Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Indecent Exposure

Before having Addie, I had always thought that breastfeeding seemed a little, well, awkward.  I remember seeing my sister feed Greyden for the first time and thinking how weird it was.  Then seeing her pump just added to my confusion.  I mean, the only other thing I'd ever seen get milked was a cow.  It was almost comical, disturbing, and awkward all wrapped into one.  Then you see the expressed milk sitting in the fridge next to your food.  More awkwardness.  And finally, seeing her breastfeed during our lunch outing at a Mexican restaurant without a blink of an eye was interesting..  Needless to say the white cheese that you dip your tortilla chips in wasn't quite as appetizing after that.

I did love the idea of breastfeeding and was proud of Leah for choosing to do so, but I was just hoping that by the time I had a baby, I would be more comfortable with it.  And OH have I EVER become more comfortable with it. Maybe even too comfortable.

Let's just say that my boobs have been seen by SO many people in the last 8 weeks, I can't even count them on all of my fingers and toes.  When I was still in the hospital I don't think I even put them away!  The lab lady, the nurse, hell, even the cleaning ladies got a glimpse of my marvelous milkers.  I seriously had NO shame.  My view on whipping my boob out in public is like night and day to how I felt before.  Hence why I  worry about being arrested for indecent exposure sooner rather than later...

Take our first shopping trip when she was just 6 days old.  Now, in the early days, when a baby needs to eat, a BABY NEEDS TO EAT!!!  Trust me, her cries screams would cut right through you.  And it goes from 0-10 in .1 seconds.  So as soon as I heard her start I grabbed her up and raced to the car, throwing money at my mom and grabbing the keys.  Thank goodness we were just at a cute little shop and not at the back of Wal-Mart because I wouldn't have made it out without whipping my boob out right there in the middle of the aisle.  Which I almost did a few weeks later.  Seriously, when she needs to eat, I don't care, I'm going to feed her one way or another.  So I'm really having to work on self-control and remembering that my boob is still a boob to other people and not just my baby's food source.  Trust me, it's harder than you think.

Riding around the house with my Mommy!
Speaking of my baby's food source, to her I have now gone from being a human incubator to a human boob. I honestly think that's all she sees me as.  It's like dealing with an immature boy, "my eyes are up here."  I feel like she just stares them down when she's hungry, and even when she's not.  Like when it's time to shower.  I'll have just fed her but it won't matter.  If I walk by her without my bra on, her eyes follow them like a hawk.  Not gonna lie, I'm feeling a little objectified here.

But all is well.  Watching her root around for my boob has proven comical more than once.  Like the time she tried to latch onto Greg's nipple.  I think it shocked him just as much as it shocked her.  And the expressions she makes while feeding are priceless. (don't worry, there are no X-rated pictures of that getting posted on here)  The objectivity and time spent nursing her rather large appetite are well worth it though to see her growing and thriving on her Mommy's milk.  Makes a girl proud. :)
All tired out after my vaccines...poor baby.

I believe she's glaring at Greg, it certainly wouldn't be at me! ;)
So this is the best 2 month pic we got because
she definitely spit up all over 3 seconds after this pic was shot...


I'm a big girl sitting in my bumbo seat...and I look
like my Daddy!
I love to karate kick ALL the time!


HiiiYAAA!  Karate Girl is at it again!



Addie Check-In
Age: 2 months
Weight: 9lb 11oz
Length: 22 inches (wonder when you start calling it height...)
Milestones: Adelaide is now grabbing onto things!  First thing was the nose of a little zebra toy that I had hanging in front of her.  That same night she grabbed Daddy's hoodie string.  She's also cooing more and now I swear she's saying mama when she's fussing.  Her smiling in response to our smiles is increasing.  She can hold her head up for quite a while when I have her on my hip or in her bumbo seat.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sorry Addie, You are Our Guinea Pig.

Well, Addie turned 8 weeks old last Sunday and to say that these last 8 weeks have been a huge learning curve for Greg and I is the understatement of the year.  I'm not sure how it is legal to hand over a newborn baby to two people who have zero, and I mean ZERO experience taking care of a baby.  And I don't care how many books you read or how many times you practice using your new baby stuff, it does not come close to preparing you, even if you do have your mother living with you for the first 2 weeks.

Take the first night alone with her.  We decide it's time to go to bed and take Addie into our room to swaddle her.  My mom was standing in our doorway and I was like, "Wait!  I don't know what to do!"  Her response?  "Good luck!  Good night!"  And with a smile she darted up to our guest bedroom.  Talk about the feeling of helplessness creeping over.  But I knew she had to let us go it alone.  So I took a deep breath and grabbed Addie's swaddle.  I mean, how hard could it be?  We'd read the instructions and even practiced on a stuffed animal.  (FYI, a real human baby is WAY different than a stuffed animal...)  After several attempts by both Greg and I, I went racing to grab the instructions that had came with it.  Finally!  We, sort of, had her in her "swaddle me" wrap. Next up, getting her to sleep in her crib...

You'd think that this would be an easy prospect.  I mean, where else do babies sleep but a crib?  So it just seemed natural that I'd put her in it and she'd "sleep like a baby" just like I had pictured it.  WRONG!  Apparently the term "sleep like a baby" means to wake up every half hour screaming.  By 3:30am I was calling the hospital nursery asking what to do with her.  They said it sounds like she has gas and to give her gas drops if we have any.  Let me say thank you Katie for the gas drops.  Life saver.   After a few nights of more futile attempts to get her to sleep in her big girl crib, we put her in her "rock-n-play" and set her right next to our bed. (and thank you sister-in-law Jen for that tip)  ...And that is where she still sleeps.  I know we'll have to try the crib again someday, but the prospect of another sleepless night is just too much to bare.

I'm still learning every day from Addie and from my other mommy friends and family.  I understand her cues and cries better every day.  She's actually put herself on a pretty good routine.  She eats about every 2-3 hours (let me just say she takes after her mother when it comes to "grazing" because she will "snack" every 1-1.5 hours quite often as well) during the day and sleeps a good 4-6 hour stretch at night, and then another 2-3 hour stretch, with little naps right before bed and after she wakes up.  With all of this sleeping you'd think that I'd have time to catch my breath, or write a blog, but I still don't.  Not sure when this is all going to calm down but we're making it through just fine.

I was worried about getting bored with all of the goo goo gagas but I've been entertained just by staring at her when she sleeps and talking with her and making goofy faces at her when she's awake.  Her Daddy thinks I'm loco but Addie LOVES my silly faces and smiles and coos back at me!  I'll also pretend to eat her feet while I'm changing her which she gets a total kick out of.

She is still changing and growing every day.  She loves to follow her little jingle bell butterfly with her eyes and she loves to play on her activity mat.  Her legs are ALWAYS going so I know when she starts to crawl, there will be NO stopping her.  She's also growing bigger too!  She's about 9 lbs now, which I'm so excited about because she is fitting into her next size of clothes.  Yay!  Needless to say poor Addie has an unnecessary costume change some days just so I can put her in a new outfit that I haven't seen her in yet.  :)

Though I haven't been able to keep up on my blog as much as I'd like, I totally intend on writing in it more as her naps get longer, not unless I'm napping too, then the blog goes to the wayside again.  C'mon, I gotta sleep when I can!  Otherwise I screw up my words, forget what I have and haven't done, and am a cranky cranky girl.  (My husband would comment here about how that is no different from my normal state, but trust me, it's a WHOLE new level when I'm overtired...)

This is what happens when I leave Addie
alone with Greg for 5 minutes.  Yes, that is a
diaper on her head...
This is my attempt at catching a smile.  Every time I hold my
camera up, her smile disappears and she stares at the camera. Squirrel!
I may keep a tutu by her changing station and 
throw it on her occasionally... so sue me.
She already looks like trouble.  I see mischievousness
in those eyes. ;)  She's 8 weeks old in this picture.
BIG YAWN!
Mama loves a sleeping baby :) 
Really lady? Another picture?  Really?!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Birth: Can we talk about this???

I had originally started this post on Sept. 6th, which shows how naive and dead-wrong I really was when I thought I'd be able to actually get things done with a newborn.  You live you learn!  And boy have we learned a lot already.  But first, let me inform you on how Addie came into this world...

So in good fashion, Adelaide decided to come on her due date.  I love that she's punctual already!  I had a feeling on Saturday that she may decide to make her appearance the next day.  I was somewhat achy and had just been feeling, well, different.  Greg and I spent the entire day finishing up little projects and then while relaxing on the porch, a doe and two fawns came walking onto our front lawn.  I took it as a sign.  :)

Sunday, August 21st, I woke up around 7:30am still feeling really achy and was having minor labor pains.  I thought it was probably more false labor pains and that they would go away, though I had never had them in the morning before.  I decided to just relax and, embarrassing enough, I spent the morning watching a marathon of "Keeping up with the Kardashians."  Sometimes you just need a little bad TV, so sue me!

I noticed that my contractions were getting stronger and closer together but I was still not confident that this was the real deal and didn't want to be one of those pregnant women who come to the hospital just to be sent home because of a false alarm.  So, I kept letting Greg sleep, thinking if it were the real thing, I'd let him sleep in for one of the last times.  Then my friend Lauran texted me telling me that she couldn't sleep all night because she just had a feeling that I was going to go into labor and asked how I was doing.  When I told her that I actually think I may be, she told me to "duh, wake up Greg!"  LOL.  Then she advised me to call our mutual friend Lauren to confirm that what I was feeling were actually contractions since she had just had a baby 4 weeks prior.  Sure enough, when I called Lauren she advised me that yes, they were definitely labor pains and that I need to start timing them and to wake up Greg.  So, at 10:30am, I finally woke up Greg to have him help me time my contractions.  They were about 5 minutes apart and getting quite strong so we decided to head to the hospital.

Upon arrival we were told that I was only 2cm dilated and that we could "walk the hall" for a couple hours to see if we could get things to progress.  So we walked, and walked, and walked, while trying to entertain ourselves by counting carpet squares, counting steps, doing fun turns at the end of the hall, etc.  I think the nurses thought we were crazy.  Whatever we did, it worked, because when I got rechecked my contractions were a lot harder and closer and I had dilated to over 2.5cm.  Now let me just tell you, I thought I had a high tolerance for pain, but after almost dying feeling my contractions at 2.5 cm, I realized that I am a wuss. W.U.S.S.  How people have a child without any drugs, I don't have a clue.  I know the saying is "you don't get a medal for having a drug-free birth," but I, for one, think you should.  I couldn't imagine going through the whole birth feeling those awful contractions!  So here's to all of the mommies who endured labor without drugs...and here's to me for embracing modern medicine and just saying yes to the little miracle known as an epidural. :)

Now my epidural was not given without complications.  Long story short, it was put in the wrong space in my spine and gave me a spinal block from my waist up, not my abdomen down, which doesn't help for the whole "not feeling the birth" concept.  After pulling the epidural, lots of oxygen, and waiting for the ability to breath and swallow to come back, we tried it again.  I'm sure you think I'm crazy for trying it again, but refer back to the wuss comment...  This time it worked, kinda.  It numbed the area it was supposed to, and then some.  I got a lazy left eye and my left arm and leg were tingly.  Yup, only me.  But it did the job of blocking labor pains, so all in all, I would call it a win.  Lucky for me, by that time my Mom, Aunt Sheila, and cousin Lyndee were there to help with comic relief, ie. calling me a pirate.  Oh the little things that get you through...

After that things progressed rather quickly.  So quickly that we thought we had until 3am and sent Greg to get some food for himself at 9:30pm, only to call him back to tell him I was dilated 8.5-9cm.  Oops!  Before I knew it my doctor told me that I was 10cm and I could start to push any time.  Wait, WHAT?!  PUSH?!  My respone?  "Hold the phone, can we talk about this?"  I was SO paranoid that the epidural didn't work again that I was NOT all about pushing.  It just happened so fast I didn't have time to mentally prepare.  I know, you'd think 10 months would be enough time to prepare, but it wasn't.  At least it wasn't enough for this chick!  After realizing that there was no negotiating the whole pushing thing I thought, whelp, let's do it!

With my amazing cheering section composed of my husband, mom, doctor, and nurse, I pushed that little girl out in 22 minutes!  She came out just a kicking and screaming.  I knew right then I'd be hearing a lot of that scream the next few months, and I was right.  :)  Adelaide scored two perfect tens after her birth and was ready to nurse ASAP.  She's a great little eater like her parents!  I still don't think, even after 5 weeks, that I've really grasped what a miracle we've been blessed with.  I just stare at her all the time in awe.  She's growing SO fast and changing every day!  And with every new day comes a new lesson, taught to us by none other than, Adelaide.  I can tell that this is going to be quite a fun and interesting ride...

Adelaide Elizabeth Walther
Born 10:57pm, 8-21-11
6 lbs 4oz, 21.5 inches long

Friday, August 19, 2011

Week 39.5-Peeing is Believing

These last four weeks of pregnancy have really opened my eyes to see that all of the cliche things you hear people experience during pregnancy really do happen.  For example, I pee literally 20 times a day.  I will use the bathroom, then turn right around and use it again 2 minutes later, and sometimes, I will use it again in another minute.  It. is. insane.  The back pain people talk about is also not a lie.  It happens, and it hurts.  I have found that an average of 5 pillows is what you need in order to situate yourself comfortably on the couch or in bed.  They get wedged EVERYWHERE.  Then the swelling...  I remember my sister posting a blog titled, "I make cankles look good."  Well, I have news, I DON'T make cankles look good.  I literally feel like I have a water balloon in my right ankle, the one I previously had surgery on.  No amount of time with my feet in the air seems to help either.  It's really not a great look. With only 4 days left until her due date, I am more ready than ever to have her.

I do, however, have to take some of the blame for my body's bad shape at the moment because I just will NOT slow down.  My list of last minute things I'd like to accomplish just keeps growing with every item I cross off.  I have made tons of freezer meals since we live in the boonies, can't order take out, and the grocery store is far away.  I also keep cleaning obsessively and compulsively because I go to bed every night thinking she may come tonight, and heaven forbid the bathroom sink doesn't sparkle when I bring her home!  Just to give you an example of how crazy I really am, here's a breakdown of yesterday...  After a hectic day at work, I grocery shopped, got home and made a double batch of homemade blue moon ice cream since you can't buy it anywhere else but MI and WI, I swear, made German chocolate cake cookies for Greg's bday, then was informed that we would be having 2 of his brothers, his dad, and friend Chris over for grilling so a taco salad was also needed to be made, then I took the other 4 pounds of burger leftover from the salad and seasoned and formed it into patties and froze for easy grilling later on, then cleanup of the kitchen, not to mention all of the little things I managed to fit in between while cookies were baking etc.  Finally I sat down crashed at 10:30pm.  Seriously.  I. AM. CRAZY.  So, like I said, I probably can't complain too much about the aches and pains of the last couple weeks of pregnancy because I'm sure a lot of it is self-inflicted.

I never did update anyone on how my last ultrasound went!  At 35.5 weeks she was 5.7 lbs and the doctor projected her to be about 7-7.5 lbs on her due date.  I, however, project her to be 8.2 lbs.  As of today I am 1cm dilated and have scheduled an induction date for the Tuesday after her due date, if she makes it that long, fingers crossed she doesn't!  Everything is still going well.  She has a healthy heartbeat and is still wiggling around in my belly.  I have been experiencing a lot of contractions lately and had actually thought I may be going into labor a couple Sundays ago.  I was having contractions for a couple hours straight that were getting harder and longer, but they eventually subsided.  The contractions feel like nothing I have ever felt before.  Sometimes they start low with almost like a spasm feeling then radiate outward and up.  Then my belly gets rock hard and I feel a TON of pressure.  Other times my belly just squeezes hard sporadically.  Needless to say, I'm still waiting for the real deal contractions to come closer and stronger signalling that it's time.  I know a lot of people think about the water breaking being the real signal that of labor, I have since learned that only about 10-15% of women's water actually breaks on its own.  Interesting, huh?  I'm not taking chances though and am making sure to have a little extra protection "down there" just in case it decides to break in public... :)

Thank goodness Addie held out last weekend because Greg and I had a fun day/night planned in Indianapolis to celebrate his birthday, our anniversary, and one of our last weekends with just him and I.  We started the day in the early AM with breakfast and shopping, followed by checking in early at The Conrad luxury hotel downtown Indianapolis to get a bit of relaxing in before lunch.  Headed to Rockbottom brewery for lunch, then off to the day spa where we both got massages, mine a prenatal of course.  I tell you what, I forgot how good it feels to be able to lay on my belly!  Thank goodness for massage tables with pull out sections!  I highly recommend this for any mother-to-be, by the way.  Anyway, following that we went to an amazing steakhouse where we were served steak diane, table side, and they brought Greg the most amazing and ginormous piece of carrot cake for his birthday.  The night ended with a trip to the comedy club and we were back in our room and ready for bed by 10:30pm.  We are so old.  :)  I tell you what, to all of my friends who are expecting, take advantage of one of the last few weekends you have as just the two of you and spend some quality time together.  Most importantly, go all out!!  We are so glad we did!

Pretty sure my turkey timer has popped!

Week 39.5 Check-In

Weight Gain: 16 lbs
Cravings: Food in general because now that she's "dropped" I finally have room in my belly to eat comfortably again!  WOO HOO!
Innie or Outie Belly Button?: Refer to turkey timer popping.
Stretch Marks: Nope, I think I'm home free!
Fetal Movement: She's still rocking and rolling, but as she's running out of space, she pokes out more than kicks/hard jabs.
Contractions: Yes!  Had a scare a couple Sundays ago, thought it was progressing to the real thing, but it subsided.  
Swelling/Varicose Veins/Linea Nigra:  My right ankle looks like it did when I broke it on the trampoline. Ew. No veins or linea nigra, but my birth mark on my belly has doubled in size, haha.
Nursery Preparations: All we need is our little Adelaide to make it complete!
What I miss:  Being able to squeeze through tight spaces.  Sometimes I forget about the belly and get stuck...
Most Looking Forward To:  Having her!  She is due the 21st, but if she's not here by then we'll be inducing and having her on the 23rd :-D
Favorite Moment This Week: When I realized that by this time next week I will have my little girl in my arms 



Saturday, July 23, 2011

Week 35.5: A New Perspective & Priorities

As the reality of having a baby continues to sink in, I've noticed that I've taken on a whole new perspective on many things in my daily life.  Whether it be my choice of clothing, what items I purchase, food choices, etc.  It seems that everything comes back to Addie.  For example, Every outfit I wear I wonder, "is this mom appropriate?"  (Sadly I have gotten rid of about 1/4 of my clothes because of this question...)  Now don't get me wrong, I don't want to be frumpy, but tube tops and plaid skirts from college that I had held onto just in case they would someday make it into a Halloween costume ensemble had to go.

When I purchase ANY item for the house I think, could Addie hurt herself on this?  That goes for every item currently residing in the house as well.  And, considering that her Father's nickname as a little boy was "tank" because he would ram his head into EVERYTHING, this is a valid concern.  In addition I need the space for all of Addie's fun baby stuff so anything that isn't a necessity is out.

My attitude about food and beverages has followed suit as well. For example, the other day I made Jell-O just for the sake of wanting Jell-O and NOT for the sake of making Jell-O shots.  I haven't made Jell-O without alcohol since my college days...  Is that bad..?  Then, when I was getting ready to head up north for the 4th of July, all I focused on was the food I was bringing.  I used to be thinking about what fun new mixed drink I was going to be making but now all I worry about is if I have my 3 stainless steel water bottles.  Then once I'm at the party, my focus goes back to food.  Oh, and having the word "light" in front of any food item I buy is not acceptable.  I know, I know, getting light is probably healthier, but seriously deep down you know that original is the best.

Our nightly life around the house is starting to change too.  My cats are currently in the process of being demoted from sleeping on our bed to sleeping outside of our room completely.  Yeah, that's a tough one.  I'm weaning them off by allowing them in the room every other night.  For those of you who have never met my cats and are wondering what the harm is of having them in the room with the crib, allow me to explain..  One is 20.2 lbs and the other is 17.6 lbs.  Now, I doubt the 20 lb one would be able to haul his happy @$$ over the side of the crib, however, the 17 lb one has some ups.  The fear of them cuddling too close to baby's head, or sitting on it like they do with Greg, is a real and possible danger.  Therefore, no more cats in the bedroom.

All in all, things are changing, I'd say, for the better around the Walther household.  Our lifestyles are healthier, our happiness levels are higher, and our love stronger.  Just in time for our little baby girl to arrive.  4.5 weeks and counting!

This pic was taken on Monday and I already
feel twice as big today...haha
Week 35.5 Check-In

Weight Gain: 14.5 lbs, still.. (that just goes to show just how much we really do eat over the fourth of July bc I weighed the same when I got back from that weekend, lol)
Cravings: Nothing recently.  Well I've been wanting a lemon lime slushy from Dairy Queen so I finally got one, with soft serve down the middle...delicious
Innie or Outie Belly Button?: I think I can take this one off because I'm not sure if it'll ever retract now..  It looks like a bulls eye through all of my clothes..
Stretch Marks: Negative
Fetal Movement: Addie has been having hiccups!  She's still quite active and really likes to push her butt and/or legs up under my left ribs...ouch!
Contractions: Not so much yet.  I may have had a few Braxton Hicks but I'm still questioning it..
Swelling/Varicose Veins/Linea Nigra:  Swelling has commenced...sometimes my toes look like little sausages...  VV-not yet.  LN-not yet 
Nursery Preparations: Room is almost complete and most items are put in their respective locations!
What I miss:  Being able to get ready without trying on 3 outfits because certain pieces don't fit anymore..
Most Looking Forward To:  Her birth! Let's be honest here people!!
Favorite Moment This Week: Her 36 week ultrasound appointment!  More to come on that in my next blog

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Week 34-Bring on the Belly

This last week has been absolutely amazing!  On top of spending a ton of time with my family and 8 month old nephew, I got to see a ton of friends from high school at a classmate's wedding.  In addition, my Mom and Sister threw me the most fabulous baby shower!  It was such a beautiful day and it was SO wonderful having everyone there to support Addie and I and help us prepare for her arrival.  We received so many generous and extremely thoughtful and creative gifts, and I can't wait to get her in all of the adorable outfits!  Leah and my mom had people write out notes of advice, wisdom, and encouraging thoughts that I will forever cherish.  I already know that the days when it seems tough and I'm pulling my hair out, those notes will help get me through.  It truly was such a special occasion and couldn't have been a better beginning to the weekend!

The Fourth of July is without a doubt my family's favorite holiday.  Every year we hang out all weekend and family and friends bring their RVs and campers and stay overnight.  One night is always capped off with an amazing firework show, courtesy of my Uncle Jeff, and my Dad's grill never, and I mean NEVER, stops going.  He even grills breakfast at least once during the weekend.  (p.s. If you have never experienced my Dad's grilling, whether it be breakfast, lunch, dinner, or fourth meal...or fifth meal at that, you are missing out and you NEED to plan on attending our 4th of July celebration next year. I'll get off of my soap box now.)  One night I believe he was even cooking hot wings, chicken, and steak until 2:30am.  Can you say amazing?  Though most people can't fathom eating such hearty food that late, let me just tell you, we train people well and pretty soon you'll be joining in too.  Bonfires are had and there is a ton of relaxing, catching up, and great food.

This year was particularly special because we had some new additions to our celebration!  We were blessed with the presence of Greyden (my 8 month old nephew), Jacob, Bryson, and Alana.  All of whom are under a year old.  Holding and playing with all of these cuties made me SO anxious to hold Addie....only 6.5 weeks left!!!!!!!!!!!!  (I can't believe it!!!)
Nikki with Bryson, Katie with Alana, Leah with Greyden
I mean really, HOW CUTE?! ?!


Speaking of having 6.5 weeks left, I am blowing up even more rapidly than ever before.  Apparently Addie is now supposed to be gaining about a 1/2 lb a week, and I feel every bit of it.  In addition,  heat + ever expanding belly=tiredness.  I just don't have as much oomph as I used to!  I seriously have to push myself through my household duties without allowing myself to rest or else I'll never get back up.  I just don't remember what it was like to be able to accomplish all of these tasks with ease!  And I know once the baby actually comes, it'll be 100% harder than it is now.  Needless to say, I'm currently in the process of recruiting Greg to help with some of the chores and am toying with the idea of making a chore checklist.....  Anyone think he'll actually go for it?!? (now don't get me wrong, he does help out a lot, I just need a little more consistency for my sanity's sake)  I know, I know, wishful thinking, but I may just give it a go.  You don't know unless you try, right?!

Recently I'm not only tired but I'm also ridiculously clumsy.  I'm not sure if it's my big belly or my baby brain or both but I can hardly keep it together.  I am more of a liability in the kitchen than what I'm worth, trust me, my mom and sister will vouch for that.  During the course of helping prep food for the weekend I managed to nail myself in the chest with a flying strawberry, mess up the pineapple salsa recipe not once, but twice, and anything I could drop or splatter, I did.  When it comes to common sense cooking in the kitchen, you might as well count me out for that too.  I have to read, and then re-read, recipes over and over, and even then I still manage to screw them up.  I'm hoping that it's just because I have SO much on my mind and once I'm not pregnant anymore that I'll get my brain back.  Wishful thinking?

Ay yay yay...Holy Belly here we come!
Week 34 Check-In

Weight Gain: 14.5 pounds  
Cravings: Nothing recently.  I just can't eat a lot because of heartburn, and heavy foods turn me off.  I prefer cold things like popsicles and watermelon...Mmmmm
Innie or Outie Belly Button?: Oh for SURE an outie now.
Stretch Marks: Not yet!  Knock on wood...
Nursery Preparations:  The room itself is set up, I'm plan on washing sheets etc. on Sunday
Most Looking Forward To:  Our 36 week ultrasound on July 21st!  That's when we'll find out her placement, about how big she'll be, and see what she looks like.  Gotta love 3D ultrasounds :)  I kinda don't want to spoil the surprise of seeing her for the first time at the hospital, but at the same time, my impatience/excitement is getting the best of me...
Favorite Moment This Week: Of course, as stated above, my baby shower and seeing all of my family and friends!  Playing and hanging out with Greyden has to be the highlight though.  Life is good :)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Week:31

Wow has it been a long time since I've posted about Adelaide!  First of all, the Walther family is doing great!  Nesting instincts have kicked into overdrive, for me at least, and I've been going to town getting things ready around the house.  Her crib is being put together this weekend, the mattress is on its way, and the wall decorations are being shipped!  I have been trying to put off putting the crib together because I know once I see it every night, since it will be in our room, I won't be able to contain my excitement.  Now don't get me wrong, a couple Thursdays ago at my doctor's appointment when he told me I had 10 weeks left, I still almost fainted from fear, but there's definitely more excitement than fear now as her due date draws nearer. 

As my bowling ball belly has quickly grown into a basketball, I am feeling the pressure to get things done.  Nine trash bags later, and a few trips to good will, our upstairs office is slowly being transformed into another bedroom, just in case we are still in our current house (fingers crossed we aren't) when we decide to move Addie into her own room. Another major hurdle crossed? Child birthing/child care class has been completed. One full Saturday and I am now even more aware of the scariness joy of the birthing process. Let me tell you, when your instructor says that the video is graphic, she is NOT kidding. Once again that look of horror crossed over my face as each subsequent birth story was shown.  My husband, on the other hand, was smiling like a little school girl while exclaiming, "that's going to be you soon!"  Can you tell he's excited to meet his little girl???

We also finished our Lactation Class which was actually pretty informative. And, can I add that mom's milk really does do a body good! (too much?) Anyway, we learned that not only does breastfeeding boost our babies immunity, but it also reduces the risk of childhood obesity, type 2 diabetes, . It's also good for mom too! It reduces the risk for certain cancers and helps mom loose her baby weight faster, amongst other things.  It's a win-win, that is IF we can get her to breastfeed.  Wow have I heard some horror stories lately...  Fingers crossed that breastfeeding goes smoothly as well!

By now I'm fully in maternity clothes and am actually finding them quite comfortable now that my belly is quite "large and in charge."  (I seriously can't imagine that I have 9 more weeks of growing; they MUST have calculated her due date wrong)  The only problem is that I had some issues shopping for my summer attire.  While I typically wear cute little shorts, I just didn't feel it was appropriate as a pregnant woman.  (plus you look really funny and off-balance with short shorts and a pregnant belly, trust me, I tried)  However, the maternity summer shorts that are available, at least where I shopped, were, how do you say, laughable?  I took Greg with me thinking that it would help to have a second opinion when it came to picking out my summer wardrobe, and he did help, it was just slightly humiliating at the same time.  I have figured out that there is definitely a reason I wear shorter shorts, the longer ones make me look like an idiot.  Yes, Greg did laugh a couple of times (trust me, it was warranted) as I tried on some pairs.  Some came just above the knee, some hit mid-to-low thigh, all looked ridiculous. I just don't have the legs for it.  I bought some out of desperation and after trying to wear them with an outfit one day, realized that Greg was not kidding when he told me they just didn't look right, and thus promptly returned them.  On a good note, I've found that some old flowy skirts that I have held onto for years and some cotton dresses still fit!  Yay!

On a really exciting note, Jan threw us our first baby shower last weekend at an adorable Bed and Breakfast in Caro, MI.  All of the women on Greg's side were invited and it couldn't have been more perfect!  What made it so special was that it was small and intimate so I got a chance to speak to everyone and catch up.  In addition, the location that Jan picked couldn't have been cuter!  Ever since she told me about it I've been so excited in anticipation.  And let me tell you, talk about amazing food.  They had chicken salad croissants with fruit, and for dessert, homemade strawberry shortcake with homemade whipped topping.  Can you say heavenly???  We got SO many adorable things too!!!  I can't wait to organize everything (I am such a dork) and set up her room!!!  Seeing all of her things in our house is making it WAY more real now!


27 Weeks

31 Weeks-is it me or
does my belly looky pointy?
Week 31 Check-In

Weight Gain: 11.5 pounds  
Cravings:  So a few weeks ago I think I finally may have had my first true craving...Busch's beans.  Yup, you read that right.  I couldn't get my mind off of their canned vegetarian baked beans...so I finally bought them...and ate them...straight out of the can...  So humiliating to admit, but that's what happened.  I've also developed a strange affection for chocolate, and I'm usually just a sugar candy girl.  I definitely indulged in some leftover chocolate frosting...by the spoonful...Mmmm.
Innie or Outie Belly Button?: It still keeps popping in and out!  Most days it's in, but when I'm bloated or have to pee really bad, it's way out there.  Oh, and when I laugh it pops out.  I just don't think this is normal..
Stretch Marks: Nope
Nursery Preparations:  With all of our new nursery items from the shower I'm really going to be able to make some headway on this one!  Hopefully I'll have pics soon.
Most Looking Forward To:  The 4th of July weekend!  Seeing Leah, Kev, & Grey, and my baby shower for my side of the family!
Favorite Moment This Week: Without a doubt, my  baby shower :)  I love all of the cute things people bought for Addie! And of course seeing my friends at Andrea's wedding this past weekend was amazing!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Fresh corn & Chicken Salad with Bow Tie Pasta

While grocery shopping last week, I spotted a great deal on a large jar of good old fashioned mayonnaise.  I contemplated the purchase because, while Greg loves mayo, I love miracle whip, and it didn't seem economical, or space friendly, to buy such a large jar when it could go bad.  A smile crossed my face, however, when I realized that the summer months are upon us and I would soon be making the traditional mayo based salads to accompany our many cook-outs, and, in the basket it went.  That got me thinking though.  I'm kinda bored with the usual salads choices, ie potato salad, coleslaw, macaroni salad, seafood salad, and tuna salad etc. (of which the latter two I can't make because of my husband's allergies)  I wanted something fresh and invigorated with flavor!  Enter my favorite food blog "The Pioneer Woman Cooks" and her take on a literal chicken salad.  I read the ingredients and thought to myself, "man, with a little tweaking, that would be great with bow tie pasta!"  So here it is.  A divine and fresh take on our traditional American pasta salads.  Eat and be merry.

Fresh Corn & Chicken Salad with Bow Tie Pasta
Ingredients:
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, marinated in Italian dressing, fully cooked (preferably grilled), and sliced into thin pieces about 1/4 in. thick  (Much better than cubing)
I had already started digging in so
please disregard the "presentation" :-)
2-3 fresh ears corn, kernels cut from cob*
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 red pepper, finely chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 lb Farfalle (bow tie) Pasta

Dressing:
1/4 C sour cream
1/4 C mayonnaise
1/4 C feta cheese
1 t dried dill or 1 T fresh dill
1 T lemon juice
S & P to taste

In a medium saucepan bring salted water to a boil and add pasta.  Cook according to package instructions.  Grill the chicken.  Once cooked and cooled, cut along the bias and then thinly slice.  (*You may want to cut the corn into the bowl before adding the dressing ingredients if the kernels are still on the cob at this point. )  In a large bowl create dressing by mixing all ingredients together.   Add corn, celery, red pepper, onion, and chicken to bowl, toss to coat.  Add drained and cooled pasta to bowl.  Toss to coat.  Serve with an additional sprinkling of feta cheese and garnish with dill.

*An easy way to get corn off the cob is to take a large glass bowl and invert a smaller plastic bowl that fits into the base of the large bowl.  Place the ear of corn vertically on top of the bottom of the small bowl and cut the kernels off.  Kernels are then automatically collected in the larger bowl.
Alt: You can toss in blueberries to an individual serving to add an extra punch of summery goodness.  Trust me, it's good.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Week 25: My "First" Mother's Day

It was quite a new experience having people say "Happy Mother's Day" to me and, that's when it really hit me; I'm going to be a MOM!  It's still so surreal to think that when I hear a child yelling "mom" at the park, that it soon could be mine.  I am going to be one of those people who live their every day for their families.  I will be in charge of a life, trying to raise a child to be a grateful, humble, and productive human being.  The pressure of it is starting to become so real, and so is the excitement!!!

I must say that the one thing that puts my worries about raising a family at ease is my wonderful, amazing, and loving husband.  Though he has his immature and goofy moments, when it comes to family values, he is all business.  Take my "first" Mother's Day for example.  He started the day by making me a breakfast spread complete with blueberry pancakes, and did the dishes.  I also received a "from the both of us" card from him and Addie.  He then gave me a tank top in my favorite color (lime green) and, after hearing me complain about how I don't have a good cookie spatula, somehow he found the perfect one!  I'm in love.

Food Network Soft-Grip Turners
                                                                     

The rest of the day we relaxed, spent time with our animals, and swung on our porch swing until he decided it was time to grill Addie and I some food.  Yay me!  He made the most tender garlic and herb pork loin served with baked potatoes and onions, corn on the cob, fresh picked asparagus, and his signature garlic bread, which is to die for.  I am telling you this meal was AMAZING.  After he cleaned up he joined me on the front porch swing where we read more about Addie's development and becoming "confident parents".

As the reality of bringing a new life into this world comes clearer, I can't help but think about how my mother must have felt when she was about to embark on this same journey.  If she had her fears or doubts, you never would've known it.  She handled every situation with love and confidence.  She is absolutely the best mom I could have ever asked for, and I've told her this before, I wish I would've taken notes on how she did it all.  I can only hope to be as inspiring, loving, encouraging, and selfless with my children as my mother is to me.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!

And here I am in all of my pregnant morning glory, haha

25 Week Check-In

Weight Gain: 10 pounds (I'm thinking that last pound was from Sunday's meals alone...I may have over indulged just a tad)
Showing: Ok, this category has got to go.  I'm obviously pregnant as made clear when the secretary at a recent high school visit I did exclaimed, "are you pregnant!?  That's so exciting!!"  There's no hiding it now! 
Cravings:  hmmm
Innie or Outie Belly Button?: Is there and "inbetweeney" option?
Stretch Marks: Nope
Maternity Clothes: Still a mix of both
Nursery Preparations:  Another new category!  With only 15 weeks to go I figured I had better add this to keep me on top of things.  Greg and I did pick some wall art that we like http://www.wall-pops.com/Flower-Power-Kit-Decal.aspx.  Since we can't paint, this will have to do :)
Most Looking Forward To:  Finishing my registry, so overwhelming..
Favorite Moment This Week: Having a stranger notice that I was pregnant and, of course, Mother's Day.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Week 24: "Holy Movement!"

I must say that the coolest (and weirdest) thing about being pregnant is the movement I feel.  I always tried to imagine what it would feel like to have a little baby squirming around inside my abdomen, but nothing truly could've prepared me for what it actually feels like.

I can honestly say that prior to becoming pregnant, I was never excited about feeling the kicks.  It just weirded me out to hear people talk about it.  Recently my sister told me about how she would watch her belly while sitting on the couch at night and see Jr. poke out and move across her abdomen...  Not gonna lie, that kinda scurred me.  I had seen small movements a few weeks ago, but decided to give it a good look last night just to see if I could see some real action since her kicks are getting stronger.

So there I am lying on the couch feeling Adelaide's kicks more than ever.  I pulled my shirt up to expose my belly and started watching TV.  Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw my belly pop out!  I thought, "no way was that really a kick. I must be mistaken."  So, I stared at the same spot, waiting to see if she'd kick again and, "AHHHHHHHHH!!!!"  I screamed a startled scream and about scared the crap out of my cats who were napping at me feet.  I swear she poked out of my belly about an inch followed by pushing in a half-moon shape around the side of my belly.  After my yell, I immediately starting laughing hysterically and then tearing up for joy.  Can you say "pregnancy hormones on overload"?  It was seriously amazing to me to think that that was really her inside of me moving!!  After the shock/joy/tears subsided, I spent the rest of the night watching Adelaide poke and punch out of my belly.

24 Weeks, 16 to go. 

Friday, April 29, 2011

Chewy Granola Bars

My appetite has become more and more ferocious as my pregnancy progresses and I'm always in need of snacks on-the-go.  I used to have "feeding times" around 7:30am, 10:30am, noon, 3:00, 5:30 etc.  In recent weeks, however, my "feeding times" have become closer...and closer.  I am now having them about every 1.5-2 hours, and I'm sure during the third trimester it will be a constant thing.  It never fails that every time someone walks in my office I either have food in my mouth, or on its way to my mouth.  The best is when I have a huge spoonful of yogurt with the cup right underneath my chin for easier shoveling...now that's embarrassing.  Can you say "deer in headlights" look?  The good news is that I think my coworkers are getting used to it.  The bad news is that I'm running out of yummy and quick snack ideas.  Enter Food Network Magazine's "50 after-school snacks" pamphlet.  It was a God-send.

There are so many scrumptious and easy recipes in there, I could just drool thinking of them.  The one that caught my eye right away were the granola bars.  I used to buy the chewy quaker oatmeal granola bars but I have started to become more and more turned off by prepackaged goods and their ingredients.  They just don't taste good to me anymore, not to mention I get nervous when I can't pronounce all ingredients.  So I've been on the lookout for a quick and easy recipe.  These bars and me were meant to be.  

The recipe is SO easy and truly mess free that I just had to share.  I have made two different kinds now, and I will continue to experiment adding little things here and there.  In my usual fashion I have slightly altered the recipe from the original, so that's the one I'll share with you.  Then turn out soft and chewy, but hold up well enough to stay in bar form.  I knew that they were a winner when my husband tried them and requested them in cinnamon raisin form, chocolate chip, and a combination of both. (Sounds like a man pregnancy craving to me)

These are the Oatmeal Raisin Ones
Chewy Granola Bars
Ingredients
2 T butter
1/3 C honey
1/3 C brown sugar
pinch of salt
2 C oatmeal (I used the old fashioned oats)
1 C chopped nuts and dried fruit (I used a trail mix of almonds, cranberries, and sunflower seeds)
2 T flax seed (the recipe called for wheat germ but I LOVE flax seed)

Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.  Add honey, brown sugar, and salt, stir to combine.  Take off heat and stir in oatmeal, nuts and fruit, and flax seed.  Press into a very well greased (I use Pam) 8x8 glass dish.  Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.  Allow to cool completely then cut into bars.  I then wrap them individually in foil and keep in a plastic bag.

Note: If they aren't baked enough they may be a little too soft and have a hard time conforming to a bar shape without falling apart when you go to eat them.  To remedy, after wrapping the bar in foil, press together on all sides to help solidify the shape.

Alternate Recipes: Add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and replace the 1 C chopped nuts & fruit with 1 C raisins.  Deeeelicious!  Greg likes this one way more than the cranberry ones I made.  If you want chocolate chip, I would just replace the 1 C nuts & fruit with 1 C mini chocolate chips.  No cinnamon. 

There are a multitude of different varieties you can make with this simple recipe as your base.  Please share if you make one you love!

Have fun!  Change it up!  Enjoy!