Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Baby W: 31 Weeks

Baby W is likely measuring just over 16 inches long
and weighing in at 3.3 pounds.

Total weight gain:   Unofficially 36 lbs
Maternity clothes:  No new maternity clothes, but I did have to get a couple bigger things. My small shirts & shorts don't fit so well, so I had to get a couple larges so I look a little more respectable.
Stretch marks:  Still none
Sleep:  Sleeping really well most nights. Waking up really consistently between 2 and 3am every night for a bathroom hike.. maybe that's Nugget's new party time?
Best moment this week:  Loads of family time this week, which has been fabulous!
Miss anything?:  My long-lost hubbby, and being able to exercise without being ridiculously out of breath.
Movement:  Lots of moving in there every day. I can definitely tell nap time from awake time.
Food cravings:  Not really any cravings, but ice cream is still my favorite thing. I think that's a life-long love for me.
Anything make you queasy or sick?:  Nope

Aches and pains:  More of the same, plus my feet have decided to start swelling some evenings.
Starting to show yet?:  Oh yes. 
Gender prediction:  No updates here. I still think it's a boy, but I have absolutely nothing to base that on.
Labor signs:  An occasional contraction, but nothing serious and nothing painful.
Belly button in or out?:   Mostly flat, but getting closer to being an outie!
Wedding rings on or off?:  On
Happy or Moody most of the time?:   Happy
Most looking forward to:  Reuniting with that long-lost hubby of mine! It's been almost a month, so I miss his face!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Color Run 2013

At 3 months pregnant, a 5k sounded like a great idea. At 7 months, less so....

But alas, no backin' down! Along with my mom, my friend Rachael, and her mom Shirley, I walked the 3.1 miles of The Color Run recently. It's something I've thought about doing for the last couple years but just never did. So when Rachael and I talked about it months ago, we decided it would be a fun adventure! And it was. But we didn't anticipate how much more difficult three bad knees and one extra passenger would make it. Regardless, we all prevailed and we had a fantastic time doing it!

The starting line is wayyyy up there. It took us an hour to get started!

The Pink station... obviously. There were four color stations along the course, and this was the last one.

The other end of the color station

Our chauffeur for the day... he didn't want to partake in the color part of things.

My mama and I (and the extra passenger)

Rachael, me, Shirley, and my mom. Post-race, clearly.

Rach and I after the race.

I guess I'm a BA.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Retiring the Red Raiders

As with many small Iowa towns, my hometown is shrinking. It's sad but true. The result? Our high school will be consolidating with a neighboring town this fall, so of course we'll be having a new mascot. Because of that, the past weekend was packed full of festivities around town to officially retire our old mascot, the Red Raider. It was the same weekend as our town's annual celebration, the Lazy Days and a BBQ Cookoff that has taken place for the past few years. Throw in a couple family reunions, and it was quite the weekend. Needless to say, there was a lot of commotion around town. It was really fun to see the town so busy, and also to see some people that I haven't seen for a while. 

Friday night kicked off the weekend with a BBQ Wings contest, a beer garden, and a band. There was a huge turnout, and the streets were packed!

Saturday morning started bright and early with the Doctors Dash, which is a 5k sponsored by all the local doctors. There's also a 10k and a 1-mile walk. We did the 1-mile walk as a family; a 5k wasn't in the cards for us this year, as you could imagine. 

The starting line commotion before the Doctors Dash

The local Rotary club held their pancake feed on one of the closed downtown streets, where I met up with a couple girls that I graduated high school with. We got in some good chatting and of course some quality people-watching.

Next on Saturday was the parade. This has always been one of my favorite parts of homecoming week, and it was kind of  similar to that. There were some class floats, a grand marshall, and of course the cheerleaders and band. It was really fun to see such a variety of ages represented. And we even got a little candy! 

The fire department's calliope, an old air-powered piano that is run by pressing the foot pedals. Talk about coordination!

The town's beloved 97-year-old guy helping to advertise the Johnny Carson Birthplace Museum, one of our 'historical attactions'

A parade wouldn't be complete without familiar faces! Randy & Shirley with the Alegent crew.

'Rockin into Retirement' - one of the witty floats to help Retire the Red Raiders

The horses always bring up the end of the parade!

Saturday afternoon was spent at a huge family reunion [eating too much food, of course]. That evening was the official retiring of the Red Raider. The school board president read the official proclamation, and the Red Raider is history.

The weekend included more quality family time and more catching up with old friends, and even a nap or two. It was a fantastic last weekend at home, but sad to know that it will never be the same to come back. But alas, things must change and we must move forward. So good luck to the future:  the Southwest Valley Timberwolves!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

S'mores Bars

This week was the annual Vacation Bible School week at the church I grew up in. It's a pretty fabulous week, and it's fun seeing kids make the same fun memories that I made growing up. The last day of the week ends with an ice cream social, which I was asked to make bars for this year. I didn't know what kind to make, so I of course perused trusty ol' Pinterest, and I stumbled upon some s'mores bars that I have been eyeing for quite some time but never had a purpose to make them. This seemed like a good excuse to me! The original recipe can be found here or you can keep reading.

What you'll need:
11 Tbsp butter at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups mini marshmallows
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
3/4 cup semi-sweet mini chips
3 Hershey's bars broken into rectangles
2 packs of honey graham crackers

What you'll do:

 Using a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each one. Add the vanilla and mix again. 

In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Mix this into the creamed ingredients a little at a time [or you'll have a heck of a mess].

By hand, stir in 1 cup of the mini marshmallows, as well as the semi-sweet chocolate chunks and mini chips. 

Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, break the graham crackers apart and arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet as shown here.

 After chilling, scoop spoonfuls of the bar mix onto the graham crackers, much like if you were making cookies. Fill in the gaps until you've used all the bar mix.

Bake at 375 for 6 minutes.
Press the Hershey's rectangles into the dollops of bar mix, then place the remaining 1/4 cup of marshmallows into some of the holes.

Bake for another 7 minutes.

Cool completely then cut.


Good luck eating just one. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Baby Shower!

You may or may not be lucky enough to know them [or be them], but my friends and family are seriously the best. Last Saturday was spent with some of my faves celebrating this little Nugget in my belly who will join the world in a couple months.  

We had some wonderful food, chatter, and played some fun games! And of course Nugget got some really great gifts that will be SO useful! We are very blessed to have so many people who love Baby W already. Thank you so much to everyone who planned and came to the shower. We truly appreciate your presents, your presence, and your love!

Here are a few photos of the fun day:


And some of the crew filling their plates

Super cute cake to match the decor

Kayla's always-impressive party hostessing skills at work

And some of the crew

Pile of gifts!
Nugget's Field Day. Too funny - great find, Deb!
Kayla and the rest of the party planners asked guests to bring a book instead of a card, so that we can remember our loved ones from so far away. We have started quite the library! 

 Swing to keep the little one occupied

Adorable [and super-useful] diaper cake that Sasha made

All of the loot! So amazed. So blessed.

Me and Nugget with The Grandmas!

Thank you again to everyone who planned and came. The gifts are so appreciated. 
Now we just need the little one!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Baby Kylie

You may remember when I took some newborn photos of Baby Kasey a couple years ago. Well she's not so little anymore, and she's now a big sister! Mama Kayla asked me to take a few pictures of new little sister Kylie, so we had a fun little play date yesterday. I'm certainly not a professional by any means, but we got several good photos [and of course I had a good time doing it!].

Here's the little lady!

Thanks for letting me come play for the day!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Baby W: 30 Weeks

Baby should be measuring 15 1/2 inches long
and weighing 3 pounds.

Total weight gain:   Officially 34 pounds. Ugh. The doctor tells me it's ok... but maybe I need to lay off the ice cream?
Maternity clothes:  Nothing new. Still just have a handful of actual maternity items; usually wearing big regular clothes.
Stretch marks:  Nope. And I've been told that I probably won't if I don't now. Yesss!
Sleep:  Still sleeping really well. Loving the lack of alarm clock in my life. I wake up every night once or twice to make the hike to the bathroom, but I fall back asleep just fine.
Best moment this week:  Baby shower and dinner/rodeo were the highlights this week. So fun!
Miss anything?:  Still missing Mikey - 12 days!
Movement:  Continuing to have lots of movement every day and loving it.
Food cravings:  Ice cream... shocked??
Anything make you queasy or sick?:  Nope

Aches and pains:  Sciatic pain is pretty miserable sometimes, but tolerable. Having some 'round ligament' pains once in a while, which I guess is from ligaments stretching to help support my quickly-growing uterus. 
Starting to show yet?:  Oh yes. Getting way out there.
Gender prediction:  No updates here. Heart rate was 144 this week if that means anything to you.
Labor signs:  Occasional contractions that aren't painful, but the doctor isn't concerned unless I have more than five an hour.
Belly button in or out?:   Flat. But one little part is starting to pooch out sometimes.
Wedding rings on or off?:  On
Happy or Moody most of the time?:   Happy, but more hormonal in this third trimester.
Most looking forward to:  Another week of relaxing and family time. Not much going on this week, but this coming weekend is the 'Retire the Red Raiders' festivities. My high school mascot is going away (we're consolidating with a nearby town), so lots of things going on. Perhaps I'll give you a recap post?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Baby W: 29 Weeks

Baby should be weighing in at 2 1/2 pounds and 
just over 15 inches long

Total weight gain:   No update here, guessing still about 30 pounds. Probably a few more.
Maternity clothes:  Wearing my maternity pants on a pretty regular basis, and loving them! Talk about genius.
Stretch marks:  Nope.
Sleep:  Sleeping really well, and loving this whole sleeping-at-night thing!
Best moment this week:   Spending more time with friends and family has been great!
Miss anything?:  Just my hubs!
Movement:  Feeling lots of movement every day. I can definitely tell when Baby is awake or asleep.
Food cravings:  Just ice cream :)
Anything make you queasy or sick?:  Nope

Aches and pains:  The sciatica pain continues on the right side, but getting used to it. 
Starting to show yet?:  Silly question.
Gender prediction:  I still have my money on boy and I've been getting a lot more "it's a boy" opinions than usual, but still not sure!
Labor signs:  Having occasional belly cramps which might be this Braxton Hicks business (I read recently that they happen during the whole pregnancy but you just don't notice until later), but nothing painful or significant.
Belly button in or out?:   The flatness continues.
Wedding rings on or off?:  On, except during a long walk or after eating a lot of salt.
Happy or Moody most of the time?:   Happy
Most looking forward to:  This week's travels will be to Kansas City to see Sasha and Jakob (a friend from college and her son - my godson!), and to Omaha for a doctor's appointment and a baby shower. Excited to see so many people this week!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Baby W: 28 Weeks

Baby should be weighing in at 2 1/4 pounds,
and 14.8 inches long

Total weight gain:   30 pounds (i guess we'll have a weight-loss journey beginning in october!)
Maternity clothes:  Yes, and they're heavenly. Seriously, the pants are so comfortable it should be illegal. They look a little silly, but no one knows they go up to your boobs. Everyone needs a pair for Thanksgiving  dinner :)
Stretch marks:  No, but I have more cellulite than care to see in my life
Sleep:  Amazingly, the past couple nights have been the best sleep in a loooong time. I'm totally enjoying this sleeping-at-night business.
Best moment this week:   It was a great week! My last shifts at work were enjoyable, I got to see Mike for a whopping 36 hours, and now I'm back home visiting friends & family for an entire month. It doesn't get much better!
Miss anything?:  Nope- it was a great week
Movement:  Oh yes. This kid must be taking up more room in there, because I feel a little something really frequently. I think everything the kid switches positions I can feel it.
Food cravings:  Nope
Anything make you queasy or sick?:  Just watching them eat the mushy buns on the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

Aches and pains:  The sciatic pain in my right hip is still bothering me, but an ice pack and changing positions does wonders
Starting to show yet?:  Most definitely
Gender prediction:  No clue
Labor signs:  None
Belly button in or out?:   Flat
Wedding rings on or off?:  On unless I'm going for a walk or doing something where my hands get extra-puffy
Happy or Moody most of the time?:   Happy
Most looking forward to:  Spending some more time with friends & family. And continuing to sleep at night instead of during the day. Both are long overdue!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Patriotic Baby Headband

You may have noticed... it's been a while since I've been crafty. It seems like our weekends have been filled with traveling and my weeks have been filled with working and sleeping [or at least attempting].  Well that's about to change. I'm going to have a lot more time on my hands for the next couple of months, so I'll share some of my activities with you. Because you care. After all, that's why you're here, right??

Earlier this week I went to an arts and crafts fair here in St. Cloud, and I saw some super-cute baby things. It took all I had to resist buying lots of adorable little things. It's a good thing I only had $20 and I don't know what this little bambino is. 

So inspired by the birth of my newest little buddy [HUGE congratulations to Mama Kayla, Papa Brett, and Big Sis Kasey on the adorable addition], I wanted to make a little headband like one I had seen, for the precious sisters for their 4th of July celebration. Kayla got her wish and Kylie Jeanne joined this world a few days early, so they'll be home to watch their neighbors' magical fireworks show. Of course they need a little extra red, white & blue!

These little headbands are oh-so-adorable every time I see them in Pinterest, so I thought I should give it a try. I don't know if Mama K will put these on the girls for their 4th of July celebration [hopefully she finds them as adorable as i do], but if she does, she better share a picture with us all! 

The headbands were actually pretty simple to make.  If you're interested, one day I'll share a quick tutorial with you. Or maybe I will even if you're not interested :)

Enjoy your 4th of July, wherever you may be!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Family: The Friends We Don't Pick

On my last full weekend living in Minnesota, some of my family came to visit.  We didn't have any plans, but we had quite the eventful weekend. We celebrated my brother's birthday [twice], did some shopping, ate some delicious food, and enjoyed the fly-in breakfast at the local airport. It was a wonderful way to spend my last weekend in town, and I'm so glad they made the trip to visit.

They got to town on my brother's birthday, so we went to the local Mexican restaurant for his free birthday dinner and dessert. Here's the fried ice cream - candle included!

The next day we celebrated [again] after dinner. Here is Michael's Snickers birthday cake. 
My dad decided it would be more fun if it was tough for him to blow out the candles!

He wasn't so impressed.

But he got them all blown out at once!

The cake was super delicious, but a little naughty. 

While at Gander Mountain, I found these boots that were ridiculously huge. You can't really tell in the picture, but they were seriously gigantic!

Here's a bi-plane that was at the fly-in breakfast.
There is a fly-in breakfast in Corning every year on the 4th of July. We've gone since I was really little, and it was something we always looked forward to. Since I haven't been home for the 4th of July for several years, it was really fun that the St. Cloud airport was having one the weekend my dad was in town. For breakfast, they flipped pancakes at you to catch and had sausage. There were lots of different planes to look at, as well as a bunch of antique cars and remote control planes.

This is a Cessna, the same kind of plane my Grandpa had when we were little.

The collection of antique cars on display.

They opened the hangar that had the jets, too! This is the ATS jet - a local trucking company.

This is a Light Sport - a super tiny plane that my dad and brother were eyeing.

There's the run-down of our fun weekend in St. Cloud.
Now, to stay focused during my last two shifts at work....