weighs almost 2 lbs and is 15 inches long. She is starting to open her eyes as she learns the blink reflex. She is moving A LOT. Just this week I have noticed a big difference in her movements. I suppose because she is bigger her movements are much stronger. She actually woke me up last night with some strong kicks.

Needless to say the current heat wave has not make me the happiest pregnant woman around but I am trying to focus on the 75 degree weather for next week do all I can to stay cool until it arrives. People are not kidding when they say heat is difficult when you are pregnant. I do however appreciate the wonderful tomatoes we are finally receiving in our CSA box--delicious!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dear Oregon

You seem to be severely confused about what constitutes normal weather patterns. For the past two years you have been deeply confused on this matter.

Spring should begin in March/April and persist till early mid June with OCCASIONAL rain showers but mostly pleasant sunny temperatures in the mid to high 70's. Mid June you should start transitioning to the 80's reaching high 80's and even early 90's throughout July. Because this is when we want/need/expect to be hot. This is when we want to camp, swim and BBQ. Come August you should taper out to the mid 80's cooling slightly to the low 80's by the end of the month. As we move into September you should cool further into the 70's to begin your transition into fall weather. This is an example of a normal, reasonable and healthy weather pattern. Rather you left us, after a long and cold winter, with NO spring. Instead you persisted to rain through the month of July. Finally you gave us some decent weather in August with temperatures in the 80's and even the low 90's at the end of the month. But now that labor day has passed and we are ready to transition into fall, pull out our scarves and sweaters, cook soup, pot mum's and nest to our hearts desire you pull a week of 95 degree weather. Really Oregon this is just not cool---not cool at all.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Most Delicious Breakfast

This morning I had a brilliant bit of breakfast inspiration and created the most Delicious breakfast. My cousin Lauren (who was also my college roommate) and her husband are coming for the weekend. They now live in Seattle and are among our favorite house guests. Lauren and Nick started dating not long before Chris and I and we all palled around quite a bit in college. One of our favorite haunts was Cafe Sienna a whole in the wall Mexican breakfast place near campus. Lauren and I shared the same favorite Eggs a la compensena. I was remembering this while getting ready this morning and decided to make my own eggs a la compensena. The original is actually made with tortilla chips and jalapenos which I didn't have. Bu I came up with a slightly different version that was equally delicious. If you like Mexican food and eggs then you must make this.

Laura's Eggs a la compensena

3 eggs

one ripe tomato

fresh chopped green onions (a few table spoons)


two soft corn tortillas

Cheddar cheese (2-3 Tb)

a splash of milk

fresh salsa to serve

Melt butter in a non sick skillet. Cut tortillas into strips and add to butter. While those cook for a minute or so crack eggs into bowl with a splash of milk and whip up. Cut up your tomato and onions. Add eggs to the tortillas. Add tomatoes and scramble for a minute or so. Add grated cheddar cheese and scramble just until done. Add green onions and transfer to plate. top with fresh salsa and hot sauce--enjoy!

With a delicious breakfast and fun weekend ahead I'm so happy it's Friday. Lauren and I are going to register at target tomorrow morning. Tonight we are making homemade pizza and relaxing. Happy three day weekend!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What to do at 2am?

The combination of baby on the way, the financial stress that comes with 3 months sans pay, general pregnancy discomfort and heat have lead a lot of sleepless nights.

Usually there is a very typical pattern 2-3 sleepless nights (meaning I wake up somewhere between 1-3 am and can't go back to sleep until 4-5am) followed by 2-3 great nights of sleep. I suppose I finally exhaust myself to the point where I am so tired I sleep all night. But what to do during those sleepless hours??? Traditionally I've just laid awake thinking but I don't think this helps the situation and probably makes it worse. Lately I've been reading for a while in hopes this prompts sleepiness and sometimes it's helpful. Part of me wants to just get out of bed and organize a closet, file paperwork, or fold laundry. However, I worry actually getting out of bed and moving around will just wake me up for good. But if I'm awake anyway maybe productivity would be good.

What do you do during a sleepless night???

Friday, August 26, 2011

Pregnancy Update: week 25

With only three weeks left until I reach the third trimester I kind of feel like my pregnancy is flying by! On the one hand I want to enjoy the time I have with Chris while it's just the two of us, but I also can't wait to meet Margot.

Unfortunately our progress getting ready for her arrival has been somewhat dismal. I am going to blame our crazy busy summer schedule. Chris is backpacking this weekend and then we have no more weekend plans on the calender. I hope a few weekends at home will let us tackle our to do list.

Chris is finally able to feel her move. She is still really small and while sometimes I can feel little baby kicks they aren't very strong, but occasionally she will kick my stomach really hard and then Chris can feel her too. I find that 3 am is her favorite time to perform this trick and I have woken up poor Chris more than once so he can share in the excitement.

We had our 24 week doctors appointment this past week. I love these appointments because we get to hear her little heart beat and its so fast! I have gained 14 lbs and she is measuring right on schedule. At our next appointment we will have another ultrasound and do the infamous glucose test.

It has been hot the past couple of weeks and while I'm doing okay with the heat it is making it hard to sleep at night. Lately Margot and I have had a lot of quality time in the wee hours of the morning.

Lastly, I just have to brag about how sweet and wonderful my husband is. He has done an amazing job taking care of me throughout my pregnancy. He gets into the shower first to let me sleep longer, he makes me tea and breakfast every morning. And every night after work he does the dishes and cooks dinner so I can get off of my feet. And after 6 months of crying bouts he continues to patiently comfort me each and every time. I know he will do an amazing job taking care of little Margot too!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Scenes from Diamond Lake

This is out on the lake fishing early in the morning.

Our beautiful campsite right on the water

Chris enjoying some hammock time.

Mt. Theilson from the lake.

The sampler I'm making for Margot's bedroom. I got a lot done sitting around the campsite.

It still amazes me that next year when we go camping it will be with an 8 month old baby. Chris and couldn't help but talk a lot about what it will be like. We enjoy camping so much and look forward to sharing those times with Margot. However, we are very aware of how it will change our camping experience!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"What would Laura Ingalls Wilder Do?"

So in response to my baby book boycott I'm taking a friends advice and reading whatever I want starting with The Little House on the Prairie books.

I do not care that it may or may not be the 27th time I have read these books, nor do I care that they were written for children, because they are wonderful, plain and simple. I have loved these books since I was 5 years old and my Mom started reading Little House on the Big Woods to me. I loved them so much that one year my God Mother made me a Little House dress, a calico dress with a real petticoat just like Laura's. I loved them so much that we used to play wagon with our bunk beds and pack a wagon to travel west like Laura and her family. And at some point a friend of mine used to tease me by posing the question "What would Laura Ingalls Wilder Do?". Even Chris loves them, although he hasn't read them, but he likes it when I'm reading them and I stop to show him the chapter on how Pa smoked his meat for winter or how he cleaned his gun and made bullets or how they survived the Big Winter.

These books teach you really interesting things. My favorite parts are when she describes how Ma cooked, canned or preserved something. I get so hungry reading these books and I want to go make pickled green tomatoes, baked Hubbard squash with molasses, fresh maple candies, or a giant pot of baked beans. One time Ma even made blackbird pie and it sounded Delicious!

So this morning, in answering the question (what would Laura Ingalls Wilder do?), we had molasses in our breakfast cereal. Last night I read about how they sweetened things with molasses and even ate bread and molasses for dinner on the trail. I realized that this was obvious and brilliant. Molasses is cheap and packed with Iron. It's much better for you than sugar but much less expensive than honey or maple syrup (what we normally sweeten our hot cereal with). Also molasses has such a wonderful rich flavor. Breakfast was perfect, wholesome and delicious.

Breakfast Cereal Sweetened with Molasses (for 2)

Cook according to package instructions 1 cup dried oatmeal (longer cooking is better) or other grain based hot cereal then divide into 2 bowls. To each bowl add the following:
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1 Tb flax seed
1 Tb cinnamon (I use canela, a Latin American cinnamon, if using regular cut this amount down)
1 Tb butter
1/4 cup of whole milk or cream
1 Tb molasses

Molasses has a very strong flavor and if you aren't sure you like it I would start with 1 tsp of molasses and 1 tsp maple syrup or brown sugar then you can up the amount of molasses as you like.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Baby book overload

When I found out I was pregnant my first instinct was to read all I could find about pregnancy, childbirth and babies. This began what has been a very love/hate relationship with pregnancy/baby books. Over the past 5 months I have read the following books:

However, I'm feeling really fed up with these books. Part of the problem is I have read books with such dramatically different philosophies that my head is fairly spinning. I feel like it's important to read about these different philosophies and perspectives but then I have a really hard time sorting through all the information and opinions. It doesn't help that Dr. Sears and the la leche league say you can only feed on demand while the Whisperer says you have to put your baby on a schedule. The Happiest Baby on the Block is all about swaddling while others say it can be bad for your baby. You add all these different opinions with what people you know say and it can be so hard to sort it all out. People have told me to go with my instinct but I honestly don't know what it is on so many of these things. And I don't feel like we "fit" clearly into one camp or the other. I don't know that "attachment parenting" as described by Dr. Sears is for me but I do find myself agreeing with some aspects of it and at the same time I don't know how I feel about the crying it out method. I also struggle because I feel like so many books are written for stay at home Mom's and trying to factor in my working Mom schedule doesn't seem to fit. I think for now I have decided I'm done with parenting/baby/pregnancy books. Friday I will be 6 months pregnant and I think I'm going to spend my remaining months reading novels and decorating my nursery. Maybe stopping the information overload will allow my own instincts to kick in. And I hope when Margot arrives we'll just have a sense of what will work for us.

How did you deal with the info overload when you were pregnant???