Friday, October 31, 2014

DAY 1160... Tricks and Treats

I had hoped that I would have a few more years of choosing Aniston's Halloween costumes, or at least guiding her in a certain direction. I had a lot of super cute costumes pinned! But 3 months ago while we were watching The Dark Knight Rises, she asked if she could be Batman for Halloween and has stuck to her guns ever since. I didn't even know she knew what Halloween was. My kid is too smart for her own good.

She had quite the time correcting everyone when they called her "Batgirl", but she wanted everyone to know that she indeed was Batman. She's pretty darn cute. I absolutely LOVE making her cute little costumes every year!

This was our 4th Halloween together as a family. You know what that means... Collage time!!!!
I've been feeling good the past couple of days so it was nice to be able to be involved and active in Aniston's last Halloween as an only child. We hit up a few activities around town for her, but I absolutely loved the Trick or Treat off the Street at our doctor's office.

Every though Halloween day was absolutely gorgeous, if was nice to be inside and somewhere where you knew the candy was safe and they definitely gave generously Spencer was in class during this activity, so Nana joined us.

Thank goodness, because walking up 3 stories while having contractions would have made it rough if I needed to focus on Aniston on the stairs also.

Aniston insisted on giving the ducks at her favorite park a treat too, in costume of course. Such a thoughtful and adorable child! But let's be honest, she did say that she wanted to wear her mask to scare the ducks. Haha!

After we fed ducks we headed over to our friends house where we had set up a little trick for Aniston. Yes, we are those parents.

I loved watching Spencer walk around with his little Batman. Melts my heart to see him as a Dad. I can't wait for him to have a son!

All in all, Aniston had an absolutely wonderful Halloween!!!! Thank goodness! Now it's baby time!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

DAY 1158... Failing Fabulously

The title of this post is a bit dramatic.... I get that. I'm just feeling a bit overwhelmed and exhausted right now.

Last night Spencer and I spent several hours in Labor and Delivery.

Yesterday morning I had a doctors appointment and had been having bad back contractions. The doctor told me to rest and checked me but I was only 25% effaced and not dilated. She did prescribe me an inhaler for my breathing because that had not improved much at all over the past week and told em to try to relax but that she wasn't going to put me on bed rest because I wasn't dilating. And after an exciting night of contractions last night, which slowed way down and they sent us home... always a bummer, I had another doctor's appointment this morning. In less than 24 hours I was now dilated to a 1 and 50% effaced, still having contractions. Now I am the slowest dilator ever!!! I was at a 4 with Ani for hours! So I'm not so much concerned about that, but I just have so much anxiety and stress over this.

After another 30 minutes of monitoring my contractions, with Ani sharing my bed, they sent me home with strict orders of bed rest, 2 Tylenol every 6 hours and lots of warm baths. The Tylenol and warm baths I can handle. I just set up the iPad and watch my Netflix in the tub, NBD. But bed rest with a husband who is a full time student has proven to be a bit more difficult. It's only been a few hours and Spencer has had classes all afternoon and so far Aniston has refused to nap, doesn't understand why I'm not running around or dancing with her, and has decided to scream... not cry just scream a lot. Just for the heck of it. I do have to give her a shout out because she was AMAZING at my doctor's appointment this morning! I don't know many 2 year olds that are capable of entertaining themselves and not have mom hold them and pay attention to them every second without freaking out. She was fabulous! And just because I love the fall so much...

Babies come, or try to come when they want. I understand that doctor's try to give us estimates and help the best that they can, but our bodies just do what they need to do and that doesn't always agree with science. I feel like I'm failing because of this situation. I felt the same way with Aniston and the Hyperemesis. It was really hard and now I feel like the situation is out of my control once again. I feel like a failure because I can't really play with Aniston like she wants me to and I find myself raising my voice to her when she becomes demanding of play time. I feel like a failure because it hurts to have to walk upstairs to my room to get me inhaler or Tums that I forgot up there and have to ask my husband to go get them for me. And I am very forgetful these days so this situation happens a lot. Failure. I feel like a failure when people bring dinners because it makes me feel like I am weak and needy and that I can't handle my own household. I have never been good at asking or accepting help because I know how capable I am. It's a weakness though. I need to break down and understand and realize that it's okay to ask for help.

I know I'm not failing. And I know that even if I am something fabulous is about to come into our family. I know it is a huge blessing that I can carry a baby successfully and that I can have children at all. I think I'm just tired and impatient and want life to always be organized and known, when really it's impossible to know the future and what life is going to be like tomorrow, especially when you are expecting a baby. I just need a quick attitude adjustment.  But when you can't really be on full bed rest because you have a life it just doesn't seem worth it. I would rather be at work where I know things are being done the way I like, super OCD, but luckily I have a great staff who can handle things wonderfully while I'm gone. But still... you should never do anything halfway, that includes bed rest.

Here's to overcoming weaknesses, holding off until 37 weeks for baby to come (next week) and enjoying the little rest I may get. Who doesn't enjoy trashy TV, working from home and junk food on best rest eh?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday Munchies... Broccoli Cheese Soup

Growing up we didn't eat many soups. We were more meat and potato kind of people. However, my Mom did make a mean and super simple and easy and cheap Broccoli Cheese Soup. She would just whip it up quickly before dinner, but I enjoy it straight from the crock pot. The broccoli tastes better and it's something easy to just throw together in the crock pot and go about your day.

 2 cans or 1 family size can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can Cream of Celery Soup
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can Cream of Potato Soup
2 cups of shredded Cheddar Cheese
Milk (use as desired)
2 cups of chopped broccoli (fresh or frozen)

Seriously, this is so simple. Add all of the soups together and mix in the crock pot. I'm assuming you are using a crock pot... Basically it's made the exact same in a pot. Add cheese and broccoli and stir well. The milk is used to thin out the soup if you feel as though it's too thick. Milk can be added at the beginning or after a few hours of cooking when the consistency has changed.

Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours stirring periodically.

Done and Done!

We usually enjoy Sweet Hawaiian rolls or just plain old saltine crackers with our soup. And of course it's always delicious in a bread bowl, I just never make it to the store early enough to buy the good fresh ones.

And the BEST thing about this soup is that Aniston absolutely LOVES it!!!! Win-win-win!


Thursday, October 23, 2014

DAY 1152... More Fall Fun

My fall dreams came true last weekend when we got to go to a pumpkin patch. I have to admit... I find the pumpkin patches in my area of Eastern Idaho to be very disappointing. Like as disappointing as Amanda Seyfried or Russell Crowe in Les Miserables or the Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos from Taco Bell. I have very high pumpkin patch standards, and I have yet to visit one that meets my expectations. I just can't wait until I own my own pumpkin patch! It's gonna be AMAZING!!!! It's at the pumpkin patch that I love documenting my family growing every year. There's just something about taking picture on a hay bale.

Aniston loved chasing the chickens this year, riding the train, and her most favorite was probably the kittens. If I wasn't so worried about allergies and a new baby I would buy her one because of the happiness she demonstrated when she was playing with them! But I'm definitely one of those people that put children in front of pets, not the other way around.

 Most of the pumpkins looked as if they were suffering from Ebola... Not cool. But check out those mirrored dimples with Ani and Dad while holding the kitten. DYING!!! I can't wait to see if baby boy has dimples too!!!!

I didn't love how chilly it was the day that we went and I didn't appreciate the number of smokers in the pumpkin patch or the lady who didn't care that her child was running down the middle of the busy street stopping traffic due to safety issues, but you can't have everything to perfection. I think I really am going to push the boundaries next year on going to a really awesome pumpkin patch. I will find an awesome one within an hour of Rexburg. It needs to happen!

The weather has been nice enough to still get our disc golf on. Well.... Spencer gets it on at least. I was able to take some pretty cool pictures of him playing this past weekend.

The lighting was perfect for picture taking!


I just love when I happen to wear similar outfits during pregnancies around the same time. Here is me pregnant with Ani on the left at 35 weeks and then with brother (yes, we have considered naming him after a Berenstain Bear due to our lack of name options for our unborn son) on the right at 34 1/2 weeks.

I went in for the first of my 2 appointments this week and once again I had lost 2 pounds. Not even sure how it's possible that I'm losing weight and honestly I'm getting tired of the doctors being upset, but to be honest, I'm not even eating super great. I'm eating good enough to keep my blood sugars good but not good enough to lose weight. It's annoying. I gained 50 pounds with Ani and this time I have only (haha... only) gained 32 pounds. Anyway, the doctor asked if I had been having contractions....

Yes. And Ani has been the best at helping me through them. Then I told her that I had been having some tightness in my chest and pain. She then listened to my lungs and informed me that my lungs were only filling up about halfway. That's no good for me, and definitely no good for brother. His breathing when we did the ultrasound was fantastic and everything looked great thank goodness. But Mom on the other hand if having some issues. So I received my very first breathing treatment....

It wasn't fun and made me super jittery. I was having chest pain again with 4 hours. I have another appointment on Friday morning and they may have to give me an inhaler to help me breathe. This also gives baby boy a reason to come sooner rather than later. We are still being told 2-3 weeks and we will have a new family member. I just can't wait!!!!

Friday, October 17, 2014

DAY 1146... F.A.L.L.

For me FALL stands for F - Fall
                                        A- Aniston
                                        L- Les Miserables
                                        L- LARGE

Those 4 words pretty much sum up my life this fall.

F is for FALL

I absolutely LOVE the fall! Understatement.... Huge understatement.

I love the colors, I love the boots, I love the scarfs and I have a really weird and crazy obsession with pumpkin patches. I LOVE PUMPKIN PATCHES! My dream is to someday own and run the most amazing pumpkin patch and the big awesome part about this plan is that I have a husband who supports my crazy dream! I actually have plans drawn up for it already. They alter a little every year, but I just cannot wait for the day when my pumpkin patch is an actual reality.

Straw mazes and hot chocolate are also sweet bonuses of Fall. 

In Idaho, fall also means potato harvest! Ani got to participate in her first potato harvest at Nana's and Papa's while Mom and Dad had a must needed date night. 

And last but not least, fall means that it's baby time! One of the world's best kindergarten teachers I know who also happens to work at afterschool with me, threw me a wonderful baby shower and I feel so blessed and so thankful that that happened! 

Seriously though, your children should move here so that she can be their kindergarten teacher. Not joking.

A is for ANISTON

I am also obsessed with Aniston. With our weeks as her as an only child winding down quite quickly, we have been spending a lot of time with her and just soaking up all her smartness and cuteness. She always seems to know when I need that extra hug or kiss and never hesitates to give me all the love I need.

One of those sweet rewards for being a parent. Aniston spells her full name now, which is so cool! I was hoping that she could do it by Thanksgiving, she just exceeds my expectations all the time! She is so excited for Halloween and has been practicing saying "Trick or Treat" every day. She loves string cheese, Mickey Mouse (still) and her new pet turtle Prince Humperdink.

Not a day goes by that she doesn't tell her brother she loves him and asks when she can hold and kiss him, but not hurt him. She is going to be a GREAT big sister!


Last weekend, Spencer and I had the opportunity to drive down the Pocatello and see a community theater version of Les Miserables at the Mystique Theater.

It was wonderful! The service and the people who work there... not so much, but the performances were great and it was small and personal and I just loved that. You really felt like a part of the show. This was the first time I had seen it live since 2011 and Spencer's first time ever seeing it live. It really was a great last big date night away before baby comes. Since watching it we have watched the Hugh Jackman musical movie version and I have listened to that mixed with David Archuleta's new song Glorious (listen to it) over and over again.

L is for LARGE

I am feeling large and measuring large!

Baby is weighing in at 5lbs 5oz and looking good. We are thinking 3-4 weeks and our little man will be here! I am so excited and so ready! I am so exhausted and tired and I can't even think straight most days. But I want him to come when he is healthy and ready and we will be more than ready to see him and welcome him into our family. I will probably throw a fit if they close down the maternity ward due to illness and Aniston cannot come in and meet her brother. That might make me go crazy!

So how about you? What's your F.A.L.L. this year?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Mommy Tip... The Ultimate Stain Fighter

You know you're a Mom when you get super excited about finally discovering a mixture for stain removal and the first thing you think about is writing a blog to share it! What a nerd!

So recently we received a bounce chair for baby brother, however, it was used and had some gnarly stains. I wasn't sure that I wanted to keep it or not, but I decided to do some Pinterest research and give the stain removal a shot before giving up on it completely. We also had an issue with Aniston's high chair. Seriously my child is the messiest eater ever and she has these big white polka dots on her high chair that were not so white anymore. Over the past year they had become pretty stained and I was a little embarrassed when people would come over that it looked so gross. So I spent a good little while on Pinterest and found what I thought would be the best recipe.

All you need is....

1 cup of Hydrogen Peroxide
1/2 cup of Baking Soda
1/2 cup of blue Dawn Dish-washing Soap

Seriously so simple!

I then scrubbed the material on the high chair and bounce chair with generous amounts of the stain fighting mixture and let it sit for an hour. After an hour I put the bounce chair cover in the wash and washed like normal laundry and then I wiped down the high chair. The results were AMAZING!

Before is on the left and after on the right. You can see the difference! Her chair looks like new and I am one happy momma! I haven't used this mixture on clothing yet, but I hear it works just as well. I bottled the left over mixture and put it in our laundry room along with a scrubber so that I can no longer be afraid of dressing Aniston is a certain outfit because of what we are eating. Yes, I am that mom who's toddler wear white pants. I can't help it.

White pants on a toddler are adorable!!!! I'm also super excited that I discovered this helpful tip before brother comes because poop stains and spit up stains are the WORST when it comes to newborn clothes! I and love my babies in a little white onesie! Seriously, so simple and beyond adorable!

Now I no longer have to worry about that!

Oh how life has changed from the single days...

Monday, October 6, 2014

Monday Munchies... Fajita Quesadillas

I am a mom on the go. I am 32 weeks pregnant, working, homeschooling a preschooler and have a husband who is a full time college student. There's just not a lot of time to prepare wonderful masterpieces for dinner. I am constantly searching and hunting for quick, easy and delicious recipes.

I LOVE Mexican food. Hands down my favorite food ever! Fajitas is one of our quick go to meals that we always enjoy. So when I found this recipe for Fajita Quesadillas I could not resist attempting to make them.

End result: OBSESSED!!!

So simple and so delicious!

1 Red Pepper
1 Green Pepper
1 White Onion
Shredded Cheese
Protein of your choice
Fajita seasoning
Sour Cream (optional)

Cut up protein into strips for fajitas. Cook protein on the stove. Add sliced up veggies once meat is cooked. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Seriously.... Isn't this such a beautiful sight? I just love the vibrant colors!!!

Add fajita seasoning according to packet instructions.

Heat up your Foreman grill at 425 degrees. I purchased this sucker about 9 years ago for $10 on clearance and it's still treating me well. I'm sure there are numerous ways to make quesadillas, but we like them nice and crisp on the Foreman Grill. Our green counter tops are killer!

Fill half a tortilla with fajita mixture and top generously with cheese. Fold tortilla in half and place on the grill for 2-4 minutes.

Cut and ENJOY!!!

I stuff our tortillas to the brim so when I make this dinner it makes 4 quesadillas, but they are thick and oozing with goodness!

We like to dip our quesadillas in sour cream, but I'm sure salsa would also be delicious.

Hooray for cheap and easy dinners!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

DAY 1134.... Outside the Bubble

I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In other words.... I am Mormon. I was blessed with the opportunity to be raised in the church and to have parents who were also raised in the church. Have I always been "the best" Mormon? No. I am human, I make mistakes, I have countless flaws. I have a visible tattoo on my foot, not typical of a strong and faithful Latter- Day Saint and I have been guilty of missing a church meeting or two.

But, despite my weaknesses, bad choices and my failures, I believe in this gospel and I believe in living this lifestyle. And the best part is that this religion believes in me and offers me that opportunity to repent and offers me forgiveness. I do not and never have done drugs or drink alcohol. I go to church for 3 hours on Sundays and let me tell you what.... With a toddler that is a struggle! I dress more modestly than fashion permits sometimes and I believe in the teachings of The Book of Mormon. I believe that marriage and family can be eternal and not just temporal. I understand why some may think that the lifestyle I live is difficult. I have thought that myself in the past. But it's much easier to live a certain way when you believe and know it is true. That goes for many things in life not just religious beliefs. A firm belief in anything makes it easier to live in a way that would promote and progress you in that lifestyle.

In my 28 (almost 29....GASP) years, I have moved about 33 times. No, my dad was not in the military. I like to think that my parents just liked to give us different opportunities to learn and grow. In the LDS church, there is what many refer to, myself included, as "the bubble". This area includes mostly Utah and Idaho due to the fact that there are a large number of Latter-Day Saints in these areas. Most of my life I was blessed to live outside of the bubble. Many people would think that growing up inside the bubble would be easier. You are surrounded by people who go to the same church as you, who knows the same principles and gospel, and you would assume you are surrounded by good people constantly. But I have learned, since living in the bubble for the past 10 years, that this is not true to me in my life. There is so much more gray in the bubble. People seem more concern with taking gospel principles and adjusting them to fit their lifestyle without considering the meaning behind them and adjusting their life to fit the principle as intended. Outside the bubble, it is much more black and white. For me personally, I cannot wait to move back out of the bubble. Seriously I am counting down the days until we are able to leave Idaho. I have never felt more judged, more discriminated against, more forgotten, more misunderstood and more of a "keeping up with the Joneses" attitude as I have living in the bubble. Personally that's not for me. Some people thrive on living in the gray, and constantly being surrounded by people who are part of the same religion but may or may not live it the way it's intended. I prefer to live out of the bubble, where I feel that nonmembers actually understand the gospel better and respect you for your beliefs instead of judging you for what they may consider as imperfections. You get an opportunity to actually live your beliefs and to stand out as something different. It may be hard for some, but for me it was actually much much easier.

Let me quickly say that I am grateful for the opportunity that living in Idaho has given my family. Spencer has been able to attend a wonderful university and is getting a great degree. We have received many blessings from living in Idaho. It's just not the place for me to thrive and to be completely effective in my religion.

My parents have done an excellent job raising their children as strong members of the church outside of the bubble. My mom absolutely loves everyone and raised us to love everyone regardless of race, sex, financial means and religion. She taught us to serve others and to love everyone. She was such a good example of giving with your whole heart and never expecting anything in return. She is amazing! My dad taught us to stick to our standards regardless of those around us. He taught us about the blessings that we can receive by keeping the commandments. He never hesitated to share personal experiences that only strengthened our beliefs. He taught us to be friends with everyone and to respect their beliefs even if they aren't the same as your own. You can learn a lot from other religions and the thoughts and ideas of others who may not share the same beliefs as your own and my Dad firmly believes in continuing education. Why would you cut yourself off from this valuable education from learning from other simply because they do not share the same beliefs as you? I am so lucky to have such amazing parents. I want to raise Aniston and my other children the same way. I want them to not be ashamed of their beliefs, if they choose to believe the gospel or not because it is a choice, and I want my children to be friends with everyone, to respect everyone, and to learn about the beliefs and traditions of others. I will never not allow my children to be friends with someone simply because they do not share the same beliefs as me. What kind of example of love and acceptance does that demonstrate?

As strongly and as firmly as I believe in the gospel, I understand and know that others believe their gospel just as much. And I respect them for having passion and drive and beliefs. Everyone chooses how to live their own lives and they do what they consider best. I am fascinated by how everyone lives so differently. Some people prefer to use cloth diapers, I cannot imagine ever using cloth diapers. I feel as though I would dry heave every day all day long. But I respect them for changing their lifestyle to save their family money or to protect the environment. That is just not a priority for my family. Some people choose to have the mother not work outside of the home. I understand this desire and choice and I definitely respect it especially since I had a wonderful mother who stayed at home with us children while I was growing up. It was a huge blessing. But it's not something that my family chooses to live at this time. Some people choose to eat out for every meal instead of preparing it at home. There are days where I definitely wish I could do that, but since A) we live in Rexburg with a total of 5 restaurants and B) it doesn't fit our budget it doesn't happen. But I understand why they would do that. It's a choice and we are so blessed to have the freedom to choose and to live with our choices. We should never judge another for their decisions because that has no affect on our life and how we can react and choose to live.

I feel blessed to have grown up in the manner that I did. I believe that it helped me to be friends with all sorts of people from all sorts of backgrounds. I cannot wait for my family to move outside the bubble and to be strengthened by the lifestyle that this blessing offers. To get to know people of all manner and to be in the world but not of the world. Only 2 more years...

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

DAY 1130.... NEXT MONTH!!!!!

I can now say that we are having a baby next month!!!! What?!?!? I feel like it's gone by quickly thanks to Aniston and just having a much busier lifestyle than I did while pregnant with Ani, but so slow at the same time! But seriously... next month we will become a family of four!!!

We had a doctors appointment earlier this week and discovered we are measuring two weeks big. Not surprised, Ani was two weeks early super healthy and 7lbs 11oz. Spencer has officially placed his prediction of the birthday of his son on November 8th and I'm gonna stick with November 14th. His actual "due date" is November 28th. We start going to appointments twice a week now because I am considered to be high risk due to the gestational diabetes. Speaking of which... The wait at the doctor's office was a little long so we were given these for being so patient....

Is this appropriate for a patient of my diabetic standing, who hasn't tasted real ice cream in weeks? I took these coupons as my doctor saying, don't worry about your blood sugars today... Dig in! So we did! It was the most amazing ice cream I have ever tasted possibly!!! Felt like garbage afterwards, but what was I expected to do? Save it until the baby is born? Oh heck no!

We are getting so excited for our little man to arrive. Pretty sure Aniston thinks he is staying in my belly forever, but she is still asking everyday to hold him and kiss him. The only thing we still need to get really is a car seat and diapers. But other than that, we are ready! Still feeling anxious about the labor and delivery and recovery since this is not my first rodeo and I know how badly those things can suck, and we aren't even going to touch on the anxiety surrounding breast feeding, but we are soooooooooo ready!

Time has been flying by the past month or two so I just hope that that keeps up through October! Hooray for only 58 days tops left!!!!