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???

Thursday, August 11, 2011

camping traditions

I love camping! Some of my favorite childhood memories were made with my Klamath Falls cousins each year at Campbell Lake. In recent years our family has been camping at Diamond Lake. I look forward to the trip each year. In fact I love it so much that we go on the weekend of my birthday and we have a little camping birthday dinner for me. It's one of the activities I'm most excited to do with my children.

Each year I look forward to hiking with my Dad and others, eating tacos and chili, swimming in the lake, drinking hot chocolate, Dad's breakfast potatoes in the dutch oven and cuddling with my husband in our warm cozy tent when it's freezing outside. Here's a look back at some camping pictures since Chris and I have been married.

This is Diamond Lake. It's a huge beautiful lake.

This is Mt. Theilson which I hiked with my Dad in 2009. Scariest hike of my life.

This is also 2009, Chris and I at Crater lake (which is 20 miles from Diamond Lake)

This is last year taking a rest during our waterfall hike. My sister took this pictures when we weren't looking.

This year I will be 23 weeks pregnant during our camping trip. This means no 10 mile hikes for me.It will also mean no wine :( but still plenty of food and hot cocoa.

And next year when we go camping we'll have Margot and she'll be 8-9 months old! Isn't that crazy! I'm sure taking a baby camping will be an adventure but with my family around there will be a lot of help.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pregnancy Update: Week 22

I am 22 weeks pregnant with Margot this week. The last two weeks have been really fun for me. It's amazing what a difference feeling her move and knowing who she has made in my experience of being pregnant. I still wouldn't say I love being pregnant but I can appreciate how special this time is and I truly love feeling her move around. I can't wait until Chris can feel her too.

We have been really bad at taking pictures of me pregnant (although we are always kind of bad at taking pictures). But here are a few of me from almost two weeks ago. The first is the evening after we had the ultrasound and the second is the following weekend on top of Mt. June.

As I mentioned the other day I am starting to get a lot of comments from about my belly some less appropriate than others:)

Now we know Margot is a girl we are starting to prepare for her arrival in many ways. One really fun way has been getting out my old baby things and washing them. These adorable wool dress coats and hats were mine. They were actually hand made by my God mother and are two of my favorite pieces we have. The purple one is for around 1 year and the plaid is for around 2 years so I have a bit of a wait until Margot is big enough to wear them.

Aren't they adorable?!

My Mom has been busy washing, pressing and carefully removing stains from a number of things and I can't wait to get them all hung up in the nursery closet. We painted the dresser, have nursery wall paint, and a chandelier that is perfect for a little girls room. My Mom is working on our crib linens and as soon as the room is painted and we put up the curtain rods I'll start making curtains. Our crib is ordered and last night our cradle arrived and I couldn't have been more excited.

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to have our baby sleep in our room for the first few month but not in our bed. However, figuring out what to have her sleep in was a little tricky. I wanted something right next to the bed but also something that looked nice and matched our room. When I saw this cradle I knew it was perfect. It's small enough to fit next to the bed and is really classic and charming. I love that it is on wheels and easily rocks. I was so excited when Chris parents ordered it for my birthday this week. And even though we are 4 months away from needing it my wonderful husband put it together for me right away just to make me happy. It was so fun to watch him put together something for the baby.

Isn't it pretty!

Monday, August 8, 2011


I wouldn't say I have OCD by any stretch of the imagination. But I do have a few very odd borderline obsessive quirks. One of these has to do with pens/pencils. I have a mild obsession with using the same pen and pencil until they run out of ink and I throw them away. I also have a complete aversion to buying pens/pencils because I know I have so many that haven't run out of ink. I have zip lock bags full of pens/pencils in my desk at home that I use to replenish my supply. I always keep one pen in my purse, one on my nightstand, one at my home desk and one at my office desk and use it exclusively until it runs out of ink. I am always curious how long it will last before it runs out. I have no idea where this particular quirk of mine comes from. I think part if it is frugality. Why buy pens or pencils with so many discarded ones floating around? I can use a mechanical pencil for ever. The one I am using at my desk today I happen to know for a fact that I've had it since high school. It has a flashy 80's vibe that is lots of fun.

What about you? Any strange quirks to share on a Monday?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Things Men should never say...

to pregnant women.

I am the first to admit that being pregnant has made me more sensitive. And I will acknowledge that I get more easily offended. But seriously some of the things people say or do astound me.

In one week, in two separate business meetings, men asked if I had "a bun in the oven". I am not an oven and my baby is not a bun. And am I "hatching". Really.... Do I look like a chicken. What's wrong with "are you expecting?" In one of these meetings another man commented, in response to the hatching comment, that they had been wondering but weren't sure if it was that or the donuts. How in any possible way is this an appropriate comment to make?

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I was talking with a close friend the other day about a minor complication in my pregnancy. Currently this issue is minor but it has the potential to become major. I told her that I felt like my ideal labor/delivery scenario was spiraling out of control. It was a this point that she reminded me that it had never been in my control.

It's a true fact and one that's easy to forgot.

As I read books, research natural birth classes and diligently do my pre-natal yoga, it's easy to think if I just do all these things everything will go how I want. And what I want is a natural birth. Now all this isn't to say that preparing in these ways isn't good--it is. But at the end of the day it's not the most important preparation.

I am finding throughout my pregnancy that I am challenged in my relationship with God in new ways. And the issue of control is just one example.

I am learning that my pregnancy is a unique time for me in that relationship. And I hope investing time in that relationship prepares my heart as well as my mind for the many unknowns to come.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Nursery Ideas

When I first started thinking about our nursery I could only picture a little girls nursery. I almost instantly knew what I wanted. It took me a lot longer to think though a boy version. Now that we know it's a girl we are moving full speed ahead with the nursery. My goal is to have it complete by the end of October.

My starting point was turquoise and red. First I thought about painting the room turquoise and then painting the crib red. I have since decided that might be too bold and overstimulating for the baby. Instead I'm going to paint the room a very soft turquoise, use mostly white furniture and trim and then incorporate more color with bright fabrics. My Mom is a very good seamstress and is going to sew all the nursery linens, crib skirt, bumper pads, sheets etc.

Recently we went to pick out fabrics and patterns and came back with these:

I am so pleased with our fabric. It was really hard to choose and put combinations together that would bring out the red and turquoise. I also love these because they
are bright, fun, and have just a bit of a retro vibe to them.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sunday Dinner

Thank you for all the sweet comments about Margot. We are very excited.

Sunday was just one of those days. We got a flat tire, I had one of my very emotional pregnant days, Les Schwab was closed and we both needed some comfort food. So I decided to make chicken stew with dumplings. Granted this may not be the most traditional of summer meals, especially for an 85 degree day, but it was delicious. I made this up as I went along and couldn't have been more pleased with how it turned out. Chris enjoyed his with a cold beer while I had mine with a tall glass of cold whole milk.

Chicken Stew with cornmeal Cheddar dumplings*

6 pieces of dark meat chicken (I used drumsticks*)
1/2 cup flour
salt and pepper
olive oil
3 medium carrots
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
4-6 potatoes (depending on size) either red, Yukon or new potatoes
1 quart chicken broth
sprigs of fresh oregano and/or thyme

for dumplings:
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup Cheddar cheese
one egg
2 TB olive oil
2 TB milk

Place the four in a pie plate and generously season with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in dutch oven or soup pot. Dredge chicken pieces in flour and brown well in the pot. While chicken browns, dice onion, carrots, potatoes and garlic. You could add celery to this but I didn't have any. Once chicken is browned add onion, garlic, carrots, and potatoes. Cook about ten minutes. Add broth and fresh herbs. Bring stew to boil, reduce, cover, and cook for 30 minutes. Remove chicken pieces and pull off meat to add back into soup pot. Make dumplings by mixing grated cheese, flour, cornmeal, baking soda and salt and pepper into a mixing bowl. In smaller bowl beat egg and add milk and oil. With fork combine egg mixture to flour mixture and mix until just combine. Place four dumplings on top of soup, cover and cook at low heat for 10-15 minutes until dumplings are cooked through (knife should come out clean). Enjoy!

You could make this with leftover chicken or meat from a rotisserie chicken. I would just start with browning veggies and add the chicken with the broth. However, cooking the chicken on the bones in the soup makes and extra rich and nutritious broth.

*The dumpling recipe comes from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook
*This is a great way to use drumsticks which I sometimes have a hard time using up. Often I buy whole chickens, cut them up, and then am left with drumsticks. This week we actually bought a package of drumsticks because they were in the clearance meat section at Market of Choice (for you locals). This was an amazing deal. The package of 10 organic drum sticks was $2.70 and simply needed to be used or frozen that day. I used half and froze half.