Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Jo Toes Giveaway!

Head on over to LisaLeonardOnline.com for a Jo Totes giveaway!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sassafras today!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Crawling & a Haircut

I blinked and it's March! Sweet Pea is crawling and growing. Her hair is growing so fast I felt the need to trim her little bangs.



Our attempt at a family photo....


Friday, September 24, 2010

Baby Leggings

We are having terrific weather here. Cool in the mornings and evenings, and warm in the afternoons. Delightful. I find, however, that it is difficult to dress a baby in layers. Sweaters are a nice idea, but really they just don't work. Jumpers with footsies are really cute (and good for winter time!) but harder to get on and off and a little too hot now for my little one in her swaddle. Onesies are my outfit of choice for their ease and diaper accessibility. My problem? I think baby pants look weird. Enter my solution: baby leggings.

I looked around for leggings at my favorite online store and was rather surprised at the prices. $12 for pants without the bottoms? Not a fan. Then I found My Little Legs! They have leggings for half the price I found from others and they run discounts the more you purchase. I was only going to buy two, but they suckered me into buying four with their discount (it worked!). Plus, free shipping. A golden opportunity.

These leggings have been awesome. Baby gets warm quickly so it is super convenient to just take off her leggings instead of change her whole outfit. When I take her for a run in the mornings, I usually put these on her at first, but as she warms up in the sun I can take them off without hardly having to stop.

Another bonus point for mylittlelegs.com: fast shipping. I ordered them on a Saturday night and received them in the mail on Tuesday. That's two shipping days people. So fast, so free, so great.

I happen to think she looks adorable with them on. Plus, they seem like they will fit her for a long time.

Here she is ready for a run in her leggings with mommy.

The only bummer is that they added some more leggings on their site that are adorable after I bought the four I did. Wouldn't one of these make a great costume for my Sweet Pea?

Ten weeks ago she was in my belly.

Have I mentioned time is going by quickly? When Sweet Pea was about 3 weeks old, I remember asking my friend who had a 9 week old at the time, "How do you make it to 9 weeks??" Each day, while loving our little babe, was crawling by and I couldn't see how 9 weeks would ever be here. She's 10 weeks old today! And all smiles.

Isn't she cute?

This was the day (when she was about 8 weeks old) when I realized that she is starting to fit into her THREE month old clothing. This little footsie outfit looked so big but then it fit! Crazy.


She likes hanging out in our bed in the early mornings before Daddy goes to work.


Thanks Great Grandma for her beautiful quilt, little hat, and book!

I'm so thankful for a bunch of these purple outfits from her second cousins (once removed), K & K. I think she looks fabulous in purple.

I'm also thankful for these two things. Well okay, three. I'm thankful she has feet. But I'm also thankful for these socks she got from her cousin. They're awesome and she has them in practically every color! Also, leggings. Leggings are awesome, particularly these*. I only bought a few, but I wish I could have them all (plus they added some more after I bought mine!) It's been cool in the mornings and evenings, but gets warm in the afternoons, so I can just take them off! Great for Sweet Pea, who seems to get warm rather quickly.

Since being two months old:

She was finally able to meet her Great Aunt Julie & Uncle Dave, with whom she shares a birthday, and of course her first cousins (once removed). I wish I would have remembered to take pictures of them!

She laughs now! It's the best feeling ever to be able to get a laugh from her.

She had her first round of immunizations- hard to watch! I'm thankful for this book- at least I could feel informed about what she was getting and why it was important.

She is tolerating her carseat more, and sleeping more during the day! Yay! She slept 9 hours without eating for the first time a few nights ago! I of course checked on her multiple times because it was so weird. She has since gone back to waking up for her 4am feeding, but maybe a full night sleep is right around the corner? If not, it's definitely tolerable getting up just once at 4.

My world is now immersed in laundry- we're onto cloth diapers now! So far so good. I'm glad for our outdoor clothesline.

Little sweet pea is not so little any more, relatively speaking. She's in the 78th percentile for weight and 66th for height. It's true what they say- she is growing up so fast!

*These leggings deserve a whole post. Stay tuned.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

7 weeks!


Our sweet pea is 7 weeks old! Time seemed to hold still during those first few weeks, but since then it has made up for lost and is going by much faster. We are loving getting to know her, watching her grow and learn, and are becoming quite the efficient diaper changers.

Mainly, this post is for us to remember and look back on her accomplishments.

At seven weeks:
*She's smiling a LOT more, as evidenced by the above photo. Her favorite place to smile is on the changing table- I guess a clean diaper would do that to me, too.
*She is a great night sleeper and a horrible day sleeper. We will take it. She can sleep from 5 to 6 hours at night, but during the day it's tough to get her to stay asleep for 45 minutes. Sometimes my (Carrie's) whole day is spent trying to get her to fall asleep!
*She is finding her voice and making a lot of new sounds!
*She's more likely to wriggle her way out of her swaddle nowadays (Greg calls her Houdini) which just means we have to be more careful to wrap her tight. In efforts to help her sleep longer, we've purchased a Miracle Blanket - a miracle indeed and well worth the $$. She looks like a little baby burrito:
*Getting out of the house with her is still a bit challenging at this point, mainly due to intimidation (what do I do if she has a crying fit in the middle of the store?!) and also because she is supposed to take naps after being up for no more than 2 hours! We've managed to make it to church on Sundays and to a mom's group on Wednesdays. This may seem silly to seasoned moms (especially moms of multiples) but, hey, it's where I am.
*She is clearly recognizing our voices and it sure makes us feel good when we say something from across the room and she breaks out into a huge smile.
*She doesn't really like to be in the car seat so we have to plan trips according to when we think she'll be the happiest. We recently took a long trip north and I rode in the back almost the whole time while offering my finger for her to suck (she doesn't keep a pacifier but we're still trying!).
*She loves her swing except when it's time to sleep.
*We love love love this little babe!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Sacrifices

There will be plenty and I will readily admit I don't know the first thing about how much or what kinds of sacrifices we'll make for the kiddos (assuming there will be more...?). However, the one I'm sad about today is dairy. It looks as if sweet pea has a mild case of reflux, so I'm eliminating dairy, spicy foods, chocolate, and a whole host of other things from my diet. I just miss cheese and butter. And lattes. But look at this little face. It's worth it for her and for her (read: our) sleep!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

How our “all natural” birth plan changed into a cesarean birth story

We are loving our little sweet pea! (I know “sweet pea” isn’t the most original nickname, but it just seems to fit her.) It does, however, feel like ages ago when she was born (which was really just two weeks ago). For any interested, here’s how she made her debut….

I was a week overdue when we had the chat with our doctor. He was a bit concerned about her position- head down, but not progressing downward like most babies at 41 weeks. There was no clear reason why and he thought the best thing to do would be induce. I remember being so nervous the night before- as if we were flying somewhere (I really don’t like the anticipation of traveling) or as if I was going to speak in public or something. We couldn’t induce at the hospital where we had planed on having her, so I had to quickly adjust my visual to a different hospital I had never been to except on the day previous (hint: not the first adjustment of expectations in this story). When we arrived, I thought the doctor would put me on pitocin right away, but to my relief he said we should start by first breaking my water. The hope was that my body would then go into labor naturally. That hope didn’t pan out, but we spent the next day and a half walking around the third floor of the hospital over and over and over and over again trying to help things along. Friday afternoon came with little change (some contractions, but not much to speak of) and we were ready for something else. So I went on pitocin. And labor came. With strength. I clearly remember wanting to punch anyone who had ever suggested labor without pain medication. The hard thing is that I can’t compare or ever know if that’s what real, natural labor felt like or if it really was worse because of “the pit” (the anesthesiologist called it that and I thought it was fitting). As labor got stronger, I recessed deeper into a strange internal trance. Only focusing on breathing and my happy place, I was less and less aware of my surroundings. Very strange. I do remember at some point though that there were a lot of nurses and commotion going on inside my room. Our doctor appeared and explained to Greg (as I breathed and moaned- never thought I’d be a moaner) that baby’s heart rate had dropped below the acceptable rate for a time and, while it had regained its original rate, this was a sign things were not going as we would hope. We quickly decided that it was not worth putting our little babe through risky stress for a natural birth, so the prep for a c-section began. From there things happened very quickly. The anesthesiologist (who I loved and made me feel so safe) came in to ask me a few questions and I was wheeled down the hall to the surgery room. I can’t describe how wonderful it felt to have the spinal block put in and all my pain magically changed into warm and jello-y legs. Wonderful. Also wonderful was my doctor, who has continued to impress us with his professional yet kind demeanor. Also wonderful was the hospital, where I thought only the mean, anti-breastfeeding and anti-natural nurses worked (wrong). When baby was first delivered and set on a table near me to be cleaned, I couldn't understand how much peace I felt and love and joy all at once. I always thought c-sections were so horrible because baby can’t be with mom right away, but when I was in recovery all I could think about was how I had just had a baby and how amazing that was (all the while trying really, really hard to move my toes so that I could go up and meet baby). No sadness, just a profound peace knowing Greg was with her.

I got to see more of and hold baby about 2 ½ hours after she was born. She was perfect, of course, and seemed to nurse well right away. All in all, I’m not too disappointed with how things turned out. Recovery has been slow, but recovery can be slow with a natural birth too, yeah? Anyway, that’s how it happened.

Here's some documentation- no delivery pictures here (but Greg got some cool ones- so strange to see her being excavated from my belly!).

Me, in pain. Oxygen for baby, hat for surgery.

Greg, excited to meet his girl.

Ready for surgery! Not sure how I mustered up a smile....

Baby meeting mom for the first time.

She came out hungry! Dad's finger had to suffice until she went to mom. Also, she was in the NICU because she had swallowed so much meconium. A reason why this hospital was a better situation- the other hospital has no NICU.

First bath ever!
Baby and mom reunited.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Our Newest Addition

She's finally here! Born Friday, July 16 at 7:39 pm. 8lbs, 5 oz and 21.5 inches at birth.





Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Grace

With my recent gift of free time, I’ve spent a lot of time reading. Last weekend I was getting so tired of reading about babies, nursing, and labor that I was basically desperate for anything different. My first choice would have been a novel but every novel I had seemed uninteresting and the local library was closed until Tuesday. Then I found an older book I had read years before on grace. Specifically, Yancey’s book, What’s So Amazing About Grace? I remember reading it on a train to Beijing and while I’m sure I didn’t finish it on that train ride, I remember being challenged and encouraged by the stories and perspective presented in the book.

Once again, I feel that my basic understanding of grace has been challenged. I can’t wrap my mind around a just and righteous God who also extends such lengths of mercy and grace. Yancey talks about the “atrocious mathematics” of the gospel- how unfair it could seem to us that God extends grace to those who don’t even ask for it (i.e. Saul/Paul on his way to Damascus). “Grace is free only because the giver himself has borne the cost.” I am the recipient of such extensive grace, even when I hide behind my own perception of "goodness." Then comes the realization that God asks—rather, demands—us to show that same grace towards others.

I was particularly moved by this quote from Kierkegaard:

When it is a question of a sinner He doest not merely stand still, open his arms and say, “Come hither”; no, He stands there and waits, as the father of the lost son waited, rather He does not stand and wait, He goes forth to seek, as the shepherd sought the lost sheep, as the woman sought the lost coin. He goes—yet no, He has gone, but infinitely farther than any shepherd or any woman, He went, in sooth, the infinitely long way from being God to becoming man, and that way He went in search of sinners.

Logically, Yancey also talks about forgiveness. He shares story after story of horrible criminals that then come face to face with those whom they have hurt, or families broken by trivial arguments, or countries harboring decades of bitterness towards others. Some of these stories lead to forgiveness and healing, others lead to a bitter and depressing end of no reconciliation and often a spiral of retaliation. Yancey shares this quote from Lewis Smedes, “The first and often the only person to be healed by forgiveness is the person who does the forgiveness…. When we genuinely forgive, we set a prisoner free and then discover that the prisoner we set free was us.”

I haven’t finished this second reading of the book yet and while I know nothing I’ve written here is specifically profound, as a whole this book has shown profound truths that I don’t easily recognize in the way I live out my life. “Grace does not depend on what we have done for God but rather what God has done for us.”

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lemon Oat Scones

I've had this urge to make lemon scones ever since I discovered the best lemon currant scones at our most favorite local café. I couldn't find a recipe that I was really jazzed about, so I tweaked this one a bit and am pretty pleased at the results. No pictures, but here's the recipe should anyone have a similar craving.

Lemon Oat Scones

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup oats
4 tbs sugar
1 tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbs butter
2 tbs lemon juice
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 tsp lemon zest
3/4 cup dried cranberries or currants

Glaze: a bit of buttermilk and lemon juice

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl or food processor. Cut in butter and lemon juice until evenly mixed and slightly crumbly. Whisk together the eggs and buttermilk in a small bowl; add 1 tsp lemon zest with the egg mixture to flour mixture, and mix gently just until well blended and forming a dough. Fold in the cranberries or currants.

On a floured surface, kneed briefly and shape into a ball, then flatten slightly. Cut round into six or eight wedges; place on prepared baking sheet or baking stone. Mix some buttermilk with lemon juice and brush each wedge, then top with a sprinkle of sugar.

Bake in the preheated oven until tops are golden brown, about 12-16 minutes.

Notes: I used a food processor to mix up the flour/oats + butter mixture. I used old fashioned oats, but if mixing by hand you may want to try quick oats since they won't get chopped up like mine in the food processor.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

False Alarm

My doctor is on call this weekend, so I've definitely gotten my hopes up that baby should come today or tomorrow. I know, I know. The doc doesn't even get there until the very end, gotcha. But I like my doctor. And I would like it if he was there for the delivery, even though I expect I won't really care in the moment.

Yesterday we had a false alarm. For various reasons that I won't elaborate on here, I thought that there was a chance my water broke. One of those reasons is because I started feeling contractions shortly thereafter. They continued for a few hours, and while difficult to determine when one started and ended, they were more painful that I had experienced in days previous and I thought surely that it was the beginning! Hopes = UP.

Wrong. Everything just stopped. I went to bed thinking, hoping that I would have to wake Greg up in just a few short hours because they had started again and were back with vengeance. Alas, this was not the case. Just a few uneventful trips to the bathroom.

After a very early morning walk, food, and more out and about trips to try and get things going again, I called my gracious on-call doctor. I'm pretty sure there's no way he could have told me not to worry when I explained that my water MIGHT have broken even though I had doubts, so he advised we go to the hospital to get things checked out.

We did and no need to worry- water still intact and I'm hardly dilated. So more walks around the block and more things to bake are in the agenda today and likely tomorrow. I'm glad we went though- I was starting to worry about the whole water breaking thing. This is a not so flattering picture of me on the monitors at the hospital. Hearing baby's heartbeat was a nice reassurance that she's fine and hearing her hiccups made us laugh.


And now I smell like the hospital because I used their soap to wash my hands.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

On being 38 weeks pregnant + sick

Nothing like a baby to get the ole blog going again, eh? Well, baby isn't here yet but soon to be! Let me say that I would not advise getting the flu when 36 weeks pregnant and then having a lingering cough. It's hard enough to breathe with a uterus the size of a watermelon (tmi?) so add coughing to the mix and you get one miserable mama.

Stay tuned for baby to make her arrival!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

SLO Christmas Parade

Something about our small town parade I just love. I'm sure it has to do with having good company and of course a hot drink in a red cup!

Good company like these girls (plus Shelly!):


Royal Roscoe joined us for the fun too.

And then there were our red cups. Yum.

Lots of firetrucks this year, and we couldn't help but think our nephew Jacob would love this.

And the SLO trolley....

A good parade. I am already looking forward to next year's!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

New Hobby

I was going to title this blog post something like "Our recent comings and goings" when I realized we haven't come and gone at all. It's more like we have a new hobby: yard work. And it's hard work! I've mainly watched from the sidelines as Greg (with help from my brother Kurt) have undertaken work of mass proportions.

We had these massive, obtrusive, water sucking oleanders. Good for the freeways, not for my yard. The first attempt to escort them from the premises involved a heavy duty chain, 4-wheel drive, and one recruitment.

It was unsuccessful. They wouldn't budge, threatening to stay here forever with their poisonous selves. Call for reinforcements!

Bobcat to the rescue, part necessity, part fun.


Hot.

Finally, my contribution. Don't you think this will look like a nice boxwood hedge in a few years?


Next up: the fence. Starting with the posts.

He got up at 6am to do this, ladies and gentlemen! What dedication! What determination!

My handsome man. Making this place our home sweet home!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Chipotle @ San Jose!

Chipotle twice in one week!?! It must be vacation. We're on the road from the San Jose Airport and should be home shortly. It's been a great vacation. Really encouraging to be with great friends, and to let God show us more of Himself and His plan for us, His kids, as we've stepped away from the day to day life we live. True spiritual rest comes in the quiet.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Dave & Katie's Wedding Day: Toledo, OH

Dave's been waiting for    08.21.09 for a long time! He even changed his Ohio plates to 082109. He and Katie both are just stoked to get
Dave's been waiting for 08.21.09 for a long time! He even changed his Ohio plates to 082109. He and Katie both are just stoked to get married today. And it's a
beautiful sunny afternoon in Toledo!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Seattle Day 4

We're heading out from Whidbey and we're on our way    to Toledo tomorrow. We had an amazing time at Jack & Diane's place.    It's an amazin
We're heading out from Whidbey and we're on our way
to Toledo tomorrow. We had an amazing time at Jack & Diane's place.
It's an amazing oasis in the forest - like a retreat center.
Definitely relaxing and refreshing.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Seattle Day 3 - Deception Pass

North tip of Whidbey Island - Deception Pass. Amazing.
North tip of Whidbey Island -
Deception Pass. Amazing.