Wednesday, December 4, 2013

27 Week Pregnancy Update


Every day I am "filling out" more and more...oh the joys of pregnancy. My little guy is getting strong and expanding his kicking and punching range to include my lungs now! Although I don't enjoy the overall discomfort of being pregnant, I do enjoy knowing that he is in there and that good things are coming from the discomfort.

Our Thanksgiving

This year was a really enjoyable Thanksgiving for me! Most years I have gotten together with a bazillion people and had a gigantic meal and then slept, but this year was a little different for me.

First off Jordan and I were able to sleep in and really get up at our leisure, and recently that has been rare. After we woke up and ate a little breakfast we bummed around the house, showered, and headed out to his aunt's house where the main festivities were taking place. Once we got to Aunt E's house we ate linner (lunch/dinner) and then just chatted with everyone. It was a smaller group of people including J's parents, two sets of cousins, and of course Aunt E and her immediate family. It was sad that some of the family couldn't be there, but it was a nice size group. J's family is gigantic and whenever there are family get togethers I have some anxiety about meeting them all and remembering names and everything, so I really liked that I already knew everyone and was able to easily "make my rounds" of chatting with everyone and the fact that the meal was DELICIOUS was also a bonus!

After dinner and digestion, J and I left Aunt E's house and headed for my grandparents house about a half hour away. When we got there they had just cleaned up dinner and were relaxing and chatting, so we joined in that for a little bit before we dug into pie. My dad and his little family flew into town, my aunt's family, and my grandparents were all there and so it was nice to catch up and hear all the new things going on in each of their lives. Once pie and tea were cleaned up some family pictures had to be taken...here are a couple of my favorite.


This is the cute pumpkin pie my sweet Omo made. I love the cutout on top!


From L to R: Aunt Heidi, Glen (cousin), Jordan (my handsome husband), me, my Dad


From L to R: Opa (grandpa), Omo (grandma), Jordan, Me and Baby Lott, Dad, Brittany (my dad's step-daughter), Michaelle (my dad's wife), Uncle Greg, Aunt Heidi

Overall it was a wonderful celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday, the only thing that could have made it better would have been to be able to see my mom and siblings. I did get to chat with them on the phone, so I was with them in a way. :)

During the month of November I was given many opportunities to review the past year and really reflect on and recognize the blessings in my life. I am grateful for the Lord and His hand in my life. I am grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ that continually gives and pushes me to be a better Christian and person in general. I am grateful for my husband, in all his glory. He and I have become a much stronger couple over the past year and each and every day I am grateful for his tenacity and ambition to be better, for his every glowing positive attitude, and his dedication to living life to its fullest. Although I have not met this little baby inside me, I am grateful for him and his movement and kicks. I am grateful for a loving family that supports me and allows me to be me. I am grateful for a warm home and hot food on the table. I am grateful for my job. I am grateful for my talents, meager as they may be. My list could go on and on, but these are the things I am continually and exponentially grateful for.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

DIY Cloth Wipes

For quite awhile now I have been thinking about and researching cloth diapers. I've been excited about how much money they save and the numerous pros they have for the child ( fewer diaper rashes, help with potty training earlier, etc.). It has been so interesting looking at different diaper brands and all the different versions of diapers, I have learned so much, but I won't go into that now.

A couple of weeks ago I was watching a video laying out the top 5 best accessory type things to have to help make the cloth diapering lifestyle easier/better. One thing the video talked about were cloth wipes and I thought that that was a genius idea! I waited until the flannel at JoAnn's was on sale and then I took the leap and bought some to make my own cloth wipes. Here is a quick overview of what I did and how they turned out.

I bought a quarter yard (9 inches) of about 12-13 printed flannels and 3 solid flannels which ended up being about $12 in total. I figure if I don't like the whole cloth wipe thing there wasn't a huge investment in them, no harm, no foul. Once I got home with the fabric I pre-washed it to get any of the shrink out.


After everything was all washed and dried, I measured and cut my fabric. I did 8x8 squares, with a couple smaller and larger pieces to use up my fabric. I was able to get about 5 squares with each quarter yard. I tried to use two of the same printed flannel for one wipe, but there were a few odd pieces that I backed with a solid color flannel.


Once all my squares were cleaned up and cut I sewed two squares right side together.


Once all THAT was done, I turned them all right side out, pressed them, and sewed a little edging on to give them that polished look.



25 Week Pregnancy Update



Oh wow! I am ready to be done being pregnant! I love feeling all his crazy movements, but I'm ready for him to be here/ready to lay down and be comfortable again.

I'm officially on the countdown. 98 days to go until my due date... who says it is too early?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Halloweekend

As I'm sure has been mentioned before, Jordan and I work at different times of the day. I usually work in the morning/daytime, he works at night. Since Halloween was on a Wednesday this year I didn't get to see him and I was too chicken to watch a scary movie by myself so I basically had some candy and went to bed. Since we were home together this weekend though, we did end up doing some of the traditional Halloween things. We carved a pumpkin, who by the way, looks great, and we also had some delish caramel apples! Here are a few pictures we managed to snap of the carving process!







Happy Halloween!

23 Week Pregnancy Update



How far along? 23 weeks

Total weight gain: Ugh, I've gained a total of probably 14-17 pounds. I went to the doctor a couple of weeks ago and I had gained another two pounds. She said she was very pleased with the amount of weight I have gained and the rate at which I have done so.

Maternity clothes? Holy cow yes! I got quite a few tops, a couple pairs of pants, and a couple skirts and wow, they make a huge difference. With normal people clothes I felt restricted, but with the ultra stretchy maternity clothes I can actually be semi comfortable.

Stretch marks? No new ones! I've started a lotion regimen. I know stretch marks are based on genetics, but I'm hoping that my lotion efforts may ward off at least a few, here is to wishful thinking!

Sleep: Some nights are better than others. I've had nights in the last few weeks in which I only slept a few hours and then there are other nights I have only woken a couple of times to use the bathroom....it really just depends.

Best moment this week: There have been a few times in the last week where Jordan and I have had conversations about the baby and our future and those conversations are so precious to me. 

Miss anything? Jordan and I work at opposite times of the day, me in the mornings/daytime, him at nights, and so I've been really missing him and being able to spend time with him. I know how this sounds before I say it, but I miss being able to see my feet. I know I am getting bigger for a good reason and that I will get "back to normal" soon enough, but I miss just having a normal body.

Movement: Very much so! There are days where he is a bump on a log and then there are other days where he is a little ninja. Some times I forget that I am pregnant and think that my stomach is just twitching and then I remember that it is my sweet little boy reminding me he is there.

Food cravings: No dire cravings, but if I see something that looks good I can't NOT get it or else I will crave it!

Anything making you queasy or sick: This pregnancy I haven't had any trigger smells or anything and I'm far enough in that most of that queasy feelings have dissipated. I have, however, been having monster cases of heartburn! :(

Gender: It's a boy! Can't wait to meet my little prince!

Labor signs: None

Symptoms: Still no bloating or swelling, thank heavens. I have been losing a lot of hair, and in general my hair is limp and lifeless...bummer! I'm very tired most days, been feeling a little plugged up lately, but that should work itself out (pun intended), raging heartburn. I have been very forgetful lately, coming up with simple words is a constant battle. I've been short of breath when I lie down, so that is weird.  

Belly button in or out? In, for sure!

Wedding rings on or off? On.

Happy or moody most of the time: Happy! I've been really motivated lately to work as hard as I can to do my part in the finance department so I'm trying to stay focused on the reasons why I'm working so hard and so I'm staying happy.

Looking forward to: We have passed a lot of our "mile markers" (aka 10 week appointment, listening to the heartbeat for the first time, finding out the gender, announcing to family and friends) and so I'm really just trying to enjoy the little things. Jordan and I have become much closer as a couple the last few months and together we are enjoying our last few months as "newlyweds" and finding the joy in the small things.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

I came across this recipe a couple of weeks ago on Pinterest and it looked so yummmmmy, I just had to try it and obviously it was freakin delicious because I'm sharing it with you!! My dear readers, you only get the best from me! For those of you that have eaten at Panera (a super delicious soup and sandwich shop), this soup tastes like something straight from their kitchen.

 

Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup 

By: Lexi Lott
Adapted from Pin Foody

Ingredients:
  • 2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, with juice 
  • 1 cup finely diced celery
  • 1 cup finely diced carrots
  • 1 cup finely diced onions
  • 1 tsp dried or fresh oregano
  • 1 T dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • ½ bay leaf
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 cup half and half, warmed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese and croutons (optional) to top

Directions:

Add tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, oregano, basil, and bay leaf to a large pot. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until all ingredients are nice and soft. 

While your soup is simmering you'll need to prepare a roux. Melt butter over low heat in a skillet and slowly add flour. Stir constantly with a whisk for 5-7 minutes. Slowly stir in 1 cup hot soup. Incorporate another 2-3 cups of soup into your roux and stir until smooth. Add half and half to roux-soup mix. Pour back into your large pot. Add additional basil and oregano if needed (I really wanted the basil part of the tomato basil parmesan soup to stand out, so I ended up adding quite a bit more to achieve the taste I wanted), and as always, make sure to add salt and pepper. 

When you are ready to serve, top each bowl with a generous amount of parmesan cheese and croutons. Oh yum...I'm salivating for you! Enjoy sweet readers!

Orchid: My New Obsession

So I realized I have a relatively new obsession: orchids. Yes, orchids, the plant. It all started when my mom came to visit in February. On her last day here in Dallas we went to Lowe's and got a few different plants to spruce up my apartment. One of the plants we got was an orchid. It was on clearance because it had lost all of its flowers and the leaves were looking a little unhealthy, so we figured "why not?" and gave it another chance to live.

From February to now I have taken care of my little orchid the best I knew how and after hours of research and reading and watching videos I have learned that I was almost completely dead WRONG about everything I thought I knew about taking care of an orchid. Sob!

So, my birthday present to myself this year was an investment in the right planting media, orchid fertilizer, AND a new, but unhealthy orchid (I'm hoping I can bring it back to life!).

This is my older orchid. The leaves are hardy, but the root system is very small considering I had to trim the rotten and dead roots. I'm hoping this one will live, but I won't know for a few more months.



This is the base of the same plant. As mentioned before, I had to trim a bunch of the root system, but I have read that as long as the plant isn't completely brown then there is still a chance I can bring it back to life....so at this point I am really just hoping for the best. As some of you might notice, I had to chop off the shoot so that the plant could really focus all its energy on growing a good root system....it is pretty sad looking right now!

Here is my new orchid!



I'm happy that I was able to find a plant that had two shoots, even if it is in poor condition. While I was at the store I asked the workers there if they would be able to drop the price because of the poor condition the plant was/is and they ended up dropping the price by half! I'm totally stoked that there are so many possibilities for future flowers on this plant, times two!! I will make sure to post update pictures in a few months!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

20 Week Pregnancy Update



How far along? 20 weeks exactly...or 5 months......halfway!

Total weight gain: Ugh, I've gained a total of probably 13-15 pounds. I haven't weighed myself since my last doctor appointment, so I don't have an exact number...who really cares anyway?

Maternity clothes? Holy cow yes! I got quite a few tops, a couple pairs of pants, and a couple skirts and wow, they make a huge difference. With normal people clothes I felt restricted, but with the ultra stretchy maternity clothes I can actually be semi comfortable.

Stretch marks? No new ones! 

Sleep: The past week has been really difficult for me. I have been waking up every hour on the hour and not getting very restful sleep in between wake ups because of the WEIRD dreams I've been having. I've given up on thinking I'll get a full night's rest for at least the next 4 years.

Best moment this week: Last weekend was my birthday and I had so much fun celebrating with those I love. Best baby related moment? Hmm..I got some really cheap patterns for miscellaneous baby paraphernalia I'm going to make!  

Miss anything? SLEEP!

Movement: Oh yes! It seems like most of the day he sleeps, with a few occasional position changes and exciting dreams, but during the evening I can really feel him moving around and stretching his body out. Jordan still hasn't been able to feel him move, but that will for sure be my favorite moment when it happens!

Food cravings: I haven't had any real cravings, but I'm always up for pickles, salsa and chips, and chewy fruity candy like Mamba, Now and Later, or Chewy Spree!! Yum!

Anything making you queasy or sick: This pregnancy I haven't had any trigger smells or anything and I'm far enough in that most of that queasy feelings have dissipated. I have, however, been having monster cases of heartburn! :(

Gender: It's a boy! Can't wait to meet my little prince!

Labor signs: I don't think so. I've had a little bit of what feels like cramping, but it might just be the little soccer player inside me!

Symptoms: Still no bloating or swelling, thank heavens. I have been losing a lot of hair, and in general my hair is limp and lifeless...bummer! I'm very tired most days, been feeling a little plugged up lately, but that should work itself out (pun intended), raging heartburn, yup that about sums it up! 

Belly button in or out? In, for sure!

Wedding rings on or off? On.

Happy or moody most of the time: The past couple of weeks have actually been a lot better than earlier in my pregnancy. I'm happier and just in general in a better mood.

Looking forward to: I'm really looking forward to Jordan feeling our son move for the first time. Jordan isn't an emotional person and so I pretty much have to guess at most things with him, but last week I did a little snooping and he is actually much much more excited than I thought he was. Makes my heart all gooey knowing how genuinely excited he is.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

19 Week Pregnancy Update: Gender Reveal!


Wow, I can't believe I'm already at 19 weeks. And I also can't believe that next week I'll be 20 weeks which is HALFWAY through! Geez! I can't believe how pregnant I am/feel already and I'm only going to get bigger....last half of pregnancy here we go!

As many of you know, last week Jordan and I had a gender reveal photoshoot! Without further adieu...drumroll please!







 IT'S A BOY!



Here is the proof! 




 We could not be happier!







Ta-Da!! There you have it! We will be welcoming our sweet little prince at the end of February! Jordan and I are both ecstatic!

I'm sure most moms-to-be feel this way, but I'm so grateful that this little baby is growing and that I can feel him kick and move. I'm so grateful that I did not lose this baby and although there have been/are going to be many challenges in the coming months, my heart is all gooey at the thought of being able to actually hold and kiss this sweet baby and I'm almost more delighted that Jordan will be able to hold and kiss this baby.

 


I would like to give a big thank you and a gigantic shout out to our photographer, Kylie C.! You can visit her website here to take a look at her stunning and all encompassing portfolio.