Monday, December 19, 2011

Baby #2 or #8

This has been on my mind for a while now.  Back when I was pregnant with Shaylin I posted a blog here about how I struggled with how to answer people that asked if she was my first.  Usually I would say that she was my first healthy pregnancy but she was my 7th pregnancy.

This time around has actually been confusing to me.  I tend to refer to Jillian as "Baby #2".  But then I feel guilty calling her that because really Baby #2 came & went in October 2007.  One time while discussing pregnancies with my sisters-in-law, I actually referred to my pregnancy with Shaylin as my "first pregnancy" & immediately I felt horrible.  I felt like I was ignoring the 6 babies before her.

At the same time I don't want to refer to Jillian as my 8th baby because it can seem confusing to people that don't know us.  Or it can just seem like a downer to remind people of our losses.  But it's hard because I can't ignore them. 

So what's the solution?  I have no idea.  I will at least continue to live my life knowing that I have 8, not just 2, babies.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Few of my Low-Budget Meals

I've been trying to cut back on our grocery bill.  Some weeks are easier than others.  Lately I've done pretty good.  The cooler weather has helped because it justifies making soup (trust me, you really don't want soup in the summer in Texas!) & soup stretches for a lot of meals.  I thought I'd share some of the recipes I've done in case anyone else wants to find ways to stretch our meals, too.

I'm gonna be lazy & post links for most of them.  I've got a toddler & growing another baby so give me a break!

Monterey Ranch Chicken - Ok, this isn't a soup but it was a good find from Pinterest.  What I liked was it called for just 5 ingredients (great for the budget) & they were things I typically already have on hand, other than the chicken.  I used chicken tenderloins & we ate it for dinner & had enough left for lunch the next day.

Blackeye Pea Soup - This is probably Jeremy favorite meal that I make.  Of course, I can't claim to be the creator of it.  I made it last week & added extra sausage.  I think it made it extra filling.  We had it for dinner & both at the leftovers twice.  Shaylin had only a small amount, just some carrots & some beans.  She's not real skilled with the spoon yet to handle soup.

Taco Soup - I haven't made this for us yet this season but I did for a couple in our church.  They said they were going to freeze half of it since it was such a huge amount.  I do plan to make it in the coming weeks so I can save a portion to freeze as a meal after the baby comes.

Broccoli Cheese Soup - I made this last week.  It gave us 3 meals for me & Jeremy (Shaylin finally decided to try it yesterday & ended up loving it).  Being a meatless meal helps make it cheaper.  We ate it with french bread, which helped fill us.  On a note about the recipe itself, I would cut back on the broccoli next time.  It was just a little too heavy on the broccoli.

Bowtie Lasagna - I'll end with another non-soup recipe.  This one is great for so many reasons.  It's cheap (I think I figured it costing about $5 the last time I made it; probably would be more if you don't have some ingredients already), it makes a lot, & it takes very little time to make.  Major winner!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Beginning of Freezer Meals

One of my goals at some point with this pregnancy was to make freezer meals.  They would most likely be used sometime after Jillian is born.  Going from a family of 3 to a family of 4 may not always go smoothly so I want to be prepared & having some dinners already made that I only have to pop in the oven.

I came across this recipe for breakfast burritos on pinterest (side note:  Can I just say how much I am loving pinterest?!  I'm collecting so many recipes & make-yourself cleaning solutions & ways to decorate my house.)  We love breakfast burritos.  And apparently Jillian is telling me that I'm actually craving breakfast foods with eggs, cheese, & meat.  Also, I rarely get to make Jeremy a real breakfast before he goes to work.  I'm just to exhausted & stay in bed when he leaves.  This seemed perfect because he can just take one out of the freezer & microwave it at work.

I've already tried one burrito & I'm about to eat a 2nd (see, I told you I was craving breakfast food!).  The recipe itself isn't something brand new.  But I like that there are so many variations to do, like adding peppers & onions (if you like them; I don't) or going vegetarian (but why would you?!). 

I sort of halved this recipe.  I already had bacon & sausage on hand but not a whole pound each.  So I just cooked what I had.  And since I didn't have as much meat I didn't scramble a whole dozen eggs.  I did 7.  I didn't weigh the potatoes but I used 5 of them. 

I will likely make this again & try for the full amount.  With what I had I made 6 burritos with bacon & 5 with sausage.  Definitely will need more eggs.  And bacon.  Always need more bacon.  But still, this is a keeper.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A House Full of Girls

Yep, that's what my husband gets to live with!  And I'm including our 2 female dogs.

It's another girl for us!  We went in really kinda expecting to be told it was a girl so it wasn't a big shock.  And this little girl was much more cooperative than her big sister so the reveal was much less dramatic. 

Her name can finally be revealed, too.  Her name is Jillian Grace.  And, no, we're not trying to stick with S & J names.  We simply pick names that we like.  The name Jillian originally came on the radar for us back when we used to watch The Biggest Loser.  One of the trainers was named Jillian.  We don't necessarily love her but we loved her name.  And we've wanted to use Grace for a middle name but never felt that it fit with Shaylin's name. 

I'll confess that for a brief time I started second-guessing this name.  I just wasn't sure I loved it.  But then I heard a TV character with the name & I started to like it again.  And now that we've revealed it & gotten such positive feedback about it I'm even happier that we stuck with it. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Boy or Girl?

Today's the day!  It was supposed to be on Wednesday but they're doing some work in the sono room that afternoon so they called to reschedule & OF COURSE I asked to have it moved up!  It's not till 4:30 so this day is gonna drag.

So I wanna know the general consensus - boy or girl?  I have a feeling the votes are pretty evenly split.  My feelings are still that it's another girl.  This pregnancy, although different, is still fairly similar to my last one with Shaylin.  Also, this baby's heartrate has been almost exactly what Shaylin's had been.  And I know the whole heartrate thing isn't really scientific but it proved right with Shaylin so I'm sticking with it.

So please vote!  I'll set up a poll on the side.  You can choose to vote there, in the comments on the blog, or on Facebook when I post the link on my wall.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fall Baking

Once the first day of fall came I was ready to bake!  Granted, in Texas you wouldn't believe it was fall yet.  It usually takes till after Halloween for fall to really kick in here.

So far I've done muffins.  The first were these pecan pie muffins.  I've been eyeing them for a long time after discovering them on the Pioneer Woman's website.  They were wonderful!  They weren't as muffin-like as I expected but there were great just the same. 

The other muffins were made yesterday & they were these pumpkin cream cheese muffins.  The only downside for me was my only muffin pan holds 6 muffins so it took a really long time to finish all of them.  But the end result was worth it because they were really good!  The cream cheese mixture made a cheesecake-like texture & the pumpkin flavor wasn't over-powering.

I haven't decided what my next baking project will be but I think it should at least be something other than muffins!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chugging Right Along

Oh yeah!  I've got a blog!

I so want to blog more often.  I constantly get ideas of things I want to post but just don't take the time to post them.  Maybe I'll just do some marathon posting at some point.

So I'm 17 weeks now.  I still get sick from time to time but it's not constant.  Mostly it's after I eat or when I'm really tired, like today.  I've been feeling the baby move & kick everyday for the past 2 weeks now.  Today I'm pretty sure I felt it on the outside.  This seems to be a really active baby.  Tomorrow I have a checkup & I'm sure we'll get to schedule the big ultrasound a week or 2 later.  So it won't be long before we know who's in there!

I've been trying to find ways to cut back on our grocery bill.  It's definitely not easy as a family of 3 (going on 4).  But last week I made one great meal choice:  ham.  I cooked it in the crockpot with brown sugar, pineapple juice, & maple syrup & served it with mashed potatoes & green bean casserole.  There were rolls & sweet tea, too.  It was a wonderful meal!  We took off most of the meat to save for sandwiches which we ate all week for lunches & Sunday night for dinner.  And we froze the ham hock which I'm using today for beans & rice.  That should be another dinner that will stretch pretty far.  I'm thinking I'll do that meal once a month.

Now that it's slowly cooling off it makes more sense to have soup.  And soup stretches pretty far, too.  Shaylin doesn't do too well with soup yet but grilled cheese is an easy backup for her.  So I'm on the seach for easy, low-cost soups.

There could be more to tell about us but since we don't know anything right now I'll have to just keep that quiet.  How's that for being vague?!  We know that God's will will be done so we are just praying that His will is also our will & whatever the outcome we accept it.

Monday, October 3, 2011

2nd Trimester, baby!

I've been so excited to have finally reached the end of my 1st trimester.  Unfortunately, it doesn't mean my energy comes back & the nausea disappears immediately.  If this pregnancy goes like the one with Shaylin, then I've still got a couple more weeks to go.

But still, just reaching the point of the pregnancy when the risk of miscarriages takes a nose dive makes me happy.  And a good doctor's appointment this past week where we again heard the baby's heartbeat brings me a big sigh of relief.

The nausea is still pretty random.  I have good days & bad days.  Eating & I have a love/hate relationship now.  All along I could eat & my nausea would go away.  And it's still like that.  But now eating makes me sick.  Sometimes I even go into a meal not sick but then about 10 minutes after I eat I'm sick.  I'm trying to watch my portions but that hasn't seemed to make a difference.  Hopefully this doesn't continue through the remainder of the pregnancy.  There's too much good food out there!

Last week I had some really bad headaches, the kind that wouldn't go away.  And of course Tylenol, the only thing I'm allowed to take, doesn't work as well as other options out there.  Someone brought up the possibility of not drinking enough water so I started chugging water & since then I haven't had anymore headaches.  It's possible it could just be hormone-related, especially since the headaches occurred at the end of the 1st trimester.  But I know I haven't been drinking near the amount of water I used to so increasing it certainly isn't a bad thing.

Ending my 1st trimester also meant that I was able to stop taking prometrium, the progesterone supplement I've been taking twice a day since I learned I was pregnant.  I'm so happy to have 2 less pills to swallow everyday!  They weren't big pills but when you're feeling sick any pill is a struggle to get down.

My next checkup is on the 26th.  I'll be 17 1/2 weeks at that point so I'm hoping I will get to schedule my BIG ultrasound while I'm there.  I think my doctor prefers his patients to be 18 or 19 weeks before having it done so probably somewhere around the 1st week of November we'll get to know who's in there!  I can't wait!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Where Were You?


I heard this song this morning.  It will probably get played a lot over the weekend.

And so I ask . . . where were you?  Where were you on September 11, 2001 when you heard about the attack on our country?  How did you react?

I was a senior at Bob Jones University.  At 9:00, which was just after the first plane hit, I started Spanish class.  I remember about halfway through the class that one student's cell phone rang.  The teacher was annoyed since phones were supposed to be turned off during class & he quickly silenced the call.  When class got out I remember seeing him in the hall on his phone, likely returning his missed call.  Later that day I found out that his mom was the one calling him, telling him about the attacks. 

Keep in mind of where I was at the time.  There were very few TV's on campus.  So news of the "outside world" didn't come instantly.  This was also before the days of smartphones.

So after Spanish class I went to the next room which was the "Language Lab".  Basically you had to spend so much time in there each week doing language exercises, listening to tapes to improve your speaking abilities in the language you were learning.  I think I spent about 30 minutes in there. 

We had chapel Mondays through Thursdays at 11:00.  Since I had some time to spare I decided to walk to the library to check my email.  There weren't a whole lot of people in there but I didn't think much of it since it was during a class hour.  Checked my email but there was nothing about the attacks.  I probably could have gotten on some sort of news website but I didn't.  I was probably there about 15 minutes so I started heading to the FMA (Founder's Memorial Amphitheater) for chapel.  I remember the campus seeming empty.  Not a lot of people out.  Again, I thought it was weird but didn't put much more thought into it.

Once I got in the FMA I met up with 2 friends.  And they asked me if I heard about the terrorist attacks.  What?!  They said some planes had flown into the World Trade Center.  I also remember one friend being a little nervous because she felt these terrorist would want to do harm to Christians & a place like BJU, especially in a general assembly like chapel, would be their perfect target. 

Chapel wasn't like others before.  Dr. Bob updated the student body on what was known at the time, which wasn't much.  It had only been a little over 2 hours since the first plane hit.  They weren't even sure yet who the attack was from.  I remember him also saying that there could be as many as 10,000 people killed in this attack, considering it was in New York City & how many people usually are in those buildings.  That just blew my mind.

He chose for the school day to go on as usual.  Classes would continue as normal.  To this day I still have mixed feelings on this decision.  Yes, there was no good in just sitting & worrying.  But there were students from New York or Washington, DC that were scared for their loved ones.  I had one friend who was scared because her dad worked at the Pentagon & she couldn't get a hold of anyone in her family.  She finally got to talk to someone later & was relieved to hear her dad was ok.  But I felt bad that she had to try to focus on class while worried about her dad.  It didn't seem fair.

That day I was having lunch with a friend.  He had a class at noon so I had to wait for him to get out.  So I went to the bottom of one of the girls' dorms where a TV was so I could watch the news & see this for myself.  Seeing that 2nd plane hit the other tower just didn't seem real.  It was something you only saw in movies.

That night President Bush spoke to the nation & we were able to see it as another general assembly.  There were a lot of tears.  A couple of my friends had actually been inside the World Trade Center just that summer so to see those towers crumble to the ground was hard to watch.

Patriotism was amazing after that day.  I think there was an American flag in every dorm window.  My roommates & I even bought some red, white, & blue lights & strung them around our window.

So that's my story.  I've seen one of those reposting status' that says how I couldn't tell you what I did last Tuesday, but I could tell you what I did on that Tuesday 10 years ago.  That couldn't be more true!

Again I ask, where were you?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I get to do what?!

This past Monday I had my monthly OB checkup.  We were able to hear the heartbeat on the doppler, which was a big surprise to me since I didn't think it would have been possible for another week.  We also discuss my insomnia issues.  My doctor agreed that exercise could help to help wear me out (as if I'm not worn out already).  But he decided to prescribe Ambien so I could have a better guarantee of sleep.  So far I've only used it 3 different nights & it's definitely helped.  I still wake up once each night for a bathroom visit but that's to be expected.  At least now it's not taking me up to 2 hours to fall asleep.

While discussing my exercise routine, which has hardly been "routine", he suggested that I pick up the pace on walking just a bit.  I had been doing a slow 20 min. pace, mostly because I wasn't sure what I could handle.  I mentioned that in reality I don't enjoy walking since it just makes me want to run.  His response:  "Then run."

What?!  Me?  You remember who you're talking to, right?

He suggested that I just slow my pace down a bit so it's not too much impact but said I'd be just fine since I've already been a runner.  There just won't be any marathon-type runs.

So on Wednesday I decided to give it a try.  I even put on the singlet I used to wear for a lot of my long runs.  It just to hang really big on me.  I prefer my singlets loose.  Well, it's not loose anymore.  I couldn't believe how much I had filled it out already!

Since it had been over a month since my last run (a final pre-pregnancy run that I was very happy with) I decided to run as if I was just starting out.  I would walk for 2 min. & then run (well, really it was a jog) for 2 min. & continued this for 30 min.  The running times were weirdly tiring considering it was so much slower than I used to be, but it didn't completely exhaust me.  And each time I ran I loved it.  I wasn't starring at the clock waiting for the 2 min. to be up.  Really, I probably could have gone longer but I want to be careful.  The only difficulty I had was with my knees.  They felt as if I had been running for 15 miles.  And that night the rest of my joints from the waist down ached so bad.

Being given permission to run is huge for me.  Even though I had a complication-free pregnancy with Shaylin & she was completely healthy, I will always be considered high-risk.  But now to be allowed to still do something like running makes me feel almost "normal".  I don't have to just live in a bubble & be afraid to do anything.

So far I've only run that one time.  My joints just hurt that bad.  I would have run today but was just too full from lunch so I simply walked.  Hopefully I can get into a better routine & keep this up.  Then I'll have to find out just how far into the pregnancy I can continue running.  It would just be hilarious to run while 8 months pregnant!  I'll just have to find some way to hold my giant belly!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Insomnia

One of my early pregnancy symptoms is insomnia.  I don't know what it is but when I'm pregnant something just prevents me from sleeping.  And it's not even nausea, although lately that's been keeping me up some nights.

I've tried Unisom but only half the dosage.  It would make me sleepy but then once I lay my head on my pillow I'd be wide awake.

I called my doctor's office to see if Unisom was ok or if they had another suggestion.  The nurse practitioner suggested Benadryl.  Well, that had pretty much the same affect.

And then I've tried Tylenol PM, but only on nights that I have a headache.  That's been the best but sometimes even after taking that I'd still toss & turn for 2 hours!

Part of my problem is I get too hot really easily.  Something else to blame on hormones!  What's weird is it's really just my legs that get hot.  And then they get restless which leaves me tossing & turning.  So some nights I've had to take the comforter off my side of the bed & just use a quilt.  That seems to help keep me from getting too hot.

I also wake up a lot at night.  It doesn't take much.  Lots of bathroom breaks which is normal of course.  And sometimes that leaves me wide awake.  Or I wake up to Jeremy's alarm & try to go back to sleep but I'm too awake.  That's what happened today.

Naps have been terrible.  I have tried to take a nap just about every single day since I found out I was pregnant but all I do is lay there wide awake.  Or Shaylin wakes up crying through the 2-3 hours so even if I did fall asleep it wouldn't be for long.  For some reason she's really been struggling with naps in the last month.

Hopefully once this trimester is over the insomnia will pass & I will start to sleep better again.  Of course, then the 3rd trimester will soon come along & then I'll be so big & uncomfortable & won't be sleeping well again.  I guess it's all in preparation for the new baby & getting my body used to living on very little sleep.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Pregnancy Update

I decided to wait until after today's doctor's appointment before giving a pregnancy update.  I haven't been overly worried but still nervous from time to time. 

We had a 2nd sonogram today.  The one from 2 weeks ago was very early so we didn't see the baby.  I knew we wouldn't but that was still hard.  But today almost right away we saw a "mass" that was our baby.  At this point the baby's arms & legs are beginning to form.  That's hard to see on a sonogram though, so it looks like a big mass.  But we could still see where the head is & see arm buds on the side & best of all, saw a tiny heartbeat.  And we heard it!  As much as just seeing the baby gave me a sigh of relief, hearing the heartbeat sent me to tears.  It's just beautiful!  The only thing more beautiful will be his/her first cry.

So why was I so nervous about this sonogram despite the nausea I've had for over a week now?  It just still seems surreal to me.  For so long I felt like I was just the woman who had miscarriages.  Then I had a baby.  So in some strange way I still feel like I'm "supposed" to have more miscarriages before I can have another baby.

Another strange thing that went through my head was fear that this pregnancy would end like my 1st one did.  With that one I had a sonogram at 5 1/2 weeks & we saw nothing but thought it was too early.  A week later we still saw nothing & knew we lost the baby.  So somehow in my warped thinking I feared that this would be like my 1st pregnancy, like we were starting all over again.  Granted, I didn't have near the kind of symptoms then that I have now. 

Now I just feel so blessed.  Nauseous, too.  But most of all blessed.  It was a long, hard road to have a baby.  And as much as we wanted more babies, we knew that if Shaylin was all God chose to give us that would still be more than we once thought we'd get.  So now to be 8 months away from having a 2nd baby, it's just overwhelming.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Yes, it IS hot enough for me!

I'm so glad I don't work anymore.  I'm sure if I did I would still have customers walk into my office & ask "Is it hot enough for ya?".  What does that even mean?! 

Lately it's actually been too hot for me & everybody else.  Today will be day 34 of continuous days of 100+ temps.  The record was set in 1980 with 42 days.  And based on the forecast we will likely set a new record in 2011.  May as well if we're going to endure this heat, although it's not like we'll win a prize for it.

I heard that we reached 111 degrees in some areas yesterday.  And according to weather.com it's predicting 110 for today through Saturday.  Just now at 7:30am it's already 85 degrees!

The heat has really been affecting me lately.  I've been feeling a little sick when I get too hot.  And sometimes there's just no avoiding it.  It really makes me feel for those pregnant ladies around here who are in the last weeks or days of their pregnancies.  I can't even imagine how miserable they must feel!  I pray they can get some relief soon, either with a cold front or by going into labor & getting to sleep in one of those extra cold hospital rooms.

I'm also praying for the people that have to work outside in this.  In the first couple years of our marriage Jeremy was one of those people.  He read meters for the electric company so there was lots of walking no matter the weather.  If our meter hadn't already been read I would be looking out for our meter reader so I could offer him some iced water.  A few people did that for Jeremy when he was out there & I really appreciated it.  We do have a mailman that walks the neighborhood so my plan today is to place a note inside our mailbox letting him know that the cooler on the steps has water & Gatorade in it & it's for him.  Hopefully he will take it & that won't see creepy.  I just know it's hard enough walking this neighborhood because of the hills, let alone in 100+ heat!

I'm also tired of being cooped up in the house.  And Shaylin is too.  She so wants to play outside but there just isn't a good time to do it.  As soon as it cools down, even to the low 100's, I'm going to have to take her to the splash pad so she can have some outdoor water fun.

Then there is my dogs.  Kaylee in particular loves being outside.  It's just the type of breed she is.  Keira gets excited to go out but is always more excited to come back inside.  And that may be because the heat is making her sick.  So I have to be careful on how long I let them stay outside.  Plus, these poor dogs haven't been on a walk in months.  It's just too hot for us all to go out.

Hopefully all of this misery will end in another month of so.  But that's a long way away.  August tends to be the hottest month in Texas & it's only the 4th.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Back to Reality

Yesterday was our first OB visit & we all went as a family.  Shaylin was absolutely precious, especially for waking up extra early.  She sweetly sat in her daddy's lap while I was being examined but once I could hold her she wanted me.

They had gotten my 2nd beta & progesterone counts back.  The first was 1,267 for the hcg level & 16.7 for the progesterone.  Both good numbers so we were pretty excited on Friday.  Well, my 2nd beta count was 2,017 & it got me worried.  It wasn't a full double like I was expecting.  I was expecting something over 2,500.  But my doctor assured me that it was good.  My progesterone was up to 34.something, which is thanks to the extra daily dose.

They drew lots of blood, checking stuff like my iron level & a whole bunch of other stuff.  The nurse missed the first time & hit a nerve.  Holy cow!  That hurt!  She got it the 2nd try in the other arm though.  I have very tiny veins so I try to be forgiving because I know I'm not an easy one.

Then we had a sonogram.  I wasn't sure if they were going to bother since at 5 weeks you really don't see much.  But I told them I'd feel better having one & I'll fight my insurance company if they raise stink about it.  With my history of miscarriage I'm sure it would be approved.

And just as I expected we didn't see much on the sonogram.  We saw the gestational sac, which is where the baby is.  And we saw the yolk sac, which will slowly shrink as the baby grows.  But being so early that's all we saw.  I was disappointed but not surprised.  Based on the measurements it actually has my due date moved back to April 3, instead of March 31st.  But this doesn't worry me because I know I ovulated 2 or 3 days later than "normal".  I always have.  So that means the baby is right on track!

Despite a good report, I still got worried.  A lot of it is just being back there again.  Even after all the good visits during my pregnancy with Shaylin, I still have this fear walking in that office.  And I feel bad because I LOVE my doctor.  But he's very understanding & even acknowledged that I will always have fears because of my history.  So it's nice to know he doesn't think I'm crazy.

I guess I just had a hard time being reminded of my reality, that I have a long history of miscarriages & that despite a completely normal & healthy pregnancy with Shaylin, the odds are still against me.  What also got me yesterday was during the nurses questions when we first got there she asked (for clarification) if this was my 8th pregnancy.  I cannot describe to you what that feeling is when I'm reminded of that.  So I'm not going to try.

Later I talked to my mom & she said from reading she did that your hcg levels actually have up to 72 hours to double.  That sounded familiar but it had been a long time since I'd read up on that.  So I searched around & confirmed what she said.  So as close as mine was it certainly would have doubled by 72 hours.  So that made me feel better.  And I just had to keep reminding myself that the sonogram, although it doesn't show a baby, shows that things are progressing as they should so far.

We go back on the 16th for another sonogram.  I will be 7 weeks at that point so we should definitely see more by then.  And then 2 weeks later we go back for our 2nd OB visit.  If he wants to do another sonogram then, I'm so ok with that!

The whole visit just reminded me that we have a long road ahead of us.  Everyday that goes by is a celebration.  But everyday I will be asking God for strength to get through it.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

There's a Bun in the Oven!!!

Yesterday was an exciting day for our family!  We found out that we were going to go from a family of 3 to a family of 4!  This is the first time we've ever announced a pregnancy this quickly but this time it just felt right.  And we did it by posting this picture on our Facebook walls.  Apparently people didn't figure it out right away but when they did the congrats starting rolling in. 

It really came as a shock to me yesterday.  We'd been trying for a few months now & it had actually been taking longer than it used to with past pregnancies.  Being in our 30s now wasn't helping.  I was trying not to stress about it but that's one of those things that's easier said than done.  In June I decided to start training for the marathon & just see what happened.  Last week I was 90% sure that if it didn't happen this month that we were going to take a break so I could focus on the marathon & just to have a break from that stress.

So anyway I had myself convinced that it just wasn't going to happen.  I was more relaxed this month & didn't even use my basal body thermometer very much.  I finally did on Monday & the temp was high.  I thought it was weird but just went on like normal.  I forgot to do it the next morning & started planning my run for Wednesday, which was going to be outside on some great hills in my neighborhood.  But with crazy heat we were going to get made me change my mind.  Plus, I just had this nagging feeling that I shouldn't run.  So Wednesday morning I took my temperature & it was still high.  Now I knew something was up.  I had to go to the store so I picked up a couple home pregnancy tests.  Side note:  How weird was my cart at Walmart?!  I had dog food, chicken, pizza sauce, & 2 pregnancy tests!  What a combo!

Anyway, I came home & took the test & immediately that little + sign showed up.  It had been a long time since I had seen it & I couldn't help but smile.

Obviously I will not be doing the marathon now.  And I won't be running.  As I've said before, most females runners are allowed to continue running through most of their pregnancy.  But with my history of miscarriages it's just not worth it.  I have to say it feels weird that I won't be running for 9 months.  Running has become such a big part of who I am.  But I don't mind because now I can focus even more on the other part of me:  being a momma.

So am I still nervous?  ABSOLUTELY!  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't.  There is a peace I seem to have which I can only thank God for.  I'm not yet even 5 weeks & that is the first hurdle for us to get over.  5 out of 6 babies were lost before making it to 5 weeks.  The other one was just shy of 7 weeks so that is our 2nd hurdle.

As for the due date, there can be some debate on it.  The doctor will likely say it's March 31st.  I believe it actually should be April 2nd.  But since I've pretty much decided this one will come early just like his/her big sister did, I'm sure it'll be a March baby.  So I may as well just go with the date the doctor gives me.  And that's not a bad one to take considering this Saturday would put me at 5 weeks already!

My first doctor's appointment is on Monday.  I know!  I was surprised I got in so soon!  I don't expect a whole lot to be done.  It really will be too early for a good ultrasound.  All we'd likely see is the sac.  But we will go as a family.  My doctor & nurses haven't seen Shaylin since my 6 week post-partum checkup so I'm excited for them to see her again.  And I absolutely love my doctor & his staff.  They were some of our biggest fans through my pregnancy with Shaylin.  There's just something pretty cool about seeing your doctor beaming over the sight of your growing belly. 

So for those who didn't notice the picture or just didn't get it, now you know what's going on.  We're having another baby!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Happy Running Anniversary to Me!

I recently realized this month marks 3 years since I started running.  It's amazing to see how far I've come.

At that time I had recently suffered my 4th miscarriage & was starting some bloodwork to try to find answers.  The ups & downs of hormones & depressions had really affected my weight.  I also just needed an outlet for my frustrations & a place to just think & pray.  Jeremy had already been running for a while & had even ran his first marathon earlier that year.  So he suggested I finally give it a try.  I had tried once but was trying to run faster than I should have & gave up. 

I don't remember where my first run took place.  Probably the treadmill but I don't know for sure.  And I don't remember exactly when it took place.  All I know is I started.  And outside of a 9 month break, I haven't stopped since.

My ability has definitely changed since then.  Back then I was running about a 13:30 pace, which is a pretty slow jog.  I was also only running up to 3 miles.  That fall I ran my first 5k.  Now I can fairly comfortably run a 10:30 pace & I'm training for my 2nd marathon.  I never thought there would have even been a 1st marathon!

So if you're just starting out learning to run, don't get discouraged.  It's definitely hard work but when you can look back & see how far you've come, you realize it was all worth it!

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Belly Fat Cure

Nobody really loves a diet.  I mean, the word "die" is in it!  And sometimes we feel like we might "die" if we don't get to drink a soda or eat half a gallon of ice cream or eat an entire chicken fried steak at Babe's.

Well, we've been eating like that for too long.  And despite all the running I do, I can't really eat whatever I want & still lose weight.  I sort of could back in the breastfeeding days.  But as soon as those ended so did my high motabolism. 

I'm not going to go into my husband's dieting woes since it's my blog & not his, but I'll just say that he's tried.  But when he was working 2 jobs (that ended last month) there was only so much he could do. 

So now we're determined to beat this.  He wants to drop his weight once & for all & I want to find a way to not struggle with mine & get rid of my "mommy fluff".

Jeremy heard about this book called "The Belly Fat Cure" from some ladies at work.  The author talked about cutting carbs & sugars, not fats like we've always been told.  This was the same thing we heard on a documentary called "Fat Head".  You can find it on Netflix.  The movie was in response to "Super Size Me" which we all know was about the guy who ate McDonalds for 30 days & gained a lot of weight.  Well, the "Fat Head" guy ate at McDonalds but used his brain!  He didn't get sodas, would eat burgers without the buns, & would find better side option than fries.  He set a limit of carbs he'd consume each day.  And in the end, he lost weight!  So we were intrigued.

Last week we started our new diet.  In it you are limited to 15 grams of sugar a day & 6 "units" of carbs.  A carb unit is anywhere from 5 to 20 carbs.  So if a slice of bread has 12 carbs, then that's 1 carb unit.  If something has 25 carbs, then it's 2 carb units.  It has us eating whole grains which helps with the carbs but also gives more fiber (another thing we're to get more of).  And we eat more protein.  So chicken, steak, bacon . . . yes, I said bacon.  We've seriously had bacon almost everyday in the last week!

And here are our results in just 1 week:

Me - lost 3 lbs. & an inch in my waist
Jeremy - lost 9.4 lbs. & 2 inches in his waist

Not only have we lost weight, but our energy hasn't been effected.  Honestly, I'd say I have felt better this past week than when I could eat "normal foods".  It hasn't even affected my running!  And we haven't been craving the wrong foods.  Well, maybe I have a little but it's hard when you're the grocery shopper in the house!

Our meals are actually good.  From time to time I may post some.  Here's an easy pasta one that I absolutely loved.

6 oz. whole wheat penne pasta (cooked & drained)
1 cup pasta sauce (it's gotta be something low in sugar; it'll be more expensive but remember you're only using 1 cup)
1/2 cup heavy cream (yeah, seriously!)
1/4 chicken broth
season w/ salt, pepper, & oregano
4 chicken breasts, cooked & diced

Cook sauce, cream, & broth till it starts to simmer.  Add chicken & cook a few more minutes.  Pour over drained pasta.  Top with shredded parmesan.

This is for 4 servings.  But believe me that it's enough.  You can serve it when a side of broccoli (1/2 cup) which you can "season" with butter. 

So yeah, I'm pretty convinced that this is the diet we've been needing all along.  I will try to give updates on our progress.  It makes me excited to see how well it's worked so far!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dear Treadmill,

I have a love/hate relationship with you. 

You're a great rescue from the scorching Texas heat.  It's pretty great to have the a/c on, your tiny built-in fan blowing on me, & then a couple more fans blowing on me.  I love how I always know what pace I'm running at.  When I'm outside I'll lose focus & slow down.  But when I run on you I can set a pace & hold it.  You've also been a great help with speed workouts.  I like sprinting the last 10th of a mile of most runs & when I'm on you I can set the sprinting pace I want to do & see just how far I need to go.  When I'm outside I tend to slow down too soon.  You've also been much easier on my knees than concrete & asphalt.  This was especially nice right after having a baby.

But there are things I don't like about you.  Mostly it's that I feel restricted & confined.  You don't offer any change of scenery or people to wave to.  I can't work on my runner's tan with you either.  I also don't get the hill workouts that I need.  Sure, you have incline settings but it's still not like running outside where inclines constantly change.

I run 3 times a week & typically 2 out of 3 are on the treadmill.  Most of those are fairly short runs.  But I'm training for that marathon again so some are going to be 6, 7, & even 8 miles.  Those really get to be a beating.  My ipod can only help so much.

But for all the times that I dread running on you & it just feels like a beating, I really am thankful to have you.  You have been a pivotal part of my training.  Some runners try to say that you can't train for a marathon with a treadmill.  Well, we proved them wrong!  For moms especially, you are one of the best running partners to have!

See you tomorrow!

~Shelly

Monday, July 11, 2011

Yucky Virus

We had a rough week last week.  It started Wednesday morning at 6am when Shaylin woke us up crying.  As soon as I walked in the room I could tell that she had thrown up.  She did it again 5 more times that day, including once in the car right as I pulled into the doctor's office.  Yeah, that was not fun!

She didn't have any other symptoms that day other than being fussy & clingy.  She was very tired from waking up early & not sleeping well when she would nap.  The doctor said it was a nasty virus that's been going around, mostly affecting kids.  My guess is she picked it up when we went shopping at Walmart the day before.

The night she started getting a fever.  It was 100.2 so we gave her motrin.  At 4am she woke us up & her temp was 102.  I gave her more motrin & laid on the couch with her since she obviously wanted her momma.  There was very little sleep involved for me.  I just can't sleep with her, as much as I love that closeness.  Plus she was very restless as you can imagine.

Most of Thursday we were battling with the fever, but no more vomiting.  Twice that day including after dinner her temp reached the highest ever at 103.4.  That got a little scary for me.  She still had a rough night of sleep that night but she at least managed to stay in her crib all night.

Thursday night I had noticed what I thought was a diaper rash.  We even thought it was a heat rash due to her fever.  But the next day it started spreading.  It got all over her legs & started up her arms & stomach.  So I made another trip to the doctor.  They confirmed that this was another reaction to the virus.  It wouldn't bother her or make her itchy & the rash itself wasn't contagious.  Once she had gone 24 hours without a fever she was clear of being contagious.  Since she had a low grade one at the doctor's office on Friday we had to keep her home a little longer.

On Saturday the rash peaked.  Thankfully it didn't reach her face!  But by then you could actually feel the bumps & she looked pretty bad.  We needed to go to the store that evening so we decided to take her & wondered if people would say anything.  Nobody did so either they didn't notice or they did but were being polite.

She's still got the rash today but it's lightened up.  It's gonna take a few days for her skin to get back to its normal pasty self.  But she is at least feeling like her sweet & happy self again so that makes me happy.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Best Cookies on the Block

There's an episode of Friends after Chandler & Monica get engaged where their friend Phoebe realizes she never gave them a engagement present.  Monica says that she would like Phoebe's grandmother's chocolate cookie recipe.  She thought they were the best cookies ever & knew if she had the recipe she would someday be the mom in her neighborhood who made the best chocolate cookies.

Well, I think I'm that mom! 

But you can't have the recipe.  You see, it's a family secret.  I wasn't even given the recipe until I said "I do".  And that's the only way you can get the recipe.  But I can tell you they are pretty awesome! 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Creamy Chicken Tacos

Here's what I made for dinner tonight.  Another quick one but makes enough to feed a large family for one meal or a smaller family for quite a few meals.  And it uses the crockpot so no oven, well unless you use taco shells.

2 lbs. chicken breasts
1 can (14.5 oz) fire roasted tomatoes
1 container Philadelphia Cooking Cream Santa Fe flavor
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained
taco shells or tortillas

Throw the chicken in the crockpot (mine was frozen solid).  Then add tomatoes, cooking cream, corn, & beans.  Don't even need to mix it (unless you want to).  Cook for 6-8 hours or until chicken easily shreds.  It took 6 hours for mine to be able to shred.  Once it was shredded I put all the chicken back in, stirred it up, & let it cook for another hour.

I thought this was great!  I ate more than I care to share.  And Shaylin loved it!  It's not at all spicy which is great for little ones but not so much for the grownups.  I think it could have used a little more spice.  Or you can just put salsa on your tacos I guess.

There was a lot of liquid in it which is likely because I used frozen chicken.  Or maybe I didn't drained the beans as well as I thought.  So that's my only complaint.

One of these days I'll remember to take pictures of the food so I can share that, too.

Bada Bing Pork Chops

Ok, I didn't come up with this recipe title.  It does deserve a better name though.  I made these pork chops this week & thought it was a great & simple marinade.  Best of all it called for stuff I already had in the refrigerator, particularly the applesauce.  I absolutely loathe the stuff & Shaylin hasn't cared much for it either.  Jeremy likes applesauce but wasn't eating it so this was a great way to use some of it up.

6 bone-in pork chops (I'm sure the boneless ones would work, too)
1 cup Italian dressing
1/2 cup applesauce (mine was a cinnamon applesauce)
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
juice from 1 lime

Mix ingredients (minus pork chops, of course) together in a bowl.  Pour over pork chops in a sealable container & be sure all are covered with the marinade.  Refrigerate overnight.  Grill them the next day.

Again, super easy & quick to prepare.  Jeremy didn't think his chop had a ton of flavor but I'm thinking he got one that wasn't covered well enough in the marinade.  The one I ate was great!  Shaylin even liked it & ate an entire pork chop to herself!

Sesame Noodles

Ok, I've done a lot of new recipes lately (and doing another one tonight).  So I'm going to attempt to post as many of them as I can to share. 

This one was a super easy one.  Best of all, it doesn't involved the oven!  Now that it's summer & the electric bill is going to go through the roof, I've gotta find other ways to cook.  I loved this recipe too because it was so easy to prepare & makes a good quick dinner.  You can find the original here but I'm going to post how I did it.

12 oz. thin noodles, cooked & drained (I chose thin spaghetti)
2 T sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T rice vinegar
3 T sesame oil
4 T canola oil

Boil noodles as directed, drain, & leave in pot.
Whisk all the other ingredients together in a bowl.
Pour sauce over noodles & toss.

Doesn't that sound easy?!  I also added shrimp.  I bought the frozen kind that's already deveined & peeled, then pulled off the tails, & cooked them in the skillet for a bit in some teriyaki sauce. 

Marathon Training: The Sequel

Marathon training began this week.  I decided to stick with the same schedule I did last year.  Since I ended last year's race without collapsing & the day after didn't leave me walking funny I figure it's a good plan & shouldn't mess with something that works.

Very little changes from what I've been doing for a while.  I still only run on Mondays, Wednesdays, & Saturdays, which is my long run.  If my shins will let me, I will do some speed workouts on Mondays & Wednesdays are dedicated to hill training.  Saturday long runs are just that . . . long.  I've gotten myself up to 11 1/2 miles so far.  Eventually I'll have 3 different 20 milers.  Last year I only completed 2 of them & one of those times was on the treadmill.

I'm very excited about the prospect of running this marathon again.  Last year I ran it 8 months post-partum.  Now I'd be 20 months post-partum.  I'm also faster & stronger than I was a year ago.  And I know the mistakes I made last year & have learned from them.  If all goes well I should have no problem finishing under 5 hours. 

So for the next 3 months on Saturday mornings, when you sleep till 8 or 9, just remember that I will have run 12+ miles by then.  Such is the life of training for a marathon during the summer!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Worst Blogger Ever!

I'm fully aware I have a blog.  I even somehow still think of myself as a "blogger".  But you wouldn't know it by how often I post anything.  I think of things but never get the time to do it.  And by the time I do find the time the post doesn't seem relevant.

So for now I'll just post some updates & thoughts.

Summer is here.  No, it's not June 21 yet but summer comes to Texas much earlier.  I think we've even hit 100 degrees once or twice.  The hot weather means Shaylin's outside play needs to be much earlier than before.  The poor girl is just as white as her momma & daddy! 

For the past 9 months or so Jeremy has been working a 2nd job.  The decision wasn't easy.  We weren't necessarily strapped for money.  But if we wanted to speed up the process of paying off debts & some other future plans this was the best way to do it.  But we've now gotten to the point where it's taken a toll on all of us.  Shaylin ends up only seeing her daddy on the weekends.  I could desperately use the help with Shaylin in the evening.  And Jeremy is just exhausted, both physically & emotionally.  So we have decided that he will quit the 2nd job at the end of this month.  We'll still be able to pay our regular bills & buy groceries.  Other things just have to change.  But we're kinda ok with that because we want our family to be together & as long as we're together we'll be happy.

I plan to start training for a marathon again.  However, should God allow something to come into our lives, then the running will stop.  I'm excited about the possibility of running the marathon again.  I'm still not quite as fast as I have wanted to be but I'm still faster than I was a year ago.  I should easily keep this one under 5 hours but I could possibly get it close to a 4:30 finish time, which would be incredible.  I just have to play it safe because I've struggled with shin splints here & there.

Shaylin continues to grow & is less of a baby everyday.  I need to start writing down all the words she can say so I can get a real count.  She's got quite a few teeth & is currently at 11 1/2.  Her eating habits are still pretty good.  We've discovered she likes peas & corn which is good since she doesn't like green beans anymore.  Bananas & peaches (from a fruit cup) are the only fruits she still eats.  I'm trying to get her to eat other fruits but so far we haven't had much success.  Most foods though she will eat, which makes meal planning much easier.

That's pretty much it for us.  Hopefully I can get into a better routine & get back to blogging because I really like doing it.

Friday, May 20, 2011

A small victor but a victory none the less!

Today I read this news article that a friend posted on Facebook.  Yes, I live in Texas but seeing how I rarely get to watch the news I hadn't heard about this yet.

I am so happy to hear about this law.  And of course there's a little pride in there that it was in Texas.  But mostly I'm very happy.

I have always felt that women should be required to have a sonogram before an abortion.  They may acknowledge that a baby could come in 9 months if they allow it.  But do they realize the development that this little baby has made by the time they go in for an abortion?

I don't hide the fact that I've suffered through 6 miscarriages.  Most happened very early, before we could have a sonogram.  But baby #3 held on the longest & we saw him/her at 6 1/2 weeks along.  It did look like a little blob but we also saw the heartbeat.  Then 3 days later we lost that baby.  It's because we saw that baby on the sonogram screen that that loss hurts us the most.  It gave us a connection to that baby.

Typically by the time a woman's period is due, they are considered 4 weeks pregnant.  But I highly doubt most women are taking a pregnancy test at exactly 4 weeks.  Those that do are usually the ones trying to get pregnant & don't want to wait & see if they're "late".  So it's probably not till they are a few days late that they take a test. 

Well, by 5 weeks the baby's heart has started to develop.  By the end of that same week, its tiny heart is beating & can be seen on a sonogram.

So I am going to assume that by the time a woman finds out she's pregnant, calls an abortion clinic & gets the procedure scheduled, that baby's heart is already beating & pumping blood.  So if this woman could actually see that tiny heart, would she still try to convince herself that it's just a bunch of tissue she's getting rid of? 

In the article the opposing argument is that this law will just make it more difficult for women to make the decision to go through it.  WELL, GOOD!!!  It's your child in there so it should be all the more difficult. 

What I would hope to also come from this is a stronger focus on adoption.  I'm sure some of these women would still not feel that they can have a baby for whatever reason it may be but are overcome with the reality of what's growing inside them.  That's where they need to be directed towards their options with adoptions.  Adoption doesn't mean they have to be completely out of their child's life.  There are many families out there wanting to adopt that are open to open adoptions. 

I'm sure plenty of controversy is going to come from this law.  Hopefully other states will follow though.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Hope

Today was a good day.  Today God allowed me to cross paths with someone who helped give me some hope & encouragement.

Yesterday a friend posted a picture on Facebook of a whole bunch of little girl's clothes that she was going to sell on Craigslist.  But she thought she'd try Facebook first.  I quickly jumped on it & planned to pick them up & pay her for them today at her work.  Her workplace (on Wednesdays) is a birthing center.  This is the same birthing center who's midwife referred us to my OB/GYN.  They actually use my doctor as their backup when needed.  So I was excited to finally get to meet her.

While there I chatted with another midwife.  I told her about Shaylin & our history of miscarriages, a total of 6.  She shared with me that she has actually had 8 miscarriages.  But she also has 6 children, including a set of twins.  She was diagnosed with a blood clotting disorder years ago which was the cause of her miscarriages. 

I really appreciated this sweet lady.  She even gave me her business card & told me to call her anytime if I ever have any questions or just need encouragement.  She encouraged me to not give up.  Despite all the heartache of so many losses, each of her precious babies was worth it. 

After having my 6th miscarriage, I really felt alone.  I mean, even my doctor admitted that he had never had a patient go through that many losses.  I knew plenty of people that had gone through one or two.  Even my mom had 4 miscarriage in the 8 year gap between my brother & sister.  But she found the cause of hers.  I didn't.  So at this time 2 years ago I felt alone & hopeless.  Even after having a healthy & normal pregnancy with Shaylin I know that the odds are still against me.  I will always be considered high-risk.

So to come across a woman who's actually had more miscarriages than me but has so many children, it gives me so much hope.  I needed to be reminded that God doesn't look at those odds.  He's the One in control.  We may or may not have a long road to adding to our family.  Either way God will give us the grace & strength we need to get through it.

Friday, May 6, 2011

31

This past Tuesday was my birthday.  I turned 31.  You don't believe me?  Yeah, I don't either but based on my birth certificate that's how old I am.  I have at least finally reached that age where I gladly accept people telling me I look younger.  When I was 20 & I kept being told I look 15, it wasn't too fun.  Now I can totally pass for a 20 year old!  And even better is I'm in better shape than I was at 20.  Sure I was way skinnier but skinny doesn't equal in shape.

Anyway, we didn't have huge plans for my birthday.  Just the usual - go out to eat with the in-laws to the place of my choice, open presents, eat whatever dessert I chose (I'm not much of a cake person).

But then Shaylin got sick.  Not longer after my last post she started getting really congested & still had the fever.  So I knew we were going to have to stay home.  Jeremy did go out & get us Chipotle for dinner.  It was what I had wanted for my birthday dinner anyway.  I opened my presents from him & Shaylin.  Other than that I just comforted my sick little girl.

Of course I'm not mad at her.  It's not like she wanted to be sick & did this to me.  It just showed us how things are different now as parents & how we have to put Shaylin's needs before our own.

Besides, that night I started getting sick.  Woke up at 4am with a fever.  I went to the doctor later & they were willing to give me a prescription even though I didn't have all the viral infection symptoms yet.  While there, we asked the doctor (who wasn't Shaylin's doctor) to check her ears.  She did & said the left one was red.  So we called her pediatrician's office & got an appointment right away.  Turns out it was a full-blown ear infection.  So now she's finally on antibiotics & is slowly getting better.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Fever

Friday night while we were getting Shaylin ready for bed we noticed her head was really warm.  We decided to take her temperature & it was 101.4.  We were really surprised because she didn't act at all sick.  Still, we gave her Motrin (the infant kind) & put her to bed.  She slept fine.

But the next morning gave us a completely different little girl.  She was crying so hard when I woke up & burning up.  This time her temp was 102.0.  I gave her Tylenol this time.  The whole day she was very fussy & clingy.  Her temp did go down around 5:00 which led us to think she was well enough to go out to eat.  We were very wrong.  She didn't want to eat or drink anything & just sat there & cried.  At 8:30 her temp was up to 102.5.  I did some reading online & looking at symptoms.  She had the fever & I also noticed she had cold hands.  The website came back with one illness:  meningitis. 

I panicked.  We didn't feel comfortable waiting till the morning to see if something was really wrong with our little girl so we rushed out the door & went to the ER at the closest hospital.  I was trying to stay strong but I was scared.  It wasn't till a little later when I told the nurse about what I read that I realized how silly it sounded, especially when she asked me if I had been on webMD (it was actually babycenter.com). 

Anyway, they gave her Motrin but it was children's & a much larger dosage than we'd been giving her.  We were under the impression that with her weight at only 20 lbs. she wasn't ready for something stronger.  Nearly 2 hours later we finally saw a doctor.  Side note:  Can I just say how much I hope to never have to go to an ER again?!

Her temp started going down, the doctor reassured us she didn't have meningitis, & made sure she didn't have an ear infection.  We were advised to give her a couple days & see her regular doctor if the fever persists.

Well, yesterday she seemed to be getting better.  Her fever was low-grade, staying under 100, & her mood was better.  She was even drinking water & eating pretty well.  So we thought she was on the mend.

But last night was rough.  She cried off & on for over an hour.  It was as if she was crying in her sleep because she wouldn't get up.  She just laid on her stomach with her eyes shut & cried.  She was coughing as well & I could hear some congestion.  This morning her temp was back up to 101.8 so I called the doctor & made an appointment.

They checked her ears & they were still clear.  I asked about it being possible she has a UTI.  The doctor said if she didn't have the congestion & coughing then she'd think so.  So for now we're thinking it's a viral thing.  However, if her temp goes back up to 101+ tomorrow then I will likely take her back & get her tested for a UTI, which will involve using a catheter.  If it's not a UTI I preferred not putting her through that for no reason. 

At this moment she's napping but not very well.  She cries out from time to time.  I know it's because she's so congested.  And to make things worse, I can't find our nose sucker from the hospital.  And her temperature was back up.

It's so frustrating because I'm constantly second-guessing every decision I'm making.  I know it's just part of the difficulty of being a mom. 

And on that note I think I'm going to rescue my baby girl & snuggle with her on the couch.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

15 Months Old

Once again, I'm late posting an update on Shaylin.  I think I'll save the next one when she turns 18 months.

- Shaylin's vocabulary continues to improve.  Other than the words she was saying last month, she also says ball, duck, hi, hey, bye or bye-bye, Minnie, Elmo, baby, & book.  Best of all, she's saying momma finally!  And she says it a lot!  It might get annoying in the future but right now I can't imagine it would considering how long I've been waiting to hear it.  And this would be longer than just 15 months.

- She walks like a pro.  She tries to run but it's a short distance & then she falls.  She also does this cute little stomping action.

- Her dancing skills are improving.  She still does her booty bounce but also sways side to side or twists.

- She knows the sounds that a dog, cat, & duck make.

- She recently rediscovered her bouncy seat & loves to just lay in it or she'll get on her knees & bounce in it.

- Sleep is wonderful now.  I think we finally made it!  She takes one nap a day, going down by 1:30 or 2:00 & sleeps at least 2 1/2 hours but sometimes as much as 3 hours.  Bedtime is at 8:00 & she sleeps till at least 8am.

- At her 15 month checkup on Monday Shaylin weighed exactly 20 lbs. & was 30" tall.  Her height is still in the 50th percentile & her weight has bumped her back up to the 10th percentile.

- We recently switched her to a convertible carseat & installed it front-facing, mostly because we had difficulty making it feel secure while rear-facing.  However, I am considering trying the rear-facing again if we can get it to work.  This will be for a future post.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Easter Dilemma

Surprise!  A blog post from me!  I really want to blog more often.  I just get so busy or have nothing interesting to blog about. 

Easter Sunday is coming in just a few days.  Some prefer to call it Resurrection Sunday.  To each, his own.  Whichever you call it, it's the day we celebrate the resurrection of Christ.  There are also bunnies & egg hiding involved but there's no connection.  Nothing against it necessarily.  It's just the truth.  They have nothing to do with Christ.

It's very important to me & Jeremy that we teach Shaylin what this day is about.  We don't want her to think it's about a bunny or eggs.

Last year we didn't give her an Easter basket.  But she was only 3 months old so we didn't see the point.  We did get her a new dress.  Any excuse to get a little girl a new dress!

But now she's older.  She still doesn't grasp the concept of this time of year.  She doesn't know who Jesus is or what He did for her.  She does have another new dress, one that's much more frilly than last year's.  And today I'll look for new shoes to wear with it.

But then there's the rest of the tradition.  Do we do the basket & eggs & give her a stuffed bunny or baby chick? 

At one time, long before Shaylin came along, we had considered not telling our children about Santa.  We weren't switching the letters around to spell "Satan" or thinking Santa is evil.  Our fear (at that time) was that we'd be lying to our children.  We thought, if our children learn that we lied for years about a fat guy that gives presents, how would they believe us when we tell them about Jesus?  We finally decided that we wouldn't deny that part of Shaylin's childhood.  If she believes in Santa then so be it.  We just won't put more emphasis on Santa.  And when she's older & learns that there isn't a Santa Claus I don't think she's going to hate us & lose all trust in us.  Afterall, if she comes to a saving knowledge of Christ, it will have nothing to do with anything we ever say to her.  It will all be because of the grace & power of God.

But Easter just seems different.  Maybe it's because the idea of a rabbit (I imagine a giant one, like what you'll see at the mall) hopping around leaving baskets full of candy, toys, & that annoying "grass" just seems silly.  But I want those traditional pictures of my children dressed up holding their Easter baskets.  And I want to paint eggs with them.  Maybe even hide them.  But all just for fun.

So I'm torn.  Right now we probably still won't do anything this year since Shaylin wouldn't be eating any candy anyway.  But she's growing up & at some point we have to make a decision.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Kaylee

Kaylee is our first dog together.  We got her on Labor Day weekend in 2005.  Initially we were looking for a bassett hound.  But the cost for most bassetts is pretty high & we were about to buy a house.  So Jeremy was looking in the newspaper & found an ad for a Great Pyrenees/Anatolian Shepherd mix & for only $70.  I knew nothing of either breed but when I saw her I fell in love with her big white paws. 

Kaylee was the ideal dog for a first time dog owner like me.  Jeremy grew up with dogs.  My brother had a dog but I never left like Max was my dog.  House training was a breeze with her!  We can only assume it's because her first 10 weeks of life were solely outside so grass was all she knew.

When we first got Kaylee she weighed around 25 lbs.  We think she's around 100 lbs. now.  We haven't weighed her in quite a while because it's just too hard to pick up a dog that big.

The main reason I'm blogging about Kaylee is how she knows when I need her.  She's not a needy dog.  Being a herding breed she prefers being on her own.  But there are times when she will come & lay by me.

Almost 4 years ago we learned that we lost our first baby.  That day was one of the darkest days of my life.  I hurt badly.  And that night when we went to bed Kaylee didn't lay on her mat on Jeremy's side of the bed like she always does.  She laid on my side of the bed.  And she stayed there the entire night.  She knew something was wrong & it was her way of "helping" me.

And again last week she did it again.  There was a medical scare with my mom.  Naturally I was worried.  And as I sat on the couch holding Shaylin before putting her to bed Kaylee came & laid at the foot of the couch.

Kaylee certainly isn't perfect.  The shedding that goes on all year long & her constant barking at everything in the neighborhood are her biggest flaws.  But those rare moments of her comforting me make up for it.

Early Potty Training?

The other night while giving Shaylin a bath she was standing (she stands more than sits in the tub) & she started grunting.  I know that grunt.  I know what comes with it.

In Shaylin's 14 months of life so far she's only pooped in the tub twice.  The second time was definitely the funny one because she was sharing a bath with her friend Piper.  It made a quick end of their bath time fun.

Back to Thursday night . . . I had to act fast.  Jeremy was at work so I was on my own.  So I picked Shaylin out of the tub & sat her on the toilet.  She wasn't real sure what I was doing.  I just told her to go ahead & do it.  And sure enough she did!  My 14 month old pooped in the toilet!

Yes, I know it's normally a gross topic but this is always an exciting time for every parent, right?

I was just so excited that my idea worked.  Does this mean I'll explore early potty training now?  I don't know about that.  But it does get me hopeful that when we do start potty training that Shaylin will catch on quickly.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Paula Deen's Chicken Divan

I made this tonight & we all liked it a lot.  Apparently it's a good freezer meal, too.

You can see the original recipe here but I'm going to post how I did it.  You can decide what works for you.

1 bag frozen chopped broccoli (14 oz.)
3 chicken breasts (or more if you have them; I only had 3)
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream (At this moment I realize I forgot to include this ingredient!  Ooops!)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 T lemon juice
1 t curry powder
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup dry white wine (I didn't have this so I used a few sprinkles of white wine vinegar; not the same)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 T butter

Cook broccoli as directed on package.  Drain & put in large bowl. 
Cook chicken (I boiled mine).  Shred & put with broccoli.
In separate bowl, mix soup, mayo, sour cream, cheddar, lemon juice, curry, salt & pepper, & white wine.  Mix well & pour on chicken broccoli mixture.  Mix well & pour in baking dish.  I think mine is 9x13 or something like that. 
Mix parmesan cheese & bread crumbs in small bowl & then sprinkle on top.  Dot with butter. (I omitted the butter, ya know, to be healthy & all.  I think I'll use it next time.).
Cook at 350 degreese for 30 minutes.

This doesn't exactly look pretty.  Even Jeremy's first comment about it was "This looks interesting."  He enjoys all these new recipes I throw at him.  But we all ended up liking it a lot.  I'll definitely make it again but actually follow the recipe a little more closely.

14 Months Old

The day isn't over yet so I'm not late on this.

- Shaylin is walking!  I've failed to blog about this major milestone.  Mom fail.  But yes, she is walking.  She was taking only 1 or 2 steps at a time only a month ago.  Now she is mostly walking everywhere she goes.  If she loses her balance & falls down she'll usually crawl to continue on her way. 

- Shaylin has had moments of being a picky eater but for the most part she still eats really well.  Pancakes are still her favorite meal.  Actually, she loves breakfast in general, whether it's pancakes, biscuits, french toast sticks, or scrambled eggs.

- Her vocabulary is getting better, although a lot of her words sound similar.  Her most said word is "Da" (short for daddy).  She can say momma but chooses not to.  She can also say dog (& will woof like a dog, too), milk, ball, hi, uh oh, & thank you (which she says when giving you something).

- She loves watching Sesame Street now.  She doesn't usually watch the entire hour though.  She loves Elmo & Big Bird.

- No matter what tv show we may watch, when the end credits roll, she'll stop what she's doing & clap.  Sometimes she'll do her little booty dance, too.

- When a song plays that she likes, she'll rock her head from side to side.  The Sesame Street intro is one time she'll do it.

- Sleep has finally been going really well.  She's down to 1 nap a day, usually lasting around 2 hours.  She's in bed by 8:30, awake, & eventually puts herself to sleep.  Sometimes with a little bit of a fight but nothing too traumatic.  And she's sleeping at least 11 hours straight through the night!  This has been going on for about 3 weeks now so I really hope it's here to stay & she's not about to make another change.

- Yesterday Shaylin sat down to her little dollhouse & played with it for a good 15 minutes all by herself.  She kept talking the whole time & putting all the furniture on the 2nd floor of the house.  It was so precious!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pigtails


Seriously, how has she gotten so big?!

She doesn't look like a baby.

She looks like a little girl.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

One nap a day

I've kinda been dreading the day when Shaylin would be ready for one nap a day.  It's been nice having her take 2 naps a day.  It gave me 2 periods of time each day to myself, whether it be working out, cleaning, or taking a nap myself.  Back in December I was wondering if she was ready for the switch because she wasn't sleeping long during her naps.  But I was stubborn & stuck to our routine & eventually she went back to normal.  So it confirmed to me that she wasn't ready.

The start of Shaylin's day varies.  It's gone as early at 6:45 to as late as 8:30, but that late was rare.  7:30 is most normal.  So by 10 she'd be ready for a morning nap.  And then her afternoon nap was at 3.  Both naps would be at least an hour but rarely up to 2 hours. 

Sundays have been the one day of the week when she would get only one nap a day.  It's been like that for quite a while now.  With church at 10:30 (and Sunday School at 9:15 if we make it) there's just no way she can have a morning nap.  Sometimes one of the ladies in the nursery can rock her to sleep for about 10 minutes but usually she's too busy playing to want to sleep.

This week I decided to take the plunge & try switching her to one nap a day.  Monday was great.  Shaylin slept for over 3 hours!  The rest of the week has varied.  She's been teething really bad so she'd wake up & then go back to sleep.  But most naps were 2 - 2 1/2 hours in total.

A big reason why I wasn't ready for the switch was how it would change my running routine.  I like running in the mornings.  I have more energy in the mornings.  And then I can rest in the afternoons.  But now I have to wait till around 2:00 before I can run.  However, the nice thing about this is since she is taking longer naps now, this gives me more time to run longer.  If she sleeps at least 2 hours, I can easily run 5 miles, cool off, shower, & rest for a bit before she's ready to get up.

This is just another step towards my baby girl growing up.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Rosemary Ranch Chicken

Ok, so I said I'd be posting a bunch of recipes.  Still behind but I've got a nearly 14 month old so give me a break!

This is a really good marinade.  I've done it as kabobs using chicken breasts & I've used chicken tenders.  Both have made incredibly tender chicken.  And the fact that it uses ranch dressing is a major plus for me. 

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 ranch dressing
3 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T minced rosemary
2 t salt
1 t lemon juice
1 t white vinegar
1/2 t black pepper, or to taste
1 T white sugar (optional)
5 chicken breasts (I've done it with less)

In a bowl mix all ingredients together.  Put chicken in bowl & cover with marinade.  Cover & keep in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.  Thread on skewers (if making kabobs) & grill.

I'd probably make these once a week & be totally ok with it.

Chicken Parmesan . . . in the crockpot?

Yesterday I took a stab at making chicken parmesan in the crockpot.  You can find the recipe here

It looked easy to make & it was.

It tasted good.

But it really didn't look or taste like chicken parmesan.

The chicken wasn't just tender.  It came apart when I took it out of the crockpot.  A little bit of the cheese got too close to the edge so it was burnt.

I served it with spiral pasta that I kicked up with some olive oil, garlic salt, pepper, & oregano.

So was it a good recipe?  Yes, if you're not looking for something exactly like chicken parmesan.  But since it wasn't, now I just want to make real chicken parmesan.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Root Beer Pulled Pork

After some encouragement from a friend, I'm going to get back to posting recipes.  There have been a few good ones recently so expect more posts.

Here's one I found through this same friend.  It's crazy easy & crazy good!  You can see the original recipe here but I'm going to post how I did it.

Pork tenderloin (2 lbs.)
Garlic salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
12 oz. root beer
Bottle of bbq sauce
Hamburger buns

Rub tenderloin with garlic salt & pepper.  Place in crockpot.  Stab with a fork a few times.  Pour in root beer.  Cook on low for 5 hours. 

Remove tenderloin & shred.  Pour out root beer.  Put pork back in & pour bbq sace on top & mix.  Continuing cooking on low for an hour.  Serve on buns.

Oh my goodness!  I can't believe how good this was!  I tasted the pork before mixing it with the bbq sauce & it was good just like that, though it definitely tasted like it was cooked in root beer.  I'll definitely be making this again & try it with different bbq sauces. 

Another Sleep Change . . . But a Good One

Shaylin is a very inconsistent sleeper.  She tends to get into a new routine every 2 weeks.  I never really know what to expect.  I got a good eater, not a good sleeper, I guess.

Her latest change is something I'm really liking & hope it's here to stay. 

Pretty much since birth her bedtime routine ends with me holding her on the couch till she falls asleep.  Over 13 months later I regret that I didn't do something different.  It has made some nights very difficult. 

Last week there was a night where Shaylin just would not fall asleep.  She kept looking around, playing with my hair, whatever she could do to stay awake.  So I decided that from then on I would not hold her for longer than 30 minutes.  Then I'd lay her down & let her cry it out if need be.

The first time was hard.  There was about 20 minutes of crying/screaming (Shaylin's really more of a screamer).  But then this week something changed.  She's still looking around, being goofy.  But then I carry her to her room, give her a kiss & tell her I love her, lay her down, & leave. 

And you know what?  I've done this now for 4 nights in a row (counting tonight) & she hasn't cried at all.  Sometimes I hear her talk for a bit but that's it.  She seems to actually just roll over & go to sleep on her own!  I'm so proud of her!

Now the real test will be if this continues for more than 2 weeks.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Toddler Lunch Ideas Needed

I've said before that Shaylin is a really good eater.  With the exception of oatmeal & tilapia (not combined), she's eaten everything we offer her.  It's made meal planning & grocery shopping easier because I just feed her whatever we eat & I haven't needed to buy much baby food.

But I'm losing creativity with lunchtime.  I usually offer her a fruit with lunch like a banana or a mixed fruit cup.  But the other part of the meal is where I feel like we're getting in a rut.  She likes deli meat & turkey is usually what we have.  So typical lunches are a couple slices of turkey, a slice of cheese (cheddar or provolone is what we typically buy), & then the fruit.  Sometimes I'll make her a grilled cheese sandwich.  Or a cheese quesadilla.  Oh, & we've done fish sticks, mac 'n cheese, & green beans.  That's really about it. 

So I'm asking for other ideas.  I want to keep a variety for her so she doesn't get tired of a particular food.  Some days she seems like she's heading that way.

Since I post this on Facebook I'll gladly take suggestions either there or on my blog.

Thanks!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

13 Months Old

My little peanut keeps growing & growing.  I failed to post a real 12 months post last month but here were her stats at her 1 year checkup:

Weight - 17 lbs. 13 oz. (7th percentile)
Height - 28" (25th percentile)

And that's why I call her my peanut!

Here's what she's doing right now:

- She loves to "read".  Sometimes she'll bring me a book & crawl into my lap (if I'm on the floor, that is).  Or she'll sit or stand with the book & speak some unknown baby language. 

- The words she says that we actually understand are hi, bye, Da (for Daddy), Momma (though this is rare), baby, & night-night.  She's also trying to say things like ball, dog, milk, & belly but they don't always come out right.  I adore her sweet little voice.

- She's taken 1 or 2 steps at a time on her own but that's it.  She'll stand on her own for a good long time & you can tell she's thinking about it.  But she knows she can get around faster by crawling.  Why mess with a good thing?  So for now her walking is holding onto something or while pushing her ride-along car.

- She loves her babydoll!  It is so precious to watch her hug & pat her baby & just say "baby" over & over again.  And, no, she is not singing Justin Beiber's song.

- Her sleep habits are still inconsistent.  They change from week to week.  Currently she's waking up at least once each night & never at the same time each night.  I can usually just give her the pacifier, lay her back down (if she's sitting up) & she's fine. 

- She's 100% weaned as of last week.  This was very sad for me & I worried how she would adjust to the change.  She actually did much better than I expected.

- Still a good eater.  This morning she had pancakes (her favorite) & just devoured them. 

- I've been working with her on being able to identify parts of her body.  Currently she can show me her teeth, head, belly, & feet.  Yeah, very random.

Some days I can see a toddler.  But I'm thankful for the times when she shows me that she's still a baby. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Date Night

Last week Jeremy calls me from work telling me to schedule my much-needed haircut (my words, not his) & get whatever I want done.  Highlights, coloring, whatever I want.  I had been needing to find a new stylist anyway & this gave me the push.  He then said that over the weekend we'd go shopping for a new dress for me.  And then we'd go out to dinner Saturday night to a place unknown to me.

I was really excited!  I love surprises like this!  There wasn't anything in particular we were celebrating.  Jeremy just wanted to do something special.

So I got my hair cut on Friday & then Saturday we went shopping.  The very first dress I picked up ended up being my favorite.  It was a perfect fit & just made me feel good.  Despite all the miles I've run & being slightly under my pre-pregnant weight I still have tummy issues.  Stretched skin I guess.  Anyway, it's always nice to find something that looks good on you.

We actually decided to go out to dinner on Monday night.  Jeremy said there was a special going on for Monday night & he wasn't going to be working anyway (President's Day is a bank holiday).  Which night didn't matter to me.

I didn't get my hair colored while getting it cut since I'm cheap.  So I found a boxed one to try.  I've been trying to find the perfect auburn color (this is for a later post).  So I did that yesterday.

Anyway, we got dressed up & dropped off Shaylin at my in-laws'.  During the drive I was trying to figure out where we were heading.  Finally we made it to our restaurant, a seafood place called Trulucks.  We've seen it before & wanted to try it but knew it was one of those "special occasion" kind of places.  Granted, there were definitely people there who probably eat at places like that all the time.  You know because we're dressed really nice & they're in jeans & flip flops.

The food was great!  We shared a crab cake for an appetizer that was just incredible.  Jeremy got the special he had told me about which was all you can eat crab legs.  I decided not to get it just to try something different.

After dinner we walked in Barnes 'n Noble & looked around for a bit, then walked next door to the Cheesecake Factory for dessert.  Wow!  So good!

It was a fun night.  We try to have some kind of date night once a month if we can.  Not always as "fancy" as this one but at least just to get out & spend time alone.  I think it's important in a marriage & especially when babies come along.  I'm so thankful that we have family here who can watch Shaylin for us.