29 November 2012

sweet treats for friends

This year Mabes and I wanted to make some goodies to give out to friends to let them know we were thinking about them this holiday season.  I scoured Pinterest for some ideas and came up with three delicious looking recipes.  Mabes gave her seal of approval, I made a shopping list for the ingredients and we were off.  

Confession, I did make these the day before Thanksgiving, which I know is a cardinal sin to do anything Christmas related before Thanksgiving.  I feel I should get a pass because I wanted to make sure I had these done and given out before Miss Burrito makes her debut.  Or before pregnancy brain totally takes over my body and I am found wandering the streets aimlessly unsure of my own name or address.  (Trust me, Internets, I am about a millimeter from reaching that point right now.)

The first thing I did was pick up a package of cute treat boxes from Michaels.  
Friends Gift #2
I also picked up some red tissue paper to match and cute tins from Hobby Lobby as well.
Friends Gifts #3

Next it was time to start baking.

Our first project was Salted Caramel Sauce.  I had to make two batches of this because the jars I bought were a little bit bigger than what the girl used in the original recipe.  One batch only made enough for two jars.  Actually, I made a few more batches than that because I was trying to get it to turn that really deep caramel color.  Unfortunately no matter how hard I tried, it wouldn't turn without becoming a rock hard mess in the pan.  This only slowed us down a little bit because even though the color was a little on the lighter side, I assure you it still tasted heavenly.
Friends Gifts #6
The next thing Mabes and I made were the Barrington Mints.  I wasn't sure how many mints the tins would hold and assumed that since I doubled the caramel sauce recipe I would need to do the same thing for the mints.  Um, we may have had a bit of mint overload on this one.  I have a rather large ziplock bag in my freezer full of these leftover.  That's on top of the four tins we completely filled AND the large bag of mints I gave to my friend on Thanksgiving.  Whoops.
Friends Gifts #5
Our last recipe was Mabes favorite to make and my favorite to eat.  These are hot chocolate stirrers.  All you do is take marshmallows, dipped in melted mint dark chocolate, rolled in crushed candy canes with a mini candy cane stuck down the center.  You use them to stir into your mug of hot chocolate.  Or in the case of one of my friend's daughters you eat them all as is and then try and sneak the box back before your Mom notices.  Once Mabes had assembled them (a great recipe for the little ones to make with just a little supervision) and we let the chocolate set, we packaged them into little party bags and tied them off with some red bakers twine.
Friends Gifts #8
Then it was time for package assembly.  The sauce and marshmallows fit perfectly into the box with a little bit of tissue paper.
Friends GiftFriends Gifts #10
The mints fit into the tin with several layers of wax paper.  Put the tin on top of the box, tie it all together with a little more bakers twine, add a cute ornament and call it done.
Friends Gifts #11

sweet treats for friends

This year Mabes and I wanted to make some goodies to give out to friends to let them know we were thinking about them this holiday season.  I scoured Pinterest for some ideas and came up with three delicious looking recipes.  Mabes gave her seal of approval, I made a shopping list for the ingredients and we were off.  

Confession, I did make these the day before Thanksgiving, which I know is a cardinal sin to do anything Christmas related before Thanksgiving.  I feel I should get a pass because I wanted to make sure I had these done and given out before Miss Burrito makes her debut.  Or before pregnancy brain totally takes over my body and I am found wandering the streets aimlessly unsure of my own name or address.  (Trust me, Internets, I am about a millimeter from reaching that point right now.)

The first thing I did was pick up a package of cute treat boxes from Michaels.  
Friends Gift #2
I also picked up some red tissue paper to match and cute tins from Hobby Lobby as well.
Friends Gifts #3

Next it was time to start baking.

Our first project was Salted Caramel Sauce.  I had to make two batches of this because the jars I bought were a little bit bigger than what the girl used in the original recipe.  One batch only made enough for two jars.  Actually, I made a few more batches than that because I was trying to get it to turn that really deep caramel color.  Unfortunately no matter how hard I tried, it wouldn't turn without becoming a rock hard mess in the pan.  This only slowed us down a little bit because even though the color was a little on the lighter side, I assure you it still tasted heavenly.
Friends Gifts #6
The next thing Mabes and I made were the Barrington Mints.  I wasn't sure how many mints the tins would hold and assumed that since I doubled the caramel sauce recipe I would need to do the same thing for the mints.  Um, we may have had a bit of mint overload on this one.  I have a rather large ziplock bag in my freezer full of these leftover.  That's on top of the four tins we completely filled AND the large bag of mints I gave to my friend on Thanksgiving.  Whoops.
Friends Gifts #5
Our last recipe was Mabes favorite to make and my favorite to eat.  These are hot chocolate stirrers.  All you do is take marshmallows, dipped in melted mint dark chocolate, rolled in crushed candy canes with a mini candy cane stuck down the center.  You use them to stir into your mug of hot chocolate.  Or in the case of one of my friend's daughters you eat them all as is and then try and sneak the box back before your Mom notices.  Once Mabes had assembled them (a great recipe for the little ones to make with just a little supervision) and we let the chocolate set, we packaged them into little party bags and tied them off with some red bakers twine.
Friends Gifts #8
Then it was time for package assembly.  The sauce and marshmallows fit perfectly into the box with a little bit of tissue paper.
Friends GiftFriends Gifts #10
The mints fit into the tin with several layers of wax paper.  Put the tin on top of the box, tie it all together with a little more bakers twine, add a cute ornament and call it done.
Friends Gifts #11

28 November 2012

lord of the dance

Every single time she hears music she has to dance.  She can't help it.  The music takes over her body and she just can't stop.  We took her to Lowes the other day to pick up a few strings of Christmas lights.  Someone triggered a display that played holiday music so Dan and I spent five minutes watching this go down before the music finally shut off and she was able to continue shopping with us:
 

lord of the dance

Every single time she hears music she has to dance.  She can't help it.  The music takes over her body and she just can't stop.  We took her to Lowes the other day to pick up a few strings of Christmas lights.  Someone triggered a display that played holiday music so Dan and I spent five minutes watching this go down before the music finally shut off and she was able to continue shopping with us:
 

27 November 2012

dear burrito, week 36

Dear Burrito,

Week 36!  Next week you are considered full term.  Woo hoo!  I'd do a happy dance if I could, but right now it would be more like a happy waddle than anything else.

Yesterday Daddy and I went to the doctor's to have you and I checked out.  Daddy was able to meet the doctor who will hopefully be delivering you.  She answered a bunch of my questions and made me feel a teeny tiny bit better about the whole having you thing.  (That's all I am going to say about the anxiety this week...I'm kind of sick of talking about it and I know that it is upsetting some people.)  You had a good strong heartbeat and the doctor said that everything looked great.  I'm not dilated or anything, which means you will probably still be cooking for a little while.

I'm OK with the whole you continuing to cook.  Daddy is going to be gone next week and even though your Gamma and Gampa are going to come and stay with us just in case, I'd rather you just hang in there and wait for Daddy to be here.

Highlights from this past week include:

My lap no longer exists:
Lack of Lap
Your sister hates this because she loves to cuddle and sit on my lap.  She squishes herself against the two of us and rubs my belly (she says she is rubbing your back), but it is getting more and more difficult.  The most annoying part for me is that I can only move the seat back so far in the car to fit the belly and steering wheel while still being able to reach the pedals.  You'll understand this someday because I'm guessing you are going to be short like the rest of us.

My feet have started to swell really badly.  The day before Thanksgiving I was cooking all afternoon with your sister and by the time I was ready to go to bed they looked like this:
Wed before Thanksgiving Swollen
By the time I woke up in the morning after having kept them propped up on some pillows all night they looked like this:
Thanksgiving Swollen Feet
Ouch.  It was so painful to walk around the house.  They weren't much better on Friday either.  Thankfully Saturday I woke up to normal feet and ankles (I have ankles!) and have managed to keep it that way since.  I think the fact that I am drinking water like someone who has spent the last 40 days in the desert and trying to remind myself to rest is what is really helping.  I wish I could say the same for my hands.  They hurt all the time as well.  Simple things like gripping the steering wheel or sending a text message (not at the same time) are painful.

Whenever I get frustrated about a task being more difficult or painful I try and imagine your face and then it is hard to be upset.  Make no mistake, little one, you are totally worth it.

Sisterly Love
I've already mentioned that Mabes is bound and determined to continue to cuddle on my lap no matter how big you get.  She thinks is it hysterical you are the size of a melon.  We put up the Christmas tree this past weekend and she was beyond excited.  I mean sure there is the whole Santa, awesome holiday movies, cookies and all of that...but the Christmas tree going up means BABY SISTER IS ALMOST HERE!  Her excitement almost electrifies the air.  She cannot wait to meet you.  Every day she comes up with something else she wants to teach you, show you, read to you, play with you, or help you with.  You are lucky to have a big sister like that.  

Mabes also has the whole older sibling boss thing down.  I promise Daddy and I are trying to break the habit now.  It is going to be an uphill battle.  Trust me, as a bossy big sister I know.  When you move around in my belly sometimes it is very uncomfortable (did I mention we are rapidly running out of room in there?).  When your sister sees me flinch she immediately goes nose to belly and demands that you "Stop hurting our Mama right now.  Do you hear me?!"  Good luck, you are going to need it.

One last photo to share that made my week.  My good friend, Dana, texted me a photo her daughter, sweet Baby Norah, drew of me:
N's Photo of Jess
Baby Norah is only two but I think she did a really accurate job of capturing exactly what I feel like these days.  I love it and want Dana to send it to me so I can frame it.  

Three weeks from tomorrow at most until we finally meet.  Hang in there.

I love you,
Mama

dear burrito, week 36

Dear Burrito,

Week 36!  Next week you are considered full term.  Woo hoo!  I'd do a happy dance if I could, but right now it would be more like a happy waddle than anything else.

Yesterday Daddy and I went to the doctor's to have you and I checked out.  Daddy was able to meet the doctor who will hopefully be delivering you.  She answered a bunch of my questions and made me feel a teeny tiny bit better about the whole having you thing.  (That's all I am going to say about the anxiety this week...I'm kind of sick of talking about it and I know that it is upsetting some people.)  You had a good strong heartbeat and the doctor said that everything looked great.  I'm not dilated or anything, which means you will probably still be cooking for a little while.

I'm OK with the whole you continuing to cook.  Daddy is going to be gone next week and even though your Gamma and Gampa are going to come and stay with us just in case, I'd rather you just hang in there and wait for Daddy to be here.

Highlights from this past week include:

My lap no longer exists:
Lack of Lap
Your sister hates this because she loves to cuddle and sit on my lap.  She squishes herself against the two of us and rubs my belly (she says she is rubbing your back), but it is getting more and more difficult.  The most annoying part for me is that I can only move the seat back so far in the car to fit the belly and steering wheel while still being able to reach the pedals.  You'll understand this someday because I'm guessing you are going to be short like the rest of us.

My feet have started to swell really badly.  The day before Thanksgiving I was cooking all afternoon with your sister and by the time I was ready to go to bed they looked like this:
Wed before Thanksgiving Swollen
By the time I woke up in the morning after having kept them propped up on some pillows all night they looked like this:
Thanksgiving Swollen Feet
Ouch.  It was so painful to walk around the house.  They weren't much better on Friday either.  Thankfully Saturday I woke up to normal feet and ankles (I have ankles!) and have managed to keep it that way since.  I think the fact that I am drinking water like someone who has spent the last 40 days in the desert and trying to remind myself to rest is what is really helping.  I wish I could say the same for my hands.  They hurt all the time as well.  Simple things like gripping the steering wheel or sending a text message (not at the same time) are painful.

Whenever I get frustrated about a task being more difficult or painful I try and imagine your face and then it is hard to be upset.  Make no mistake, little one, you are totally worth it.

Sisterly Love
I've already mentioned that Mabes is bound and determined to continue to cuddle on my lap no matter how big you get.  She thinks is it hysterical you are the size of a melon.  We put up the Christmas tree this past weekend and she was beyond excited.  I mean sure there is the whole Santa, awesome holiday movies, cookies and all of that...but the Christmas tree going up means BABY SISTER IS ALMOST HERE!  Her excitement almost electrifies the air.  She cannot wait to meet you.  Every day she comes up with something else she wants to teach you, show you, read to you, play with you, or help you with.  You are lucky to have a big sister like that.  

Mabes also has the whole older sibling boss thing down.  I promise Daddy and I are trying to break the habit now.  It is going to be an uphill battle.  Trust me, as a bossy big sister I know.  When you move around in my belly sometimes it is very uncomfortable (did I mention we are rapidly running out of room in there?).  When your sister sees me flinch she immediately goes nose to belly and demands that you "Stop hurting our Mama right now.  Do you hear me?!"  Good luck, you are going to need it.

One last photo to share that made my week.  My good friend, Dana, texted me a photo her daughter, sweet Baby Norah, drew of me:
N's Photo of Jess
Baby Norah is only two but I think she did a really accurate job of capturing exactly what I feel like these days.  I love it and want Dana to send it to me so I can frame it.  

Three weeks from tomorrow at most until we finally meet.  Hang in there.

I love you,
Mama

21 November 2012

the ugly turkey

The Ugly Turkey Play #2
Yesterday the girlie's preschool put on a Thanksgiving production.  There was singing, dancing, and even a play called The Ugly Turkey.  Mabes was The Ugly Turkey (which meant she was a peacock). She does really good talking in front of people and has been awesome with her memory verses this year, so I am sure all of that helped her get the part.  
The Ugly Turkey Play #4
All of the classes were part of the production.  Which meant there were turkeys, peacocks and Indians ranging in ages from 1-5.  It was a little like herding cats in the front of the sanctuary.  A lot of this could be attributed to the fact that as soon as many of the little ones saw their parents they started crying, lost all interest in being in the front of the room and kept trying to go sit down, or froze knowing that they suddenly had an audience.
The Ugly Turkey Play #9
Mabes did great with her lines and speaking into the microphone.  Her teacher, Ms. Bella, was there to help her in case she needed a little help.  
At the Mic
From there things started to go down hill.  The wings of the costume made it a little hard for Mabes to make the motions during the song and dance portion of the show.  I could tell that this was frustrating for her.  
The Ugly Turkey Play #6
Then in the crowd of children someone knocked her headpiece off.  No matter how many times Mabes tried to put it back on or have her teacher help her it didn't stay.  This was really starting to upset her.  The next thing I knew she was laying in my lap crying because she was both frustrated and disappointed.  I felt so bad and tried to help encourage her to get back out there and to fix her costume.  
Ugly Turkey Mishap
A little girl from her class came over and kept telling her, "Accidents happen."  She also pointed out that she wasn't wearing a costume because they wanted her to be a turkey and there was "no way [she] was going to be a turkey!"  This made Mabes feel better and she decided that she wanted to keep singing and dancing, but no longer wanted her costume on.  Easy enough fix and her and her little friend were off to finish the show.
The Ugly Turkey Play #24
After the show we were able to have a Thanksgiving lunch together.  It was a sweet little show and all in all I think Mabes did a good job.  I love these little kid type of shows, they always make me laugh and are so stinking adorable.  I'm crossing my fingers they do a Christmas program too.  

I'm off to go bake, bake, bake to get ready for tomorrow.  Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  

the ugly turkey

The Ugly Turkey Play #2
Yesterday the girlie's preschool put on a Thanksgiving production.  There was singing, dancing, and even a play called The Ugly Turkey.  Mabes was The Ugly Turkey (which meant she was a peacock). She does really good talking in front of people and has been awesome with her memory verses this year, so I am sure all of that helped her get the part.  
The Ugly Turkey Play #4
All of the classes were part of the production.  Which meant there were turkeys, peacocks and Indians ranging in ages from 1-5.  It was a little like herding cats in the front of the sanctuary.  A lot of this could be attributed to the fact that as soon as many of the little ones saw their parents they started crying, lost all interest in being in the front of the room and kept trying to go sit down, or froze knowing that they suddenly had an audience.
The Ugly Turkey Play #9
Mabes did great with her lines and speaking into the microphone.  Her teacher, Ms. Bella, was there to help her in case she needed a little help.  
At the Mic
From there things started to go down hill.  The wings of the costume made it a little hard for Mabes to make the motions during the song and dance portion of the show.  I could tell that this was frustrating for her.  
The Ugly Turkey Play #6
Then in the crowd of children someone knocked her headpiece off.  No matter how many times Mabes tried to put it back on or have her teacher help her it didn't stay.  This was really starting to upset her.  The next thing I knew she was laying in my lap crying because she was both frustrated and disappointed.  I felt so bad and tried to help encourage her to get back out there and to fix her costume.  
Ugly Turkey Mishap
A little girl from her class came over and kept telling her, "Accidents happen."  She also pointed out that she wasn't wearing a costume because they wanted her to be a turkey and there was "no way [she] was going to be a turkey!"  This made Mabes feel better and she decided that she wanted to keep singing and dancing, but no longer wanted her costume on.  Easy enough fix and her and her little friend were off to finish the show.
The Ugly Turkey Play #24
After the show we were able to have a Thanksgiving lunch together.  It was a sweet little show and all in all I think Mabes did a good job.  I love these little kid type of shows, they always make me laugh and are so stinking adorable.  I'm crossing my fingers they do a Christmas program too.  

I'm off to go bake, bake, bake to get ready for tomorrow.  Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  

20 November 2012

dear burrito, week 35

Dear Burrito,

Week 35!!  Not much has changed since last week.   Less than a month until you will be here.  That, my little dear, is crazy to think about.
Swollen Feet
My feet are swollen every night, irregardless of how much or how little I walk around.  It is almost comical how big they get.  I'm seriously giving some thought to becoming one of those ladies who wears the huge fuzzy slippers out in public to give my feet some relief.  Lucky for you that you are still on the "inside" as your sister puts it and won't have to deal with the embarrassment of knowing fuzzy slipper lady is your Mama.  What I wouldn't give for a real foot massage.
Santa 2012
(If you look closely, you can see that I don't really have ankles and my feet are literally swelling out over the top and sides of my Toms in the Santa photo.)

Over the weekend we took you and your sister to see Santa.  I know you technically were still in the belly, but I don't think you will get to meet the jolly old elf in person this year.  You will be too new and I don't like the idea of taking you out in the holiday crowds.   You were still within inches of the big guy and you were kicking like crazy, so that counts for something.
Santa #2

Don't worry, your sister gave Santa a long list of things that you want.  Or rather things she would like on your behalf.  That girl has your back.

This year's Santa had a wonky eye.  I didn't realize Mabes even noticed it until we were walking around the mall and saw a different Santa.  She grabbed my hand and whispered, "Um, Mama...I don't know how to tell you this but either Santa got his eye fixed or that is not the same Santa."  I had to explain to her that the real Santa has to spend his time up at the North Pole supervising the elves because if they don't have someone to watch them they will just eat candy canes and not do their work.  The real Santa sends down assistants to meet all the kids and report back to him.  Your sister cracks me up.

This weekend is going to be all about eating turkey, putting up Christmas decorations and installing your car seat.  The time we have left to prepare is quickly slipping away and I'm OK with that.  Not that I am not still anxious and crying, but I am ready.  Ready to have you and ready to move on to the best part of the whole having the baby thing...cuddling you, smelling your little head, looking at your teeny tiny fingers and toes, kissing you, all of that good stuff.  I asked your sister what she is most looking forward to and she said dressing you up.  I can only imagine the color and pattern combinations she will come up with for you.  I'm sorry.  I asked Daddy the same question and he said that he is just ready to hold you.

Counting down the weeks until we get to see your little face.

Love you,
Mama

dear burrito, week 35

Dear Burrito,

Week 35!!  Not much has changed since last week.   Less than a month until you will be here.  That, my little dear, is crazy to think about.
Swollen Feet
My feet are swollen every night, irregardless of how much or how little I walk around.  It is almost comical how big they get.  I'm seriously giving some thought to becoming one of those ladies who wears the huge fuzzy slippers out in public to give my feet some relief.  Lucky for you that you are still on the "inside" as your sister puts it and won't have to deal with the embarrassment of knowing fuzzy slipper lady is your Mama.  What I wouldn't give for a real foot massage.
Santa 2012
(If you look closely, you can see that I don't really have ankles and my feet are literally swelling out over the top and sides of my Toms in the Santa photo.)

Over the weekend we took you and your sister to see Santa.  I know you technically were still in the belly, but I don't think you will get to meet the jolly old elf in person this year.  You will be too new and I don't like the idea of taking you out in the holiday crowds.   You were still within inches of the big guy and you were kicking like crazy, so that counts for something.
Santa #2

Don't worry, your sister gave Santa a long list of things that you want.  Or rather things she would like on your behalf.  That girl has your back.

This year's Santa had a wonky eye.  I didn't realize Mabes even noticed it until we were walking around the mall and saw a different Santa.  She grabbed my hand and whispered, "Um, Mama...I don't know how to tell you this but either Santa got his eye fixed or that is not the same Santa."  I had to explain to her that the real Santa has to spend his time up at the North Pole supervising the elves because if they don't have someone to watch them they will just eat candy canes and not do their work.  The real Santa sends down assistants to meet all the kids and report back to him.  Your sister cracks me up.

This weekend is going to be all about eating turkey, putting up Christmas decorations and installing your car seat.  The time we have left to prepare is quickly slipping away and I'm OK with that.  Not that I am not still anxious and crying, but I am ready.  Ready to have you and ready to move on to the best part of the whole having the baby thing...cuddling you, smelling your little head, looking at your teeny tiny fingers and toes, kissing you, all of that good stuff.  I asked your sister what she is most looking forward to and she said dressing you up.  I can only imagine the color and pattern combinations she will come up with for you.  I'm sorry.  I asked Daddy the same question and he said that he is just ready to hold you.

Counting down the weeks until we get to see your little face.

Love you,
Mama

19 November 2012

seriously this is all i've got!

Look!  Another post with no photos!!!  (I'm hoping to make up for it with enthusiasm and exclamation points!!  Is it working?)  It isn't that I don't want to share photos.  I just haven't taken any photos worth sharing.  Actually that isn't true at all.  For the first time in almost a week, I picked up my camera and took lots of photos over the course of the weekend.  There just hasn't been a minute to sit down and sort through them yet.  I will, I promise.  There will be lots of photos soon.

I wish I had more to write about.  Of course it doesn't help that I am running on very little sleep today thanks to a sizable panic attack and the inability to find a comfortable spot no matter which way I tossed and turned.  More than that, lately the fact is every day seems to be an exercise in having my butt totally kicked while simultaneously trying not to lose my mind.  There isn't a drop of energy left in my body, but somehow I have to find a way to make it from sun up (or in most cases before sun up) to long after sundown.  Mainly because there is always someone who needs something.  More often than not the someone in question is just under forty pounds, stands about three and a half feet tall and talks way too much.

The to do list for the baby just keeps growing.  I haven't had much time to try and tackle the list.  However, when I do it seems one thing gets crossed off and two things are added.  Vicious cycle.  I have made it my mission to stop waiting for the right time and just make it happen.  Otherwise I fear nothing will ever be accomplished.

On the plus side no matter how tired, sore, rundown or yucky I might be feeling...both of my girls make it all totally worth it.

Anyhow, today I have a rather lengthy list of goals set for myself to get done.  Including cleaning the house and spending a few quality hours in the kitchen baking up some delicious goodies with my best girlie to give friends for the holidays.  I also plan to do some photo editing and squeeze in the girlie's weekly dance lesson too.

In other words, what am I still doing at the computer?  Looks like today's post is going to be short and sweet.  Tomorrow I will be back.  With pictures!!



seriously this is all i've got!

Look!  Another post with no photos!!!  (I'm hoping to make up for it with enthusiasm and exclamation points!!  Is it working?)  It isn't that I don't want to share photos.  I just haven't taken any photos worth sharing.  Actually that isn't true at all.  For the first time in almost a week, I picked up my camera and took lots of photos over the course of the weekend.  There just hasn't been a minute to sit down and sort through them yet.  I will, I promise.  There will be lots of photos soon.

I wish I had more to write about.  Of course it doesn't help that I am running on very little sleep today thanks to a sizable panic attack and the inability to find a comfortable spot no matter which way I tossed and turned.  More than that, lately the fact is every day seems to be an exercise in having my butt totally kicked while simultaneously trying not to lose my mind.  There isn't a drop of energy left in my body, but somehow I have to find a way to make it from sun up (or in most cases before sun up) to long after sundown.  Mainly because there is always someone who needs something.  More often than not the someone in question is just under forty pounds, stands about three and a half feet tall and talks way too much.

The to do list for the baby just keeps growing.  I haven't had much time to try and tackle the list.  However, when I do it seems one thing gets crossed off and two things are added.  Vicious cycle.  I have made it my mission to stop waiting for the right time and just make it happen.  Otherwise I fear nothing will ever be accomplished.

On the plus side no matter how tired, sore, rundown or yucky I might be feeling...both of my girls make it all totally worth it.

Anyhow, today I have a rather lengthy list of goals set for myself to get done.  Including cleaning the house and spending a few quality hours in the kitchen baking up some delicious goodies with my best girlie to give friends for the holidays.  I also plan to do some photo editing and squeeze in the girlie's weekly dance lesson too.

In other words, what am I still doing at the computer?  Looks like today's post is going to be short and sweet.  Tomorrow I will be back.  With pictures!!



15 November 2012

my mind has left the building

Y'all I have officially lost it.  I'm sure many of you have heard of pregnancy brain before.  If not, check out the link, I'll be here when you get back.

With Mabes I had pregnancy brain for sure.  Luckily it really didn't flair up until midway through my second trimester and it wasn't terrible.  This time I am pretty sure I have had it since day one and it has progressively gotten worse.

So many times I will be talking to someone and can't remember what words I need to use.  Or worse midway through a sentence I'll forget what I am talking about altogether.  Seriously, who does that?  I tend to misplace things or to think of something only to forget all about it until a week later unless I immediately write it down.

Yesterday was the final straw.  As I have mentioned before I am itching to kick Christmas into high gear, especially knowing that very little will probably be accomplished once Burrito shows up.  At least for the first week or two.  I mean who cares at that point if the lights are on the tree, did you see the adorable newborn and have you snuggled with her yet? 

Dan is very much against decorating or doing anything Christmas related until after Thanksgiving.  I get it, really I do and on any other given year I would totally be right there with him.  Have I mentioned one of our neighbors already put up their outside Christmas lights and have them on every night?  Dan was not happy the night we pulled into the neighborhood and saw that.  Since I can't put the tree up yet I have tried to do Christmas related things behind the scenes.  The other morning I decided that I would get a jump start on wrapping Christmas presents.  I made myself a mug of hot chocolate, pulled everything out into the living room (Mabes was at school) and got to work.

As I was wrapping I came upon a Leapster game for Mabes' LeapPad.  I couldn't remember purchasing it but figured whatever, obviously I had.  I wrapped it up, added it to the pile of gifts that were ready to go and moved on.

Later that afternoon Mabes was playing with her LeapPad and I casually asked her what games she had.  It had been bothering me that I didn't remember getting that Leapster game.  She rattled the game titles and I was certain that one of them was the game I had just wrapped a few hours before.  In other words, not only did I forget all about buying the game but I had bought it twice.

After I put Mabes to bed that night I pulled out the wrapped presents and unwrapped the game.  Turns out I didn't buy it twice.  I wrapped an empty, already opened case.  Can you imagine the look on the girlie's face had she opened up an empty case on Christmas morning?  Seriously, I have totally lost my mind.

my mind has left the building

Y'all I have officially lost it.  I'm sure many of you have heard of pregnancy brain before.  If not, check out the link, I'll be here when you get back.

With Mabes I had pregnancy brain for sure.  Luckily it really didn't flair up until midway through my second trimester and it wasn't terrible.  This time I am pretty sure I have had it since day one and it has progressively gotten worse.

So many times I will be talking to someone and can't remember what words I need to use.  Or worse midway through a sentence I'll forget what I am talking about altogether.  Seriously, who does that?  I tend to misplace things or to think of something only to forget all about it until a week later unless I immediately write it down.

Yesterday was the final straw.  As I have mentioned before I am itching to kick Christmas into high gear, especially knowing that very little will probably be accomplished once Burrito shows up.  At least for the first week or two.  I mean who cares at that point if the lights are on the tree, did you see the adorable newborn and have you snuggled with her yet? 

Dan is very much against decorating or doing anything Christmas related until after Thanksgiving.  I get it, really I do and on any other given year I would totally be right there with him.  Have I mentioned one of our neighbors already put up their outside Christmas lights and have them on every night?  Dan was not happy the night we pulled into the neighborhood and saw that.  Since I can't put the tree up yet I have tried to do Christmas related things behind the scenes.  The other morning I decided that I would get a jump start on wrapping Christmas presents.  I made myself a mug of hot chocolate, pulled everything out into the living room (Mabes was at school) and got to work.

As I was wrapping I came upon a Leapster game for Mabes' LeapPad.  I couldn't remember purchasing it but figured whatever, obviously I had.  I wrapped it up, added it to the pile of gifts that were ready to go and moved on.

Later that afternoon Mabes was playing with her LeapPad and I casually asked her what games she had.  It had been bothering me that I didn't remember getting that Leapster game.  She rattled the game titles and I was certain that one of them was the game I had just wrapped a few hours before.  In other words, not only did I forget all about buying the game but I had bought it twice.

After I put Mabes to bed that night I pulled out the wrapped presents and unwrapped the game.  Turns out I didn't buy it twice.  I wrapped an empty, already opened case.  Can you imagine the look on the girlie's face had she opened up an empty case on Christmas morning?  Seriously, I have totally lost my mind.

13 November 2012

dear burrito, week 34

Dear Burrito,

Week 34 is upon us.  Probably the best news was when I read the weekly email from Babycenter.com and it said you are spending most of your time fattening up in there.  I'd like to think this is why the number on the scale keeps going up every time I step onto it at the doctor's and not because of my love of all things peppermint chocolate chip milkshake from Chick Fil A.

Sadly, this past week I had to say goodbye to my wedding ring.  Something I didn't really expect to happen.  Truth be told, I probably could have kept it on, but it was starting to get a little bit uncomfortable.  The swelling isn't just in my fingers, right now my feet are so swollen I don't have a prayer of squeezing them into real shoes, let alone lacing them.  Looks like Mama will be getting more judgmental looks from the people at the gym as I walk on the treadmill in flip flops.  Oh well, at least I am still working out, right?

One thing I am not doing is sleeping.  Part of the reason is because I cannot get enough water into my system.  I drink huge glass after huge glass.  Which also means that at least 70% of my day is spent looking for or being in the bathroom.  This constant need to pee isn't reserved just for waking hours, oh no.  I am up and down at least two or three times a night.  There is a very sleepy part of me that has very seriously considered buying a pack of Depends and attempting to get a good night of sleep.  No lie.

The other reason I am not sleeping is because my anxiety attacks are in full swing at this point.  And just like my need to pee, the attacks don't wait for the sun to come up.  Usually after I get done going to the bathroom and lay back down and find a comfy position (of which there are so few left) my mind has woken up fully and I can't turn off all the fears and questions.  Instead I lay awake and worry.

They say that most pregnant women have some anxiety towards the end of pregnancy.  Maybe I am not totally crazy for feeling as anxious as I do?  The truth is, I'm not worried about you at all.  I firmly believe you are a happy (and fat) little girl who is going to come out healthy and perfect.  My anxiety is very selfish in that I'm consumed with the fear of dying.  I am worried about making the wrong choice with how to deliver you and leaving you and Mabes without a Mama.  That thought twists my stomach into knots to the point I am physically sick.  I cry at least a few times a day.  I over analyze things people say thinking that maybe they know something I don't (OK, maybe I am crazy).  I try as hard as I can to keep it together for your sister.  That alone is exhausting because this anxiety is all consuming and I pretty much just want to curl up into a ball and do nothing but lay in my bed with the shades shut tight.  By the time we put Mabes to bed at night I am a hot mess and your poor Daddy just calmly sits there, listens to me and does his best to reassure me.

So many people have an opinion on whether I should have a repeat c-section or if I should try a VBAC.  Everyone has made at least a few valid points.  The problem is no one is me and what is right for one person isn't always right for another.  I have spent countless hours on the Internet looking up facts, reading stories (some great, some horrific), gathering statistics and writing down question after question for the doctors.  Either way there are at least some risks.  Not big risks, but risks.  When it comes to medical stuff I don't like risks.  Ever.  The last time I brought up my concerns to the doctor she pointed out that which ever way I go I have to be 100% committed.  When I think about the curtain going up in the OR and them starting to cut my belly my palms sweat and I just want to throw up.  Then when I think about having a VBAC and the possibility (however slim) of a "catastrophic event" (the doctor's words, not mine) happening and what would follow I start to cry.  Honestly I don't know that I will ever be 100% on board with either decision.  If we weren't rapidly (and I do mean rapidly) running out of space in my abdominal cavity I would probably lobby hard to find a way to advance science and just keep you in there.  It doesn't help that we are literally only a few weeks away from your due date.  Time is not on my side with this one.

Daddy asked me today if I was excited about your upcoming arrival.  I told him I was cautiously excited.  Meaning that until you were actually out and we were both dubbed medically safe I was more or less holding my breath.  Kiddo, it sucks.

I don't know about you, but I am ready to get through the next few weeks and to (hopefully) be able to share in the magic that is your first Christmas.

Love,
Mama

dear burrito, week 34

Dear Burrito,

Week 34 is upon us.  Probably the best news was when I read the weekly email from Babycenter.com and it said you are spending most of your time fattening up in there.  I'd like to think this is why the number on the scale keeps going up every time I step onto it at the doctor's and not because of my love of all things peppermint chocolate chip milkshake from Chick Fil A.

Sadly, this past week I had to say goodbye to my wedding ring.  Something I didn't really expect to happen.  Truth be told, I probably could have kept it on, but it was starting to get a little bit uncomfortable.  The swelling isn't just in my fingers, right now my feet are so swollen I don't have a prayer of squeezing them into real shoes, let alone lacing them.  Looks like Mama will be getting more judgmental looks from the people at the gym as I walk on the treadmill in flip flops.  Oh well, at least I am still working out, right?

One thing I am not doing is sleeping.  Part of the reason is because I cannot get enough water into my system.  I drink huge glass after huge glass.  Which also means that at least 70% of my day is spent looking for or being in the bathroom.  This constant need to pee isn't reserved just for waking hours, oh no.  I am up and down at least two or three times a night.  There is a very sleepy part of me that has very seriously considered buying a pack of Depends and attempting to get a good night of sleep.  No lie.

The other reason I am not sleeping is because my anxiety attacks are in full swing at this point.  And just like my need to pee, the attacks don't wait for the sun to come up.  Usually after I get done going to the bathroom and lay back down and find a comfy position (of which there are so few left) my mind has woken up fully and I can't turn off all the fears and questions.  Instead I lay awake and worry.

They say that most pregnant women have some anxiety towards the end of pregnancy.  Maybe I am not totally crazy for feeling as anxious as I do?  The truth is, I'm not worried about you at all.  I firmly believe you are a happy (and fat) little girl who is going to come out healthy and perfect.  My anxiety is very selfish in that I'm consumed with the fear of dying.  I am worried about making the wrong choice with how to deliver you and leaving you and Mabes without a Mama.  That thought twists my stomach into knots to the point I am physically sick.  I cry at least a few times a day.  I over analyze things people say thinking that maybe they know something I don't (OK, maybe I am crazy).  I try as hard as I can to keep it together for your sister.  That alone is exhausting because this anxiety is all consuming and I pretty much just want to curl up into a ball and do nothing but lay in my bed with the shades shut tight.  By the time we put Mabes to bed at night I am a hot mess and your poor Daddy just calmly sits there, listens to me and does his best to reassure me.

So many people have an opinion on whether I should have a repeat c-section or if I should try a VBAC.  Everyone has made at least a few valid points.  The problem is no one is me and what is right for one person isn't always right for another.  I have spent countless hours on the Internet looking up facts, reading stories (some great, some horrific), gathering statistics and writing down question after question for the doctors.  Either way there are at least some risks.  Not big risks, but risks.  When it comes to medical stuff I don't like risks.  Ever.  The last time I brought up my concerns to the doctor she pointed out that which ever way I go I have to be 100% committed.  When I think about the curtain going up in the OR and them starting to cut my belly my palms sweat and I just want to throw up.  Then when I think about having a VBAC and the possibility (however slim) of a "catastrophic event" (the doctor's words, not mine) happening and what would follow I start to cry.  Honestly I don't know that I will ever be 100% on board with either decision.  If we weren't rapidly (and I do mean rapidly) running out of space in my abdominal cavity I would probably lobby hard to find a way to advance science and just keep you in there.  It doesn't help that we are literally only a few weeks away from your due date.  Time is not on my side with this one.

Daddy asked me today if I was excited about your upcoming arrival.  I told him I was cautiously excited.  Meaning that until you were actually out and we were both dubbed medically safe I was more or less holding my breath.  Kiddo, it sucks.

I don't know about you, but I am ready to get through the next few weeks and to (hopefully) be able to share in the magic that is your first Christmas.

Love,
Mama

09 November 2012

ready for the weekend

Dano's 32nd Birthday at the Mash House Fayetteville, NC 10.26.2012
There isn't much to blog about today.  Mabes and I are busy cleaning the house and getting ready because this weekend Dan comes home.  Which should actually read, I'm cleaning and she is laying on the couch still resting from her plague.  He has been gone for six out of the last seven weeks to various places for work, with the most recent being a trip for two weeks to Hawaii.  We are so ready to have him home with us.  Daddy coming home is a hot topic with Mabes.  Even Burrito is excited.  As I type this she is busy dancing around in my belly in what I can only assume is anticipation of hearing her Daddy's voice.  

Anyhow, I'll be back Monday.  Until then have a great weekend.    

ready for the weekend

Dano's 32nd Birthday at the Mash House Fayetteville, NC 10.26.2012
There isn't much to blog about today.  Mabes and I are busy cleaning the house and getting ready because this weekend Dan comes home.  Which should actually read, I'm cleaning and she is laying on the couch still resting from her plague.  He has been gone for six out of the last seven weeks to various places for work, with the most recent being a trip for two weeks to Hawaii.  We are so ready to have him home with us.  Daddy coming home is a hot topic with Mabes.  Even Burrito is excited.  As I type this she is busy dancing around in my belly in what I can only assume is anticipation of hearing her Daddy's voice.  

Anyhow, I'll be back Monday.  Until then have a great weekend.    

08 November 2012

a beautiful life



I have been following Ryan Woods' story for some time now.  He has been such an inspiration to me and has left me forever changed.  He and his wife Jessica have found such joy in the darkest of times.  Their grace and entire story is nothing short of beautiful.  

Yesterday, November 7, Ryan passed away.  He is no longer in pain and went home to be with the Father and for that I celebrate.  For Jessica, Jones and India (his children) my heart breaks.  

Thank you, Ryan, for changing my life forever.  I plan to do my best to live out a beautiful story.

a beautiful life



I have been following Ryan Woods' story for some time now.  He has been such an inspiration to me and has left me forever changed.  He and his wife Jessica have found such joy in the darkest of times.  Their grace and entire story is nothing short of beautiful.  

Yesterday, November 7, Ryan passed away.  He is no longer in pain and went home to be with the Father and for that I celebrate.  For Jessica, Jones and India (his children) my heart breaks.  

Thank you, Ryan, for changing my life forever.  I plan to do my best to live out a beautiful story.

07 November 2012

the dog and pony show that is getting medical attention

Mabes has been one sick little girl for the last few weeks.  What started as a runny nose has led to basically the plague.
photo 1
Sunday she had to go to the ER because her eyes were so red, swollen and pussy.  She was given a diagnosis of pink eye in both eyes.  The doctors gave us some drops that we have to put in several times a day to help her out.
photo 5
Monday she stayed home from school and spent much of the day lounging on the couch and hanging out with me.  Did I mention we had to make a run to the doctor for me in the morning because she graciously decided to share the pink eye despite my best efforts to Lysol every surface in the house?  In the afternoon she came up to the office crying because her ear hurt.  I tried an old home remedy and had her lay back down on the couch hoping that she would start to feel a little better.  Things only got worse as she began to cry from the pain and I noticed her ear was really red.

This is where everything took a turn from bad to really bad.

I called our doctor's office and ended up on hold waiting to talk to an advice nurse.  Finally after over 30 minutes of sitting on hold I hung up.  Good thing I did.  Because my next step was to call our insurance company to try and get a referral to an Urgent Care clinic.  I found out from them that once our clinic closes for the day they just let you remain on hold UNTIL THE NEXT MORNING.  Basically I wasted at least 20 minutes just sitting there listening to a recording for nothing.  I had to talk to several people from the insurance company before I was given the go ahead to take her in to a clinic that was across town.

We got in the car and took off.  My thought was this will take about an hour, we will come home have dinner and just snuggle before bedtime.  Clearly I must have been high on eye drops because that was not to be.
photo 2
(A pen and the paper that they use to cover the exam table is a great way to pass the time when you are five-years-old.  Having a magazine under the paper helped with not having the pen push through the paper.)

Almost three hours of waiting in the Urgent Care clinic went by before we were seen.  The doctor ended up diagnosing her with two ear infections, an upper respiratory infection and fifths disease.  This was all on top of the double pink eye situation we had going on.  Poor Mabes must have been ready to have someone chop her head off.  No wonder she was so miserable.  The doctor said that she would send the prescription to the Rite Aid near our house and that by the time we got there it would be ready.

By the time we reached the Rite Aid pharmacy counter it was 8:50pm.  The pharmacist told me that the prescription had been called into the wrong store.  They were able to pull it up to fill it, but she wasn't going to because they were closing in ten minutes.  My first reaction was to point out that when you have something filled at Walmart you can drop off the prescription and come back 10-15 minutes later to pick it up.  Why couldn't she do that for me now?  Was it really a problem to possibly have to spend five extra minutes?

Y'all I am 8 months pregnant, hormonal, very tired and have a sick kiddo on my hands.  It was late at night I had spent hours in and out of medical waiting rooms my patience was wearing thin.  I needed this woman to show a little compassion, a little customer service and to just do her job.

She refused.

So I started to cry.  (Thanks hormones!)

She laughed at me.

She told me that if I wanted I could go to the other store where it was originally called in.  Only it was on the other side of town and closed at the same time this store did.  When I pointed that out to her she shrugged and told me, "Oh well.  I guess you will have to wait until the morning."

I was pretty upset, but I left and tried to call the Urgent Care to see if they could please put the prescription in some place else.  Only they had closed and their phones were being answered by an answering service.  I rushed back to the clinic hoping and praying that the doctor would still be there finishing up with patients.  Unfortunately she had just left and all that remained was a receptionist who was closing up for the night.  I explained the situation and she sympathized but had no access to do anything to help.  She suggested that I go to the ER and see if they could maybe help me out.
photo 3
Not knowing what else to do I drove up to the ER for the second night in a row.  We checked in and I explained the situation to the triage nurse.  I knew it was a long shot but I was hoping that they would take pity on me and my clearly in pain miserable little girl and just sort of fast lane us through the whole process since we already knew what the problem was.

Nope.  We were told to go sit in the waiting room and wait.

And wait.

And wait.

And wait.

Just as I was about to give up, go home to try and to self remedy the situation for the night they called us back.  Where we were put in a room to wait.

And wait.

And wait.

And wait.
photo 4
After another hour or so the doctor came in agreed with the diagnosis of fifths disease.  Checked the girlie's ears and said he wasn't sure if they were infected or not and refused to prescribe anything.  He also wanted her chest thing to just clear out on its own.  I explained to him that while I agreed with not pumping her full of unnecessary antibiotics, she was clearly in pain and that the cough thing in particular had been going on for over two weeks.  Surely there was something that he could give her to help dry it out and give her some relief.  He relented and agreed to prescribe some Zyrtec.  Finally a victory.

I then asked if any of this was a danger to the little Burrito growing in my belly.  Turns out that while fifths disease is a fairly mild problem in little kids, it can be really bad in a small percentage of unborn babies.  One major factor in keeping the baby safe is if the mother is immune.  Which is something I didn't know if I was or not.  I asked if we could do a test to find out.  He told me that since Mabes was the patient and not me I would have to go back out, take a number, be seen by a triage nurse and then wait in the waiting room until I could be seen by a doctor.

Yep, you read that right.

I did the only thing I knew how to do in that moment.  Cry.

We signed the discharge paperwork, picked up her prescription and left.  I called Dan and he and I both agreed that chances were very slim that Burrito was in any type of danger and that waiting another few hours until sunrise (did I mention by this point it was almost 2am?) to call my OB probably wouldn't hurt.

In the morning I called the OB and they said that chances were extremely slim that anything was wrong and that we could just wait to do the blood test when I go for my already scheduled appointment at the end of the week.  Here is hoping I am immune.

Praying my girlies both have clean bills of health by the end of the week.

**Update:  Late last night Mabes threw up and then spiked a fever of 102.  She is home from school for the third day in a row and will probably remain out all week.  The fever has gone down, her eyes seem much better but we will continue the eye drops through Sunday as instructed.  Her ears are still bothering her, she has a terrible cough and her face is raw from all the nose blowing.  Slowly but surely we are going to get her better come hell or high water.  
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