Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A different style of Menu Monday

Let the craziness begin! Thus begins moving week for this branch of the Rumely family. I have driven back to Lovejoy so that I could bring Christmas presents back so they could be packed by the movers. Jessica is staying in Athens so that she can spend her last few days with her parents.

Tomorrow, Jessica and her mother will drive to Lovejoy so that Jess can leave her car to be shipped to Richland, WA. She'll leave with her mother to go to a doctor's appointment to do our final checkup on the baby in Georgia. After the appointment, Jessica and her mother will go back to Athens while I stay and make sure that the movers are correctly recording the state of our furniture. Wednesday morning I will meet with our landlord to make sure that everything is taken care of as far as Jessica and I moving out. We will then be done with all the moving in Georgia! Wednesday evening, I will attend a friend's wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner with Jessica.

Thursday we will be taking care of making sure that clothes are washed and things are “together” and ready to be packed. Thursday evening is my friend's wedding, and I will be a groomsman.

Friday Jessica and I will spend the afternoon with both of our parents at the Rumely's house eating a New Years dinner. Georgia plays in its football bowl game in the afternoon, and depending on the state of packing we may or may not watch the game. (sigh) Jessica and I will not watch the ball drop, instead we will be fast asleep (hopefully) getting rest before our early flight.

Saturday morning we will leave Athens, GA heading for the Atlanta airport around 5:00 a.m. Our flight departs at 8:20 a.m., and, after a layover in Salt Lake City, UT we will head for Richland, WA. Currently we are scheduled to arrive at 12:20 in the afternoon Pacific time (3:20 Eastern time). After that we check into the hotel that has been set up by Bechtel.

Sunday at noon Jessica and I will make our way back to the airport so that we can pick up our scheduled rental car (they are not open on Saturday). After that I plan on visiting the hotel's workout facilities after a quick drive past the place that I report on Monday.

We have arrived at crunch time, and I pray for God's grace in dealing with the many people involved in helping us make this transition. I also pray that stress would be kept at a minimum, and that Jessica and I would rely on His strength and not our own. Thanks to all of our family and friends for supporting us throughout our first year and several months of marriage. We love you all, and we look forward to continuing our relationships with you even as we start new relationships in Washington. God Bless!

P.S.  These plans are subject to change based on +/- sleep levels and ability to get people's help.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Our little blessing at 24 weeks

Merry Christmas to everyone! We've had a wonderful time with family and friends this last week. And we're one week closer to meeting our little man!

How far along? 24 weeks

Baby’s size? The baby is about the length of an ear of corn (almost a foot long and about a pound and a half!).  Much of that weight comes from accumulating baby fat, as well as from growing organs, bones, and muscle. Those little ears of his are getting sharper and can hear very loud sounds, from a yapping dog to a jackhammer. Also by now, that fabulous face is almost fully formed, complete with eyelashes, eyebrows, and hair. Is your baby a brunette, a blonde, or a redhead? Actually, right now his locks are white since there's no pigment yet.

Maternity clothes? I'm pretty much wearing solely maternity clothes. And with us about to move, I'm only going to pack maternity clothes because the regular clothes won't fit long enough for me to bother packing them for however long we're going to be staying in a hotel. 
Sleep? Sleep is fine. I'm sleeping pretty deeply for the most part, though getting comfortable takes some effort, especially since during the holidays we're sleeping in bed different from our own in one way or another. 

Food cravings? I'm still craving big tall glasses of ice cold milk. Otherwise, I'm just enjoying Christmas goodies with little to no guilt over calories (without going overboard, of course).

Food aversions?  None.

Symptoms? Not much. I get out of breath a little easier than normal. I've also been a little more tired. 

Best moment this week? Celebrating Christmas with our families before the move. Baby Rumely got several presents despite still being a fetus. :) Also, Dad finally felt the baby move on Christmas Day so that was exciting. It's also amazing knowing that next Christmas we'll have a sweet 8-month-old baby!

Movement? I feel a good amount of movement throughout the day and night. Only Tim, my mom, and my dad have been able to feel him from the outside so far, but he seems to be getting stronger. 

What I miss about not being pregnant? Nothing really this week. I got a lot of cute maternity clothes for Christmas so I'm not missing not being able to fit into "regular people clothes."

What am I looking forward to? Feeling him moving a lot more. And I can't wait until we find a place to live in Washington so that we can set up the nursery. It will feel so real when we have the room ready for him to come home to!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

On the move...again.

This is a post written by Tim about our latest big news:

On January 1, Jessica and I will be embarking on the next adventure of our lives.  We will board a plane headed to Richland, WA (part of the Tri-Cities area which also includes Kennewick and Pasco) so that I can begin a new position as a Project Controls Engineer for Bechtel National, Inc.  We are very excited about the possibilities this job affords our family, and are heartbroken that we can’t bring our friends and family along.  

I will be working on the Hanford Vitrification Project just north of Richland.  My duties will include:

Supports cost estimating, analysis, and control activities and schedule development, maintenance, reporting, and monitoring activities, as directed. For a large project or staff group, duties encompass a variety of tasks, but remain within parameters established by the procedure or process being supported. For a medium project staff group, duties encompass a variety of tasks that are required to support the project/group.

In short, I don’t know exactly what I will be asked to help with.  It could be in one or all of the above categories.

The project is funded by the Department of Energy, and its purpose is to stabilize the nuclear waste left from the refining of plutonium during World War II and the Cold War.  Should any nuclear waste seep into the Yakima or Columbia River, there would be lots of farmland left without irrigation, and the ecosystem could be wrecked.  In Bechtel’s words:

In southeastern Washington state, Bechtel National, Inc. is designing, constructing and commissioning the world’s largest radioactive waste treatment plant for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). When complete, the Hanford Tank Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) will process and stabilize 53 million gallons of radioactive and chemical waste currently stored at the Hanford Site.
The WTP will use vitrification technology, which involves blending the waste with glass-forming materials and heating it to 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit (1,149 degrees Celsius). The mixture is then poured into stainless steel canisters to cool and solidify. In this glass form, the waste is stable and impervious to the environment, and its radioactivity will dissipate over hundreds to thousands of years.
The WTP Project is equivalent to building two nuclear power plants. Its construction site spans 65 acres and includes four major nuclear facilities -- Pretreatment, Low-Activity Waste Vitrification, High-Level Waste Vitrification and Analytical Laboratory. Construction began in October 2001, and, in late 2009, the plant surpassed the 50-percent complete mark.
Construction is expected to be complete in 2016, and, following commissioning, the plant will be operational in the fall of 2019.

The "High Waste Building"
I’m personally excited about the opportunity to work on a site of this scale.  It is a little daunting, but when my career is over I want to be able to look back and be proud of being a part of projects that were so much larger than individuals or companies.  Bechtel has a reputation of taking on many historic engineering and construction jobs, and I’m excited to join a company that doesn’t set limits on its capabilities.  Some of Bechtel’s projects include the Hoover dam, the “Big Dig” also known as the Ted Williams Hwy in Boston, and the “Chunnel” or car tunnel under the English Channel. 

As for the move, Jessica and I will fly out of Atlanta at 8:20 a.m. January 1, 2011.  We will be routed through Salt Lake City, and then on to the Tri-Cities area (Richland, Kennewick, Pasco).  Once there, Bechtel has arranged for us to stay in a hotel for up to two months as we search for a permanent place to live.  The project has the rental market almost completely full, and we pray that we’ll have a simple transition into a new home. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Showered with love

     Our big shower was this past weekend. My aunt and my cousin got together with a few others to throw me a shower before we move across the country in January. And Tim and I are so overwhelmed with the love people showed to our baby boy and us. It was so wonderful!
     We had a lot more guests attend than I thought would considering the last minuteness of the shower and Christmas coming up. Everyone there blessed us so much! I was so surprised by the enormous mountain of presents and that the guests could hardly fit into one room with me while I opened gifts for what seemed like hours.
     Here are some pictures:
This is one of the diaper cakes that my cousin Johanna made me. You can see the other UGA-themed one in the background. I think Johanna could have a career in diaper cake making if she wanted. They were so cute. 
A friend also made me a diaper cake, topped with Peepee Teepees, but I don't have a picture on my camera. 
Here is a picture of the beautifully wrapped presents on the gift table. Surprisingly, this was before most of the guests had even arrived! As the first grandchild on both sides of the family, this little boy is going to be spoiled with love!
This is the super yummy cake that my MIL ordered. Sadly, none of it made it home with me, but the piece I had at the shower was delicious.
We were set to play a few games before opening presents, but because there were so many gifts, we only got to play one before I started unwrapping. Guests had to try and guess the circumference of my pregnant tummy using crepe paper. My church friend Brennen was right on the dot when she guessed. My BIL's fiancee came in second with a very close guess as well. 
We received so many great gifts. I won't put a million pictures on here, but I'll try to summarize some of our gifts. We received our changing pad, baby monitor, lots of diapers, lots of cute clothes including blue jean overalls and some really preppy rompers, our baby bath tub, bottles, a breast pump, stuffed animals and toys, an infant seat, our baby bedding, our stroller and carseat thanks to my inlaws, Diaper Genie, bath stuff, and so many other little things off of our registry. 

I had a blast! But I was also so tired and hot when I finished opening all these gifts. Haha! I am so grateful to everyone for the shower and the gifts. I was really sad when I found out we were moving because I was afraid I wouldn't get the experience of having a baby shower. This was such a wonderful surprise.  

Our little blessing at 22 weeks

How far along? 22 weeks

Baby’s size? The baby is about the length of a papaya (10.5-11.8 inches long and 12.7-20.8 ounces). According to TheBump.com, the baby is now able to hear outside noise from down in the womb. Studies show that baby finds gentle music and your own voice most soothing. Nipples are starting to sprout, and that little face is fully formed. And, baby’s starting to settle into sleep cycles, snoozing about 12 to 14 hours a day. It shouldn't be hard to figure out when—just pay attention to those kicks as they start and stop. (This baby likes to be awake at night and sleep during the day. Just getting me ready for when he’s born, I guess.)

Maternity clothes? I wear mainly maternity clothes and some of my longer shirts. I love that my belly has started to fill out my maternity shirts.
Sleep? Sleep has been really good for the most part. I have to get up to use the restroom about every two or three hours, but I fall back asleep pretty quickly.

Food cravings? Still craving milk. And my cereal of choice at the moment to have with my milk is Apple Dapples (the Publix brand version of Apple Jacks). My fruit craving has pretty much gone away. I still like fruit, but not in the same “gotta have it” kind of way.

Food aversions? Nothing really.

Symptoms? No bad ones, but I am hungry a lot. I have to eat small snacks throughout the day to help me make it to meal times.

Best moment this week? Feeling the baby move a lot more often. My favorite time of the day is late at night when he’s most awake.

Movement?  I feel him moving every day, still mostly at night and early in the morning. He apparently sleeps most during the day when I’m moving around.

Any ideas about the gender? A precious little boy.

What I miss about not being pregnant? Still real clothes. Now that I don’t fit in most of my old clothes, it’s pretty annoying to have such a limited wardrobe. Also, I only fit into one pair of my pajama pants and that makes me sad. :(

What I’m looking forward to? My baby shower! 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Our little blessing at 21 weeks

How far along? 21 weeks

Baby’s size? The baby is about the length of a banana (10.5 inches long and 12.7 ounces). According to TheBump.com, the baby gulps down several ounces of amniotic fluid every day, both for hydration and nutrition and to practice swallowing and digesting. And, these days, those taste buds actually work! Studies show that after birth, babies are most interested in tastes they’ve already experienced through amniotic fluid.
Maternity clothes? I have been wearing my maternity jeans and a mixture of maternity and non-maternity tops. I went shopping last weekend and my mom got me a bunch of maternity clothes, including some sweaters, a couple dresses, and a coat.
Sleep? Sleep is pretty good. Though late at night is when the baby loves to move the most.

Food cravings? This week I have been craving milk for sure. We’ve gone through an entire gallon in four days and the majority of that was me.

Food aversions? Nothing really.

Symptoms? No bad ones.

Best moment this week? When Tim finally felt the baby move. It was just a little bonk and I’m pretty sure it will still be a few more weeks before it will be easy to feel the baby from outside my tummy, but the look on his face was still priceless.

Movement? A lot more in this last week. I feel him several times a day. It’s still not the strongest punches and kicks, but it is comforting to feel him bopping around in there. He's getting stronger every day.

Any ideas about the gender? A handsome baby boy!

What I miss about not being pregnant? Being able to shop in regular clothing stores. There are just not many places to shop when you’re pregnant. Especially if you’re looking for a dress to wear to a wedding.

What I’m looking forward to?  My baby shower next weekend! I’m so happy that my family and friends surprised me with one so I could have one before the move.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The nursery

     Tim and I have been looking at cribs and nursery bedding since we found out we were pregnant. This last week while we were in Athens visiting for Thanksgiving, we found the crib and dresser that we want. And we've also decided which nursery bedding we'd like. We have to wait to order the crib and dresser until after we've moved, and we haven't ordered any of the bedding yet either. I'm glad we finally made a decision. 
  Here is the crib with the dresser (though we don't plan to buy the hutch attached to the dresser). It's made by Bona Vita and is called Hudson. We like it best in the chocolate color. It's a convertible crib, meaning it can be turned into a toddler bed, a daybed, and finally, a full size bed. I also like it because it looks masculine enough, but not too much that we couldn't use it in the future for a little girl if we decided to.
This is the bedding we've decided on. It is from Pottery Barn Kids. It is called Eli's Elephant. I really like elephants, but I'm not a big fan of really big cartoon-looking bedding for nurseries. This one is a little more simple and classic, I think. And I love the combination of blue and green.
Here is a close-up of the design on the bedding. 
And last, but not least, here is the matching crib mobile. I think it is really cute. The other thing I like about the mobile is that it plays Henry Mancini's jazz piece "Baby Elephant Walk."
Pottery Barn no longer carries the matching rug and window valance, but I think not having everything matching perfectly will keep the nursery from looking too theme-y. What do you think about our choices?

Meet our little man

     After our visit to the doctor for our anatomy screening, I was disappointed that we had so few pictures and no video to show our family and friends. So when I got an e-mail from an ultrasound imaging center in Buckhead, I called Tim at work and begged him to let us go there where you can get a 15 minute ultrasound, a DVD of the session, and a CD of pictures taken during the ultrasound. And boy, was it worth it!
     When we got into the room to do the ultrasound, the sonographer brought up the image of our son on a huge 42" screen. It was amazing! 

     This is just a clip of the almost 13 minute video we have of the sonogram. It is amazing to watch. Tim and I have seen it more than 10 times now. Our little boy is just so cute!

Friday, November 26, 2010

It's a...

Are you ready to find out?

We're excited to announce that we're expecting.....

A super cute, sweet and cuddly......



Tuesday, November 23, 2010

This cupcake...

contains a big secret...
and a special filling.

Stay tuned for the big news and pictures from our gender reveal dinner!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Our little blessing at 19 weeks

How far along? 19 weeks

Baby’s size? The baby is the size of a mango (about 6 inches long and 8.5 ounces). Our baby, based on the ultrasound Tuesday, weighs closer to 12 ounces. Vernix caseosa, a greasy white substance made of lanugo, oil and dead skin cells (yum) now coats baby’s skin, shielding it from the amniotic fluid. (Picture yourself after a nine-month bath, and the need for protection makes sense.)
Maternity clothes? Still not big enough for maternity shirts, but I definitely am wearing the maternity jeans a ton. Otherwise you can find me in a pair of Tim’s gray sweatpants.

Sleep? Good for the most part. Sometimes I have trouble finding a comfortable position, but I still fall asleep relatively quickly (especially if Tim is rubbing my back.)

Food cravings? Pancakes. Pizza. Texas Pete. Grapefruit.

Food aversions? Nope.

Symptoms? None.

Best moment this week? Finding out whether our baby was a boy or a girl! And seeing how cute the baby is on the ultrasound.

Movement? I feel some tiny flutters and the occasional more forceful (yet still tiny) kick pretty much daily now.

Any ideas about the gender? I know! But I’m not telling just yet.

What I miss about not being pregnant? I kind-of miss being able to wear normal clothing. Tim and I went to an outlet mall today and walking past the Ann Taylor store and knowing there was no point in buying new clothes from there was kind-of sad.

What I’m looking forward to? Telling our families the baby’s sex. I cannot wait! 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The long-awaited appointment

     We have a secret….

     Our anatomy screening appointment went really great. The baby is actually measuring at 20 weeks, versus the 18w3d it was supposed to be. The doctor is not changing my due date though because starting in the second trimester, babies start growing at different rates. The sonographer said the baby weighs about 12 ounces (almost twice what the baby books say for this time). The heartbeat was around 150 beats per minute.

     Here's a somewhat blurry picture of the baby's precious face and round tummy.

     Here are basically all the details from the scan:

     We saw the baby’s little spine quite a bit. The baby stayed in pretty much the same position the whole time with its back up and its head curled underneath it, hiding its face.

     We did get a quick peek between the baby’s legs to see if it was a boy or a girl, but after that the baby kept those legs together tight. We were so excited to finally know the baby's sex, that we went to Target after the scan and bought one of these sets of onesies. You'll have to wait until next week to find out whether we bought blue or pink!

The heart looks great from the views she was able to get, though it was tough because with the way the baby was positioned, she had to look through my abdomen, through the uterus, through the placenta, and through the baby’s back to see the heart.

     We saw the baby’s teeny tiny stomach and the kidneys. She even said the baby’s stomach and bladder were full.

     We saw all the limbs and checked to make sure all the bones looked good, which they did. We even saw its little hands and feet.

     She examined the baby’s head/brain/skull and tried over and over to get a good shot of its face. It turned towards the screen briefly once and she took a picture but not a good enough one.

     So…because Baby Rumely is either very stubborn or just wants to see mommy and daddy again, we have to return for another ultrasound in two weeks so we can get a good shot of the baby’s face. I am so not complaining. I just saw the baby two days ago and I already want another peek!

     Sadly, the sonographer only gave us three pictures from the scan, one of its face and two of its feet. We also were not allowed to videotape the sonogram (due to HIPAA rules or something like that). Either way, I thought it was pretty lame and I’m disappointed we don’t have more to show our parents and siblings next week.

     We have a gender reveal dinner planned for next Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving) to tell our parents and siblings. We’ve planned a fun way to reveal the news. I can’t wait!!! We will tell our extended family on Thanksgiving and then I will put the news on the blog.

     It’s been pretty hard not to slip up and spill the beans when we’re talking on the phone to family and friends, but so far Tim and I have kept our lips sealed.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Menu Monday

Monday night: Chicken and rice pot pie. This is a recipe I found in some magazine. I can’t remember which. It is supposed to be a healthier version of chicken pot pie and is perfect for this rainy day.
Tuesday night: Sweet and spicy tilapia with green beans and roasted red potatoes. This is a recipe from the August 2010 Cooking Light magazine. It is really tasty.
Wednesday night: Eat out
Thursday night: Roadhouse steaks with ancho chile rub with roasted potatoes and peas. This is a Cooking Light recipe.
Friday night: Pancakes and bacon. I’ve really been craving pancakes this week.
Saturday night: Sausages with sautéed apples and cabbage. We still have some sausages from south Georgia in the freezer and I figured we should use them.
Sunday night: Taco meat loaf. This is a Paula Deen recipe and one of Tim’s favorites.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Our little blessing at 18 weeks

How far along? 18 weeks

Baby’s size?  The baby is about the size of a sweet potato (about 5.6 inches long and 6.7 ounces). The baby has become amazingly mobile, passing the hours yawning, hiccuping, rolling, twisting, kicking, punching, sucking and swallowing. And, baby’s finally big enough that I'll be able to feel those movements soon.
Maternity clothes? Just maternity jeans and regular tops.

Sleep? Sleep is good for the most part, though sometimes it’s hard to get into a comfortable position and I wake up every few hours to use the bathroom.

Food cravings? Still fruit and juices. Currently craving a chocolate peppermint milkshake from Chick-Fil-A. Tim says we can get one on Tuesday to celebrate finding out the baby's sex.

Food aversions? Nothing really.

Symptoms? Nothing this week. I’m feeling good.

Best moment this week? Hearing the baby’s heartbeat at my new doctor’s office where pretty much everyone was really nice. I think we chose the right place! Also, when my friend K.’s hairdresser told me I was, “Soooo tiny for 17 weeks.”

Movement? Nothing really. Sometimes a little flutter, but nothing substantial.

Any ideas about the gender? I have no idea, but I don’t have much longer to wait until we know. Our anatomy scan is Tuesday! That's less than 36 hours from now!

What I miss about not being pregnant? Not a thing!

What I’m looking forward to? Our appointment Tuesday to find out if this little sweet potato is a boy or a girl! Also, the last time we had an ultrasound (at 7 and a half weeks), the baby looked like a lima bean basically, so we’re excited to see a little person in there.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Name that baby!

     Here at the Rumely household, we’ve been getting pretty antsy waiting for all those big milestones of pregnancy…first kicks, finding out the sex of the baby, getting a big round basketball-sized bump…so we were drawn to an idea we found in one of our many baby name books. Think of it this way, you have a group of names competing to find out which one is best…remind you of anything that perhaps takes place every March? That’s right, it was baby name bracket time!
     Our “play-off” system worked similarly to the NCAA basketball championship. We made one bracket each for boys and girls with 16 names we liked. We matched them up initially based on similarities, for instance biblical names like Caleb and Josiah were matched up and names with similar sounds like Charlotte and Juliet were pitted against each other. The best of each pair were chosen, eliminating the rest until we were down to one name for each sex.
     We passed out the brackets to family and friends so they could get an idea of the names we like and we could get an idea how our name choices might go over with others. Each of them filled out their bracket to find their favorites of our names. The results were interesting and it was great to get our family and friends involved. We can’t promise that the top names will be what we ultimately choose for our little one (in fact, I can pretty much guarantee that they won’t be—sorry!), but I can say that when Tim and I filled out our own brackets separately, we agreed on both a male and female name. And once that squirmy little cutey is in our arms, I think whatever name we chose will seem perfect to everyone. Except maybe my Uncle Joe, who insists that the baby, should it be a boy, be named after him, and if it’s a girl, be named Valerie. Again, pretty certain that’s not going to happen either.
     For those interested in how our favorite names fared with our family and friends, I will list each of the names that won the championship at least once. We had a total of 15 brackets filled out in the end.
     For boys, the name that won the championship the most (3 times), was Lucas, followed by, with two championship wins each, Caleb and Oliver. The other names that won the championship one time were Noah, Owen, Josiah, Landon, Levi, Ian, and Ezra.
     The girl name that won the championship spot most was Meredith (3 times). Amelia, Olivia, Aria, and Charlotte each earned two championship wins. The other names that won the championship once were Hannah, Violet, and Abigail.

     In other news, after my visit to the doctor on Tuesday, we now have an appointment this coming Tuesday for our anatomy scan where we will hopefully find out the sex of Baby Rumely! We are waiting until Thanksgiving to tell our families so we can do it in person, but stay tuned to the blog because I’ll announce it on here soon after we’ve announced the news to our parents and siblings. So…in case you haven’t had a chance to make your guess in our poll, you only have four more days to vote!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Menu Monday

Tuesday night: Oven-friend chicken parmesan. This is a recipe from Cooking Light magazine. We'll have it with sauteed green beans. 

Wednesday night: I'm going to Athens to visit my friend K. from Florida who is up here visiting her parents. I may come home late or stay in Athens overnight so Tim is all set to fend for himself.
Thursday night: Bratwursts with sauerkraut.
Friday night: Taco soup. This is a recipe from a blog called For the Love of Cooking. I’ve never made it before, but it looks pretty tasty.
Saturday night: Taco soup leftovers.
Sunday night: Pan seared chicken with apricot sauce. This is a recipe from the Eating Well website. We'll have it with brown rice and steamed broccoli. 
So, tomorrow is my first appointment at my new doctor since we've moved. It should be a pretty routine appointment, but I will update everyone with any new information I get. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Our little blessing at 17 weeks

How far along? 17 weeks

Baby’s size? The baby is the size of an onion (about 5.1 inches long and 5.9 ounces). Another book compares it to a grapefruit, which sounds a lot cuter and also, coincidentally, is what I've been craving this week. The baby’s skeleton is hardening, changing from rubbery cartilage to bone, and fat is finally accumulating around it. The umbilical cord is getting thicker and stronger, and those little fingers and toes are now topped by one-of-a-kind prints.
Maternity clothes? Still wearing maternity jeans and stretchy shorts and yoga pants. No maternity shirts, though, because they are still too big for the most part.

Sleep? Sleep has gotten better again. I haven’t felt the restless leg feeling for a while and I sleep really deeply. 

Food cravings? Juicy fruits like oranges and grapefruits (my new favorite). And grapefruit juice. And Longhorn's chicken strips (Thanks, Aunt T. for the gift card). 

Food aversions? Nothing really. I'm not a big fan of vegetables right now, but I eat them anyway because I know they're good for me.

Symptoms? I’ve been getting pretty frequent headaches. They are not cured easily, not even with sleep. But I did read somewhere that a little bit of caffeine can help so I have a bottle of Cherry Coke Zero ready for the next one. I have to go to the bathroom about a million times a day. Also, my belly button is actually getting shallow already.

Best moment this week? I feel like I’ve “popped,” meaning I actually am starting to get a pregnant tummy and not just a chubby tummy. Also, we found out this week that some friends of ours are also expecting, which is really exciting!

Movement? Sometimes I feel a little fluttering feeling in my lower abdomen, though it is fleeting. The other morning I felt what seemed like an actual (albeit tiny) kick, but who knows?

Any ideas about the gender? I have no idea at all. We should find out in a few weeks though! Last night I had a dream that it was a little boy with curly brown hair who was watching a kid's show on TV and signing the alphabet in sign language. 

What I miss about not being pregnant? Nothing compared to being pregnant. 

What I’m looking forward to? I’m looking forward to going to the doctor next week and hopefully hearing the baby’s heartbeat again. And I can’t wait to make our appointment for the anatomy screening so we can see if we’re having a son or a daughter!

Also, have you noticed our poll to the right? Boy has pulled into the lead, but we still have a few weeks for final votes to be cast!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Menu Monday

It’s a short week of meals because we’re going home to Athens for a visit this weekend.

Monday night: Homemade chili. I use the Carroll Shelby seasoning kit and add onions to the ground beef and then a can of kidney beans and a can of diced tomatoes to the chili. I serve it over Fritos chips. We like it hot so we add the cayenne pepper.

Tuesday night: Baked tilapia with asparagus and roasted red potatoes. I will most likely cook the potatoes and fish similar to how I did it last week.
Wednesday night: Leftover chili with hot dogs. Because with just the two of us, we are sure to have leftovers tonight and I’m trying to make our grocery budget stretch.
Thursday night: Creole shrimp sauté with steamed broccoli. This is an Apron’s recipe from Publix. It’s really easy and super quick and tastes oh-so-buttery and indulgent. I make one small change to the recipe based on another time I made it and didn’t have the ingredient I needed. Instead of using bacon in it, which we found got kind-of gross and soggy (I know, who knew bacon could be gross?), I put little mini-pepperonis in it. It adds just the right amount of spice. If you want the recipe, go here.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Our little blessing at 15 weeks

How far along? 15 weeks

Baby’s size? The baby is the size of an orange (about four inches long and 2.5 ounces). Continuing the march towards normal proportions, the baby's legs now outmeasure the arms. And, finally, all four limbs have functional joints. The fetus is squirming and wiggling like crazy down in the womb, though I probably still won’t be able to feel the movements.

Maternity clothes? Pretty much only wearing maternity jeans and stretchy gym shorts or yoga pants. My regular shirts still fit fine, especially the longer ones.

Sleep? Sleep is okay most nights, but the last couple of nights I’ve had that whole restless leg syndrome feeling and it’s been almost impossible to get back to sleep.

Food cravings? Fruit and juice still. Salt and vinegar chips. (To which Tim says yuck!)

Food aversions? Nothing.

Symptoms? Restless legs. A weird sort-of sore, stretchy feeling inside my lower abdomen. Stuffy nose. Plus my hair seems to be falling out a lot more than usual. But nothing too bad. 

Best moment this week? Tim playing music against my belly for the baby.

Movement? Nope.

Any ideas about the gender? Tim had another dream about the baby this week and this time he dreamed it was a girl. Otherwise, still no idea, though we should find out in about five weeks or so.

What I miss about not being pregnant? I miss my real jeans. Especially right now when I don’t feel like I look pregnant, but I don’t fit into my regular pants.

What I’m looking forward to? Little kicks and punches.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


     What do you do when you have a bunch of freshly picked apples from the north Georgia mountains?     Scour the Internet for a yummy recipe, of course!
     I found this recipe for Whole Wheat Apple Muffins on a cooking blog called Smitten Kitchen. If you want to check out that blog, you can go here. I altered the recipe slightly and the muffins turned out great!
     Luckily, I had most of the ingredients already in my cupboards/fridge. 

Whole Wheat Apple Muffins
Yield: They said 12, I  got about 16

1 cup (4 ounces) whole wheat flour
1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
6 ounces yogurt plain yogurt, plus a splash or so of milk if the batter isn't moist enough
2 large apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Grease and flour 18 muffin cups and set aside.
Mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and set aside. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and add the granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add the egg and mix well; stop once to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.Mix in the yogurt and milk. Stir in the dry ingredients and fold in the apple chunks.

   Here's the final result. If you have the ingredients on hand, make these muffins. Make them now.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hump Day Bump Day

Camping last weekend in Blairsville was a lot of fun. We sat around the fire and talked, ate hobo meals and peach cobbler, roasted marshmallows, visited the Sorghum Festival, and did a small bit of hiking. And we actually ran into Tim's parents unexpectedly while they were in Young Harris. The temperature was pretty perfect and it was great getting to spend time with friends and family.
We took my 14 weeks "bump" photo while we were camping last Saturday. Forgive the camping hair and lack of make-up.

We got to use our tent for the second time together.

 Also, here is a picture of Tim and I as a bonus.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Menu Monday

Here is our menu for this week.
Monday night: Sausages with sautéed cabbage and apples. The sausages were given to us by family friends from south Georgia and the apples are from our camping trip in Blairsville last weekend. The side dish is a new recipe that I’ve never tried before. I found it in the October 2010 issue of Real Simple.
Tuesday night: Roasted tilapia, potatoes, and lemon. This is a recipe from the October 2010 issue of Real Simple. We’ll have it with sautéed green beans.

Wednesday night: Chicken lo mein. This is a really easy short-cut recipe I got off the Real Simple website. It uses ramen noodles and Tim really likes it. 
Thursday night: Chicken, spinach, and cannellini soup. This is a recipe from Paula Deen magazine. With the weather finally getting cooler, it’s the perfect time for soup!
Friday night: Pork chops, sweet potato fries, and homemade applesauce. The original recipe was from Cooking Light magazine.

Saturday night: Southwestern quiche. I’m going to try to replicate the quiche at The Big Easy in Watkinsville. We’ll see if I can pull it off…
Sunday night: Not sure what we’ll have this night. I may just scrounge around the kitchen to see what I can throw together. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Our little blessing at 14 weeks

I'm posting this a day early because we're going out of town on a camping trip this weekend. And I already missed last week's update because we were out of town for my great-grandmother's funeral. 

How far along? 14 weeks

Baby’s size? The baby is the size of a lemon. The fetus is busy with thumb sucking, toe wiggling, and (not so cute but equally amazing) making urine and breathing amniotic fluid as the liver, kidneys and spleen continue to develop. Lanugo (thin, downy hair) is growing all over the body for warmth.

Maternity clothes? I’m occasionally wearing my maternity jeans. I have a few maternity shirts, but I won’t wear those until I get a bigger baby bump.

Sleep? Sleep is pretty great. I do wake up a few times in the night, but I fall asleep again pretty quickly.

Food cravings? Grape juice! I drank a whole bottle in two days. I also demolished a pineapple in about the same amount of time.

Food aversions? Nothing really.

Symptoms? Nothing really.

Best moment this week? According to the books, the baby should be able to hear by next week. Because Tim thinks our baby is an overachiever, he’s already started talking to my stomach. It’s really cute.

Movement? Nope.

Any ideas about the gender? Tim dreamed that it was a boy last weekend, but we still won’t know for sure for another month or so. According to one of the old wives tales I read online, if you dream that the baby is a boy, it’s really a girl and vice versa. Can’t wait to find out! Check out our guesses in the previous post and cast your vote in the poll on the side of the page!

What I miss about not being pregnant? Compared to the excitement of having a baby, I don’t miss anything.

What I’m looking forward to? Feeling the baby move around. And getting a more obvious baby bump.

No picture for now, but we'll try to take one this weekend while we're on our camping trip. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Boy or Girl?

We have a little while still until we can find out the baby’s gender. So I thought it would be fun to see what the old wives’ tales have to say about predicting the baby’s gender.

Highs and Lows
This one you can do just by looking south: if you're carrying high, break out the pink. If your bump is low, you're carrying a boy. 

It’s too early to tell, but I wanted to put this up on the blog a little while before we were able to find out the baby’s gender, so we’ll see about this one later.

Be Still My Beating Heart
Next time your OB pulls out the Doppler to listen to baby's heartbeat, ask her to tell you what the heart rate is. According to legend, 140+ beats per minute indicates a girl, and below 140 a boy.

The last time I went to the doctor, the baby’s heartbeat was at 156 beats per minute. According to the old wives, that means a girl.

Sweet and Sour
Craving ice cream every single day? Some people believe this means it's a girl. If you have to have salty or sour stuff, then it's a boy.

I’ve mainly been craving fruit and sweet stuff, so that indicates a girl.

Chinese Birth Chart
This ancient method uses your age at conception and the month you did the deed to determine gender.

According to this, it should be a girl.

Potty Time
This one's a little out there. Pee in a cup (you've been doing it at all your prenatal appointments anyway, haven't you?), mix a tablespoon of Drano in, and watch to see if it changes color. Green = girl, and blue = boy.

We actually tried this one because we thought it was weird and funny. Unfortunately, we are cheap and use the off-brand of Drano, so my urine stayed a normal color. So no official results from this one.

Even and Odd
Legend has it that the Mayans determined a baby's sex by looking at the mother's age at conception and the year of conception. If both are even or odd, it's a girl. If one's even and one's odd, it's a boy.

I’m 25 and we conceived in 2010, so one is even and one is odd. That means it’s a boy.

Unlocking the Mystery
This is one for a friend to try. Place a key in front of your friend and ask her to pick it up. If she grabs it by the narrow part, she's in for sugar and spice and all that. If she picks it up by the round part, it's snips and snails.

Without knowing which one meant what, I picked up the fatter part of the key, which means a boy.

Spot On
If you're breaking out like crazy, blame it on your girl babe. The belief goes that girls steal their mother's beauty, hence, those annoying zits.

I haven’t had a complexion like this since high school. Chalk another one up to a girl.

Nice Ring to It
Pop off your wedding ring-if you still can!-and tie it to a string. Hang it over your belly. If it swings in a circle, a little guy's in your future. If it goes back and forth, you've got a girl.

The ring went back and forth, but it wasn’t swinging a whole lot. So another one for girl.

Queasy Does It
Sick as a dog during the first trimester-or still? Signs indicate you're having a girl. Little or no morning sickness points to a boy.

Absolutely no morning sickness at all, so signs point to a boy.

So according to this (at least the ones that work so far):

Boy: 3
Girl: 5

Not that the results have anything to do with it, but my gut feeling is that it's a girl.
I read that the mother is right about the gender 71 percent of the time. If it’s a boy though, we’ll both be really happy anyway. We really don’t have a preference either way. It’s fun to guess.
So, we'd love to know what you think our little blessing is.
We’ve added a poll on the sidebar so you can cast your vote!