Saturday, January 30, 2010

Cuckoo for Cuckoo Clocks

I am sure I have mentioned Will's fascination with clocks. He loves 'em and sees them everywhere. Sometimes, he is actually seeing a scale in the produce department or the blood pressure meter in a doctor's office, but those sure do look like clocks and he gets very excited.

Will's Nana has a cuckoo clock on her wall that she has had since the mid-1950's. Every time he goes to Nana's house, he points out the clock. Ten years ago, M's mom moved in with Nana when her health started to deteriorate. At the time, the clock was moved to make some room for her things and the weights that make it work were taken off the clock and put someplace. The clock has been silent ever since. It has actually be a source of contention between the two of them.

With Will's clock fascination, we decided the perfect Christmas gift for Nana would be to replace the clock weights. I did some research and found that the weights would only be around $15 a piece and we only needed two. Nana was thrilled with her weights when she opened them for Christmas, declaring that we couldn't have done better, and she couldn't want to get the clock working so Will could enjoy it with her.

So, M took the weights in the other room to fix the cuckoo clock. I forgot to mention that I had to ask M's mom to take the clock off the wall to read some information on the back to figure out what kind of weights the clock would take, and that becomes important when M goes to put the weights on the clock and. . .

The entire clock fell of the wall, smashing into ten different pieces and pulling the chains and weights right out of the clock! M and I just stood there in horrified amazement. My "great idea" of a Christmas gift had just become nightmare.

See, replacing the clock would be about $200. . . but that would be a new clock, not this cuckoo clock that Nana has emotional attachments to. We didn't confess that it had been broken, just told her that it "wasn't working right" and that we needed to take it to the clock shop for a "tune up." We carefully collected all of the pieces and took it to the shop.

We were given an estimate of $180 to repair the clock, which considering the state it was in, probably was more than fair. But to be honest, that was a lot of money to us right now, especially on top of all that we just spent at Christmas. It's our fault the clock is broken, and we had to make it right, so I begged and pleaded to see if there was any way to fix it for less.

The guy took pity on our plight and put the chains back in, oiled the clock, reset the time, and even glued the pieces that were broken back together. Fortunately, the damage was cosmetic and the clock still works, despite it's fall from the wall. It might not keep the best of time, but it should work. And the guy did it for free.

We are heading up today to put the clock back on Nana's wall and hope it works there, too. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Edited: The cuckoo worked great! Every half hour, we'd get the little cuckoo, and on the hour, we'd get the string of cuckoos cheerfully announcing the time. Will would stop what he was doing to pay attention each time. Nana was thrilled. Finally, our gift was complete.

Oh, and if you live in the Seattle area and need clock repair or to buy a new clock, A House of Clocks is the place to go! Ask for Don.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Night Leftovers

It's that time again, time to put all the random thoughts in my head in bullet point form. . . head over to Danifred's to join in the fun!
1. I am obsessed with stroller shopping and looking on Craigslist. I just know the perfect stroller is out there for us, at a reduced price!

2. I am hiring a mother's helper. It is harder than I expected. I have had an interview no-show, two interviews with people that I will not be hiring, and one candidate that was promising, but then got another job offer.

3. I am debating whether or not to just quit my parttime job and nix the mother's helper idea. I don't think I am going to be able to keep working once the baby is here, and I won't have worked for them for a year, so I don't think they will want to give me a few months off to acclimate (and I don't blame them).

4. Oh, and I still haven't told my boss that I am pregnant. I work 100% from home, so I probably wouldn't ever have to tell him. But I probably should. Sometime soon.

5. Have I even mentioned my part time job here on the blog before? I am not sure. It's a great job, I really lucked into something great. I get paid well, it is not difficult work, and my boss is great to work for. So I really don't want to throw the opportunity away. But I also know when I am in over my head and newborn + Will + work from home job + no maternity leave = in over my head.

6. Will's belly is super cute. I love changing his diaper just to get a look at that adorable little belly. I just might be unable to avoid kissing it. He likes kissing my belly, too.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Beat Goes On

We had a routine OB appointment today. It was our first time hearing the heartbeat. . .

156 BPM.

Such a miraculous sound. I could listen to it all day. The little one didn't even make us wait, the beat came up right away.

We brought Will with us to the appointment and he was antsy, except when we listened to the beat. Then he was perfectly still, with his little head cocked to the side. It was pretty cute.

Everything else looks good. I lost a lot of weight in the first trimester, but that has stopped (I even gained a pound, yay!), Dr. S commented that weight and BP looked "perfect." I didn't really have any questions as things have been feeling pretty familiar and normal, so it was a quickie appointment. Routine, normal, quick, easy appointment. Just as I like 'em.

Things Will Loves

He loves to sing.

He loves to dance.

He loves "choo choos" and airplanes.

He loves grilled cheese, blueberries, strawberries, rice ("wice!"), pancakes, cheesy scrambled eggs, cinnamon toast ("totes"), Cheerios ("o's"), animal crackers (and he gets them himself out of the pantry), dried mangoes, and "hot coco" - which is warmed milk with a small amount of chocolate instant breakfast in it.

He loves using a fork.

He loves wearing Daddy's clothes.

He loves giving the puppies a kiss and hug.

He loves saying "Awwwww" when he does it.

He loves to play with M when he gets home from work.

He loves wearing his boots.

He loves going to the park to play.

He loves Elmo.

He loves brushing his teeth.

He loves combing his hair.

He loves it when we take a tubby together.

He loves picking stories at bedtime.

He loves his stuffed Lightening McQueen.

It's honestly hard to think of anything that he doesn't like.

I love him.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mediterranean Chicken

Time for another recipe! I love making this chicken because it is easy, flavorful, and healthy. I can literally toss this together in minutes. It is also versatile, because you can add things you like and take out things you don't. You can serve it with a variety of things, including tossing it with some pasta or just serve it with a side of veggies. I also like to use the leftovers (if there are any!) on salads the next day. My husband does not like chicken usually, but because you halve the chicken breasts, they stay moist and flavorful.

Mediterranean Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved
2 tbs. olive oil
Black pepper, to taste
2 chopped roma tomatoes
1/2 c. diced red onion
1/2 c. halved, pitted kalamata olives
1/2 c. prepared pesto sauce (if I don't have any homemade, I use Mezetta Napa Valley brand)
1 c. crumbled feta cheese

Heat the 2 tbs. olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan.
Saute the diced red onion for three to five minutes.
Take the halved chicken breasts and spread the pesto evenly on one side of each piece.
Place chicken, pesto-side down, in the frying pan.
Spreada the remaining pesto on the other side of the chicken.
Sprinkle black pepper over that side (I am sparing with the pepper, since I feel as if the pesto has plenty of flavor).
Saute chicken until brown on first side (about 5 - 7 minutes) and then flip.
Add kalamata olives and tomatoes.
When chicken is done (about another 4 - 5 minutes), remove from heat and sprinkle with feta cheese.

(If I am serving it mixed with pasta, I will cook the pasta while I cook the chicken and reserve 1/3 c. of the hot pasta water. I then slice the chicken and pour the whole thing into the pasta pot and re-add the starchy water - if you salt your pasta water, then this adds great flavor and more "sauce," though it is still a drier pasta in terms of the amount of sauce. I also wait to add the feta until after I have mixed it with the pasta. I have used angel hair and penne and both are good.)

Things that I have added to this:

Fresh spinach (yummy - just add it in when you add the olives and tomatoes)
Red and green pepper (saute with onions)
Cucumber (added at the very end with the feta and then served with tzatziki and pita bread instead of pasta)
I have also made it with prawns and that was pretty amazing, too!

Things that I often take out:

The onion as M doesn't like it. I just add more olives and tomatoes.
I also have used other types of tomatoes and onions, it doesn't seem to alter the taste much.

Once, I left out the olives (I didn't realize I didn't have any) and I was surprised by how much of a difference they made. I wouldn't recommend leaving those out unless you don't like them.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It's the Things That Make You Go MMMM

MMMM stands for Most Mortifying Mom Moment. I have had a few in my relatively short time as a mom, but my most recent experience with a MMMM came just a few days ago.

I took Will to Costco to do some shopping. I still have some waves of nausea in the afternoon, so I really have to force myelf to get out and about. I do it because it is sometimes easier to entertain Will away from the house when I am not feeling well, and Costco, with its lights, people, and samples, is a surefire way to get at least at hour's worth of entertaintment for him. I was wearing yucky old sweats and a zip up jacket with just my bra on underneath. I put on jeans, but decided not to bother putting a shirt on under the jacket, as it is cold out and I wouldn't need to take it off.

We got to Costco, I got Will situated in the cart, and as we were heading into the store, he started fiddling with the zipper on my jacket. He likes zippers, buttons, necklaces, etc., and plays with them a lot. He especially likes to zip things and unzip things. To be honest, I wasn't really paying that much attention at the moment, as I was putting my Costco card back in my wallet and getting out my grocery list.

We walked around Costco for about 45 minutes that day, chatting with the Sample People, meandering the aisles, smiling at passerby. When I got up to the register, I pulled my cart up behind an elderly lady and when she turned around her eyes widened.

"Dear," she said softly, "Do you know that your blouse is open?"

I looked down and saw that Will had unzipped my jacket nearly to my navel. And my white bra was clearly visible, along with a hefty amount of pregnant breast. I immediately zipped myself up to my chin and looked around, hoping no one saw.

But of course people saw. Will had fiddled with my jacket when we first arrived at Costco, my friends. No wonder we got extra samples from the pizza guy!

Care to share your MMMM? Or, any embarrassing moments? I've got loads of 'em from my pre-mom days. . . we could just called it Most Memorable MessedUp Moments!

Monday, January 25, 2010

No Matter How You Slice It

Some folks call the 12th week the beginning on the second trimester.

Some people prefer to wait until the 13th week before calling it that.

There are some really conservative ones that wait until the 14th week to say that you're in the second trimester.

No matter what camp you're in or how you count off the days . . .

Second trimester, here I am!!

I am so glad to be here, for the obvious biggest reason of all being that we are now safely past the highest risk of miscarriage. I am also glad to be here, because I am feeling human again. I am so glad to be able to eat and to parent my son. There were some dark days back there where I wasn't sure we were going to make it.

But here we are and until I get huge, awkward, and swollen, I plan to live it up! Yay for the second trimester!

Memorial Monday

It's been awhile since I have had the honor of posting a Memorial Monday on this site. As a refresher, to be featured in a Memorial Monday, please click on my e-mail through my profile page. You may write your story yourself or provide me the details necessary to write it for you. Pictures, poetry, whatever you want to include to make your Memorial more meaningful to you, all is welcome. If you'd like to link back to your personal blog, please provide the information.

This week's Memorial Monday is in honor of Justina and her lost baby, Hope, written in her own words.

My name is Justina. I do not have a blog. I didn't read blogs until a few weeks ago when my baby Hope died.

I was six months pregnant with my little girl when I went to my doctors appointment and they couldn't find a heartbeat. The nurse knew right away and said your baby is dead but the doctor said we can't be sure until we get pictures of the babys heart.

My boyfriend was at work since most of my appointments had been boring. My mom was going to come with me but she was sick. I was all by myself. I went to the hospital and they gave me a bracelet and had me sit in the waiting room. There were a lot of women there who were having babies and because of that I had to wait a long time.

Finally I got to have the ultrasound and the person doing it kept the screen turned away from me. She didn't say anything to me and went to get a doctor. The doctor was young, he looked like someone on a t.v. show about doctors. He walked in and said to me your baby is dead. Just like that. He said I would have to deliver her and that I could go home to get some things if I needed to. I just stared at him and was still trying to understand that my baby was dead. He asked me if I understood english and I told him yes but I think I am in shock. He said that I could go right into a room and not have to go home.

But I didn't want to do that. So I went home. I didn't call anybody, I just went to bed and slept for the rest of the day. When my mom kept calling to see how the appointment went I just let the phone ring and ring. When my boyfriend came home I told him what had happened and he got mad at me for coming home and going to bed. He told me that I had to go to the hospital. He made me get my clothes on and pack some things in a bag. He called my mom for me.

We went back to the hospital and I had to deliver my baby girl. She didn't look like a normal baby but I loved her anyway. We named her Hope because I hope that she didn't feel any pain and hope that she knew how much I love her. I went back home and went back to bed. Its been almost a month and my boyfriend told me its time to get over Hope and move on or he will leave me but I almost don't care because I am not ready to move on.

Thank you for putting Hope on your page.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Could It Be? Nah. . .

Okay, so I might have found my dream stroller. I use the word might because cost is definitely a factor here and I don't know with this being the "latest and greatest" stroller (with a waiting list to boot!) if I will ever be able to find it secondhand. But if I could. . .

I introduce you to. . .

The Baby Jogger City Select

Here is a video that goes into greater detail about the amazingness that is this stroller, but what I like about it. . .

1) It is a tandem stroller in a single stroller frame. It is no bigger than a single stroller, but there are 20 different configurations to make it the double of your dream.

2) It folds down easily and extremely compactly.

3) It is not a jogger, but for the exercise I do (long, off road walks), the wheels are perfect.

4) It has storage.

What I don't like about it. . .

1) The single stroller by itself is spendy and pretty much out of my price range.

2) Every accessory, including of course, the necessary second seat, is an additional cost, taking it completely out of my price range.

But if cost wasn't an issue (and it so. is) this would be my stroller. I am hoping that the excitement will die down after a few months and there will be some discounts or coupons out there, or my faithful friend craigslist will yield one. If not. . . well, there are still lots of options out there for me.

Having gone to an amazing store with higher end strollers, I have to say that I also really like the Bob Duallie Revolution (I knew I liked it before, but man, that thing is smooooooooth) but that I don't love how it folds up and is still pretty bulky. I also really liked the Baby Jogger City Mini, but I don't love the wheels that wouldn't hold up to off-road use (but it has a good push to it and folds nice and compactly with ONE hand). It was just a tiny bit out of my price range, but I feel that I could probably find either one of these strollers second-hand before the baby is born.

I think what I will probably end up doing is trying to find a kick-booty deal on a Bob Revolution Duallie (using it on long walks and the occasional longer day trip) and then buy a smaller stroller for the car, like the Maclaren Techno Twin. I see the Bobs occasionally for around $300 and the Maclarens for around $100, so I would still save money.

But. . . that stroller. . . sigh.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Some Things

Things different in this pregnancy. . .

more morning sickness and actual vomiting.

less tenderness in the breasts, and they aren't getting as huge as quickly, either.

not showing as quickly (by 13 weeks last time around, none of my pants fit and this time, all of my pants still fit just fine).

no fainting.

chocolate doesn't make me gag.

I am moodier (bitchier may be more appropriate here, to be honest). Way moodier. Trust me.

Still waiting for that second trimester energy to kick in (it kicked in at week 11 last time - no sign of it yet)

Things the same in this pregnancy. . .

I crave sour things.

And fruit.

It is difficult for me to feel really "bonded" to this baby. I love the baby, I am excited, but I think I am still protecting myself a little bit. The anatomy scan helped last time, and I assume it will this time, too.

My hips hurt. Like bone rubbing bone. It doesn't bother me as much this time because I know it's not permanent, but man, it HURTS.

Dog nose. I can smell anything.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Will is sick again. It's just a cold, but gah.

He has sinus issues. We found out in December that he has enlarged adenoids and some structural issues with his sinuses. The adenoids are so enlarged that they are keeping his sinuses from developing properly and he had the "worst, most massive sinus infection I have seen in my entire practice" (that's a quote from his pediatric allergist after she reviewed the CT-scan). She wasn't sure from reading the scan whether the damage to his sinuses was caused by the adenoids or the infection. We put Will on a three week course of antibiotics (even with acidophilus and boatloads of active culture yogurt, the diapers have been unimaginable) and nasal corticosteroids. He has a follow up CT-scan and that will determine how things are progressing once the infection is cleared. If the adenoids are still causing issues, they will have to come out.

All of this was discovered because of his perma-stuff that started in September and continuous sinus infections since he was five months old. Oh, and his snorning. And my mothers' intuition that something wasn't quite right.

In November and December, he was so stuffed, he stopped eating, lost weight, and that's when we finally got the CT-scan that diagnosed the sinus infection. After three days on the antibiotics, he was "back." He was not really grumpy or out of sorts when he was sick (which the doctor said was remarkable, considering how much pain he must have been in from his sinuses), but he was like Super Charged, Big Eating Will again.

It was nice to have him, sick-free, for a few weeks. Now, colds will happen, and it's truly not a big deal. He only has a very lowgrade fever and clear nasal discharge, he's not congested the way that he used to get.

Being a mom is wonderful, but it's tough when your kiddos are sick. When we were going to appointments, strapping down him down for xrays and CT-scans, having to block out his screams of protests and whimpers of fear, I had a very small glimpse into the world of what parents with seriously ill children must go through. In fact, I told M as we rode down one elevator ride on the way to another appointment, that I don't know how those parents do it. I know, I know. They just do. They have to, they have no choice. But you know, I mean, really how do they do it? It breaks my heart to even think about it, because I know there are parents out there going through it right now. It sure puts things in perspective.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Best Kind of Problem

I have a question for you, my dear readers.

When a second child comes into your life. . . how can you possibly love it as much as your first child? How?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Making A Splash!

Thanks for the input on double strollers. If you haven't yet weighed in, please do so!

I had the opportunity to purchase a 2006 Phil & Ted's e3 (original buggy) stroller off of craigslist yesterday for $250. That price included the car seat adapter, rain and sun shield, and doubles kit. It seemed like a really good deal and I almost went for it. But there were a few things about this stroller that are still nagging at me. The first being that this particular model (and several of them) was actually recalled due to a safety issue when folding up the stroller. Apparently, there were finger guards that the company could send you at the time of the recall, but when I contacted the company about it yesterday, they were very vague and basically said that they wouldn't recommend the purchase of that model (and I made it clear I would not be purchasing a new stroller, so they weren't losing a sale if I did buy it). I was also concerned about some things that I had read in reviews: children getting their fingers stuck in the spokes of the wheels, and the mud flaps that the company sends you to take care of this problem are noisy and break easily; the child in the lower seat getting splashed and muddy if you don't use the rain shield if the ground is wet (even if not raining) and here in the Pacific Northwest the ground is wet - a lot; and the no storage issue when the second seat is in place. All of these were huge roadblocks for me, as was spending $250 for a four year old stroller that the company didn't recommend buying and there would be no warranty for. Ultimately, I decided that we are still not ready to make such a purchase until I have gotten an opportunity to actually go and test drive some models. When I have decided which one I want, I can go and look on craigslist, but I was being kind of premature looking until I was sure. So, back to the drawing board and gladly taking any and all input.

In other news, I took Will swimming today at a pool not too far from our house. If you are in the Seattle area, I have to highly recommend the Mountlake Terrace indoor aquatics center. It is basically made for toddlers. The one HUGE pool is divided (by cement walls) into three subsections: main pool, lazy river, and "leisure pool." The lazy river current was perfect for floating around in. It's not huge, but it has a center area with a fountain, and there are plenty of noodles and floaties for just drifiting around in. It was 3 feet deep all the way around.

The "leisure pool" area is a gently sloped and padded pool that you just walk into. It is at most 3 feet deep but also has a lot of areas much less than 3 feet. There is also "toddler island" which is a raised area that is less than a foot deep. There are balls, more floaties and noodles, rubber duckies, squirting fish, plenty of life jackets, etc. There are also fountains, water showers, and geyers throughout the area. Other than that, it's pretty standard pool features, with swim lanes in the main pool, lifeguards, and locker rooms with showers and lockers (.25 rental fee for the lockers). It was $3.75 for each of us to get in for up to five hours of swim (we were exhausted and ready for lunch after an hour and a half). There is a "happy hour" in the afternoon for $2/person, which some of the moms I talked to said was pretty busy, but would probably be enough time and save a bit of money.

The whole area is geared for kiddos under 6 years of age, and I imagine older kids might be bored, since the main pool is being used for classes during this time. But they do have "rec swim" hours, where the price goes up a buck per person (they also have a family pass which would be more economical per person if you had more than two kids) and the main pool is open, too, and then everyone would be happy.

I really recommend it and think it was a perfect area for Will to get more comfortable in the water. He loves baths, but this was his first time in a pool, and he was a little unsure at first. But he was a pro by the end and we will definitely be back!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Stroller Derby

I have a love-hate relationship with strollers. I love my stroller that I finally got for Will, but getting it took three other strollers. The right stroller can really make your life much easier, whereas the wrong one really can make a simple outing a headache.

There was nothing wrong with my original stroller combo. It was a perfectly nice travel system from Graco. I liked the fabric, the snap-n-go seat, and it worked fine for the mall. But I hated how bulky it was for folding up, it steered "okay" but not great, and, as Will got older, I switched to a more space-friendly travel stroller that folded very compactly, but still had all of the features that I needed, like a reclining seat, sunshade, and basket for storage.

Also, I surprised everyone (including myself) by how much I used a hand-me-down jogging stroller that I got from a friend. It pushed like a dream and worked great when Will was a smaller infant. However, it was an older model, with only a lap belt, and as Will got larger and more mobile, it became a safety issue. My girlfriend and I were taking 5 - 7 mile walks daily and so I was using this stroller a lot, and it wasn't very comfortable for Will and lacked a cup holder for my water bottle, or a snack tray for Will.

So, eventually, I found one stroller that worked for everything. It is not a jogging stroller by "official" standards, but it has a front wheel that can be fixed, and I am not a pro-jogger, so it has worked for me. It is super comfortable with a little steering wheel (that beeps!) for Will, and a place for me to plug in my i-pod, and drink holders, and a snack tray, and it steers like a dream, and I love it. I still have the travel stroller in the car and keep the jogging stroller in the garage, but we are down to two strollers (after having four at one time!). If we go for a longer day trip or an outing, like the zoo, we put the jogging stroller in the car and leave the travel stroller at home.

Of course, now that we are looking at purchasing a double stroller, I want to do it right the first time. I am considering doing something similar; finding a compact, travel double and also a jogging stroller for longer trips and the walking that I will need to do to bust off pregnancy weight later on!

We do not have a huge budget, but I would rather spend a little more and be happy than try to settle for something and be disappointed. I also am not at all hesitant to use craigslist (as I have for all of my stroller purchases with the exception of the original Graco travel system). So, with diligent looking, I can find even the more upscale strollers in our price range.

So, these are the strollers I am considering, based on friends' recommendations and personal research. But I also know that you, my dear reader, know a lot about strollers and I figured you might be able to help me narrow down my search. Also, I know it's a bit early to be purchasing the stroller, but with craigslist, you have to strike while the iron's hot, and it will give me time to find a super good deal. If there is a stroller that you LOVE but I haven't listed here, please let me know about it and why you couldn't live without it.

Phil and Ted's
I have found the e3's (both sport and original) for around $300 on craigslist a couple of times (with the doubles kit, car seat attachement, and rain guard, which would up the price of the stroller new by about $200). What appeals to me about this stroller is how compact it is. I might not even need a second travel stroller, it folds up so well. I love the option to have the infant lie flat, so I can use this stroller from day one with both kids. I am attacted to the fact that if and when Will decides he doesn't want to stroll anymore, we can just get rid of the doubles kit and this goes back to a single stroller without having to buy a new one. What concerns me is spending so much for a used stroller that will have no warranty and the fact that some people say it can be awkward to jog and walk with the doubles attachment in place (I guess the handle's too short on these "base" models, and I don't have $900 to splurge on the Vibe, which you don't see secondhand on the market very often and those are still $500 or more on the rare occasion that they do pop up and that is over my budget). There is also no storage when the doubles kit is in place (which it would be for most of the life of this stroller) and yes, you can buy the attachments, but they are pricey. M is already freaking out about paying $300 for a used stroller as is.

Bob Duallie
Ah, the Bob. I think every mom that I know that owns one of these is pretty much in love with it. I find these on craigslist quite often, again around $300. Other moms' opinions mean a lot to me, so that is what attracts me about this stroller. What I don't love about it is that it's huge. You can't take it into restaurants, a lot of stores, through some doorways, etc. I know they steer well and that the kiddos would be comfortable, but I know that I would definitely still want a smaller travel stroller. And if Will outgrew a stroller, we would be stuck with a large double or have to buy another single stroller.

Baby Trend Double Sit N Stand Deluxe
This would be a stroller that I would have for the car and then I would buy a less expensive jogger off of craigslist. I like that this is probably the least expensive option (I could get this brand new for less than $150 during one of Babies R Us sales and/or coupons - and then get jogger for less than $100 off craigslist), but wonder if I will always just wish I would have put out the extra money to have one stroller for everything. I also like the fact that if Will outgrew wanting to officially be in the stroller, this has the option for him to ride when he gets tired (after taking off the rear seat). It has all of the things that I like about a stroller . . . good storage, snack trays, etc.. And we have two strollers now, so it wouldn't be a problem to have two in the future. There is also a slightly cheaper version, which I really can't see too much of a difference between.

As I said, this is kind of what I have narrowed it down to for now. Weigh in, let me know what stroller has changed your life or what you think of my choices above!

Monday, January 18, 2010


Will and I had another nice day. It was supposed to be rainy and horrible, but the sun started shining somewhere around lunchtime. After his nap, we went to the park. We haven't been to the park since October. It's been too cold and rainy.

He had seen a picture of a playground in a book yesterday and said, "Play!" I promised him that we would go play on the first nice day. So, I packed a snack, and away we went.

He loved it. He had such fun, playing on the swings, chasing around with some other kids, looking for airplanes, walking down to the water to see some birds, and just generally having an amazing time.

At one point, we stopped to sit down on a bench and eat his snack. He sat there with his cup of milk, some Pirate's Booty, and a strawberry cereal bar, munching away with a look of pure contentment on his face. He turned to me and said, "Happy."

I said, "I'm happy, too, Will." He smiled and leaned over for a toothy, cheese-dusted, strawberry-covered kiss.

And he is. And I am. And we are.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Perfect Family Day

Will is getting so much fun. I have loved all of Will's ages, thinking that each one is the best, and life could not get any better. Then, he'll reach a new age, and I have to revise my thinking.

He is so engaged lately. And his mind. . . gosh, it works so fast! He hears and sees things that I just wouldn't otherwise notice. He found his shadow today, and spent a good 15 minutes "getting to know" it.

Yesterday, we decided to go in search of airplanes. Will loves airplanes and will stop whatever he's doing at the sound of one. Even if he can't see it (we're inside, for example), he will throw his hands up and yell, "Airplane!"

We ending up taking him to the Boeing Future of Flight Museum. Unfortunately, he was too short to meet the minimus requirements for the official tour (it's 4 feet, so gonna be awhile) but we still got to explore the museum and observation tower where you can see the planes landing. There wasn't a lot of traffic on a late Saturday afternoon, but we still saw a few small planes land and you could hear air traffic control over a loudspeaker.

After the museum, we went to a teppenyaki restaurant that we've been meaning to try. If you've never been to one (or don't even know what the heck I am talking about), it's where the chefs come out and cook right in front of you on the grill. They slice, dice, chop, fry, and even do a little flame. Will was enchanted! He was a little unsure of the fire part, but that was over soon and he didn't cry, just leaned back from the flames. And he LOVED the food. He shoveled in my fried rice and veggies with both hands.

It was such a full day, that our little guy was exhausted when we got home. After a quick tubby and stories, he was off to bed and M and I watched a movie before I headed up to bed. I am feeling much better, but still find that a good night's rest is essential to feeling good the next day. Will doesn't understand that I am tired and he keeps me so busy. At least if I am rested, I have the energy to run around after him!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Katie Gets Her Groove Back

I still don't feel 100%. In fact, yesterday, I felt (and according to my friend - looked) like death. But I am starting to have longer and longer stretches of time where I feel pretty good, times when I am hungry and can actually think of something that sounds good, and then it stays down.

I heart the second trimester.

This morning, my girlfriend brought her daughter over while she went to an OB appointment. I made these amazing pancakes (I use Kodiak as the mix called for in the recipe), sliced strawberries and bananas, and scambled eggs with spinach and a sprinkle of mozzarella. The kids loved all of it, but they really loved the pancakes. I made one and split it between the two of them while I made the second. . . they had both cleaned their plates before I could flip the second pancake! Together, they ate three adult-sized pancakes, plus plenty of fruit and eggs.

Meanwhile, I put some kids' music on and danced around the kitchen, cleaning up the dishes and entertaining Will and his friend with my "great" dance moves. They were laughing and clapping and shaking their own little booties as they shoveled in the food.

After that, we played in Will's play room and I taught them "Ring around the Rosie." We have tried playing this game before, but they haven't quite gotten the whole concept of holding each others' hands and falling down at the end. Today, something clicked and they got it. We all were collapsing into giggle fits by the end.

All in all, we had a great morning. When my friend was done with her appointment, we packed the kids up and went to the Children's Museum. After all that play and lunch, Will was so tired that he fell asleep before I even left the room after putting him down for his nap.

It felt like pre-pregnancy days. Of course, the good times are over, and I am back to feeling lousy, but it was a good run. And I have a feeling even better days are ahead. . .

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Will has a book called the "The Little Red Caboose." He calls it "Boose." He loves to read about the "Boose" and points it out eagerly on each page. He calls other trains "Choo Choos." Every night, when M gives him his tubby, they play with his tubby "Choo Choo." From all the way downstairs, I can hear "Choooooooooo Chooooooooo" in both Big and Little voices. It never fails to make me smile.

Today, on his way to work, M saw a red caboose sitting on the train tracks near his office. It had been there yesterday, too. He called me and suggested that I bring Will down so we could see the "boose" during his lunch hour (there is a parking lot right next to the tracks, so we could easily see the caboose).

We picked M up and drove to where the caboose had been sitting. . . just in time to see it pulling away! Luckily, it had to move slowly, seeing as it was going through the downtown area during the lunchtime traffic.

We followed the train, managed to get ahead of it, and I pulled over to the side of the road in a gravel turn out. We grabbed Will from the car and with seconds to spare, the train came slowly chugging by. The conductor blew the horn and a few cars later the Red Caboose rumbled past, a man on board waving and another horn toot just for us. Will's eyes were the size of saucers, he was enchanted. For the rest of the day, all he said was "Choo Choo" and "Boose."

Looking back, it was kind of crazy, literally chasing down a train, then parking just in time to see it. But watching the excitement in my son's face as he saw his first real "Boose"?

It was one of the best moments of my life.

Baked Maple Bananas

I found this recipe on Weelicious a couple of weeks ago and have already made it twice. It reminds me of an easy, kid-friendly bananas foster. I serve it over french vanilla yogurt as a treat for both Will and me! Tonight, I made it for a third time and added apples and a few raisins. It reminded me of hot apple pie filling, but a little richer and creamier, thanks to the bananas. I'll bet it would be good over ice cream, too, but honestly, the vanilla yogurt tastes so amazing that I haven't been tempted. . . yet.

Baked Maple Bananas
1 TBS. butter or margarine
2 TBS. maple syrup
4 bananas, peeled and either sliced or cut in half length-wise
1/2 tps. cinnamon
1 tsp. lemon juice

(I doubled all of the sauce ingredients when I added two cored, peeled, and diced apples, and a quarter cup of raisins tonight.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine the butter and syrup in an 8X8 Pyrex (I used a 9x13 for the apples and raisins tonight)
Melt the syrup and butter together either in the microwave or oven
Add lemon juice and cinnamon and stir to combine
Gently toss the bananas (and other fruit) to coat
Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until bubbly and brown

Enjoy over vanilla yogurt or ice cream!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Back in the Saddle

Mel suggested that I do what I do best and talk about food in the absense of not knowing what to say! I do love food and I do love talking about it, so here goes.

I am slowly, ever so slowly, regaining an appetite and ability to eat. I still am unable to eat breakfast on most days, and lunch and dinner are hit and miss, but I am finding a meal here and there that I can eat and keep down, especially if I time taking my beloved phenergan just right.

Last week, we went to Olive Garden after we had our good ultrasound. My mother had given us a gift card for Chirstmas, so we felt as if we could treat ourselves without spending too much money. Gosh, it just goes to show how rarely we get out lately, but I was shocked at how much the prices had gone up while the portions seemed to have gone down. The soup and salad were still plentiful, but both of our entrees were small. The price on mine had gone up about $3 since the last time that I ordered it. We had no alcoholic drinks or appetizers, brought a dessert home to my girlfriend who watched Will for us, and the bill was still almost $50. Thank goodness for the gift card!

I do love their soup. In particular, their zuppa toscana. I love the creamy broth, the mildly spicy sausage, the kale, the potatoes. Surprisingly, it also isn't that bad for you, at 170 calories per serving, 4 fat grams, and 2 grams of fiber, although I felt as if I could make it at home and do something to decrease the fat content and increase the fiber. That night, that bowl of soup tasted like heaven, and I felt as if by making it at home, I could have my newest craving for less money and maybe even make it a bit healthier.

I did my usual google search to find a recipe that I could work off of and found this one.

I did make the following adjustments:

I used turkey italian sausage instead of pork sausage.
I cooked the bacon in the pan first, then drained the bacon well on a paper towel and washed the pot to decrease the bacon grease.
I increased the amount of kale and used a hefty half of the bunch because I love it and decreased the potatoes by half. I still felt it had plenty of potatoes, but that would probably be a personal preference.
I used low sodium, non-fat chicken broth instead of the bouillon because I didn't like how much salt all of the bouillon added and I prefer the taste of the organic broth that I buy from Costco - but then I did have to add just a pinch of salt at the end to get the taste "just right".
I used half and half instead of the heavy cream.

And, with my hats off to this website, I felt it tasted as good as if not better than the restaurant's. It makes a pretty good sized pot, too, and with my appetite being a fraction of what it used to be, this pot will last me awhile. I added up the costs and it was $5 for me to make this entire pot of soup at home (I did get a killer deal on the italian sausage, so that makes a difference). It would have cost me more than $5 to order the bowl at the restaurant. Of course, they do bring refills, but I always feel piggy after the second bowl!

I served it with a tossed green salad, brown and serve breadsticks that I brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with garlic salt as they were baking, and I swear to you if I closed my eyes as I was eating, I could have been at the Olive Garden. Don't get me wrong, there is still something about the endless bowls of soup and salad and the fresh, hot breadsticks being brought to your table, but this, my friends, is a much more wallet (and waist) friendly way to enjoy one of my favorites. It also was a pretty easy recipe to make, too! Enjoy!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

When There Are No Words

I am having some blogging issues lately.

I don't know what to say. Or how to say it.

To write about the happiness that I feel over this baby just seems wrong and insensitive.

And there's no way I am going to grumble about how I am feeling right now. That's just irrelevant and disrespectful.

There are topics in my mind, things spinning around, but. . .

I just can't seem to get out the right words. I have started and stopped at least a dozen posts. They all sound wrong. I have started and stopped this post a handful of times.

I'm still here, still reading, still commenting, and still thinking.

I can't stop commenting, especially, because that's another thing that has me feeling so down. I posted about this last week and the comment section exploded, further proving my point. The negative, insensitive, and awful things that people are saying to each other is very disheartening. I am not talking about anything said on my blog, however, I am talking about suffering people that have been hurt even more by the thoughtless words another person has chosen to left them. It's happening all over the blogasphere, not just here in the infertility community. I read this blog, written by a young widow, and on the one year anniversary of her husband's death, someone chose to leave a comment that I am still shaking my head over. These are just two examples. I have a dozen more that come to mind, from the last week alone.

I do believe that one bad apple should not spoil the whole bunch. I am not going to stop blogging, not by any means. I just need a few days to collect my thoughts and take a breath.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Just How Real Are You?

When Jennifer Lopez had her fraternal twins at age 40 and swore up and down that they were not the result of IVF, I thought, "Meh, so what if they are?"

I would love it if celebrities were more honest about their use of assisted reproductive technology [ART], but I also get it. I am open about our experiences, but not everyone is. Privacy means different things to different people. My husband, for instance, is extremely close-lipped about our use of IVF. He just doesn't think it's anyone's business but ours. So, whether J-Lo's babies were the result of IVF, IUI, or anything else, didn't really phase me. Her denial of it didn't either. I kind of figure it's her business to share or not to share, and hey, maybe her kids were the results of unassisted conception just as she claims.

Even her opinions on IVF being against God's will didn't bother me. I don't agree with her, but you know what, that's what makes the world go 'round. Her choosing not to do any sort of ART doesn't keep me or anyone else from doing it, and she wasn't offensive in her statements or judgmental of women who use ART.

What does bother me is that she is so "against" assisted reproduction, but she doesn't seem to mind playing the role of a woman who uses it in an upcoming movie. It bothers me that she will make money off of something that she claims not to agree with. She will further her career portraying something that she knows nothing about. It seems rather hypocritical. To be honest, the movie doesn't sound like something I would have seen in the theater anyway, but with her in the starring role, it's not going to even make my Netflix queue.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Dark Side

Please go over and give Danifred some love.

And Amanda, too.

Dangit, and Jo, too.

Words fail me. This is so unfair. I know, I know. Life isn't fair. But why, why does it have to hurt so much sometimes? And such good people who don't deserve the pain?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

In Humble Gratitude

I can't seem to stop smiling today. Well, that is when I am not crying.

I have been a puddle since yesterday. Don't worry, it's all tears of absolute joy.

To be honest, I did not really believe in this pregnancy until yesterday. Project As If was more of my strong will and determination to rise above the negative voices in my head that were saying, "You will miscarry. This baby will die." It was more my husband, who has had pure and utter faith in this pregnancy since the second line turned up, that was really the driving force behind Project As If.

I know we are not out of the woods yet and that there are still things that could go wrong as is the case for any woman expecting a baby. But as of today, I do believe in this pregnancy. I do believe that, come some time in July, we will have a second miracle in our lives.

I hate to sound corny and trite, but I am very humbled by this blessing. I have actually pinched myself today, because this seems like a dream and I keep waiting to wake up. Somehow, though, I am not dreaming, this is happening. I couldn't be more grateful for this blessing. I couldn't be more thankful for the many people who made their way here to express their congratulations. Many of those people are still waiting their own first blessings and my eyes fill with tears (again!) at their unselfish happiness for our family.

Project As If does not seem like a good enough name for this little one. For one thing, it's just too long and for another, it just doesn't seem very baby. For some reason, Sweetpea has been coming to my mind for the past few weeks, and I think until we know whether this one is a little boy or girl, that will do nicely.

So, it is my greatest honor to introduce you to our Little Sweetpea. . . My prayer is that he or she arrives in good health and that God helps me to be the type of woman and mother who is worthy of all that we have been blessed with.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Other Side of the Story

We arrived at Dr. S's office 10 minutes before our appointment time and took our seats. . . the waiting room was crowded, so we sat in the exact same chairs as we had over three years ago on December 8, 2006. That was the horrible, awful day that we had found out we had lost our precious Gummy Bear, at 11 weeks, 2 days. It was just today that I realized that that it was the same appointment time, too.

We were led back to the exact same exam room (this is a large practice, so there are many rooms to choose from). It was my favorite nurse who roomed us, but she was also there that day, too.

Dr. S came in, jovial as usual. I could barely concentrate on the questions he asked. I had weighed in lost more weight, so he wanted to write me a new prescription for anti-nausea medication. We talked about other things, but I was only half listening, the rest of me caught in the past, to the almost exact same conversation we'd had about my nausea and what to take for it.

He suddenly stood up and said, "Well, we've put it off as long as I think we should. Let's get the u/s machine."

I lost it, then. I was crying by the time they rolled in the machine. K stood by my side, holding my hand, watching the screen with as much concern and interest as M and me.

"Are you seeing what I'm seeing?" Dr. S asked.

"I'm seeing a heartbeat," I said as the breath of air I'd been holding in whooshed out of me.

"Yes. And the baby is measuring. . . 10 weeks, 5 days." Which is only three days off my original dates and perfectly in line for a healthy pregnancy. As he put it, "Perfect."

That day, so long ago, I remember thinking of the way it should have been, the alternate universe where we left smiling and holding pictures of our baby. Today, I got to live that reality. I kept crying, but my tears were those of joy.

K patted my hand and said, "I am so happy for you guys."

Dr. S jiggled my tummy and our baby rolled over, waved his or her little arms, kicked, and swam. My tears made the image blurry, but I could still see it.

The rest of the appointment went as expected, and we left, clutching our pictures. I was still crying (what a goof!), but these tears, well. . .

There was a day, not so very long ago, that I feared I would never be a mother. Then, we were blessed with Will. And to be given this miracle again. . . I am humbled, I am in awe, I am not sure how I am worthy. I know so many are still waiting, I know that there is not a lot of fairness in this double blessing.

It's been almost three hours and I am still crying. I cried through our nice dinner out. I cried as we picked Will up from my girlfriend's, and I have been crying as I type this. These are tears of happiness, of relief, of gratitude, and of sadness for those that are still "left behind."

Today, I got to live the other side of infertility, the dream. I wish for each of you the very same blessing with all of my heart.

The Day of As If

The day of reckoning is here. Today, we will see a beating heart and a growing baby. Or not. But I choose to hope and believe the former.

The appointment is at 4:00. My OB is always running late towards the end of the day. We have to pick Will up from my girlfriend's afterward. So, you might not hear from me for awhile, but that isn't necessarily bad news. Rest assured that I will post an update here just as soon as I can.

No matter how this all turns out, I am so thankful for your love, support, and friendship. I am so thankful for this time with Project As If. And I am eternally thankful that I have my sweet little boy, who does not replace any lost babies, but will always be way more than enough no matter what else life does or does not bring us.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sticks and Stones

Is it just me? Or do their seem to be a lot more negative and/or inappropriate comments in the good ol' blogosphere lately? I read several blogs that are going through some really devastating times and I have literally had my breath knocked out of me from some of the awful things left to them on their blogs.

I have had a few comments over the course of my time here that have left me angry, upset, or just shaking my head. I used to leave them up, but now I delete them at once. This isn't really the place for such negativity.

I have given some though to refusing to allow anonymous comments, but 99% of the time, my anonymous commentors are great. A lot of the time, it's lurkers who don't have their own blog account, but have something really interesting to say, and I don't want to force someone to go make up an account. Conversely, I figure if someone is bound and determined to leave me a nasty, they are more than capable of taking the thirty seconds to make up an account to do so.

I have tried comment moderation before, which works great for keeping the negative comments off the blog, but doesn't work so great because I still have to see them. And I hate that if I miss one (darn spam folder) or am away from my computer for awhile, the comments don't get put up in a timely manner.

I have though about just disabling comments, but I am not going to lie. . . I love comments! I am not the tye of person to let one bad apple spoil the whole bunch, and in my case, thankfully, the negative comments are very few and far between.

I find that I am more able to shrug off the not-s0-nice comments that are made to me, anyway. I mean, I am the one putting myself out there in a public forum, so I kind of deserve what I get. What I get is a ton of love and support and a bunch of amazing friends in my corner. Everyone little once in awhile, I get the opposite, and I can handle that. The delete function is very easy to operate after all!

The comments that tend to nag at me at the ones left for those friends. I get really fired up and want to find out just who that so-called anonymous poster is and go kick some blogger booty. Last night, I ran across just such a comment on a friend's post, and I was so fired up that I talked to M about it. He reminded me that some people just don't have anything better to do than spew hate and bile. They are no doubt hurting in some way and this cowardly strike out at someone else somehow makes them feel better for a second. I tried to remember that as I forced myself to stay on topic to what the author had posted and answer her questions, rather than fire back a snappy response to her anonymous attacker.

Here, I will continue to use my delete button at will. . . and please remember, if you do want to address something to me, I am always happy to do so via e-mail. I have had many people contact me that way, and I have even had some friendships arise out of what might have just been a negative comment. I just prefer to keep it clean here on this space.

Edited: For now, comment moderation has been enabled. I will allow any comments on the general topic that was in this post. I will allow comments that do not disparage another blogger. I will allow comments that are anonymous so long as they are not inflammatory. Please feel free to contact me with questions. I am away from my computer for the rest of the day, so if you do not see your comment up right away, please be patient.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Don't or Do-ppler?

So, last time, I didn't get a doppler. I was too worried that I would use it incorrectly and scare us needlessly if I couldn't get a heartbeat.

But we are now entering that phase where I could hear a heartbeat via doppler any old time I wanted to and thus avoid a lot of unncessary worrying. I have to admit, I am tempted.

What I would like to know from you is:

1) What were your experiences with the doppler? Good? Bad? Indifferent?

2) Did you rent or buy yours?

3) Where did you rent or buy yours?