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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Baby Shower

      The weekend after New Year's I had my baby shower in Moses Lake and had so much fun seeing everyone and drinking Hot Cocoa!  Ty and I came early to help my mom set up and I wish I would have gotten pictures of the Hot Chocolate Bar.  I couldn't wait to delve into that.  After it was all done, Ty hid away with his book.  This was a girl party after all.  :)

      The first game we played was actually for everyone as they walked in, "Guessing Baby's Due Date".  For the record, she has a name and I've told people, but I just hate giving it away for some reason.  After she is born, I'll post it with her announcement, but until then I'm not posting it on here just yet.

Before

After almost everyone made their guesses.

      This might have been the most fun for me, I think, because we aren't sharing the actual due date with anyone other than my mom (and even then I didn't tell her until after the shower was over).  People keep asking me and I'm not budging.  I will say that someone did guess on her due date so it will be interesting to see if they are right.  I think I'll share the date after I have her, as well.  When she is born, I'll send a prize to the person who was able to guess the date right, if anyone has.  If I go into labor and have her the next day, I'll see about doing a second place prize.

      The next game was to make a baby out of play-doh.  Mine was an epic failure and I immediately disqualified myself from the competition, especially after seeing everyone else's masterpieces.  They certainly put mine to utter shame.  

      I was seriously in the presence of some amazing creative workers here.  It only solidified my lack of ability to be crafty.  They were all presented to me to be judged and I had a hard time choosing, but in the end I couldn't deny that the best one was made by my friend Clare.  Not only did she make the baby, but she gave her a diaper, a bumbo, a bow, a rattle, AND a little ducky!!!  Amazing!

      Our last game was a trivia of Old Wives Tales about pregnancy.  For instance, if you are carrying the baby high you're having a ______?.   We all set to work trying to figure out if the answers were boy or girl. 




 
      Grandma Robbins was the winner with 12 our 15 right, but the gift was all chocolate and since she's not a fan, she kindly gave it to me.  Yes please!!  After the games, we headed over to the kitchen to put together our hot chocolate with any of the mix-ins to drink with cookies and treats.  Yum!  We all had fun chatting and reconnecting, but after awhile it was time for presents.  I was really blessed with some wonderful things and I'm so grateful to everyone who came and gave us much needed items.  My favorite gift, though, was definitely the one from my grandma because it was a handmade quilt that I know she put a lot of effort into and was told later that it was one of the last she would make, as it's become difficult for her to do.  I love my grandma and her quilts.  (The pictures are kind of blurry.  I think they were taken a little too fast. :) )









      When it was all said and done, it was time to clean up and go home.  I was so glad to see everyone and make this last excursion before baby girl is born.  Once everyone had left and it was time to put gifts in the car, I wasn't sure how we were going to do it.  Our car isn't meant for transporting a lot of things.  However, if you know Ty, then you know he's is a master packer and a Tetris King.  He somehow managed to compact everything into a box one of the gifts came in and several of the gifts bags.  To top it off, it all managed to fit in our back seat.  Incredible!

      Again, I'm so grateful for everyone who has contributed something to us and our daughter.  We are truly loved and blessed.  I can't wait for our little lovebug to be born and dress her up in the cute outfits she has acquired.  Certainly, our baby will be once of the best dressed around.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Babymoon in Long Beach, WA

      Before we bring this little darling of ours into the world, we (okay mostly me) wanted to take one last getaway trip while it was still just the two of us.  So, we planned a trip for Long Beach, WA back in October.  It's taken me a little while since I had a few good pictures on my phone and wasn't sure how to get them to the computer.  Now that I've discovered how to do so I can share with you what we did.

     We left on a Saturday and headed for Astoria, OR, where we would stay the night since our check-in day with the place in Long Beach wasn't available until Sunday.  I have to admit that I was a little giddy about being in Astoria because part of the movie "Goonies" was filmed there.  Huzzah!  Yes, I'm one of the biggest movie nerds you'll ever meet.  :)  When we got in, it was pretty late and very dark so you really couldn't see much at that point.  Trying to make this a very affordable vacation, I chose a rather cheap motel for the night.  I didn't take pictures of it, but you can look it up here.  The room was VERY small, but it was only for one night so there wasn't too much to complain about.  Though, after a night's sleep on the hardest mattress ever, I was even more ready to get to our final destination.

      The next day was Sunday and we got ready to go to church.  I couldn't believe how steep the hills were!


      I thought, "There's no way we would make it up these hills alive if it were covered in snow."  How do people live like this?!  Finding the church wasn't too bad, but finding parking was ridiculous.  The parking lot was EXTREMELY small and many people were forced to park in the street or neighboring parking lots, which were few.  I hope they are somehow able to get more parking someday.

Ty in front of the Astoria church building.
      The members were so friendly and really tried hard to convince us to move.  Apparently, there are 700 homes for sale there!  Geesh!  Talk about a buyers market.  It's a beautiful area, but those hills would kill me.  Haha.  We still had a ton of time to waste before our check-in time so we changed and drove around seeing a bit of Astoria.  We decided to make our way over to Long Beach and do some driving around, maybe stop and make lunch somewhere, and then see if we could check-in early.  Driving on the Astoria - Magler Bridge, to reach the Washington side, was sort of crazy the first time.  I'm assuming they have a lot of ship coming through there and need the height.  It feels like you are ascending forever and then reaching the peak, to look down was quite the sight, then back down where it eventually leveled out.  Needless to say, driving in Astoria, was like being on a continuous roller coaster.  So glad I was over the morning sickness at this point.  Haha.




      Since we had copious of amounts of time, we wanted to take whatever detours we could.  This led us to Cape Disappointment.  Do not let the name fool you as it was quite the gorgeous location.  The trees, the river, the forest, the ocean.  It's only downside was the fee parking.  There was only one spot we found that didn't require this.  Though it didn't last long because of the winds, being so high and also closer to the ocean.  But my, was it beautiful!




      All this driving and sightseeing, however, STILL provided us with a great deal of time before we could check-in.  We decided to keep driving to Long Beach, which was a short distance, see if we could find a place to sit down to make sandwiches and eat.  Being that we, again, were so close to the ocean, it was still very windy.  So, we ate in the car and were exhausted so we took a brief nap.  Luckily, we were able to check-in a bit early and we were grateful.  We stayed at the WorldMark resort in Long Beach thanks to my parents generosity and extra points.  Compared to where we had stayed the night before this was a castle!  Haha.




     The bathroom (though not pictured) was huge.  Not the tub/shower really, but there was sooo much space in there.  I'm not exactly sure why, but you could definitely fit a party in there.  At this point, we get pretty boring.  Ty and I are very leisurely when it comes to vacationing.  That combined with the outside of tourist season and the area being quite small, we didn't end up doing a whole lot.  Part of this was really my fault.  I should have planned to go before I got to the stage of pregnancy where it was all just uncomfortable.  Walking, standing, sleeping, sitting even.  I felt so guilty for wanting and planning this trip and then not allowing us to experience much.  We did, however, get to go out for some short excursions about the town and see the extremely close neighboring towns.  You seriously would drive 3-5 minutes and be in another small town that lasted about 2 minutes.







     When we got to the WorldMark they asked us if we were members or friends/family of members.  They then asked us if we wanted to hear their spiel about WorldMark and get a free $75 gift card and my parents would get a complimentary 1000 points.  Ummm, YES!  We got a free lunch along with the presentation and though I felt bad for not signing up after all the work the girl put into it, I was glad we did it.  Hooray for free money!  We decided to use at least part of the card on a dinner at a restaurant just across the street called the Lightship Restaurant.


     While the view of the ocean was lovely, the actual dining experience lacked as a whole.  I was surprised considering all the great reviews I had seen on Urbanspoon.  This may have been due to them just having a bad night, but considering the service we had, I wouldn't recommend it.  The true highlight of the trip for us was a bakery called Cottage Bakery & Delicatessen.  Who is really surprised by this?  Anyone?  I didn't think so.  ;)  Not only were their pastries delicious, but they had them in giant form!  I also loved the doll cupcakes.  So cute!


      We ended up going there twice because it was so yummy!  I really wish we had more bakeries in our area.  The rest of the trip was mainly spent lounging and trying to be comfortable (at least on my part).  It was fun to go off on a trip, but I was glad to get home and be in my own environment.  If we ever do a trip like this again (meaning a "before the baby is here" trip) I'll make sure to do it earlier in the second trimester so I can be a little more comfortable.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Midwife Appointment at 34 Weeks and 36 Weeks

I decided to combined these two visits into one post because they were only two weeks apart and the first one was shorter.

34 Weeks    

      Um, really?  The time is getting very far away from me.

      This appointment was a little bit shorter than normal because she was with another patient and I think she wasn't informed we were there. :)  We talked about getting all of the things we need for baby and birth.  I'm still not ready and trying to get everything together.  Gah!  I'm running out of time!  Ginger brought up a few things that will be helpful such as olive oil for the baby's bottom to assist with keeping her newborn poopies from sticking to her sensitive skin.  She reminded us of the different stages of pushing.  THE RING OF FIRE!  I've heard about this from so many and I'm trying my best to mentally prepare for this.  We talked about about her Prep Tea that she offers to her expecting moms.  It's exactly what it sounds like, a tea that will help prep my body and hopefully make me more efficient during labor.

      Stretch marks have finally appeared.  I can handle it.  I've had stretch marks forever from being "bigger boned" and "fluffy".  These are different from what I already have though.  Regardless, I've succumb to the fact that it happens, I'm not the only one who gets them, and that's life.  Oh wells. Also, feeling the shortness of breath.  She sits high and her feet push up when she moves and stretches.

      During the exam, per her usual, baby girl was on the right side.  She's down low, but not "in position" low.  I'm now far enough along that when we do the exams, it's uncomfortable and I always end up with what Ginger calls a "tight tight" (aka Braxton Hicks contraction).  By the time I get it though we've finished.  Yay!


36 Weeks

      What an interesting an crazy day!  That morning we received a blanket of snow and the roads were barely used.  Ginger called me that morning because everyone else had cancelled and wanted to know if I was still planning on coming.  She said she didn't mind coming in and we would still have a chiropractic appointment for Ty afterwards so we just decided to make the drive and keep our appointment.  The roads were not lovely and I repeatedly told Ty I was glad he was driving and I didn't have to.  If it were just me, I would have rescheduled.  I'm not a great winter driver.  I'm the person people get mad at.  :)

      She asked if baby was moving well.  Um, yeah, she's fine.  There's not much room for her in there and it gets rather uncomfortable...for me.  This girl is strong.  Someone asked me if she's a soccer player.  Oh yes, soccer player, boxer, gymnast.  We also talked about vaccinations, which ones are usual and she let us know pros and cons of each so that we can make up our minds as to which ones we will want to give to her.  Another reminder was given that if I go into labor at night to call her house.  During the day, call either her cell or pager and leave a voicemail on either.

     My feet and hands haven't really swollen yet, which is great.  Only if I'm REALLY warm or am not able to put my feet up at some point.  Either way, it's easily remedied.  Ginger also suggested lying on my side with the outer leg elevated above my heart until the swelling goes down and then switch sides.  We talked about the tub, which she will be providing us for free, luckily (on loan of course), and she gave us an adapter to the sink for the hose that will fill the tub.  She also gave us instructions on how to clean both the tub and the hose and how to prepare the bed for labor and birth.  We also talked briefly about how I will be staying upstairs for the first three days.  I had said something about this on Facebook and a few people were confused by it because they were fine and were concerned I'd go stir crazy.  My answer to this is I want to make sure I am healing properly and I still plan on having the same social online interaction I've always had by keeping my laptop and books next to me.  If I'm doing well enough to walk downstairs then sure, but for now the plan is to stick to my room, baby's room, and the bathroom, unless there is some serious need for me to do otherwise, for which I can't foresee. 

       During the exam, baby girl was extremely active!  Which was a little uncomfortable for momma.  Once again, she was the right side.  While feeling for her, baby elbowed Ginger.  ;)  She does NOT like the little amount of space she has to be invaded.  Haha.  I was measured, but didn't catch what I was measuring at.  Before we left we purchased the birth kit and the prep tea.  I still can't believe that it's getting so close!  Gah!!!  We'll start seeing her every week now.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Christmas 2011

     I had hoped and planned to do a post based on my friend Jenna's idea of DITL (Day In The Life), however, my camera was running low on batteries and that didn't end up working out as well as I'd hoped.  Instead, Christmas Day is picture-less.  Nonetheless, I will attempt to write all we did so that you will be able to envision it.

     Christmas Eve, I woke up and checked my Tweetdeck and Facebook on my iPhone to find Santa had begun his journey on the other side of the world.



     Being hungry, I had breakfast of eggs, toast with jam, and a frothy cup of white hot chocolate to make it a little bit festive.

     Afterwards, I checked my email and my friends blog posts. 

     My brothers and Dad had all left earlier that morning to put in flooring in my younger brother's home.  While they were gone, we hung out with each other and prepared what we could for dinner.

Me and my niece Ella.  She's a doll! We had the best time getting her to smile because she would do so very easily.  It just make you happy.  :)

     Around noon, we Skyped with my German grandparents.  They loved seeing the newest additions to the family, as well as my ever growing belly.


     About then, the menfolk returned triumphant from their hard work, and I finally decided to stop being lazy and grungy and got ready to look nice for dinner.

Look at that belly!  Also, my camera is old and I need a new one.  Suggestions!!!

     We continued to socialize and prepare dinner.  It was all fun and games until my niece accidentally dropped my iPhone on my parents very hard tile floor and it cracked.  Fortunately, the screen worked, but I was extremely nervous that it would crack more or go deeper and put it away.  (Because my husband is wonderful he okay'd me getting the new iPhone 4S.  Remember how I love him?!)

The Culprit.  So innocent.



You can't see the damage very well because my camera is NOT awesome, but it's up in the left corner of the phone.

     Dinner was just about complete.  All there was left to make was the Spaetzle.  Somehow, though I'm not sure how this was managed, ALL of my sister-in-laws have made this and yet I never had!  This was definitely a moment to be documented. 
 My mom, so happy her only daughter is finally learning to make this side dish.  My dad, unsure how this is going to work out.

 Wait.  Has my dad made this before too?!
 If I want to continue this tradition, I'm gonna one of these devices.  It looks like an extremely over-sized garlic press.

     While we continued to finish dinner and set the table, the younger kids decorated the gingerbread house. 

     Finally, the time had arrived for the most anticipated dinner of the entire year, which included Sauerbraten, Rotkohl, Spaetzle, green beans, corn, rolls and gravy.  We actually ended up with three different gravies.  A "normal" gravy for the kids and spouses, gravy with vinegar, and my oldest brother's mix of gravy and A LOT of vinegar.  We kind of like vinegar.  :)  I think the only thing missing is the Kn√∂del (German dumplings, pronounced like Kuh-noodle).  It's amazing that, a long time ago, we only needed that first table.  However, our family continues to grow and we've had to utilize more tables and chairs.



     No German Christmas dinner (at least in our household) is complete without the display of desserts set out for "after" dinner.  Though, I'm pretty sure more than one of us snacked on something from here before hand.

     When dinner was finished we took out the second table with the chairs and moved into the piano room to first sing Christmas songs and hymns and then listen to the story "What God Wants For Christmas", while sitting in front of the presents that tempted us so.







     The kids were excited for the story to be finished because after that was time to get the gifts from Nana and Papa.  They all made out with some great loot.  Then, it was the White Elephant with the siblings, spouses, and our parents.  This is our third year doing it and we love it.  I, apparently have a really good eye because I chose two gifts that got stolen (though Ty ended up snatching the first one, a fleece blanket and a really nice picnic basket, back for me, good husband), but the last gift was from my mom and I'm so happy that's what I ended up with.  I didn't get a picture of it, but it was white lace snowflakes, Ritter Sport chocolate, and a hanging ornament she painted herself.  In fact, she had only just done it two days before.  It's beautiful and I love it! 

     My parents also gave each of us married folks a gift.  Ty and I received a wooden windmill nativity tree, nutcracker ornaments, and all manner of lebkucken (or as Ty calls it Le-puke-en because he can't ever pronounce it and he's not a big fan) and German yummies.

      After we sat around for a bit, enjoying our gifts, laughing and chatting with each other, I went to pack up and got ready to leave for Othello since we were staying with Ty's parents.  I was sad to leave my family since I hadn't seen some of them since the Summer, but we definitely had a good time.  We got to Othello a bit late, but for some reason we still stayed up later.  This may or may not have been a good idea since we still had church in the morning.  Sacrament meeting was at 10AM and it was the only meeting we would have for the day.  We quickly got ready and drove the street down to the church.  We listened to and sang beautiful hymns of Christmas and heard talks prepared to remind us of what and why we celebrate this special occasion. 

     It was pre-decided that we would open gifts after church and before lunch.  I was mostly excited for Ty to open his gifts.  So I waited for us both to have our gifts in front of us and we each opened gifts in turn.  I got him a Kindle (Not the Fire, but the one with the keypad.)  Since I made him pick out which one he would want, he knew he was getting that.  I also gave him a cover for it that has a light attached and the last book in the Eragon series.  He gave me a griddle, which is kind of funny because, this will be the third one we are on.  The first one, I dropped and eventually needed to be replaced.  The one we have still works, but the edging is broken and since Ty is the one that uses it the most, he definitely saw a need.  I was excited to see that it is longer than the one we have and said excitedly, "Do you know how many pancakes we can make?!".  He also gave me a portable speaker for my iPhone, which I have been longing for, and a new charger for my phone that comes with two USB chords that retract.  Love it!

     My favorite gift from him was actually a "regift" that he had already given me, but was a continuation if you will.  To preface, the theme for the first anniversary is paper and so he gave me a beautiful leather bound journal for us to write in and share what we did on our anniversaries.  Well, time passed and the idea was somewhat forgotten.  So, on Christmas Day, he took some time by himself and wrote his perspective of our wedding day.  I was so overwhelmed.  It really was the most thoughtful gift.  So now, it's my turn to write in it and give my version of what happened and then we will continue with the plan and share our anniversary stories.  We really love this idea and hope to do something similar with our children, starting with this baby. 

     Ty's parents gave me things we needed for the baby, a Moby wrap and a storage closet since we have zero closet space for the baby.  Ty received Starcraft 2, which he thoroughly enjoyed playing, an Amazon.com gift card to buy Kindle books, and a Wardrobe Wallet swatch that shows all the colors that work for his skin tone season.  Every time we go shopping, he mentions that he needs to get one so he can figure out which colors to get.  Cheryl gave me one a long time ago and I always carry it with me.  It really helps!

     Once all the gifts were unwrapped and exposed, we cleared away the wrapping paper and gift bags and put aside the gifts to make room for lunch.  Cheryl made turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and a green bean casserole, so it was like Thanksgiving again.  Yay!  Though, I did have to abstain from the turkey (okay so I had a tiny little bit) as I have found it gives me heartburn.  Seriously?!  The rest of the day was spent lounging and enjoying one another's company and maybe a little delving into testing out gifts.  At some point I insisted we watch "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" because not everyone had seen it and it's a classic for me. 

      I'm so grateful for the wonderful gifts and memories made.  We enjoyed spending time with both families.  It's such a blessing to have our families close and we've been lucky to be able to make it work .  I hope this is always the case.
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