September 30, 2013

Watch Me Grow: 31 Weeks

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Rory is 31 weeks old and she officially turned 7 months old a few days ago on September 28th.  Her growth has slowed down a bit the last couple months so she's been the same size for a few weeks now.  She is still losing her blonde puppy fur and is very shaggy and unkempt looking.  She has been the sweetest dog the past few days while we've been sick.  She has been extra cuddly.  The whole time I was sick she curled up right next to me on the couch and hardly left my side.  This is not her normal self.  She will usually only cuddle us for maybe a half an hour before she gets up and finds a more comfortable spot.  Normally she gets bored every couple hours and needs a break outside.  She bugs us by whining or barking at us until we'll take her out.  While we were sick she didn't even whine to go outside once.  We had to remind ourselves to get up and take her out every so often.  Seeing how sweet she was this past weekend has made me really curious of how she will be with our baby girl.  I hope she will have the same protective and caring tendencies towards her!  We still have a few more months until then so hopefully she take on more of those traits and lose a bit of her hyper activeness.  

September 29, 2013

A Weekend for Chicken Noodle Soup

DSC_0056 Every Saturday I plan out our weekly meals before I go grocery shopping.  Last Saturday I thought chicken noodle soup sounded good so I planned to make it in the crockpot the next Friday since I'd be working from home that day.  I think my subconscious must have known what was coming.  Bryce started getting sick with a cold on Thursday and he was kind enough to share it with me.  I woke up feeling fine on Friday but by the end of the day I was sneezing, coughing, and feverish.  While eating our soup for dinner Friday night, we had to laugh at the perfect timing of the meal.    
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Our weekend has looked about like this.  We've been ingesting Vitamin C and napping like its our job.  It was a weekend for chicken noodle soup, wool socks, netflix marathons, and cuddling on the couch.  But really, send healthy vibes our way, we're running out of tissues. 

September 28, 2013

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

DSC_0028 It probably has nothing to do with being pregnant that I've been craving pumpkin chocolate chip cookies for the past couple weeks, and more with the fall weather.  Every year around this time I always want to make all kinds of pumpkin desserts.  These cookies are the easiest recipe ever.  I don't even know if it should be considered an actual recipe since it is just mixing three ingredients together :)  Regardless, these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies turn out the best of any recipe I've ever used.  I think they even turn out better than when I've made them from scratch!  Anyway, onto the recipe.
DSC_0031  Ingredients:
1 Box of Spice Cake Mix

1 15 0z Can of Pumpkin
1 bag of chocolate chips (I like semi-sweet best!)
Mix spice cake with pumpkin until well blended.  Add chocolate chips.  Spoon onto greased cookie sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. And that's it! Easiest cookies ever that still taste like you put in lots of effort.

September 27, 2013

Dear Baby


September 6, 2013

Dear Baby Claire,

I am now 20 weeks along and officially halfway!  I had a doctor’s appointment today and got to see you on the ultrasound.  You still look perfect and are growing so well.  Your heartbeat is still at a perfect 140 beats per minute.  Hearing it beat is one of my favorite parts of the appointment every time.  You are measuring about a week ahead in height so you will be tall like your mom & dad (which we already figured as much).  You move and wiggle around all the time now.  I love feeling your little kicks and nudges all day.  Your dad has even been able to feel you kick.  You should have seen him, he was so excited and had the biggest smile!  It may have made me a little teary eyed.  Pregnancy is pretty incredible.  It is amazing to think I have a sweet little baby growing inside that will join our family in just a short four months!

You are such a blessing already, and you are not even here yet!  I want to be the best mom for you.  I want to be a good example and someone that you look up to.  I hope you will be patient with me as I learn all the ins and outs of motherhood.  I will have no idea what I'm doing, but I don't think anyone really does when they first become a parent.

I daydream a lot about what it will be like when you are finally here.  I can't wait to hold you, rock you to sleep, and sing you lullabies.  I can't wait to kiss your little cheeks, see your first smile, and hear your first laugh. 

I am so looking forward to reading you bedtime stories and telling you all about fairy tales filled with princesses, pirate ships, castles, and magical kingdoms.  I can't wait to introduce you to all my favorite characters and books and find out which will be your favorites.

I can't wait to show you the little farm where I grew up when you are older.  I will show you the fields I used to run through.  I will take you to the pond where I used to go canoeing and build rafts out of old logs.  I will show you the tree in the cottonwoods that I named "Grandmother Willow" where I played Pocahontas for hours.  I will take you to visit all the baby animals in the spring.  The baby lambs were always my favorite when I was little, I think you will like them too.  I hope to do all of these things with you and give you a beautiful childhood you will look back on with fondness. 

In about a month I will have my target ultrasound.  I will get to see every detail of you on a 3d ultrasound.  The doctor will check and make sure you are developing and growing the way you should.  I'm excited to see you on the ultrasound again but I'm also anxious to have that appointment over with just so I will know that everything is okay.

See you soon little one!  Your dad and I can't wait to meet you.  We already love you tons!



September 25, 2013

Pregnancy Update: 23 1/2 weeks

How far along? 23 and a half weeks.
How big is baby? About as long as a head of romaine lettuce (12 inches) and weighs just over a pound.
Maternity clothes? Yes mixed with regular clothes.  Maternity clothes are still a little big but maternity pants are more comfortable than my normal ones now.
Stretch markes? Nope, still nothing yet.
Sleep: It takes me a while to fall asleep, but once I do I sleep pretty good.  I still get up a few times a night to go to the bathroom but the frequency has gone down a little.
Best moment of the week? Finishing some projects for the baby.  The nursery is pretty much done and I am way excited about it!
Food cravings? Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies have been sounding way good.  I haven't made them yet but I'm going to try to muster up the ambition to make some tonight.
Symptoms? Exhaustion.  I have been sooo tired lately.  I never feel rested when I wake up and I hate it.  I also have been getting really bad heartburn a lot when I eat.  I've almost thrown up a few times from all the acid coming up my throat.  I basically always have a bottle of tums with me wherever I go.
Movement: She's still moving around all the time.  Her kicks are definitely getting stronger and more noticeable
Gender? girl!
Belly button in or out? in.
Wedding rings on or off? on.
Anything making you queasy or sick? Not really, unless you count the acid/heartburn making me feel like I'm going to throw up.
Happy or moody most of the time: Pretty moody this week.  Feeling exhausted all the time is definitely getting to me and it's hard to stay in a good mood.   
Miss Anything? Being able to drink as much caffeine (diet coke) as I want.
Labor Signs? No, and hopefully not for a while!
Looking Forward to? My target ultrasound in 2 weeks!  My doctor likes to do it a little later than 20 weeks because the baby is more developed so I haven't had mine yet.  I will be glad to have that appointment over with and make sure everything is okay with my little girl.

For the most part things are still going good.  I am definitely starting to look and feel more pregnant.  I just really want to feel rested.  I'm planning on sleeping in and taking lots of naps this weekend!    When I was first pregnant I made a list of everything we'd need for the baby.  The past couple months I have gotten a lot of the things on my "list" and I am feeling more and more ready and less stressed.  I am a serious planner and like to have things done well in advance otherwise I'm a total stress case.  That reason makes me very glad pregnancy is 9 months so I have  plenty of time to prepare.  Other times, though, I get way excited and just wish she'd hurry up and get here!   

September 23, 2013

Watch Me Grow: 30 Weeks

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 Rory is 30 weeks old.  This past weekend when we left her at my parent's was the first time we've left her overnight anywhere.  I'm going to be horrible at leaving my kids when I'm a mom!  I had to call my mom and check on Rory three hours after we dropped her off.  I just worry about things going okay for everyone!  Rory did pretty good at her sleepover.  My parents said she whined when they first put her in her crate to go to bed, but after a while she finally went to sleep for them.  During the day she just runs and runs outside on their farm.  She loves going there.  As soon as we pull off on to the dirt road and she can tell where we're going her tail starts wagging and she gets super excited. 

Last Friday we got Rory a new crate.  She loooves it.  She was getting pretty cramped in her old one.  Now she can stretch out and there is room for her to grow a little more.
Her favorite sleeping position as a puppy was to stretch out on her back, and it still is her favorite.  We're glad her new crate gives her ample room for this.  (Side note: Can you believe my puppy used to be that small?!) We're still working hard on teaching her not to jump.  This has definitely been the most challenging thing with her.  She gets way too excited and just wants to be loved and petted.  We're trying to reinforce in her mind that when she sits and waits patiently she gets more attention.  If she starts jumping on us we stand still with our arms folded and ignore her until she stops.  It has helped but she's a long way from completely dropping the habit.  I take Rory on a walk almost every night and it has become one of the best parts of my day and I'm sure hers too :)  I love coming home and getting greeted by her.  She is always so excited and so happy to see us.  It's the best.  We love this little stinker.

September 22, 2013

Weekend Recap

DSC_0107 DSC_0109 This past weekend was another busy one, but it was sooo good.  My wish came true and the weather finally cooled off.  It feels like fall (yay)!  Bryce tried one of his jackets on Rory, he thought it would come in handy if she needed something to keep her warm in the cooler weather.
I had a conference for work at the Zermatt Resort in Midway on Friday and I was lucky enough to get to take Bryce with me and spend the night there Thursday.  Neither of us had ever been to Midway before so we were excited for our little getaway.  It was beautiful!  After we checked into the hotel we went to dinner at a little pizza place called Cafe Galleria.  It was the cutest little restaraunt.  It used to be an old house that was remodeled.  The food was really good too.  We had a bruschetta appetizer and shared a Siciliana (Italian Sausage) Pizza.  I had to get up early for work the next morning so after dinner we just headed back to our hotel.
DSC_0115Here's Bryce watching t.v. and enjoying the nice king sized bed.
This is the only picture I got of us on our little getaway.  I hate asking people to take pictures so this is what we usually end up with.  Oh well, it works :) 

DSC_0124My parents were kind enough to watch Rory for us while we were gone so Friday night after we got home I made them some of my whole wheat chocolate chip cookies as a Thank You.  Bryce had another football game on Friday so I hung out with Rory and worked on a few more projects for the baby. 
DSC_0126Saturday I took my sister Laci dinner and hung out with her all day.  I got to rock and cuddle her baby girl Lydia to my heart's content.  It really was the best day!  I loved her little newborn sounds and the faces she would make in her sleep.  She has the cutest little scowl that she makes whenever she starts waking up.  It made me so excited for my baby to get here.  January seems like forever away now!  

I have loved seeing my sister as a mom.  She is a natural and is already so good at taking care of her little girl.  It is a little strange being at this stage of life where we are having babies and starting families.  Growing up together we always talked about what it would be like when we were married and had kids.  We'd try to picture how it would be and talk about baby names and things, like most girls do.  We always said we wanted to have our kids at the same time.  Funny enough, even though neither baby was planned, here we are having baby girls only four months apart. 

Today Bryce and I are finishing the weekend my favorite way and are hanging out at home.  After church we took a nap, ate some yummy food, and have already played lots of fetch with Rory.  Bryce will be studying for a test and I'll be working on an embroidery project for the baby's room.  I'm off to change in to some comfy sweats and curl up on the couch with my puppy!

September 21, 2013

Claire's Baby Quilt

DSC_0131 I finished Claire's baby quilt last Friday! I finished it much quicker than I anticipated, it only took me about a month. As soon as I found out we were having a girl I started working on it. I had a lot of time to work on it since Bryce works Monday and Wednesday nights until 9, he does athletic training at Ogden High's football games every Friday night and doesn't get home until around 11, and then he works Saturdays from 1 to 6.  So I have a lot of alone time to fill :)  Whenever Bryce was gone I would bust out the quilt and work away. 
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I did all of the quilting by hand.  I quilted a flower in each square and than quilted a vine with flowers around the border.  There are a few imperfections but for the most part I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  

I learned how to quilt when I was twelve years old and I took a quilting 4-H class.  Immediately I loved the whole process of piecing it together, then hand quilting, and finally finishing with the binding.  The perfectionist in me loved how each step was so meticulous and dependent on the exactness of the previous step.  Ever since I learned how to quilt I've looked forward to being able to make quilts for my babies.  I hope this becomes an heirloom my daughter will save and treasure even when she is an adult.


September 19, 2013

Green Smoothie Recipe

Before I was pregnant I always heard about all the weird cravings pregnant women get. I've heard of the old pickles and ice cream standby, ice, dirt, jelly beans on toast, and potato chips on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  I was curious to see if I would have any of those off the wall cravings.  So far, I have yet to crave something out of the ordinary but I have been wanting green smoothies every day.  This isn't really anything new since I used to drink them all the time before I was pregnant too.  There are countless ways you can make them but this is my favorite recipe.

1-2 cups of spinach (I keep mine in the freezer so it won't go bad as quickly)
1 Banana (I also keep these in the freezer and then I don't have to add ice to the smoothie)
1-2 cups of Vanilla Almond Milk
1 large spoonful of Maple Almond Butter

*First I add the spinach to the blender followed by the frozen banana pieces, almond butter, and then almond milk.  Blend till smooth.  This usually makes enough for two people or one person if you want a really big smoothie.

I know these may seem weird but they really are way yummy, even Bryce likes them.  Don't knock it till you try it!


September 16, 2013

I'm an Aunt!

My sister Laci had her baby girl this morning at 5:42 a.m.  My mom stayed the night at my house so she would be close to the hospital, since it is only about five minutes from where I live. Laci's husband, Brian, called my mom at five a.m. and said she was close to delivering.  My mom and I rushed to the hospital excitedly.  We waited out in the hallway for the baby to arrive.  We were so thrilled and were talking about how we couldn't wait to see what the baby would look like when all the sudden we heard the baby's first cries.  I looked at my mom and said, "She's here!"  We immediately stopped talking and just listened.  After a few more minutes we heard the doctor announce the baby was 7 pounds 9 ounces and 20 inches long   My mom and I both had the biggest smiles on our faces and we could hardly contain our excitement.  After the delivery and everything was finished we got to go in the room.  My sister looked so incredible!  You would never even guess she had just delivered a baby.  She was glowing and you could see immediately how in love she and Brian were with their new baby.  They named her Lydia LoRaine Rose.  She is the most beautiful baby I have ever seen!  Laci is my only sister and my best friend.  I look up to her so much.  I felt so privileged that she would include me in this special day.  She is going to be an amazing mother.  I am so proud of her!

Welcome to the world Lydia LoRaine.  I am so happy I finally got meet you!


Watch Me Grow: 29 Weeks

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Rory is 29 weeks old. That is so crazy to me. I still remember bringing her home as a 7 week old pup! She now weighs 45 pounds! We let her sleep in our room for the first time this last Saturday night instead of in her crate and she did great! She really loves her crate and goes in it on her own to take naps all the time so we didn't really know whether she would like sleeping in our room or not. We just put her little dog bed from her crate by the side of the bed on the floor and she curled right up and slept the whole night. She didn't whine, try to wake us up, or get into anything and cause mischief.  I was very proud! I am an extremely light sleeper so I didn't sleep very well the first night. Anytime she would move around and switch positions I would wake up. We tried it again last night and I did much better. I don't know if it was because I am getting used to her noises or I was just so exhausted from not sleeping well the night before! Either way I think we will keep trying it out a few nights a week. I still want her to stay used to her crate though because we always leave her in her crate when we leave her alone at our house.  I'm thinking for now we'll just let her sleep in our room on weekends and have her sleep in her crate still three or four nights a week so she'll like it and stay used to it.

Here's a little video of her playing fetch with us in the yard with an apple she found.  She loves fetch and she is pretty good at it.  She is better at doing it inside where there are less distractions but she still does great for a six month old puppy!  Bryce has been gone quite a bit since school started and I have been so grateful to have Rory around to keep me company.  She is my little sweetheart and I love spending my days with her. 


September 15, 2013

Weekend Recap: Bows, Babies, and Bowling

This past weekend was quiet yet busy at the same time. Friday night Bryce had to attend another football game for athletic training so I spent the evening at home. I watched The Time Traveler's Wife and was able to finish Claire's baby quilt (pictures to come soon!). That movie probably wasn't the best choice to watch while pregnant. I was way too emotional and cried during most of it. All I can say is I'm glad my husband doesn't time travel :) 
Our washer broke this past week so my sister Laci graciously offered to let me use hers on Saturday. Saturday was also my sweet sister's due date, but unfortunately she hadn't had any signs of labor yet. We decided we would make a girl's day out of it and do a craft to help keep her mind off the fact that she was forty weeks pregnant. In between loads of laundry (7 to be exact!) we made a whole bunch of felt & fabric bows to make into headbands for our baby girls. We found a couple of tutorials on pinterest and they were really easy to make. We had fun talking about pregnancy, babies, and picturing our little girls wearing all of the cute bows. My sister and I have been pregnant together since I found out I was pregnant in May. It has been soo nice to have someone to go through it with and talk about it with all the time. Not that Bryce isn't a good listener, but he doesn't quite have the first hand experience Laci does. We will probably only be pregnant together for a few more days and than she will get to start the fun part of being a mom. I am sooo excited for her I can hardly stand it!! 

After I finished all of my laundry and our crafting Bryce and I went bowling with his family. I knew it would be interesting seeing as I haven't been bowling since high school, so in over five years, and I was now going to attempt it at twenty two weeks pregnant. I actually did better than I thought I would and scored a 94! My baby bump is still pretty small so it didn't make it too difficult. I can only imagine trying to bowl later in pregnancy when your baby bump is extremely prominent and has completely thrown off your center of gravity. It's probably not something I will try! 

We only bowled one game and then had to do our grocery shopping we hadn't had time for yet. I usually go by myself on Saturday afternoons while Bryce is working but he was lucky enough to get the chance to go with me last night. I have to say I had much more fun going with him than I do going by myself. He always seems to make the most mundane tasks so much fun, I don't know how he does it!  I think it will be a very useful skill for him when he becomes a dad. 

It should be noted we spent a good ten minutes in the candy aisle deciding what we wanted for a treat. We debated between Reeses mini pb cups, Starbursts, Jolly Ranchers, and Caramel Apple Suckers. We ended up going with a bag of Caramel Apple Suckers because they would last the longest. I remember using that reasoning as a kid whenever I chose candy. It's funny that at 23 years of age that was still the deciding factor. 
DSC_0042 We will be spending the last day of our weekend staying home today, eating no bake cookies, and I am going to try talk Bryce in to watching The Sound of Music with me.  It's not looking very promising though...he is trying to tell me he needs to study or something.  Excuses!


September 12, 2013

Ready for Fall

DSC_0026 I am not one of those people who love summer and long for it to stay.  I am much more of a fall and winter person.  By the end of July I'm always looking forward to fall.  The rainy weather we've had this week has made me especially excited.  It was cool and rainy when I woke up this morning so I decided to pull my boots out from the back of the closet to wear.  By the time I left work for the day the temperature was back up and it was NOT feeling like fall.  I stopped at Target on my way home and bought a fall candle to lift my spirits.  If it wasn't going to feel like fall at least my house would smell like it!
Afterlight Afterlight Afterlight 
I ordered these felt masks for Claire's nursery and they came in the mail today.  Rory and I tested them out to see what we thought.  We both approve.  Claire is going to love playing with these one day.  I guess you could say my love of fall influenced the woodland theme I chose for the nursery.  I haven't checked the forecast for next week but I'm really really hoping it will finally cool down.  My fingers and toes are crossed!


September 10, 2013

Watch Me Grow: 28 Weeks

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 At 28 weeks this poor girl needs a haircut or something.  Her fur is so shaggy and is in such an awkward stage.  She's still losing her puppy fur and her adult fur is coming in at the same time.  It makes for a pretty silly combo.  Her adult fur that is coming in is quite a bit darker so it will be interesting to see how it turns out.
There aren't really any huge updates at 28 weeks.  Rory loves to cuddle and nap with me and then loves to play and wrestle with Bryce.  Her favorite places to nap are anywhere with cold tile, preferably with some type of furniture she can stick her head under.  She also really likes car rides.  She watches everything out the window and especially loves when we let her stick her head out.  According to one book she is about 85-90% of her height but only about 70% of her weight.  She's a little over forty pounds now and we are guessing she'll be around 60.  She still has some growing to do but I think it will mostly be her filling out and gaining more muscle since she is still just skin, bones, and fluff :)  We will see!     


September 9, 2013

Weekend Recap

Friday I had a my 20 week doctor's appointment.  I got another ultrasound and got to see our sweet baby again.  Our little Claire is doing so good.  Everything looks perfect so far.  She is measuring about a week ahead in height so she will be tall like her mama :).  I get my target ultrasound next month where the radiologist does the super detailed ultrasound and checks for any problems or abnormalities.  It will be nice to have that appointment over with, it's hard not to worry about her!  

After my doctor's appointment I spent the evening working on Claire's baby quilt and hanging out with Rory.  Bryce is doing his student athletic training clinical hours with Ogden High's Football Team so when there are home games that is where he gets to spend his Friday nights this semester.  
Afterlight  Saturday night Bryce and I went to a concert in Layton featuring Peter Breinholt and Mindy Gledhill.  The concert was at an outdoor amphitheater and when we first got there it was raining quite a bit.  It rained up until a half an hour before the show started, then the weather cleared, and it ended up being a beautiful night.  

I am a huge Mindy Gledhill fan.  I have been following her since I first discovered her back when I was in high school.  I have met her a couple times now and she is just as sweet and darling as her music is.  I was especially excited for this show since she has a new album coming out tomorrow, September 8th!  I figured she would be singing several songs from her new album, and she did.  I love what I have heard so far, and I think it's even better than her last album Anchor.   
My pictures of the concert all turned out pretty much like this.  I forgot my nice camera and only had my phone so....that's what I got!  The concert was so good, even Bryce had fun despite the girly music.  He even knew most of the songs thanks to how frequently I play her albums :)

Below are two of my favorite songs from her new album.  She has been releasing one a day on Youtube for the past week.  The first song is the title track "Pocketful of Poetry" and the second one is titled "Honey."  Take a listen, I think you will all love them as much as I do!