Saturday, April 30, 2011


Last Sunday, on the way to church, Annabelle was talking about going to find Daddy, as he had left for "chuch woke" (church work) earlier. Then she said, "Daddy...fave it fend." I turned around and asked her, "Daddy's your favorite friend?!" Her: "Yeah...Daddy...fave it fend."

I think it's because he gives her donuts for dinner. I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

when the sun comes out...

...we do the same,
especially considering the fact
that it was snowing yesterday.
Yes, snow.

So when those rays make an appearance,
we rush to soak them up.

Wanna know the most exciting part about summer arriving someday?
More exciting than the actual sun being a regular visitor?
I'll have a little squishy baby.
Hooray for those squishy little summer babies!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


1. One day I woke up and took a bite of banana and sparks of pain shot through my mouth. I couldn't chew on my left side without sparks bouncing around from tooth to tooth, so I called my father-in-law dentist, especially after the whole root canal debacle after I had Annabelle (we thought it was just pregnancy and didn't check it properly - actually it was a decaying hole in my mouth). He told me to wait it out for a day or two. And what do you know - doc was right! It went away!? So strange. I was sure I had a cavity or maybe just a small alien in my mouth digging a hole to China. But nope - pregnant body just thought a sparky mouth would be super fun for one day.

2. Putting together Easter baskets was a slight form of torture. I seriously sniffed the chocolate. Like held it to my nose and inhaled for embarrassingly long periods of time. But I didn't cave. If you really know me, you know that abstinence from chocolate for more than a day or two is one of the more serious accomplishments of my life. Especially for MONTHS. College degree? Piece of cake. Push a human out of my body? Sure, would love to. (No really, I'd love to.) Abstaining from chocolate for six months? MIRACLE.

3. On Easter morning, I woke up at 4:30 a.m. with some strange eye pain. The best way to describe it is my right eye had a headache. That's how it felt. Like a bruised headache in my eye socket. I stumbled to the bathroom to have a look - it was red and irritated and kind of runny. So I took my contact out - yes, I'm very naughty and sleep in them even when I'm pregnant - and powered up Google to see what I was dealing with. According to "the experts," I was pretty sure it was just severely irritated, and it began to subside before I even hit the pillow again. However, it left me with some pink eye look-a-like issues (minus the drainage - just the pink). The photo above is totally doctored. My sister photoshopped out the disease. Below you'll find what everyone was staring at. As it was a Sunday, I got to really put on a lovely floor show at church. I'm sure everyone thought I was spreading a disease to their children. And I was all, "Yes, I am. It's called pregnancy. Watch out, I hear it's contagious."

Sunday, April 24, 2011

happy easter

In our hour of deepest sorrow, 
we can receive profound peace 
from the words of the angel 
that first Easter morning: 
“He is not here: for he is risen.”
-President Thomas S. Monson

Saturday, April 23, 2011

work it

So this pregnancy has been vastly different than the first. While the first wasn't a bowl of cherries by any means, this one as been a bowl of rotten cherries. Awesome analogy. You're welcome. Through this pregnancy, I've made significant efforts to stay more fit and healthy than the first time around. Of course, at first it didn't make a difference and I gained weight like I'd just given birth and found a secret room full of cupcakes (it's going to be baaadddd). Then I switched my food up and things got better. Additionally, except during the first trimester when I exercised only on the days I had the gumption, I've been spinning almost every day and lifting free weights about every other day. During the first pregnancy, I did the elliptical a few days a week, and dropped my weight routine because some whack job doctor in NC told me to.

Of course, I should fess up and admit that spinning is much easier to do when your bike is in the front room. Yeah, we bought ourselves a spin bike. (You may have noticed it in pictures like these.) It was a Christmas present to each other. So far, however, it's been my Christmas present. And let me tell you, it's the best purchase we've made since we got married. For riz. Now I'm a little unique and really love working out alone. I actually do love spinning classes as well (I don't like running with other people, however), but the time and money saved by spinning at home has been pretty great. I choose my music, I control my intensity level, and I can control the thermostat (why, oh why do spin classes always have to be like five million degrees?). I also love that I can work out before Belle wakes up without dragging my hind parts to a 5:30 a.m. spin class. And when Jess goes into work early (sometimes as early as 5 or 6 a.m.), I still have spinning as an option because I don't have to go anywhere to get 'er done. Anyway, allow me to just sum this up: I love my bike and would marry it if possible. And if Jess didn't mind a wee bit of reverse polygamy.

I was spinning 5-6 days a week for about 45 minutes each session. I did a lot of regular spinning techniques, just toned down to keep my heart rate in check. (I'm so looking forward to blowing my heart rate up again. Seriously.) At week 23(ish), my back/pelvis/butt region started hurting. Not anxious to repeat the broken body of Pregnancy Uno, I bought myself a fat man gel padded seat and stopped getting in and out of the saddle. It helped, but not enough, and by the end of each week, I'd find myself taking Saturday off (I never workout on Sunday) just to lay on a hot pad and recup.

So I admitted defeat. Not without a major internal war though. You see, to stop exercising is to encourage weight gain*, which is to encourage back ache. But to continue spinning is to certainly cause back ache. Oh defeat. I could swim, but it involves crazy scheduling and babysitters, and I try my very best to exercise on my time, not Annabelle's (unless she can participate - like a walk or something). In the first month of this pregnancy, I ordered a pre-natal workout DVD. I watched it once and laughed the whole way through, like, "Oh my. This is so lame. How wimpy could I get?" Then the other day I pulled it out again because, you know, I'm desperate. And don't you worry, it's more than sufficient at this point, and I'll totally take the wimpy workout any day.

I have like fourteen weeks left. I just need to make it, one way or another. At least I can say I tried. And the photos of Annabelle are to spare every one of you from viewing photos of me doing sweet aerobic moves, belly bouncin' and all. You're welcome.

*I'm not saying I shouldn't gain weight. I'm just under doctor's orders to keep it under control. Weight gain when pregnant = good. Massive weight gain when pregnant = bad. Cool?

Friday, April 22, 2011

crash landing

So I think I've mentioned that before she crashes for her nap, Annabelle often practices what sounds like a serious gymnastics routine. What I failed to mention is that she often falls asleep mid routine.

And while we're here, let's talk about her "shorts," as she calls them. These little underoos belong to a skirt or dress long forgotten and made for a baby half her size. They're tight and tiny and really don't belong in any sort of wardrobe at this point. But she loves them. I mean, LOOOVVVESSS them. Most days, we get dressed for the day and then she'll disappear into her room only to reappear with "Shorts! Coot!" on. Of course, I let the madness continue because it's impossible to resist the cootness. But rest assured, she does not wear them out of the apartment. And one of these days, I'm hoping they will actually become uncomfortable enough that she decides to move on to something new. Like pants or something.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

blaspheme banana bread

So I'm going to commit a bit of blaspheme here.

You see, next to my mom's recipes, Mel's Kitchen Cafe is pretty much my go to recipe Bible. I think I probably make at least one of her recipes a week. This week I've already made two: Salsa Verde Tostadas (on white corn tortillas instead of flour to take down the carbs, oh they are so yum!) and The Best Sloppy Joes (I had mine on wheat bread). Her recipes are great because they're easy but always so delicious, and she genuinely tries to make things as healthy as they can be. I also respect her writing skills, to be perfectly honest. My sister and I are a little obsessed with her and often argue who's really her best friend. (Neither of us have met her or even know her at all.) 

One of my favorite recipes is the Buttermilk Banana Bread. It is seriously the best banana bread I've ever had. But The Sour Cream Banana Bread comes in at a close second. And here's where the blaspheme occurs: I modified a Mel recipe.

I'm so ashamed.

I've been desperate for some sort of treat or bread or something other than grass for dessert, so for the past few weeks I've been tweaking her Sour Cream Banana Bread recipe.

I hope she'll still be my friend.

I would've tweaked the Buttermilk Banana Bread, but that would be totally sacrosanct. (And I don't customarily have buttermilk on hand.) If you're not watching your carbs, just go with her original recipes. If you want a "healthy" banana bread, this really is pretty good. Here she is, with my modifications (note the asterisks): 

Whole Wheat Sour Cream Banana Muffins

3/4 cup sugar*
1/2 cup (no sugar added) applesauce
2 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2-3 ripe bananas)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla**
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour***
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees. I always make muffins - that way I avoid the whole doughy middle of the loaf problem and they're great to take on the go for Annabelle. Grease muffin pan or use muffin liners. In a large bowl, beat together sugar and applesauce. Add eggs, bananas, sour cream and vanilla; blend well. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Add flour, mixing until just moistened.*** Add baking soda and salt. Pour into prepared muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes**** or until the tops just barely turn brown. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely. Makes about twelve muffins.*****

*The original recipe calls for one cup of sugar. I tweak this and modify it all the time. Using 3/4 (or less) a cup will make a less sweet muffin, but the applesauce also adds some sweetness. Additionally, you can use Splenda or a mix of sugar and Splenda. I know there's a body of controversy regarding Splenda - and sugar for that matter - so I'll just say that I do both methods, depending on who will be consuming the muffins.

**For a different taste, substitute almond extract for the vanilla. Yum.

***Wheat flour makes a thicker batter, and the thickness of the batter will also depend on the size and amount of banana you used. Don't dump all the flour in at once. Mix until the batter is somewhere between runny and thick. It should still pour easily, and not in big ol' clumps.

****I should be honest here and mention that I never use a timer when I cook and bake. I use my nose. But I think it's about twenty minutes.

*****I also regularly half this recipe. It makes about six muffins.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

while you were sleeping

So I'm to that point in my pregnancy where sleeping just becomes a nuisance. It's not so much that my stomach hinders the process so much as it's just plain uncomfortable, as though my body is itching to get out of my skin and find a place less pregnant. I'm hot and creepy crawly and just roll around all night. There isn't any one position that aids in the process either;  instead I just flip around like a fish out of water. Of course, this also allows me to be aware of my nearly constant need to use the restroom, so I'm up and at 'em every couple of hours on top of that. And then there are the dreams - if I do happen to slip into a REM cycle, it's accompanied by strange dreams filled with people of my past and present that are always paired with strange situations that would never occur in my world. I'm to that point where getting up with a baby every 2-3 hours actually sounds good compared to the fruitless attempts at sleep that occur right now. (And really, when Belle finally arrived, I remember really being so happy to be up with her instead of my bladder.)

At somewhere in the 2 a.m. hour, while I was flip flopping about, Annabelle started to cry. This isn't too uncharacteristic for her, and it normally occurs in this hour. Generally, she just lets out a yelp, locates her blanket (the un-white one), balls it up under her head, and goes back to sleep. But last night was different. The cries were long and sad and to my mommy ears sounded very much like the teething moan. 

I'm told that the older a child gets, the more teething hurts, and from my very limited experience, I'd have to agree. Her first teeth (that she got just before or around the year mark) made their appearance with little to no fanfare at all. In fact, for the most part, we didn't know she was teething until teeth appeared. But these teeth take their time in pushing through. They don't just "pop" in - they push and push for weeks. It literally takes her at least a month for a tooth to come in. They're mean and vicious and instead of coming in in mirrored pairs, they come in all over her mouth so as to spread the pain everywhere instead of in localized portions.

I went in and scooped her up and gave her some milk (peppered with a half dose of baby ibuprofen, which usually does the trick). She slurped it up then asked to go back to bed. But when she got there, she couldn't sleep. Minutes of sleep would happen, followed by more moaning. After a while, I went in to talk to her again. The first thing she said was, "Watch Woody, a minute?" Poor thing was desperate for comfort. I told her it was sleeping time but that she could come snuggle with me. And so I scooped her (and blanky, and white) up and let her curl up around my in-the-way belly. Even there, she slept fitfully, once yelping a "Nooooo!" and once a "Mommy?!!"

And as I lay there with this girl who has my heart so completely, I realized how lucky I was to not be tired. For once, my lack of ability to sleep was beneficial. It was allowing me to think clearly and treasure some tender, snuggly moments with my baby who is so quickly growing into a little girl. I don't worry much that I won't love this second child as much as I do the first, mostly because I watched my mother love each of us equally and completely. But I do worry that Annabelle won't know that. I hope she knows that even if I buck up and do this again (and I probably will, curses!), my love for her will never diminish, that I will always want to "nuggle," and that she will always be my baby, my first baby, even when she's big and tall and can't really curl around my belly anymore. Being her mommy brings me the most joy I've ever known, and I hope somehow I'll always be able to let her know that. My goodness, how I love her.

Monday, April 18, 2011

daddy's girl

 Helping Daddy finish his work when he petered out.

The past couple weeks have been busy ones for Jess. We've seen him for about an hour each day - in the evening. He makes it home to play with his Midge for a bit, prayer time, and bed. This isn't normal for his firm (thank goodness!), so we're just sticking it out and expect it to happen again someday as well. And if he has spare minutes for lunch, we rush downtown to see him. He also has a new assignment at church that takes up a good amount of time, so we see much less of him on Sundays as well. 

Yesterday, Annabelle was particularly sad to leave Daddy behind at church. He had saved her in the middle of nursery, when she came out crying. He asked her what was wrong, and she said, "Boys." Those darn boys. :) So he got her happy and returned her to nursery where they colored a picture together. After church, she just wanted her Daddy and clinged to him when I tried to take her. He had some things to tend to, however, so he put her in the car and told her he'd be home soon. The whole way home she talked about Daddy being home "in a minute," and "Daddy be right back?"

And then when we parked the car, I heard her say, "Say a pair (prayer)?" I looked back to see her with her arms folded. She then said, "Heav-ee Fadough? Daddy come home." 

She's never voluntarily said a prayer before, so this about broke my heart. But it also made me so grateful that she has a Daddy who loves her so much and that she knows it. I love how much she loves him and how sweet they are together. She's a lucky little lady to have a Daddy who would bring her the moon if she asked it.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

word of the week

So we bought Belle some "tie shoes like Daddy's," as she calls them. This is mostly because she's suddenly growing out of every piece of footwear she owns. Not that she's complaining - her shoe obsession runs strong, and she's happy to add to her collection. In the morning, she spends considerable time pulling out several pairs of my shoes and depositing them around the house. It's always easy to see where she's been by the shoe trail.

But I digress. So we bought her these tie shoes. And this morning, as she put them on (she's long been putting on her own shoes as well) we heard her talking as she "tied" them (she sticks the laces in the empty holes). As she did so, she said, "Sanitize...sanitize..." We laughed because she wasn't sanitizing anything (she also has an unusual obsession with hand sanitizer), but then I realized, she was likely saying: "Sani-TIES."

I'm pretty sure I'll be "sanitizing my shoes" for the rest of all time. Because that's just too cute.

Friday, April 15, 2011


 Not only does she know all the letters and their sounds...
...but she can also read...upside down.

On an unrelated note, these photos quite excellently
demonstrate what color her white blanket used to be.
The grey one used to look just like its white partner there 
(Grandma made her the new white one for Christmas).
Now she must have both "blanky" and "white"
(her names for them) when she takes a nap or goes to bed.
Yes, even she recognizes that one is most definitely

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

freeze frame(s)

Sometimes I think it's time for her to stop growing.
And just stay this age forever.
Before the boys come knocking.
Because we all know that we're locking her in a tower.
Hopefully she'll grow her hair out.
Because that's going to be her only option out...

If anyone's wondering, I'm a wee bit obsessed with Tangled.
Can't stop watching it.
Belle doesn't seem to share my sentiments, however,
as Woody isn't feature in any part of the movie at all.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

one pregnancy snack...

...I won't give up after Baby is born. 

Can't get enough of this stuff. And plenty of protein to keep me feeling full.
Not that it makes me forget about chocolate, but it sure is tasty.
Smooth and creamy and delicious.

Another plus? Belle eats it like crazy. 
She's not so much a fan of the runnier (non-Greek) versions. 
But she does love Greek yogurt, which is fine by me, as it's definitely 
more filling and something she'll eat while she cuts three teeth. 

Yep, we're just cutting teeth at twenty one months. Good times.

Monday, April 11, 2011


1. I don't love many things about pregnancy itself (I know, you're shocked!), but one of my favorite things is that after I cook or bake, inevitably I'll have some food on my belly. I forget it's sticking out there, just waiting to catch my messes.
2. I'm not craving much of anything. Besides chocolate. Cupcakes. And total junk. AND A TALL DIET DP WITH LOTS OF ICE. (The not drinking caffeine is my own restriction, although I'm sure my doctor would tell me to cut that out too if I did drink it. Because I'm pretty sure she has a secret list of all the things I love, and those are the things she poo-poos.)

3. I've started the "nesting" phase of this game. Besides the fact I don't have a real nest to nest in. AGAIN. But organizing and cleaning are doing it for now. Especially since that short sale we put an offer in on "might" come through for us. They've half accepted our offer (two mortgages - divorced parties - one party's bank isn't consenting yet). And so I figure I might as well start getting things in order.
4. I had another ultrasound last week. During the first, they didn't get a clear enough view of the heart so they wanted another go. Turns out, this baby didn't care. They still didn't get all the views they wanted, but what they could see looked perfect and showed no reason for concern. I paid very close attention to the swishes past the hind quarters. And I couldn't see any funny business down there. Maybe it's a girl? Or maybe I was looking at the brain?
5. When I ask Belle if she thinks I should have another baby, she always says, "Yes." When I ask her if it's a boy or a girl, she says, "No." If I ask her if it's a brother or sister, she says, "Bruh-dur, sitter." If she knows, she ain't telling.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

lifestyle change?

So I realize that this new mode of eating should really motivate me to make some permanent lifestyle changes when it comes to food. I mean, eating like this makes me feel human and strong, and my body is like a baby building machine. (Okay, not really. I still get wiped out every dang day, and I'm pretty sure my pelvis is on its way out again - NO!) But I do feel sooooo much better. I think my boss used to say something about the way drinking fresh orange juice made "her cells dance" - that's how I feel most days. Like my cells are dancing. I'm getting heavier, oh most definitely, but I still feel more energetic and alive. So really, you'd think that I'm ready to totally commit to this new relationship with food, right? Totally abandon my former addiction to chocolate and all things with buttercream frosting? Turn my back on soft, white, fresh-out-of-the-oven white rolls with butter? Forget banana milkshakes like a bad boyfriend? You'd think this would be an easy change to make seeing as how I'm obviously healthier, right?


I'm pretty sure all it's doing is make me create a mental storage unit, already stacked high with junk food, chocolate, and cupcakes that I fully intend to consume when the baby comes out. For real. I'll be like, "Oh yay! It's a..." And no one will be able to hear what it is because I'll be shoving a cupcake in my face. I'm a little worried that I'll gain more weight after giving birth because suddenly I'll be all HOLY CRAP LOOK AT THOSE CUPCAKES THAT I'M ALLOWED TO EAT! And then, with frosting still smeared on my face, I'll bury my face in a bag of M&Ms.

It's going to be bad folks. For real.

Monday, April 4, 2011

hitting the road

The highlights of our trip:

1. Not one hour into the trip, I gave Annabelle her apple juice, momentarily forgetting that although sitting forward seems to have solved her car sickness problem in general, we were going through a twisty canyon. Vomit ensued. Somehow, she mostly got it on just her clothes (not her chair or the car), and when I saw it coming (she's a regular thrower upper, you get to know the signs), I grabbed a plastic bag and caught the bulk. (Motherhood has some really glorious moments.) And I'd brought a whole pack of wet wipes with which to "clean" up messes like this. Total joke. Yes, we drove around with barf saturated clothes in our car for two days.
2. Maybe one hour later, forgetting that this girl is rapidly growing out of her size 6 (SIZE 6!) diapers (and really not understanding the concept of peeing in a toilet), she peed out of her diaper. Yes, she sat in a barf and pee soaked chair for two days. (Sometimes childhood has glorious moments as well.)
3. I drank very little while driving to avoid bathroom stops. (Not that it really helped - I peed in every port-a-john from here to Timbuktu.) It turned out to be a really stupid move because I swelled like a balloon. Feet were melons. So uncomfortable. I remember as we neared Salt Lake and I could literally feel my feet growing, in my very sleepy mind I thought, "What if my feet never go back to normal?" Thankfully, after much guzzling as soon as I got home and all day Sunday, the water retention has left the building. For now. I'm sure in the last weeks I'll blow up, just like I did with Belle. Then spend weeks sweating it out. It's pretty ridiculous.
4. When I went to visit my mom a week ago, I learned that Belle will not sleep anywhere unfamiliar unless she can touch me. (She's learning to fear things - dark, strangers, cars.) So on this trip, she slept in between us on our cardboard queen bed. Jess says he really did sleep through her all night kicks and jabs and little mutterings in her sleep. I, on the other hand, did not. (Sidenote: she generally does not sleep in our bed. Although Jess loves to snuggle her and wouldn't mind I'm sure, I'm all about establishing sleeping independence. Oh, and I really like my own sleep. When she was super tiny - weeks old - I think I let her sleep in our bed a few times. But for the most part, she sleeps in her own bed, and she knows it.)
5. We started home and stopped to get some fuel just outside of Arches National Park. It was outrageous at $3.89 a gallon, so we just got a few gallons figuring we could make it to Price. When we hit the milepost sign that read PRICE 60, the gas light turned on. We continued on for about 15 miles debating the amount of "oh crap" gas a RAV4 carries with it before the needle dropped below empty and we turned around, praying we'd make it back to Green River. We did, thank heavens. Literally, I thanked the heavens. I was not looking forward to sitting (pregnant and swollen) in a car with a cranky toddler while Jess walked twenty miles to town. Oh the hysterics that would've surely ensued. (On my end.)

With all that, however, it was actually a  really good trip. Jess' heart belongs to our country's national park system, and I think his little curly-haired babe is following right behind in his footsteps. The biggest reason I go on these trips (even when I swell up and get sick and don't sleep and wear barf all day) is I know that my girl will love it. When Jess gets through his many photos of the actual scenery, I'll post some. Until then, a few (read: many) of the reasons we go - for our Belle to see new things. On the way home, after a few hours in the car, Belle said, "Big rocks? Get out? Play?" And here she is playing in "big rocks" and "big sand" (as she called them) and getting as dirty as her little heart can handle.

 Oh, hey. I'm just A TEENAGER. She looks so old!

 Yes, that is a pregnant me. Don't get used to seeing that around here much. :)
 Check out how she's growing out of that backpack by comparing here.


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