May 30, 2008

Le Crib!

I would rather have posted a pic of the crib all "done up" with bedding and cutesy things, but some of you have requested to see it, so I'm showing it "as is." It's current resting place is the dining room, and it has become a receptacle for baby playthings, blankets, books, etc. The nursery will be under construction soon, so the crib will likely hang out in the dining room for awhile. We'll probably have to take it apart because it won't fit through the nursery doorway...helpful hint from Heloise to expectant parents: put the crib together in the nursery itself!

p.s.--it's ok if you don't like our style--we tend to go for more modern things! And the cool thing about this crib is that it converts into a toddler bed!

p.p.s.--special thanks to Grandpa and Grandma Harris for making this purchase possible. :)

May 29, 2008

More Sonogram Pics! (at 28 weeks)

WE were fortunate to get a second late-term sonogram to check the status of my mild placenta previa, which, I just discovered is now healed--no signs of previa! Anyway, the baby didn't want to give us any face shots, so most of these are of body parts! I think he's going to look just like Shawn...

Above--He has his arm over his face...the little round part right above his arm isn't his eye, like I thought it was--it's umbilical cord, which Shawn said looks like floating donuts

Above: Little chicken thigh
Above--both feet--one kindof on top of the other--totally look like Shawn's feet!

Above--The best facial shot

May 27, 2008

Memorial Weekend

SHAWN'S extended family hosted a reunion in Little Sweden, USA (Lindsborg). Both of Shawn's grandparents have Swedish ancestors. The weekend was fairly laid back & we got to stay at the Swedish Country Inn (cute B & B)--we picnicked, had a trolley ride, played dominos, got snow cones, went to Coronado Heights, went to Smollen, KS, for BBQ (at a schoolhouse converted into a restaurant)...etc. We were pretty tired afterward, even though it was laid-back, so we took it fairly easy on Monday, our day off.

Coronado Heights
Brenden being honery
School in Smollen
Butt Brothers? Being silly...

Shawn putting his grill-master skills to work
A & B really diggin' the trolley ride!

May 26, 2008

28 Weeks!

BY this week, your baby weighs two and a quarter pounds (like a Chinese cabbage) and measures 14.8 inches from the top of his head to his heels. He can blink his eyes, which now sport lashes. With his eyesight developing, he may be able to see the light that filters in through your womb. He's also developing billions of neurons in his brain and adding more body fat in preparation for life in the outside world.

I can't believe that my third trimester has begun! We're on the home stretch. It's getting tricky to find a good sleeping position--may have to invest in one of those body pillows. I start going to the doctor every two weeks now...Also, I forget things lots and am clumsy and spill stuff--driving myself crazy!

A hope: eyelashes, eh? Well, we'd love for "son" to get Shawn's--they're so wonderfully long!
What we're doing to prepare: took an infant/child safety & CPR class, & are really close to the 1st coat of paint on the office--which means we're even closer to starting the nursery! Also, our 6-week childbirth prep class starts Thursday!

May 21, 2008

The Great Cookie Debate

FOR those of you who know me well, you know I inherited my dad's sweet tooth. There's no sweet I won't eat! In junior high I began making unbaked oatmeal cookies (commonly known as no bakes) and have been making them regularly ever since. I've made them for showers, potlucks, birthdays--for mere enticement and for days when the chocolate cravings drove me mad. There's a certain art to such cookies, as you may know. And if yours crumble when it's time to plop them on the wax paper, or ooze off of a plate in resemblance to a cow pattie (yes, I've seen this but I won't name names!), then I urge you to monitor your oatmeal and peanut butter rations. I used to add more oatmeal than the recipe prescribed, thinking I'd net more cookies, but that doesn't work. And too much peanut butter leads to crumbles-I usually just drop in a large spoonful.

Now that you know my tricks, I want to clear the air about the name of these cookies. For years I've been teased about calling them "unbaked oatmeal cookies." But I just can't retrain my brain to refer to them as "no bakes." For those of you who've harrassed me on the matter, try googling "unbaked oatmeal cookies," and you'll find a slew of similar, chocolately recipes. Google "no bakes" and you'll come across a more general array of recipes--no bake items like rum balls and haystacks. There is only one UNBAKED OATMEAL COOKIE, and you should be glad to have been on the receiving end of it over the years! *wink*

Here's the recipe. I'm available for autographed versions of the same on Saturday.

2 cups sugar, 1/2 cup margarine (I use real, unsalted butter), 1/2 cup milk, 4 T. cocoa, 1/2 cup peanut butter, 3 cups quick cook oatmeal, 1 tsp. vanilla.

Combine sugar, margarine, milk and cocoa in saucepan, and bring to a boil for one minute and remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter, oats, and vanilla. Drop by teaspoon (or spoonful) onto waxed paper. Let set and enjoy!

May 20, 2008

Hil's Bridal Shower

MY longtime friend Hilary (I practically worshipped her in high school--she's a couple of years older) is getting married at the end of May, so we all gathered for a shower in Kansas City this weekend. Festivities included manis/pedis (wow, a treat I could get used to), shopping (could hardly leave Pottery Barn Kids), dining at Yia Yia's, and watching Hil open some "pretties." I hitched a ride with Shawn's sister, Andrea, and we jabbered all the way to Kansas City. I was so blessed to get to see some of the CCA (Chanute Christian Academy) girls, plus meet some new friends. These gals are the kindreds who make me feel at home.

Love you, Hil!

May 18, 2008

27 Weeks!

THIS week your baby weighs almost 2 pounds (like a head of cauliflower)
and is about 14.4 inches long with his legs extended. He can now open and close his eyes, and he sleeps and wakes at regular intervals. He may suck his fingers, and although his lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning — with assistance — if he were to be born prematurely. Chalk up any rhythmic movement you may be feeling to a case of baby hiccups, which may be common from now on. Each episode usually lasts only a few moments, and isn't bothersome to him, so enjoy the tickle. With more brain tissue developing, your baby's brain is very active now. Wonder what he's thinking?

May 16, 2008

I Turned 27...

TO follow up with my earlier post, I got to see both sets of parents for my birthday, which was the best gift ever. But on my actual birthday, I arrived at work to a beautiful spring bouquet sent to me by my dearest friend Davina (who lives in Germany! Miss her!). I also received a Clarity orchid from my dearest friend Ashli (who lives in NYC-Miss her tons, too!). This was the birthday to receive wonderful "live" gifts!

We packed the evening with making nacho cheesey dip, going on a walk, going back to Keeper of the Plains (to see the fire lights), going to Coldstone Creamery for a cold treat, and watching The Bachelor (well, Shawn didn't watch it because he thinks it's silly, and he's right!).

The biggest surprise of the day was being led out to Shawn's car to find 2 large, flat boxes in the back--the baby crib! I'll post pics of it once it's assembled!

May 14, 2008

Musings from a Hopeful

I'VE been doing a lot of musing lately. I’m sure “they’d” say that’s normal for a woman nearly 7 months pregnant. What’s beckoned me for deeper consideration is the duality of the fragility and resilience of life. When I think of those I know, and all they’ve been through, all I’ve been through, I’m humbled by the strength we muster to become conquerors. Sometimes we have to muster strength to be weak (I read about this today, and it resonates so deeply), for it is exhausting, grueling, and a part of being human.

Then there’s a flip side to resilience--we all know that life is delicate and that knowledge can make or break us (are you frought with worry? a death-defier? a truster in self? a carpe diem quoter?)...Shawn and I are incredibly blessed for being able to conceive a child, but I know couples who are struggling with infertility—or who have experienced loss I couldn’t begin to understand. I have a brother in heaven I never had the joy to meet—but will someday. And a coworker just lost her mother today.

In attempting to wrap my mind around this complex duality, I know that God designed our lives with perfect purpose/intentionality. We face challenges He knows are not too much for us to handle. We experience loss and sorrow as part of the refining process. And we learn to see, or at least attempt to believe, that God is good despite all of the not-so-good things in life. That His definition of goodness is not parallel to ours. That one day we’ll be free of the tangled carnality of ourselves—and we’ll deeply understand God’s love, plan, concern, artistry. What He meant in the words: I am good. I am love.

What this has demanded of me now is an increased intent to monitor my thoughts, actions, attitude (yes, Shawn, you can smile), words. Better to show kindness to the angry person, better to smile than to frown, better to let the other car go first. Better to not complain in line at the post office. Better to eat that brownie because I like it. Better to stay up late to read to the baby.

It’s also bringing me comfort as I gear up for the biggest juggling act of my life: wife, mother, career person (etc., etc.). It’s my dream to stay home full time, but we’re not there right now. I just can’t avoid thinking that there are far worse things than having to go to work every day. I am blessed to have a stable job. And while I would rather remain at home with my son full-time, I trust that God, in His faithfulness, sees my heart’s desires, and will carve a path for those desires--in His timing. And I just know that it will be ok.

I also know I’ll fail and some days will be tough; I’ll do a bad job by walking on seemingly cushy, dark clouds rather than on sunshine. I'll let my road rage get the best of me, or say hurtful things in futile attempts to esteem myself. I’m just thankful that God, so infinite in grace, isn’t keeping tabs. He just wants me, flubs and all. And He is good.

May 13, 2008

Mother's Day

SHAWN and I were stoked to get to see both sets of parents for Mother's Day. It is always really close to my birthday of May 12, and this year, the events were just a day apart. So while our parents would say they came to spend time for my birthday, I'd say they came to spend time in honor of their special day!

My parents spent Sunday afternoon with us. We at at Avivo's and gave them tours of both of our workplaces, which was lots of fun considering the huge differences between the two (the Foundation is really "frou-frou" and SHS is really artsy, creative). We got to see Shawn's disassembled cubicle--he had been away from the office for awhile, on business and vacay, so his coworkers hoisted into the air every item that was on his desk (picture below).

Lastly, we trotted over to the Keeper of the Plains at the confluence of the Big and Little Arkansas Rivers, which was pretty awesome. We drive by it all of the time but had never stopped to tour it.

Then Harold and Kathy took us to dinner at Carrabbas for Mother's Day/my Birthday. We even ordered dessert, although we didn't have enough belly room to finish it.

May 11, 2008

26 Weeks!

OUR baby now weighs about a pound and two-thirds and measures 14 inches (an English hothouse cucumber), from head to heel. The nerve pathways in his ears are developing, which means his response to sounds is growing more consistent. His lungs are developing now, too, as he continues to take small breaths of amniotic fluid — good practice for when he's born and takes that first breath of air.

According to the cute LilliePie ticker at the bottom of our blog, we've only got 97 days till baby time (give or take, obviously)! We can't believe it! It is getting a little hard to sit at a desk for 8 hours a day, and sitting for a long time in general isn't very comfortable (guess that's good for kicking the couch tater habit). We have so much to do before baby comes, yet remain grateful for this incredible privilege.

May 9, 2008

2nd Leg of the Trip!

THE second leg of our trip included trekking from Janesville, WI, to Champaign, IL, to see Megan, Stephen, and baby Max! We had what seemed like only a few hours with them, so didn't do an exorbitant amount of things. But we did go to Marble Slab, a fun bookstore, and a baby store (I saw the crib bedding I like but decided not to go with it). Meg and I also got to go to Target for a leisurely spree--we could spend hours there (and did)! We also noshed on yummies at Ruby Tuesday's; Max was so good in his high chair!

Max calls me "Minnie" now and is growing so big! It was awesome to get a glimpse of life with a toddler. Meg sticks to a nightly routine of bath and reading time; they have read to him almost every night since he was born. Shawn and I bought 3 books (Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?; Goodnight, Moon; & The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss) today so our baby can be smart just like Max, and have lots of books to discover.

Now it's back to work and a routine..I came back to 99 emails in my work account, 77 of which were legit. I got a good start on them yesterday!

May 7, 2008

Janesville, WI Quick Get-Away

THE first half of our mini-vacay was spent in Janesville, WI, with my Aunt Tam and Uncle Ken. My Grandma just moved up there, so we got to see her new pad. We went to Madison for a day (capital building below) to shop, went to the Rotary Gardens and shopped in Janesville (found baby clothes), rested, went to Tam & Ken's vet clinic, and had yummy Greek pizza & butterscotch oatmeal cookies. My aunt has an awesome bathtub with jets (the Sven) so I definitely took advantage of that!