Sunday, October 31, 2010

My Martha Stewart Moment

While visiting my MIL last week, I shared a secret with Kai's aunt (who is an absolutely amazing seamstress) and also with his mom and between the two of them, I accomplished one of my long time goals.  

My secret was this:  I have been wanting to sew a baby blanket made from fabrics that I have chosen and have it turn out really cute.  I have only sewn for school projects and once as a girl I made a skirt and jacket outfit with the help of a neighbor, so I knew this would be tough.  Kai's aunt gave me some great tips on what to do, what fabrics to use, and what kind of stitching to use.  Kai's mom helped me pick out the fabrics and lent me her sewing machine.  Also, in dental school there was another wife who always made beautiful creative baby things and I loved them.  She made several burp cloths, bibs, and paci holders for K's shower.  Several months ago, I saw a baby blanket she made for a mutual friend that was in my baby/mommy workout group and thought how much I would love to have one just like it someday.  I don't remember much about it except that fabric on the back was so fuzzy, cuddly, and perfect for a baby blanket--and it was for a girl, so I think it had pink in it.  I made a mental note that if I ever decided to take up sewing, I would try my hand at something like that (realizing that I probably would never attempt it anyway).  But that is how my idea started.

So last week while visiting my MIL, I was in the fabric store with Kai's aunt's and my MIL and decided to "just look" at the different fabrics.  Then I came across THE fabric!!  I don't know if it was the same or not, but I loved it anyway, and thus my fantasy of sewing something beautiful began to take shape again.  The next day, my MIL and I went back to the store and whole thing came together.  I found a really cute pattern and some adorable gender neutral colors to use since I didn't know what we were having yet. I went back to her house and while K was napping began to cut, pin, and sew the pieces.  I altered the pattern just a little because I didn't like the original center piece.  I worked on it again after K went to bed and again the first thing in morning.  Less than 24 hours  later, my baby blanket was completed.  I had no idea how easy it would be!  Thanks to my MIL's sewing machine, the whole process was seamless (haha)!   Thankfully the directions were really easy and even I could understand it!  I LOVE how it turned out!  Now I'm debating buying a sewing machine...not sure if this will be something I take up on a more regular basis.  

Here are a few pictures.  BTW, you're NOT allowed to make judgments because in this picture I have not showered or put on makeup.  I don't even think I had eaten breakfast yet--I was on a mission ;-)  

K even loved it!
 The finished blanket
The fuzzy fabric

The king in his robe ;-)

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Belly Update--20 Weeks

How far along:  20 weeks (5 months!) 

Baby Size:  He’s about 10 inches long now—crown to feet.  I'm at that awkward stage where it looks like I'm putting on weight, but you can't tell for sure that I'm pregnant.  Not yet in maternity clothes, but the jeans are starting to get tight so it probably won't be too much longer.  I may pull out my Bella Band soon...

Best Moment of the Week: Seeing our little guy on ultrasound!!!

Movement:  All the time!  This little guy hardly sleeps…hmmm hope it’s not a sign of things to come. 

Food Craving: Grapefruit!  Seems like I can’t get enough lately.

What I'm looking forward to: We’re heading to a Halloween parade tomorrow night that everyone here says is the best ever.  They also promise that K will not be scared because it’s not a scary parade, so we’re willing to give it a try.   

Also Kai is taking me to a Trans Siberian Orchestra concert next weekend to kick off the holiday season!!  I am sooooo excited!   

Weekly Wisdom:  “Having a baby is like getting a tattoo on your face. You really need to be certain it’s what you want before you commit.”
--Taken from Eat, Pray, Love (which I’m reading right now)

Big Brother:  K just might understand that there is a baby growing in my tummy.  Lately he has been coming up, rubbing my belly, saying “baby”, and then giving me a big hug.  It’s one of the sweetest things! 
He will be an astronaut for Halloween on Sunday.  His little outfit is pretty cute.  I wish that I could have found a cool astronaut helmet, but he probably wouldn’t have kept it on anyway, so I have to settle for a hat.  Pictures to follow later.  

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Off the Hook

So you may remember reading a few days ago that I had a story involving a 2 calls to 911, a semi, and a police officer.  Here's a little more about that embarrassing story...

I was driving back from my MIL's house and had 13 hours of driving to accomplish in one day.  Yes, it would be a very long day, but I piled the toys and snacks in the passenger seat to hand back one at a time to K on the long drive.  All was going great until I reached about halfway.  I was passing a semi truck and was almost by him when he started drifting into my lane.  I thought he would realize and pull back over, but he didn't, so I honked my horn to alert him to the fact that I was there.  He then gave me the bird!  And in the very next instant, he started trying to run me off the road on purpose!!  I had K in the backseat (19 months) and me and 5 months pregnant and completely alone.  Not very intimidating.  I was terrified that this maniac truck driver was using his truck like a weapon, so I called 911  to report him.  I gave a description of the truck and his license plate number to the dispatcher and was told that she would alert the highway patrol.  I then got into the middle of a group of cars and passed the truck and was happy to be free of the psycho driver.

About 15 miles down the road, my adrenaline had almost worn off and I wasn't paying close attention to my speed (or the speed limit) and failed to see the highway patrol officer shooting his radar gun right at me until I was close enough to realize that I was going to be pulled over.  Great.  He pulled up behind me, flashed his lights, and I pulled over.  Here's a fact that you may or may not know about me, but is entirely true and somewhat embarrassing.  Every single time I get pulled over by a police officer, I cry.  Not the tears that come hoping to get out of a ticket, but actual tears of oh-crap-I'm-in-big-trouble.  I have no idea where this comes from!!  I don't have issues with authority figures, etc., but throw a police officer at me because I'm speeding and no matter how hard I try to fight the tears back, I have never yet been successful.  Now that I'm nearing my late 20's 30, I thought for sure that I could handle this like a big girl.  So while he was getting out to come and get my license, registration, and proof of insurance, I was rehearsing in my head over and over that I would NOT cry this time.  Well, he got to my window, asked for the 3 needed items and I nervously fumbled around looking for them.  My hands were literally shaking and I was trying not to let him see that fact.  He then asked me if I knew why he pulled me over.  That was it.  Blame it on the pregnancy hormones, or the fact that I had been run off the road twice by a semi driver 15 minutes before, or the fact that I was making a 13 hour drive alone, but I started crying and the story of the psycho driver spilled out and "yes, I was speeding but I didn't realize it until I saw you", and...

He took my papers and looked relieved to be able to get out of the situation.  Poor police officer!  No sooner than he got into his car and closed the door to run my information, the psycho truck driver passed and honked his horn twice as if to taunt me for stupidly speeding.  The nerve!!  I rolled my window down and pointed to the truck and started trying to tell the officer that that was the guy who had run me off the road twice.  He came back, told me I could go, and said that he was going to try and catch the psycho driver.  He told me that if I saw him with the truck pulled over, I should stop behind him.  I pulled myself together, got back on the highway, and proceeded to drive for another 15 minutes without seeing either the police officer or semi.  All of the sudden my GPS told me to keep left at the split of 2 major highways.  Since I hadn't seen the police officer yet, I was worried that he went right and I would miss him. Sure enough, just as I passed the ramp that exited to the right, I could see that he was down the ramp and had the truck pulled over.  It was too late.  I noticed that while I was passing the ramp going around 65 mph.  So I found myself with a major dilemma.  Should I make a several illegal u-turns to get back to the police officer?  Should I just keep driving and think, "See ya!  Wouldn't want to be ya!"  No.  I called 911 again and got the same dispatcher, explained the entire situation, and asked what I should do.  She told me she would pass my phone number along to him and if he needed to get in touch with me, he would call.  Feeling satisfied that in case he still wanted to ticket me, he could and I didn't get out of a ticket with a story,  I continued on driving (setting my cruise to a "safer" limit).

I never heard from the nice officer that stopped me.  I hope that the next time I am pulled over (because I know with my lead foot that it will happen), I will be able to keep it together even if it means answering only in "yes" or "no" so my voice doesn't crack and send me on a downward spiral!  Suffice it to say, I was very happy to arrive safely home, away from the psycho truck driver and free of an expensive speeding ticket.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Big Gender Announcement...

...It's a BOY!!!!!

Disclaimer:  We had an ultrasound tech that was a major stickler :-(  She wouldn't let us take any pictures before the ultrasound and would only tell us that she was 85% sure it was a boy because he was extremely active during the ultrasound and wouldn't hold still for clear pictures.  I have been telling everyone that this little one is very active, just like K, and the ultrasound confirmed it.  That seemed to be the only thing the ultrasound tech was certain of.  Now we are bracing ourselves for having two very active little ones tearing around.  I'm so excited K will have a brother to play with and that our home will be a house full of testosterone--or maybe I should say that I'm 85% excited ;-)  

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Home Sweet Home

I just arrived safely back at home.  After 12 hours of straight driving, lots of snacks, a passenger seat loaded with toys to hand back to K throughout the drive, a couple of stops to break the trip up, 2 audio books completed, and 1 more started, I have to say that it's nice to relax.  I pulled into the winding driveway of our house almost wanting to kiss the ground after the long drive and then saw my hot husband waiting in the driveway with a huge smile to welcome us home.  Home never looked more beautiful!  10 days is a long time to be apart.  Our record prior to this was 5 days.  We doubled it and could definitely tell.  Though the best part of getting back home was seeing how excited K was to see Kai.  He gave him the world's longest hug (seriously he just didn't want to let go), and has been laughing and playing with him since the second we walked in the door.  It's one of the sweetest things to witness.

I have a crazy story to share when I have a few more minutes involving a semi truck, a police officer, and two 911 calls.  Don't worry, it's not quite as terrible as it sounds.  However, we have much more exciting news that we'll likely be sharing tomorrow if our little one isn't too shy.  Our ultrasound is scheduled for tomorrow!!  Well, I must go for now because I have a family to enjoy now that we're all together again :-)

Monday, October 18, 2010


I know.  I haven't been faithful this week with posting.  As you know, I've been visiting my MIL as she's recovering from surgery, and have been so busy.  I have tons of pictures to share soon of our time here.  We've been able to do a few small local things that don't require much getting around and I've seen so many great friends and family in my few days here.  My sister surprised me with a special overnight visit this weekend.  It was so much fun to catch up again. We stayed up until 3 a.m. talking and laughing, but I definitely felt it the next day.  Being in my 2nd trimester and having a 19 month old wake me up in the morning makes those late late nights a little different now.  I have to say that after this trip I am completely exhausted and am looking forward to heading back soon.  It's the good kind of exhausted though--you know the kind that comes because you've filled the time with so many fun moments.  

I've learned that life as a single parent is hard!!  I'm thankful that I have a great husband that helps out with K every chance he can.  After this trip I appreciate him even more!  I'm hoping that once I get back he'll let me have a late-sleep-in morning (hope he's reading this;-)  BTW, the baby bump is growing due to all the great food I've been eating and the irregular exercise I've been getting while gone--missing belly pictures will be up soon.  AND, in just a few short days until we'll find out the gender!!!!  I can hardly wait!!!  So, I'm off to bed a little earlier than the last few nights (though still much later than I should) in hopes of catching up on some dearly missed zzzzz's.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I left on Monday morning after Kai had completely loaded the car with our bags, pack n play, toys, food, books, and music we needed for the long trip ahead (he's such a great husband!).  K and I headed out solo for the first time ever with an almost 14 hour trip ahead of us that would be split into 2 days.  I started out with the friendly voice of my GPS leading the way, yet I was completely terrified because I was going to have a solid 11 hour drive the first day with my 19 month old son strapped into his car seat.  I still have him rear facing because of the current recommendations and my fear of serious injures to him in the event of a crash.  If you want to know more about car seat safety click on the link here I borrowed from my friend Jessica's blog.  It's definitely not as fun as having him front facing, but I'd rather have him safe.  

K did amazingly well the whole trip.  There were moments of screaming (on his part--although I thought of joining him a few times), but I kept a supply of snacks and toys that I would continually hand back when he grew restless.  We stopped for lunch, gas, bathrooms, and playtime and arrived at 8 p.m. in time for dinner and bed.  

So here we are for the next few days.  It will be the longest that Kai and I have been apart in our 10 years of marriage and it's already a lot harder than I thought it would be.  I assumed the toughest part would be not having Kai's help with K, but actually the hardest part has been sleeping in an empty bed and not being able to talk with Kai in person every night. :-(  At least we have face time on our iphones!  That makes it a little easier! It's amazing how much I took these things for granted.  I'm enjoying the time with family and friends right now, but am looking forward to being back home with my guy.  Wish me luck--both for the next several days and for the return trip.  Yikes!  I don't even want to think about that yet!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fall Family Pictures

On Friday morning we had family pictures taken in the beautiful fall colors.  We just got them back today and here are a few of my favorites.  BTW, as we found out, it's much harder to get a good picture when you're trying to work with the light, a 19 month old, strong winds, and 2 very hyper dogs!  I'll just say that we took a baggie of animal crackers and bribed K in almost all of the pictures.  Some of the pictures we broke down and he's actually eating a cracker in the picture.  I can only imagine what it will be like with 2 soon!  You mom's that have 2 + always amaze me when I see the beautiful pictures with everyone smiling.  We did get several that I think are fun. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Belly Update--17 Weeks

How far along:  17 weeks

Next week we could find out the gender, but I will be out of town, so we’ll be finding out in 2 WEEKS!!!!   I can hardly wait!  The suspense is killing me!!

Best Moment of the Week:
 Had my monthly checkup yesterday and heard the little one’s heartbeat!  It was 160 again, so…???  Also found a new hair stylist and am very happy.  After over 10 years of Aveda salons, they’re all I trust.  I did a search on their webpage, had 3 options and am very happy with the one I chose.  No more mom hair.  Okay, maybe still a little because I’m trying to let it grow out again.   Oh and we got our family pictures done this morning.  I'll post some as soon as I get them!  Busy week!

Movement: Tons!!!  Especially at night!  The kicks and rollings are getting stronger and more frequent.  Another active little one!  Kai could feel the baby a lot this week too.  It's so fun to have him be more a part of this now!

Food Craving: None.  I'm perfect and never have cravings.  Okay, major confession...I was getting my prenatal vitamin prescription filled and saw Skittles on sale.  I hardly ever eat these (honestly it's been years), but I had a seriously strong craving all of the sudden so I bought 2 packs, and enjoyed them both.  Yikes!  Can’t do that very often!  Although I have this to say about that:  Why purple ones???  Personally I love the reds and can't get enough, but I had to leave all the purple's in the pack because they made me sick.  Okay, so maybe it was the fact that I ate 2 packs of Skittles that made me sick.  If you love purples, we'd get along great.  I'll trade you purples for your reds :-)  

What I'm looking forward to: Heading to MI to be with Kai’s mom as she’s recovering.  Looking forward to seeing her and spending some quality time.  Also looking forward to seeing some friends and family while I’m there. 

Weekly Wisdom: Pregnant women! They had that weird frisson, an aura of magic that combined awkwardly with an earthy sense of duty. Mundane, because they were nothing unique on the suburban streets; ethereal because their attention was ever somewhere else. Whatever you said was trivial. And they had that preciousness which they imposed wherever they went, compelling attention, constantly reminding you that they carried the future inside, its contours already drawn, but veiled, private, an inner secret.
-- Ruth Morgan

Thursday, October 7, 2010

iphone Hacker

K has figured out our iphones.  He's called his Papa, sent Kai a text, and will easily be our go-to man for all things electronic in a few years.  See for yourself.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Do You Remember This?

It's so hard to believe it's been over a year since this was taken!  I watched all of our old videos over lunch with K and was shocked at how much he has changed since he was born.  He hardly looks like the same baby!  He absolutely loved watching them even though I'm not quite sure that he understood he was watching a younger version of himself.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

No One Ever Told Me (on being a mom)

  • My child's kisses would brighten any day
  • I would unashamedly make my child's picture the background on my computer, phone, etc.
  • I would cry while watching a tragic movie involving a child
  • I would worry about someone else's future more than my own
  • A handpicked flower from my son would be even more beautiful than a store bought bunch from the store
  • I would find so much satisfaction in playing cars and building towers
  • Laughing would be extremely contagious when coming from my child
  • The word "mommy" would be one of the sweetest words in the English language
  • That "what if's" would terrify me when placed in the context of my children
  • Watching my child sleep would be one of the sweetest things I've ever seen
  • The simplest accomplishments would warrant me standing up, cheering, clapping
  • I wouldn't mind my house being a little out of order at times because Lego's, blocks, balls, and cars can easily be put away
  • Shopping for my son's clothes would become more fun than shopping for my own
  • That each day I could love my family even more than the day before

Monday, October 4, 2010

Applesauce Conversion

My house smells delicious.  Apples, sugar, and cinnamon cooking on the stove make it feel even more like fall.  This morning while K was eating breakfast, I peeled, cored, and chopped 28 apples to try my hand at my first ever solo batch of freezer applesauce.  I’ve made applesauce before, but it’s usually only enough for what I needed at the moment.  I’ve also “helped" my mom make quarts of canned applesauce as a kid and swore I would never have any part of it after I became an adult.  It felt like pure torture to be trapped in a kitchen for hours and hours peeling, coring, slicing, boiling, and canning apples.    

My mom has an addiction to canning and freezing.  (If you're reading this mom, then I mean it only in the best possible way of course :-)  During my childhood years we canned a wide variety of vegetables, jams, tomatoes, sauces, even grape juice!  We also froze fruit and other sauces.  But it wasn’t that we canned or froze these things that made me loathe it.  It was the sheer quantity.  Imagine being elbow deep in cherries, washing and pitting for what seemed like an eternity.  My fingers, hands, and arms were stained a deep red that would last for days and almost all feeling in the tips of my fingers were gone for the same amount of time.  We didn’t use cherry pitters, we used our fingers to pry each and every pit from the 160 pounds (YES, ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY POUNDS) of cherries.  Just when I thought I never wanted to see another cherry again, another box of u-picked cherries (which we had spent the entire morning picking) would plop next to the sink for us to wash and pit.  It was the same with strawberries, peaches, tomatoes, green beans, berries of all kinds, and so many more that I've forgotten.  Thus, in that kitchen, beneath pounds of fruit and vegetables, my aversion was born.  

In the summers there were the 4 of us girls and my mom home everyday.  So regularly we’d pile into the van, drive to a local grower, pick fruit or vegetables all morning, and come home to clean, cut, prepare, and can or freeze them.  We rarely picked less than 100 pounds and we never got out of the chore of preparing them no matter how creative our excuses (and we came up with some pretty good ones!).  Although I have to say, we enjoyed the fruit of our labor all year and the homemade spaghetti sauce we routinely made was the best I’ve tasted.  

I have canned a few times with my mom since I’ve been married, but only on the condition that we do a much scaled down version from my growing up years.   I have never canned or frozen applesauce since those days until today.  I picked a very simple recipe I found online and multiplied it by 7 since I wanted to use around 30 apples.  Here’s the original recipe from

4 apples - peeled, cored and chopped
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a saucepan, combine apples, water, sugar, and cinnamon. Cover, and cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until apples are soft. Allow to cool, then mash with a fork or potato masher.

Pretty easy.  The applesauce tastes great.  I’ll probably keep looking for more applesauce recipes until I find a can’t-live-without-it one.   BTW, thanks mom for the introduction to canning and freezing.  I do sincerely appreciate it now that I’ve had over 15 years to recover ;-) 

 Here are the before, during and after pictures from this morning:  

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Uncles Are... to goof around with while mommy shops:
...for making you FLY really high:
...good at funny faces:
...just plain fun!  
Thanks for visiting uncle Brit!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Belly--Week 16

How far along:  16 weeks (4 months!!) 

Baby Size:  Supposedly it’s the size of an avocado.  I’m saying it’s one BIG avocado because I feel larger everyday!

Best Moment of the Week: Boston in the Fall!  LOVE that place! 

Movement:  I’ve been busy this week with family here, so I haven’t been as in tune as I would like to be.  Still feeling the flutters, but when I’m running around I don’t notice them as much.

Food Craving: Had fresh apple cider, fresh apples, and fresh apple cider donuts.  Yummmm! Definitely a fall favorite. 

What I'm looking forward to: A lazy week.  Had family here for 2 weeks (such fun times!) and I’m planning to head back soon to be with Kai’s mom as she recovers from surgery.  I have to do this trip alone and I’m not looking forward to the long drive or being a “single” mom for the time I’m away (as I’ve said before:  Kai is a great dad and helps so much with K), but I'm looking forward to helping her through this tough time.  So this week will be as relaxed and normal as I can make it apart from my OB appt, hair appt, and family pictures. 

Weekly Wisdom:  Life is always a rich and steady time when you are waiting for something to happen or to hatch.
-- E.B. White, Charlotte's Web

Big Brother:  K got to know Grandma and Papa a lot more this week!!  His new favorite word is “Papa” which he says all the time.  They will be missed.