Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Encouraging Myself

Something that I have struggled with during this pregnancy is the thought of looking pregnant earlier than I "should." It should not really matter, but it is something that I was a little self conscious of in the beginning...not that I could really do anything about it!

I have to say that my husband has been my #1 fan (and always is) during this time. He loves my little prego belly and loves the baby growing inside (I still find it hard to believe that I am prego!). I am fine with it for the most part - it is what it is - but I am determined that I will lose ALL of the baby weight - plus the 10 pounds from the 1st pregnancy that I did not loose - after the baby is born! It might take a little while, but I am determined to really do something about it - meaning exercise and eating healthy! :)

So, that is why I have begun to exercise again - I need to get into shape now and into a routine, so that I can hopefully stay in the routine after the baby is born. I have no idea what it is like to have two children, but I am hoping that I will still be able to find the time to do things like take a walk!

Monday, July 30, 2007

New Contest: Flat Panel TV

When I finally went over to 5 Minutes for Mom today, I noticed that they have a new contest for a Insignia® 37″ Flat-Panel LCD HDTV sponsored by Best Buy!!! Then when I went to comment, I realized that I was the 750th person to leave a comment! Well, it does not hurt to enter! So, if you are interested, hop on over there.

High School Spirit

While reading the blog, Liza's Eyeview, I cam across this meme about High School Spirit, so I decided to join in - especially since this is the year of my 15th reunion (I felt really old after I typed that!)
1. Who was your best friend? Aileen

2. Did you play any sports?
Yes. I played Tennis for my freshman year, and I played volleyball and basketball for all four years (well, I did not play b.ball for my sophomore year due to a finger surgery)
3. What kind of car did you drive?
None. I did not get my license until I was 20 - that is another story to tell.

4. It’s Friday night. Where were you?
Either at home watching TV or hanging out with my friends - I did not go to any parties with alcohol.

5. Were you a party animal? No.
6. Were you considered a flirt? No

7. Were you in the band, orchestra or choir?
I was in the concert choir and also Chamber Singers (a group of about 12-16). You had to try out for both, and we sounded really good. Not bragging, just telling the truth! We had fun on tour every year.

8. Were you a nerd?
I don't think so, but I had a very high GPA and did all of my homework, etc, I graduated in the top 10% of my class, and I made Cum Laude. Doing well in your classes was a "good thing" at the high school that I went to. I think close to 100% of the students went on to college. I was smart, but also athletic and musical, so I don't think that I would classify that as a nerd - I would say, well rounded.
9. Were you ever suspended or expelled? No.

10. Can you sing the fight song?
I don't think that we had one - we did have our Alma Mater song, and I do remember at least the first verse - maybe I could stumble through the second.

11. Who was your favorite teacher?
I had a lot of great teachers. I would have to say that my favorite(s) would be (not in a specific order): 1) Mr. Lingle 2) Mr. Jordan and 3) Mr. Brownworth
12. What was your school mascot? A Bear
13. Did you go to the Prom? Yes

14. If you could go back, would you?
No, I enjoyed my time there, but I am very thankful for where I am in life now, and thankful for all of the things that the Lord has brought me through in my life. I like where I am now, and where God is taking me!
15. What do you remember most about graduation?
Being inducted into the Cum Laude Society, my family and extended family attending and cheering me on, getting my diploma, and having to say goodbye to some of my friends that lived overseas.

16. Where were you on Senior Skip Day?
I think that we went to the beach - or to Great Adventure - I can't remember!

17. Did you have a job your senior year?
I did not work during the school year, because school work and sports took up all of my time, but I did work at The Gap during the Christmas break and during the summer.

18. Where did you go most often for lunch?
The dining hall. Since our school had borders and day students (I was a day student), we ate meals in a dining hall, that had oval tables that would seat about 10-12 people. There was a teacher that would be present, or a senior table head, and then one person would go and get the food from the kitchen, and the meal was served family style. Let me tell you, the food was delicious!!!

19. Have you gained weight since then? Yes.

20. What did you do after graduation?
Attended College and got my degree in Biology and also had my teacher's certification. I worked at a bank and substituted for a year and a half. I taught Biology and Chemistry for 7 years, and during that time, I got married and received my M.A. in Chemistry. Then I had our first child, and now I am a stay at home mom - with #2 on the way!

21. What year did you graduate? I graduated from high school in 1992.

22. Who was your Senior Prom Date? David - we were just friends

23. Are you going/did you go to your 10 year reunion?
No. Too much was going on that year. I actually will not be going to the 15 year reunion because I already have plans to join in a fundraiser "Walk for Life"
I hope that you enjoyed this little meme. If you would like to participate, consider your self tagged! Let me know if you did it, so that I will visit your blog!

Scotch-Brite Carpet Roller

I was checking out this website called The Shopping Queen, and I really enjoyed seeing the deals that they tell you about. One of them was for a FREE Scotch-Brite Carpet Touch-Up Roller. Dawson is the one that vacuums our carpets - and he does a great job! - but, if there is ever a time that I need to do a touch-up, using something this would be a lot easier than lugging out our vacuum (especially because it was free!). If you are interested, click on the link for the mail in rebate form.

Friday, July 27, 2007

On The Road Again

This past Wednesday, I had my 17 week well-baby check up. Everything went just fine. The baby's heartbeat was between 136-140 - so, it is still "on the fence" as far as the old wives tale is concerned. What is your guess? Well, we will hopefully find out the gender of our baby on the way in about 3 weeks!

Well, on to what was on my mind today. When I first found out that I was prego, I was so faithful in going for a daily walk with Brady (who is currently walking around the house with one sneaker on and plastic star sunglasses on his face - he is so adorable). Anyway, the weather started to get really hot, we went on vacation, and maybe a few days of rain, and that was it - I was out of the routine! I have been thinking about going for walks again, but that is all that I have been doing - thinking about it...until today!

This morning, Brady and I went for my regular walk around the development, and let me say, I felt really out of shape during the last 1/4 of my walk! It was also a little later than I wanted to go, so it was already starting to get a little hot and humid! So, I have decided that I am going to exercise every weekday morning, unless I have an appointment that is early in the morning (that does not happen too often, but once in a while).

Today was a beautiful day to restart my walking routine - and I am planning on continuing this!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A Great Dairy Contest!

Over at 5 Minutes for Mom, they are running a contest for about $300 of free dairy products from the makers of Horizon Organic. I have not tried this company before, but would love to - especially if it was for free! Good luck!

Monday, July 23, 2007

A Long Awaited Trip

This weekend, we traveled up to Long Island to visit my family that lives up there, and to attend the Christening party of my cousin's daughter. Last year, I wanted to drive up for a visit, but with my tailbone still not completely healed, I was not "up" for the drive. So, this was an exciting time for me to be able to see my aunt, uncle, cousins, and their kids.

My sister asked them what names we could use for them on our blogs, but I still need to get a few of them before I can introduce them to you! For now, they are my Italian cousins - because my aunt that married into the family is 100% Italian - and a great cook!

A few of the highlights from our little trip:

*Brady loved playing in the little kiddie pool, and the crab sandbox - it is making me think that I really need to look into getting these items...maybe someone will be parting with a sandbox in good condition at a garage sale...because those things can be a little pricey!

*I loved meeting 2 new additions to the family - the little boy is only 18 days younger than Brady, and his sister is about 10 weeks old. The two boys looked so cute playing together in the sandbox! The older cousins also had a lot of fun playing in the sandbox too!

*The Christening party was a lot of fun, and the Italian food was so delicious! I have not found a place that has such delicious food down here in PA...eggplant rollatini (which I am going to attempt to make!), chicken parm, chicken francais, sausage and peppers (Dawson enjoyed), garlic knots, salad, and pasta in a creamy vodka sauce - so delicious!

*Most of all, I loved seeing my family, hanging out and talking - there is nothing like family. I was reminded of the fun times that we had together as kids, and I am so glad that the fun can still continue now that we are adults - we just do not run around as much!

*Dawson, Brady, and I drove past the house that I grew up in - and it still looks similar, but the huge Japanese maple in the front yard has died - and that is so sad and weird, because it was alive and well the whole time that we were living there. It is weird that it is still up in the yard, and not pulled out yet.

I still have some friends that live on LI, but this trip was too short to visit with any of them. So, hopefully we will make another trip up there next year - with our new bundle of joy...because my other cousin is due with her first baby 12 days after my due date! I am looking forward to meeting this new baby too!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Heart Check

Yesterday, after dinner, we went outside to play before Brady went to bed. We were in the backyard, and the weeds were staring at me, so I decided that I was ready to do more weeding. So, I started to weed while Dawson and Brady were playing outside.

I was happy to be outside again, enjoying God's creation, and helping to make our flower beds look a little nicer. As I was pulling out the weeds, I noticed that some were really easy to pull out, some required a little tug, and others required me to use my little digger tool. Even with using the digger tool, I was not successful in getting to the full root of some of the weeds. So, they might be back again. Eventually, I will get those weeds out of the garden too!

As I was working in our flower gardens, I was reminded of a luncheon that I went to. A godly woman told us a story about when she was growing up. Her family had a large garden, and when she would weed with her dad, he took the opportunity to ask her how her heart was, and if there were any "weeds" that needed to be "pulled." As I was weeding and thinking about this story, I thought about offenses that we hold onto. It is much easier to give them to the Lord right away, rather than allowing them to get rooted into us - and make our hearts start to take on an "ugly" look. So, while I was out there, my Father was asking me that same question, "How is your heart?" It was a great time spending out in nature with my Father and checking out my heart.

I woke up in the middle of the night with extreme left forearm, wrist, and hand pain, so I iced it - it felt a little better by morning, but still ached. Dawson and I prayed, I took some Tylenol, and I am happy to say that I am feeling COMPLETELY better! PTL!!! Although my heart check was not a painful process last night, the pain that I experience in my arm reminded me that sometimes the "weeding" process can be a little painful (we may not "want" to give up an offense), but He is faithful in even healing us completely, and taking all pain away - and we are set free from those "weeds" that were taking up room in our lives!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Cousins and Best Buds

Today my sister had A LOT of errands to do. Brady and I did not have any major plans - playing with his new puzzles (well, we gave them to him for Christmas, but then realized that he was too young for them - he just wanted to put the large pieces into his mouth!), reading books, making some phone calls, you know, the usual stuff! So, I called her this morning, and asked her if she wanted to drop off Jeter and Barber here for the morning, while she ran her errands...she was so grateful, and all the cousins were excited to play together!

So, they watched Sesame Street, we read books, played with the puzzles, and cleaned up the mega bloks that were dumped all over the place! When my sister came back, we also played outside for a little bit.

When it was time for the cousins to leave, they did not want to go, and Brady did not want them to leave...Brady actually cried when they walked out the front door! You would think that we rarely saw them! It was really cute though...I know who his best friends are right now, and that puts a smile on my face.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A "New" Blog...

Just want you to note that the former MIA blog is still around, but the name of it is now "Like I Was Saying". So, don't fret - it is still around, just with a new name. Why does it have a new name? It is explained here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Unwelcomed Visitors

We had a few unwelcomed visitors that stopped by last Monday (not yesterday - we had very lovely visitors yesterday! It was on July 9th). I absolutely detest when they decide to come over, and out come the bait traps, and we send them home, with a little "treat" for the rest of their clan! Thankfully, they only stayed around until Wednesday, and in a confined area - our kitchen windowsill, and then they were gone! PTL!!! Here is a very up close photo of a few of our visitors.

Fifteen Weeks and Counting!

Here is an update of our Baby on the Way! I had this ultrasound done last week (just a little "behind" in my posts!). The baby is right on target with its growth. The gender of the baby is not known at this time - hopefully, we will be able to find that out in a few weeks.

One midwife that I saw said that based on the heartbeat, she would say boy. The heartbeat was at 139 one time, around 138 another time, and 145 another time. I don't think that it is telling me much at this point! According to an old wives tale - above 140 means "girl" and below 140 means "boy". Grammie keeps thinking that it is a girl - for no reason...she does not know why she keeps thinking that. She laughs when she tells me that. Well, one of them is correct, and I will keep you posted!

We desire to have a healthy baby. The Lord knows who we are supposed to parent next...and I am so excited to meet this baby (Just not for a little while - I still have some colors of paint to choose!).

Monday, July 16, 2007

Recent Phone Conversation

The following is the conversation that my 18 month old son has on his little (play) phone:

"Hu-oh" pause and listening intently

"to" pause and listening more intently

"fo" pause and listening even more intently

"Ba-bye" waving at the phone

The first time that I heard him having this conversation, I was in the kitchen, and he was in the family room. It is so cute to hear, and I did capture it on film. I found out that his Daddy was teaching him how to have a conversation on the phone - I am sure that he has witnessed many phone conversations too! It is so amazing what our little "sponges" learn.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Iced or not iced...

This was a fun little "quiz" to take - of course, my sister - the coffee lover that she is - is the one that originally completed this little quiz. So, I figured that I would join in on the fun! Sometimes I like it iced, but sometimes not iced - that was a "difficult" question for me - especially since I do not drink coffee very frequently!

What Your Latte Says About You

You are easygoing and pretty simple to please. You don't put up a fuss... ever.

You can be quite silly at times, but you know when to buckle down and be serious.

You have a good deal of energy, but you pace yourself. You never burn out too fast.

You have a healthy relationship with caffeine. You're definitely not dependent on it.

You are responsible, mature, and truly an adult. You're occasionally playful, but you find it hard to be carefree.

You are dramatic and intense, but you are never moody.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The FRUIT of Our Labor

Last Saturday, we drove up to Spiral Path Farm for pick your own black raspberries. It was one of the "perks" of being a member of the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm. Since we are medium share members, we were allowed to pick 2 quarts. My parents (Grammie and Poppy) are also members, so they drove up for their 2 quarts as well. Dawson's parents (Nanny and Grandpa) and his middle brother joined us to help in the picking (and eating) of the black raspberries.

I had never picked black raspberries before, so this was a first for me. It was a lot of fun, but I was so glad that we had the help of Nanny, Grandpa, and my brother in law. Here is a photo of some of the fruit of our labor:
Can you tell which hand I picked with? It was not only red, but my arm looked like I had gotten in a fight with a cat! I had quite a few scratches from the thorns/stickers/whatever they were, but no blood was drawn, and they healed rather quickly.

We had a great time at the farm, and even little Brady enjoyed eating some of the raspberries!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

This Quiz Can't Be For Real...

I took this quiz because it was on my sister's blog, and I thought that there was no way that I would score high on this! I was surprised at 54%! I think it is because I grind my own beans now - I just think that it is a fun thing to do and the coffee tastes really great! My favorite right now is decaf Colombian with sugar and milk (or cream).

Fact is, I drink coffee maybe twice a month - ok, maybe five times! :)

God is My Defense

A verse that has been ministering to me today is Psalm 3:3. "But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head." It is a good reminder to me that the Lord is my defense - He is the one that goes before me in my "battles". I really thank the Lord that He is part of my life. He is always there for me.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Photo of My Ice Cream Cake

Here is the photo of the ice cream birthday cake that my husband made for me, and I wrote about in this post. He is so creative and I absolutely loved the cake - both looking at it and eating it!

It is really not very hard to do and only costs about $10, which is way less than an ice cream cake that you would buy. So, if you are up for the challenge, give it a try - just remember to freeze it in between each layer that you are working on! :)

Update on the Pregnancy

I have had a few people that have asked me how I am doing with the pregnancy, so I decided to write a little post on it:

I often "forget" that I am prego - PTL!!! Which means that I am feeling great most of the time! The only thing that reminds me that I am prego is that my clothes are no longer fitting me, sometimes my abdomen is a little achy, and I get tired more easily. Last night, I had a little bit of a headache, so I laid down at about 7pm, and I did not get out of bed until 7am - thank you hunny for taking care of Brady! :)

I am almost 15 weeks - done with my first trimester! When I think about that, I feel like "Oh, my goodness! There are so many things that I need to get done before the baby arrives!" - such as painting the 2 kids bedrooms - still trying to decide on a theme or something like that! That project will get done by the end of the summer - that is the goal that I am making for myself right now (although I will not be doing the painting...I will be doing a lot of the choosing of items!)

We have not even thought of a name for the baby yet. Part of me is going to wait until the ultrasound to start thinking about it - why choose a boy and girl name. However, I should be spending some time in prayer about it. The Lord did give me Brady's name before we knew that we were having a boy.

Thank you for your continued prayer for my health, the health of the baby, and that the delivery will go well and speedy. Last time, I injured my tailbone pretty badly - that took a long time to heal, and I really do not want to go through that again. I would like to bounce back very quickly from the delivery. You would have never known that my sister had just given birth 2 days after she had Barber, and that is what I would like to experience too. I would like to have not problem sitting down! So, I lift that prayer up to the Lord, and would appreciate your prayers too!

Friday, July 6, 2007

8 Random Things About Me

I have been tagged for the first time in the Bloggy-land (as TCC called it!)! My sister at The Campbell Corner has tagged me for this meme (which I think is a weird word), so I will try to think of some good ones for your enjoyment.

1. When I was born, the umbilical cord was wrapped around me (I think my chest, but maybe neck - I will have to ask my mom again on this), and I was a little blue. The nurses went to give me oxygen, but I pushed that mask away with every ounce of strength that I had. The nurses were amazed at how I was fighting for my life at only a few minutes old - I guess I thought that the oxygen mask was a bad thing...can't really remember that day! :)

2. My sister has always been my bestest girl friend. When we would get into a fight, we would always make up within minutes...who else was I going to play with and have so much fun with? I had other friends, but no one has ever compared to her! She has always been there for me, and I lover her so much - she is still my bestest girl friend!

3. I studied in England for one year (in between high school and college) and I had a blast! I also went interrailing around France, Spain and Italy for one month with my best friend from high school. It was a lot of fun, but we were mugged/pick pocketed - which was not so fun, but God protected us!

4. I ate cow's intestines when I was on a cross-cultural trip in Guadeloupe. The father of the family that I was staying with made the dinner - which they rarely do - and this was considered a delicacy! I did not want to insult them, so I forced it down (except a hairy piece - gross! It makes me want to puke thinking about it, and I have not hurled at all during the pregnancy!). After I ate it, I prayed that I would not throw up - I just had to think of other things while I was eating it, and also during the rest of the night.

5. When my DH and I buy an anniversary gift for each other, we try to center it around what the traditional gift would be for that year. This year was wood. We were so busy at the time of our anniversary, that we did not really celebrate it yet, but we are still planning on it! I still have to come up with a good gift idea!

6. I am having a really hard time deciding how to decorate Brady's big boy room - or any room for that matter! I really need to get some ideas - that is not a natural gifting inside of me, but I would like to develop whatever I do have in me a little more!

7. I do not like pudding. The consistency is not appealing to me at all. The only time that I like it is when my mom makes it from scratch and it is still hot. Once it is cold - no thanks!

8. I really like chocolate candy, but do not like chocolate milk, chocolate cake, or chocolate mousse. When I was a freshman in college, the girls on my floor surprised me on my birthday with a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting (I do like the frosting) - you can imagine what was going on in my head! I was so blessed though, so I choked down a small piece of that cake. They were all so sweet to do that!

I hope that you enjoyed that! Now it is my turn to tag a few other bloggers that I know - thank goodness that I know a few of you! So, I will tag three fellow bloggers:

Don't Make Us Stop This Car
The Gang's All Here
Thrills of Being a New Mom

I am looking forward to reading their responses!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Need to Reduce Paper Clutter?

There is a new contest over at 5 Minutes for Mom. They are offering a contest involving something that will help to reduce paper clutter. It is called the The NeatReceipts Scanalizer . It is able to scan any type of paper from tax info to your child's artwork, and then it is able to sort it too (with a little of your help). This sounds great to me! Check it out - they are giving away 10 of these scanalizers...so, you might be a winner!

Barbeque Meatloaf

This past Monday, I decided that I wanted to make meatloaf. I usually make a meatloaf that has rice, salsa and diced peppers and onions in it, but I was really lacking in some of the main ingredients - such as the salsa and peppers. So, I decided to go to www.foodnetwork.com and look up a recipe.

My sister made a really delicious barbeque meatloaf in the crockpot a month or so ago, but I did not have that much time to get dinner together, but I decided that I would look up a recipe for barbeque meatloaf, and I found a delicious one by Paula Dean.

The recipe was rated with 5 stars (those are the ones to try!), but I still went briefly through the reviews. The only thing that I did to tweak the recipe was to add only 1 tsp of salt rather than 1 and 1/2 tsp, I used ground turkey (of course), and I did not add the water to the gravy. I do have to say that it initially looks like a LOT of sauce, but when you baste the meatloaf (I used a spoon to do this, not a brush - the brush was taking the sauce off of the loaf), it does not leave a lot left in the end.

So, if you are looking for a new recipe, I recommend this one! It is easy to make, and delicious too!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Having Some "Fun"

This past Sunday, I was able to do something that I have not done in the past few months, and I really enjoyed it!

After small group, it was about 6:30ish when we arrived home, and I felt really inspired to weed! Brady had to be fed and put to bed, so I asked my DH if he would mind taking care of that, so that I could go and weed. He was very supportive of me (he does not like to weed at all), and off I went!

I was feeling really good, and I enjoyed the hour and a half of being in the outdoors with God and His creation. The ground was still somewhat moist, so weeding was not too hard. Weeding is not normally something that I would enjoy doing, but it was different this time. I was enjoying making our property, that God blessed us with, look a little nicer. I enjoyed smelling the outdoors while I prodded those little weeds out, and I thanked the Lord for this land that He gave to us. It was also nice to use the new kneeler/seat that Dawson bought for me last summer - the cushion on it is really nice! (thanks hunny!)

There is still more weeding to do - and I don't really look forward to the weeding necessarily, but I do look forward to some alone time with God in the outdoors. It was really nice to complete something and to see that it will stay that way for a little while (laundry and dishes are not "done" for long!). I had a sense of accomplishment, and that is something that I really needed to feel. God is so faithful to meet us right where we are, and I thank him for the renewed strength that He gave to me.