Thursday, January 31, 2013

Nate's Birthday Pictures --Round 1

Blowing out the candles on his ice cream cake.

Checking out his new camera.

Angry Birds goodie bags for the kid party on Saturday.

Birthday Balloons ($3 from Dollar Tree)

More pics to come....

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Nates' Birth Story

I have never written out Nate's birth story, although I cannot pin point exactly why that is.  My little boy turned five today... FIVE... is it unbelievable.  It make me a little sad.  The time has slipped away.  The real world of school and schedules and work and inflexibility is intruding, marching all over me and I am not very happy about it... or it could be hormones talking... who knows?

Anyway... the story

It was a thursday when I went in for my weekly check.  The OB said she thought I should have a non-stress test since my cervix hadn't changed at all at 39 weeks.  Everyone was gone for the day so it would have to wait until Monday... oh, and she thought it was about time that I stopped working.

Monday came and I headed to my non-stress test.  My mom, who was still working in the hospital at the time came down to sit with me.  I felt the baby moving through the whole test so I figured that we had aced it... I was wrong, we had failed.  The baby was moving, but not enough.  So, off to the high def ultrasound.  There was the baby on the screen.... perfect, moving, looking good.  The radiologist then started asking if I was leaking any fluid.  Huh?  I looked at him and said, "I don't think so, that is something I would notice right?"  He looked less than amused   I had very low amniotic fluid, my placenta had calcification in it...  these things weren't good.  None of this was said in an ominous way... it was just how it was... no panic, no rushing... no fluid.  I went out to the waiting room with my mom and met my OB there (the one in the practice i really wanted to have too!), she explained that they couldn't really let me leave the hospital... that they were going to need to induce me... that I was going to have a baby that day.  I was in shock, most definitely.  I asked both my OB and my mom "What do I do now?" My mom suggested called Jon at work... there was a nurse sitting at a desk who let me use her phone.  I called Jon and said "we're going to have a baby."  He was annoyed, "yes I know."  "No" I responded, "we're going to have a baby today."  "OH, should i come to the hospital?"  I stared blankly at the nurse behind the desk as if she could hear this conversation and know the appropriate answer... "Say yes" my mother whispered, "Yes, you should come to the hospital."

We went to my car and got out my hospital bag, which thankfully I had put in my car a few days before.  We went back to Labor and Delivery and they found a room for me.  It was when the very perky and right-out-of -nursing-school  nurse came in to do my paperwork and start my IV that the tears started... the shock caught up with me.  I composed myself, had the IV started (which was the worst part of the whole ordeal... good god that hurt), was hooked up to monitors and told to wait.  My OB had to go home to get her keys, when she came back she would start the induction. 

My mom settled into a chair, Jon arrived, my OB came back to start the Cervidil.  (Cervidil is placed next to the cervix and releases prostaglandins that soften the cervix making it easier to induce labor.)  She told me to walk, so for 30 minutes I walked the halls.  Cramps started... little cramps... not contractions.  Back in the hospital bed I was on a monitor, little crampy contractions doing their thing.  I was allowed to eat dinner and then rest and wait to go into labor.

The rest did not come.  The contractions were not the problem either, it was the fetal monitor.  Every 20 minutes it seemed like someone was coming in to adjust it (which really should have been a clue to me).  When the nurses changed shifts, my new nurse, older and less perky then the previous one came in and adjusted the monitor again.  Around 2:30 or so my OB came in, I knew then that something was up.  "The baby's heart rate drops every time you have a contraction" she said, "and the cervidil isn't really working."  "We can hook up the pitocin, which will make your contractions stronger, which the baby won' tolerate well, or we can do a C-Section."  Jon and I looked at each other and said "C-Section."

The room didn't really burst into action, but things sped up.  Jon put on scrubs, I took off my jewelry, I drank something to neutralize my stomach contents, we called our parents and told them the plans, and off to the OR we went.

Once we got to the OR I panicked a little about the spinal.  I jump when they put he Betadine on my back and then steeled myself for the pain that was sure to come.  "ok, do it" I said to the anesthesiologist, "It's over" he replied.  "oh."  Then I laid down and things went numb from my toes up which was incongruent with how I thought it would happen.  "You are so calm" the nurse said to me, "I can't believe how calm you are."  What I didn't say but wanted to was that the part I was worried about, the pain, the tearing, wasn't going to happen now... there was nothing to be worried about. 

Jon was by my head behind a curtain, and being completely numb, the next thing I know a nurse was telling Jon to look because they were pulling the baby out, "It's a boy!" someone said and Jon made the touchdown sign with his arms.  We both got teary and he kissed me.  They put Nate on the table and started to suction him, "he inhaled a little meconium so they are deep suctioning him" and I watched him fight them with every ounce of his newborn body.  He cried, and they swaddled him tight, "We have to take your baby to the NICU, give him a kiss" and they brought him over to me.  I kissed the little stranger and they whisked him away.  "Should I stay with you or go with him?" Jon asked.  "Go with him!" I replied and then I was alone with the OR staff, being stitched up and idly chatting about their day.

I was wheeled out, saw my parents and my in-laws and was put in a room to rest.  Turns out I am allergic to morphine and was violently sick the next day.  Finally, almost 24 hours after Nate was born was I well enough to be wheeled to the NICU to see him.  The tubes and the monitors where a horror to see, but a kindly nurse whispered to my husband "he fought us at every step... sick babies don't fight" and I knew he and we were going to be just fine. 

This was actually harder to write then I thought it would be.  How about that.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Jon get me a mini AeroGarden for my birthday.  I set it up a few weeks ago and I already had some good looking sprouts.  I am growing basil, dill, and oregano.

Upon closer inspection I am apparently growing Army Guys too.

AHHH!  Life with boys!

Jurassic Cupcakes

Nate's school birthday party is on Monday and since I had all the supplies on had we made Dino cupcakes for him to take in.  I am delighted at how cute they are and Nate says they taste pretty good too.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Girls Weekend

Saturday brought a mini-college reunion when I got together with two of my college roommates, Mary Lynn and Steph.  We hung out, ate, did a little shopping in Ikea, ate some more, it was great.  We all live in different places no closer than an hour apart, so girl time is few and far between.   But every time we get together it is as if no time has passed and it is still 1998 and we are all living together in a campus apartment.

Since Saturday was Mary Lynn's birthday I made her Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Guinness Cake.

I also made sticky buns (although they came out of a tube so it really isn't an accomplishment LOL!)

We also had our birthday gift exchange. Steph gave me a mug that I LURRRRVE!

Well behaved women do not make history... but they do make tea!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Staying Classy at a Funeral

We buried my grandmother on Wednesday.  It was a rainy and cold day, the kind of day made for a funeral, well not really, but it was the kind of day that movie funerals always take place on.

I have been to a lot of funerals in my day and I have decided to share my tips on staying classy in the least desirable circumstances.

1.  Bring a handkerchief, NOT TISSUES!!!  First of all, handkerchiefs hold up a lot better than tissues, they look nicer than tissues, and if you accidentally leave one in a pocket they won't leave white fuzz all over your clothes.

2.  Bring Hand Sanitizer.  You will be shaking/holding a lot of hands.  You do not know where all of those hands have been.  You are sad... there is no need for you to be sick too.

3.  Bring Mints.  You will be doing a lot of hugging, cheek kissing, and catching up; it is nice to do all of this with fresh breath.

4.  Bring water.  Not into the funeral itself, keep it in the car, but after the viewing and the service and the actual burial; not to mention all that kissing and catching up, you will be glad you have a cool drink waiting for you.

5.  Bring Extra Shoes.  If the day is rainy, wet, or cold, the nice shoes you wear for the viewing and service are not the shoes you want to be wearing when you trek into the mud at the cemetery. I speak from experience here.  At my friend Jill's father's funeral, my shoes got so water logged and filled with mud that I had to throw them away after.

There isn't much that is going to make a funeral less sad... but these tips can certainly make the day more comfortable for you.

Homemade Soft Pretzels

Nate likes to play with dough so I thought it would be fun t try making soft pretzels at home.  Not only was it fun, it was fast (like 1 hour or less fast) and so incredibly easy that I will make them instead of buy them from now on.  I used this recipe from King Arthur Flour.  Try it... you'll like it!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Open Wide Zippered Pouches

I don't know where I first saw this... on one of the many blogs I read, but when I saw it on Pinterest recently I knew that they would make perfect gifts and that I needed to start sewing.  Noodlehead's Open Wide Zippered Pouches come together very easily.  I have made 5 now in all sizes including a tiny one for Nate out of some scraps I had lying around.

These are the 12" and 14" versions

This is improvised with a 6" zipper.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Felted Garland

I have wanted a felted ball garland for a loooooong time.  I have looked into making a garland, buying a garland, buying the felted wool balls and then assembling it myself... but it always seems too expensive, too time consuming, whatever....

So, imagine my delight when I found some felted wool ball ornaments at 70% off at Target.  At $.90 a bag I bought all them had.

A little bakers twine and an opolstery needle and I had myself a cute little felted garland.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Bakarella's Dark Chocolate Swirl Biscuits

This morning a made Bakarella's Chocolate Swirl Biscuits.  They came together very easily and tasted divine.  My version actually looks exactly like hers... the sure sign of a keeper.

Friday, January 04, 2013

A Personal Challenge and a Tumblr.

Jon gave me a fantastic DSLR camera, that I rarely use.

So I challenged myself to use my camera more... a great deal more actually.  Like, everyday more.  So, I keep the camera out and take a few pictures everyday.  I will pick one from each day and post on my newly created tumblr (  Check it out if you want.

The Bird Seed Wreath

I have seen these bird seed ornaments and wreaths in catalogs for years and loved them, but had no idea how to make them.  Enter Pinterest, with 1001 tutorials on how to make the very wreaths I found so fascinating.  So, I thought I would try it.  Telling Nate we were making a Christmas present for the birds, I mixed and molded, using these directions.

When I unmolded it I was incredible hopeful and confident that it had worked...

until I tried to pick it up... then it became abundantly evident that it was a complete fail as it fell apart in my hands.  I don't know why it fell apart... maybe it wasn't dry enough, or maybe it was because I used different birdseed with larger particles?  Who knows.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013


A lot happened in 2012...
  • We were sick A LOT!
  • My dad had a heart attack
  • Jon's grandfather died
  • Nate broke his collar bone
  • I had to get stitches in my finger
  • We took Nate to North Carolina for the first time
  • Nate saw the ocean for the first time
  • I presented at my first conference
  • Jon changed jobs and greatly reduced his stress :)
  • My annual program was covered by the press for the second time
  • I got over my fear of canning
  • I planted a not-very-successful garden
  • I tried composting
  • I tried brewing my own kombucha
  • I made a new friend
  • I became addicted to Pinterest
  • I crafted and sewed more than ever
  • I read a few good books
  • Nate discovered his LOVE of all things Angry Birds
  • and the list goes on...
2013 is here and although, for me, it started out with a sleepless night, terrible dreams, a way-too-early rising, and fighting with a dog over a heartworm pill, but I am confident that things will go up from here.

I don't really "do" resolutions, but there are a few things I would like to do this year.

  • Save more, spend less
  • Make most if not all of my holiday gifts for next year
  • Explore the knitting of socks
  • Can more
  • Learn to use a pressure canner