Wednesday, November 30, 2011

More Pregnant Awkwardness

With Eli I wrote about feeling awkward during pregnancy. Here's the trouble this go round:

I feel weird because I don't really know who knows I'm pregnant, and I can't really tell if people can tell I'm pregnant by looking at me yet. My biggest issues with this are at church.

I want to announce over the pulpit that I'm pregnant because I hate being the victim of critical eyes wondering if the holidays got the best of me. Which they did. But not as bad as it appears they have.

At every ward gathering, I find myself fighting the urge to proclaim to every person within earshot that I'm with child. Which I hate doing anyway. It's challenging to casually slip my pregnancy status into a conversation with someone I barely know but I see all the time so I want to explain myself to them. It's a terrible pickle to be in. Speaking of pickles....I'm pregnant!...

That's about as smooth as all my announcements have gone.

Until today at pack meeting. I finally got the chance to talk casually about my pregnancy with one of the den leaders when she asked my due date. I was a little surprised because I hadn't told any of the cub scout people that I'm pregnant. I've told a few people in the ward, but I couldn't decide if she heard it through neighborhood chit chat or if I have just finally gotten round enough to give people the courage to approach me about it.

It must have been the curse of me not being able to gracefully announce I'm pregnant that left me replying, "Um. I'm not pregnant."

I don't know what came over me. I swore I'd never do that to someone. I told myself even if someone asked me when I was due and I wasn't pregnant I'd lie and pretend I was pregnant. That is one of the absolute worst conversations to be a part of, yet there I was. Needlessly inflicting the most horrific conversation on me and a sweet unsuspecting den leader.

For one half of a second there was sheer terror on her face.

But luckily she had enough confidence in her grapevine source or pregnant belly detection skills. Her terror turned to amusement as she nudged me on the shoulder and said, "Oh stop it."

Then we talked of pregnancy and the like. It was the least awkward pregnancy announcement of my life. Maybe I judged the "I'm Not Pregnant" stunt too quickly.
Despite my awkwardness, I have survived half a pregnancy. Unless baby decides to be born after 40 weeks. Which we're kind of hoping is the case. For now anyway.

I've been feeling baby quite a bit lately. I mostly only feel him at night though. During the day Eli's kicks and punches interfere.

I haven't had any cravings recently. I've actually had a tough time with food this whole pregnancy. Food I used to love doesn't sound great anymore. And when something does sound good I find myself having a hard time finishing it. This has been the biggest difference in my pregnancies.

Something I must have forgotten about is being out of breath all the time! I was talking to my brother on the phone the other day. After I walked up five stairs he asked me why I was running. It's bad.

Heartburn has already hit. I never ever have heartburn without a baby growing in my belly. If it's true that heartburn equals babies with a lot of hair (which I read a study saying it is true), then all this esophagus pain might be worth it.

That's all I can think of regarding pregnancy. It's been pleasantly uneventful. Here's a belly comparison between Eli and this baby. I had to flip the picture on the left so that I'm facing the same way. Please excuse the backwards numbers.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Made With Love

I made a new friend this week. Only she doesn't know that we're friends. Or how much I adore her. Or that she's completely changed my life.

Mel. I'm talking to you. And if you ever actually read this blog post...I might die of embarrassment.

This thing happened to me a few Sundays ago. I had the urge to make brownies but was discouraged to find I didn't have a box of brownie mix. Shucks. You can't make brownies without brownie mix.

Or can you?

I doubtfully looked to for a boxless version of brownies. I was stunned to find that brownies can exist without the packaging. And I was even more stunned to find all the ingredients for yummy, gooey brownies were right there at my fingertips. In fact, they were even more delish than any other brownie I'd ever tasted before which resulted in my instant conversion to all things homemade.

I laid awake in bed at night envisioning new food creations. Pizza. Does it exist outside of Little Caesars? Chicken Cordon Bleu. Is that when a chicken eats a pig who's eaten swiss cheese? French Bread. Maybe it doesn't have to be imported?

This is where Mel and I first met. We were introduced through my sister who told me she has yet to be let down by Mel and her scrumptious recipes. I used her blog to menu plan like I've never menu planned before. I was drawn to all the recipes I once thought were impossible to completely home make.

For instance, french bread. I have a habit of making Jeff run to the store solely for french bread in my last minutes of pulling a meal together. It's stressful and inconvenient. But I love my french bread. And I recently found I especially love it homemade. (Imagine I took all these pictures with a nice camera and "plated" them nicely. They would look much tastier.)
To accompany my French Bread: the mysterious Chicken Cordon Bleu plus a vegetable actually seasoned with something.
Not pictured was pizza -- homemade down to the dough, and our new favorite soup now that I've made Taco Soup one too many times.

Tonight's meal was an enchilada pasta. Who's even ever heard of that?!? It was a fun, different meal.
I finished dinner off with lots of cookie dough as I tested out her giant cookie recipe to see if it would be a good neighbor Christmas gift. I'd say that's enough cookie to bring me Christmas cheer.
So Mel, you've changed my life and my outlook on food. Turns out cooking is fun when you're making delicious things. I'm smitten by the concept of creating beautiful meals out of minimally processed items. I love having a fridge full of vegetables and a basket full of fruit. And most of all, I love your easy to follow, gourmet tasting recipes. I'm glad we became friends. Even if this relationship is completely one-sided.

Now if you'd just post a Schlotzky's sandwich recipe we'd really be in business.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Gobble Gobble

Jeff had Wednesday off work so after Eli's nap we took advantage of the bearable weather for an afternoon at the park.
Eli loves slides. Especially the big ones. He goes down feet first on his belly and I'm fairly certain his face scrapes the whole way down. But he doesn't seem to mind.
First time on a swing. He only fell off once.

Our Thanksgiving was spent at my Grandparents' house with my extended family. Everyone drools over my Grandma's delicious gravy and stuffing.
Excuse my face in all these pictures. I've had a sore throat for the past three weeks and of course it flared up the worst on Thanksgiving. I was super tired all day long and didn't have much of an appetite. It was an annoying day to not want food. Also excuse Eli's rosy cheeks. Maybe he's teething again? Or maybe he is Santa in disguise?
Despite my lack of appetite, my stomach still grew and grew. My Grandma's stuffing is so good it even tastes good when you don't feel like eating.
Our company.
And the other side.
My cousins adore anyone they can tote around and dress up. Sorry #2, but I fear you'll be facing the same dolled-up fate.
The Ward women.
Jeff burned off his Thanksgiving meal by chasing Eli around.
Full and happy.
Full and happy.
Now onto dessert. I love me some pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.
Eli plopped right on my Grandpa's lap in an attempt to get closer to the fire. See. When you take off the hair bow and necklace he really is a boy.
Celebrating November birthdays.
Here's the thing -- we never light candles or sing to the family members who aren't at the party. Sure, we'll mention their birthday, but that's the extent of our efforts for people who don't make their birthday celebration.

Unless of course you're the favorite grandson I guess. Jacob has this long-running joke with my Grandma that he's the favorite grandson. And when she brought out a pie with candles on it just for him, I started to wonder if this special treatment meant he really was the favorite grandson after all!

My Grandma tried to explain that we were singing and candle-lighting for him because his birthday was that day. But I'm still left wondering, and I'm not the only one.

After we sang to the absent Jacob, Ben went up to my Grandma with one arm tightly around her and said, "Now, he's not really your favorite he?" It was cute.
After our Thanksgiving meal we went to my parents' house and happened to run into the Golden family! Eli kept trying to talk to Spencer which was the most darling thing ever. When Spencer didn't respond, Eli hopped on a chair for closer communication and found some tasty bananas on his tray to steal.
And lookie here. After a horrible night of Eli being up from 12:00-2:30, we were forced to pull out our emergency binky. Worked like a charm.
Jeff was a doll and took Eli on Friday afternoon so I could go see "The Help" with my Mom. And you better believe we conveniently picked the theater closest to Schlotzky's so we had an excuse to stop by for dinner afterwards.
Today I met up with my dearest Kenzer for some frozen yogurt. Don't judge her because she puts kiwi on her ice-cream. She served her mission in New Zealand and kiwis take her back to her days of skirts and a name tag.

You can however judge her for having an embarrassing stain on her shirt.

After ice-cream I got the urge to decorate for Christmas. I got out the tinsel and lights, put on some Christmas music and gathered the boys to spread Christmas cheer on our house.
Due to budgeting, it's pretty likely we will not have a Christmas tree this year because we're hoping to get one for cheap after Christmas. So we were forced to get creative in our decorating.
Eli loved the lights so much. He especially loved unplugging them and plugging them back in. We quickly realized we couldn't put the lights anywhere out of Eli's reach so we threw those back in the Christmas bag.
After an hour of decorating, this was the extent of our work:
Then Eli spent the next hour doing this...
We're not sure what made him pull this face, but we thought it was hilarious.
Especially when he did it while smiling.
Such a goofball.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Winter Survival Plan

I've done a lot of regrouping since my last post. I've accepted the fact that winter happens. And lots of moms survive being crammed in their house with kids. Here is my survival plan:

Step 1: Make a lot of baked goods. Let baby "help" and provide him endless samples.
Step 2: Put your bookworm baby's rocking chair close enough to the books so he can climb up and spend hours pulling books off the shelf to "read." Cherish down time.
Step 3: Open blinds to give the illusion you're outside. Hope that baby continues to use the lock on the window as a handle and never figures out how to actually open it. Supervision required.
Step 4: When all else fails, say, "Car!" and watch your child scurry down the stairs and pound on the door to the garage until you let him escape to his favorite winter playground. (Then watch him make this face when he honks the horn.)
Step 5: Self portraits are always a must when boredom strikes. Even babies can be vain sometimes.
Step 6: The endless bath. Perfect for the hour between dinner and bedtime.
Step 7: Swat baby away from dishwasher. Eli's favorite game. He has learned that if the dishwasher is locked, he can turn the dial to turn it which we come running and he finds that hilarious. If the dishwasher isn't locked, he can open it...allowing him to play with all the knives and grimy dishes. He knows if he turns the dial and it doesn't turn on, he can open it. Any advice? This activity keeps us busy all day long.
Step 8: Visit friends, families and Grandmas.
Step 9: TV. It happens. And it happens a lot more in the winter. Picture not included.
Step 10: End every night with a prayer that the winter season won't last long. Even if it really hasn't even officially begun yet.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sarb Weekend

Some days I wonder why on Earth we turned down the job offer in Arizona. Like, for instance, every day it's cold here in Utah and I'm stuck at home with a baby whose molars are growing in. He acts like that hurts or something.
You can't blame me for having a tiny bit of a breakdown after three weeks of constant screaming which left me overwhelmed at the thought of being cooped up with a crabby, whiny baby through the upcoming winter months.

And don't even remind me that as my body continues to grow at an incredible rate I won't even be able to get my sanity walks every day that make me feel like I have some control over my weight gain.

And then that incredible growing belly reminds me I'll soon have TWO kids and that gets me all sorts of freaked out on the days when Eli's a handful.

I felt doomed.

So doomed that I resorted to giving Eli his binky back, desperate for a few moments to think about just how doomed I was.

Then Jeff got home and the emotions went flying. I blame pregnancy.

It didn't take him long to figure out I needed some time away to regroup. He dubbed the upcoming weekend "Sarb Weekend" and told me he would take care of all things Eli.

Then I cried because that was the most perfect thing he could do for me. And then I started laughing amid my crying which just sounded like I was sobbing uncontrollably so then I had to tell Jeff I was really just laughing and he could laugh, too. But he didn't laugh and I think he understandably became really concerned for a minute that he was married to such a lunatic. Stupid hormones.

He took Monday off work and I got to spend the day doing all of my most favorite things. I slept in. I walked on the treadmill while watching Grey's Anatomy. And then I spent the rest of the day with my Mom.
First stop: Schlotzky's. It's my cure-all. Not to mention, they've added a nice slice of pickle with every sandwich. They must know Schlotzky's is every pregnant woman's biggest craving.
I guess my mom's not pregnant because she wasn't so excited about the pickle portion of her meal. But she was pleased to find they've also added a cookie portion. Mmmmm.
I watched my stomach grow before my eyes. Seriously. I was huge this day.
Then we went to see a movie. A movie with my most favorite actor by the way. Although Owen wasn't quite as quirky as he usually is which was slightly disappointing. Still a good enough movie though.
Luckily my Mom knew about this "weird liberal theater" in the middle of Salt Lake because all the regular theaters were showing less than interesting movies, and even worse, they were Owen Wilsonless.
By 5:00 I felt relaxed and refreshed and I was already anxious to be home again with my boys. Although, it didn't seem like they missed me all that much.

Thanks Jeff for giving me a little time to myself. Thanks Mom for sponsoring my day away. Now let's all pray I make it through all the snow and freezing weather without another breakdown.