Thursday, September 30, 2010

DONE list: September

I can't believe that September is over.  It was a busy month.  It's a lot of work preparing for a baby. ha! Anyway, I'm very happy with with my DONE list for September.  Here's my list again:

Make Onesie Dress
Finish Crib Rail Protectors

Make Big/Little Sister Shirts
Freezer Meals
Work on Emily's Room
Transition Closets to Fall Season
Make Grape Jelly
Decorate the House for Fall
Organize Girls' Clothes 
Purchase Big Sister Gift
Finish Reading a (non baby) Book
Pack for the Hospital 
Finish Olivia's First Year Book


The only things I didn't complete was making a onesie dress and finishing the crib rail protectors.  For full disclosure they've been on my to do list since June.  At this point I don't know if they will ever get done.  I've been so busy completing my list that I haven't had time to blog about them.  I'm hoping to have some done this weekend.  I'm especially excited to show you Emily's room.

I love doing a DONE list.  I don't think I'll have one for October.  The only thing on my to do list is welcoming Emily to the family.  But then I hope to be back in the swing of things in November.

So do you have a DONE list?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Big Sister Gift

Olivia loves baby dolls.  She is constantly feeding them, loving them, pushing them in the stroller and putting them to bed.  She has four different babies that she plays with throughout the day.  Olivia doesn't go anywhere without a baby.  Thankfully she's flexible doesn't prefer one over the other.  So of course we decided the perfect big sister gift for Olivia is a new baby doll.

After some searching I found a baby that Olivia can dress and undress.  It even has a cute little diaper she can take off.  I know she'll love it and I know she'll love her baby sister too.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Project 52: Date 13

Every year Chambersburg hosts a Crab Feast.  All you can eat Maryland Blue Crabs.  They also have chicken, fixins and beer (none for me, thanks).  We've been going to it every year since we moved to PA.  Jesse's hotel and his "sister" hotel are sponsors.  So it's a great time to get together with everyone and hang out for a couple of hours.  It's a very messy evening and you still smell like crabs after you shower but it's so worth it.  I'm happy to report I didn't cut my fingers but Jesse did get a nice cut.  Jesse and I had a great time.  It'll probably be one of the last things we do as a couple (outside of the house) for awhile.  So even though we were covered in Old Bay and crab is was still a great date!
Project 52: Date Nights logo

Monday, September 27, 2010

Olivia's First Year: DONE

As we prepare for the birth of our second daughter I finally finished our first born's first year book.  Thankfully I kept great notes each month so it took no time to complete.  Working on Olivia's book was fun. It was great to see how much she has changed over the course of a year.  But it was also sad.  I can't believe how fast she's growing up.  She's going to be 18 months in a few days.  18 months seems so old to me. ha! Now that her book is done (I still have her pregnancy book to complete) I can focus on Emily's book.  I just hope I can keep great notes for Emily as well.

The best part of Olivia's book is it's free.  I "cashed" in my Pampers points for a free photo book! yay!

Another item off my DONE list!

38 Weeks

How Big is Baby: 6.8 pounds and 19 1/2 inches
Sleep: I'm sleeping but it's not restful sleep.
Best Moment of the Week: Prepping for Emily's arrival.  
Movement: Emily never stops moving and I love it! 
Symptoms: Swollen feet.  I can barely fit them into flip flops. 
Food Cravings: Chocolate 
Gender: Sweet baby girl  
What I'm looking forward to: Meeting our sweet Emily!

I can't believe I'm already 38 weeks.  Only one more week until Emily is born.  As excited as I am to meet her I'm a little sad that this is my last week.  We're not planning on having any more kids so this is it.  This week is the last time I'll feel a little one moving around, pushing on my bladder or kicking me in the rib.  As uncomfortable as I am I'm going to miss looking down and see a giant round belly.  I have been very fortune that God has blessed me with two healthy pregnancies after years of thinking it would never happen.  

Unfortunately my hopes of having a VBAC are quickly dwindling.  I still have an unfavorable cervix.  Same thing happened with Olivia.  Oh well, in the end it doesn't matter how I come to meet my little Emily.

I had every intention of taking a belly shot tonight when I got home but it has been raining all day and I looked like a drowned rat by the time I got home.  So instead enjoy this picture of Emily.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Crockpot Creole Chicken


This is my absolute favorite crockpot recipe.  I make it all the time.  Thankfully Jesse and Olivia like it too.

1 pound chicken, cut into 1 inch cubes
8 ounces smoked sausage, diced
1 cup ham or 1 ham hock
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1-28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1-6 ounce can tomato paste
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning (I use Tony Chachere)
few dashes of Tabasco sauce
2 cups instant rice

Add all ingredients except rice into crockpot.  Cook for 5-6 hours.  An hour before you serve it cut up the ham hock and put the meat back into the crockpot.  Add the rice and stir.  We serve it with corn bread muffins.  Yummy! I would eat this once a week if Jesse would let me.

Do you have a favorite crockpot meal?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friends

Olivia likes to have friends sleep with her at night.  I don't know how she has room to sleep.  Every night she grabs as many animals and dolls as her little arms can carry to bed.
In case you were wondering there are ten animals/dolls, two blankets and a sweet little girl.  

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The End of Civilization?

Yesterday evening I was exhausted.  Olivia was up coughing the night before (see previous post) so we didn’t get any sleep.  By the time Olivia and I got home after work I was on auto pilot and of course Jesse was working late.  After dinner (frozen pizza) Olivia and I were playing in the living room (she was dancing to Jack’s Big Music Show) when the power went out…and it didn’t come back on…

Thankfully Jesse was on his way home and he was able to locate flashlights and candles before the sun went down.  Olivia loved playing with the flashlight and was literally bouncing off the furniture. 

While the power was out we gave Olivia her first dose of medication.  The pharmacy gave us a dropper that made no sense.  I feel like I needed an engineering degree to figure it out.  So while I tried to get the medicine in the dropper Jesse was holding the flashlight.  In the end I ended up with medicine all over my shirt and the floor but Olivia got her first dose (we think).

Bedtime is usually at 7:30 pm but we didn’t think Olivia would go to sleep in a dark quiet room.  She sleeps with a fan, humidifier and night light but at 8:00 pm we gave up on the power coming back on and decided to try to put her to bed.  She wasn’t having it at all.  Just as Jesse went to get Olivia out of the crib the power came back on. Yay! We quickly tucked Olivia in bed and I made a beeline for bed myself. 

An hour and half of no power was not fun or adventurous (Jesse was ready to play Scrabble).  I found it stressful and hot! I kept obsessing about how many times Jesse opened the fridge (five times).  The only thing that would have topped off the night was for my water to break.  Nope I’m not being dramatic…I’m just nine months pregnant and HOT.    

The Never Ending Summer Cold





When we first started talking about putting Olivia in daycare her doctor warned us that Olivia would probably get sick.  She said it would either be now or once she goes to school.  We were okay with that.  Olivia had already had ONE cold.  How bad could it be?

A couple of weeks after Olivia started daycare she got a cold.  No big deal, we were prepared for it.  She had a runny nose and cough.  So we ran her humidifier every time she slept and stock piled Boggie Wipes.  I actually found this cold to be a great opportunity to teach Liv how to blow (we’re still working on) and wipe her nose.  Unfortunately Liv also learned how to pick her nose (we didn’t teach her that). 

What surprised us was that her cold never went away.  She always had a runny nose and cough.   So at her  wellness check we talked to Dr. H about her cold.  Olivia’s chest and ears looked fine so Dr. H thought Olivia had allergies and told us to use Claritin.  What? Allergies? Jesse and I didn’t agree with her diagnosis.  Neither of use have any allergies.  In fact no one on either side of our families have allergies.  We’ve learned that everyone in PA blames a runny nose and cough on allergies.  Apparently this is a very allergic place to live. 

So after a couple of weeks of debating about medicating our daughter we decided to give it a try.  It didn’t help.  Liv still had a cough and runny nose.  Around this time she also started cutting her one year molars and we I think that’s where the runny nose is coming from, but it doesn’t explain her cough.  Most days she coughs a couple of times during the day and a good amount at night. 

So once again we talked to Dr. H about Olivia’s ongoing cold.  She was surprised that the Claritin didn’t help and increased her dosage.  So again we gave her Claritin and it didn’t work and we stopped giving it to her.  For awhile it seemed as if she was getting better.  She rarely coughed but still had a runny nose (still working on molar #4).  Then it happened. 

Sunday morning she woke up with a runny crusty eye.  That was definitely something new.  Also her nose would not stop running and she had a slight cough.  This went on all day Sunday and Monday.  Even her sitter commented on her nose (she thinks its allergies).  Tuesday night Olivia went to bed at her normal time and around 10:00 pm she started coughing.  She didn’t stop until a little before 1:00 am.  Jesse took her a sippy cup around 10:30 and he said she was just laying there awake and coughing.  She never called out to us but I did go in and hold her for awhile hoping that her being upright would reduce the coughing.  It didn’t.  Finally it just stopped and we all got some sleep until 5:00 am when the coughing started again.

So Wednesday morning I took her to see Dr. H again.  The first thing she wanted to do was send Olivia for a chest x ray since the cough is what is worrying us the most.  Unfortunately Jesse was working and I can’t go in with her since I’m nine month pregnant so no chest x ray.  Due to Olivia’s symptoms she was diagnosed with a sinus infection.  She has to take antibiotics twice a day for 10 days.  She would have had them for 14 days but I’ll be in the hospital having Emily.  If she’s not better by October 4th, then we’ll have to take her for a chest x ray.  Dr. H also told me she’s still not ruling out allergies. Ha! So hopefully in ten days Olivia will be as good as new.  Hopefully! 

Big Sis/Lil Sis Shirts: DONE

When I found out I was having another girl I knew I wanted to get them big sister/little sister shirts.  So of course I turned to my favorite website, Etsy and started shopping.   In the end I found a lot of super cute shirts but was too cheap to buy them so I made my own.  I spent less than $10 on supplies and love them!
I used Skip to My Lou's tutorial.  I also used her letter templates.  The hardest part of the whole project was figuring out how big (or small) to make the letters on Emily's onesie.  I was able to do both shirts one night while watching tv.
It was also nice that I had a belly to catch the trash as I cut out the letters. Ha! I can't wait to take pictures of them in their shirts!

I'm so happy to have another thing off my September DONE list.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday- Problem Solving

We thought the tv was high enough that little fingers couldn't touch it...we were wrong.  

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Grape Jelly: DONE

I'm slowly making my way through my September DONE list.  One of the things I knew I wanted to do this month was make grape jelly.  Both Jesse and my mom thought I was insane for making jelly while nine months pregnant and honestly while I was prepping I was thinking the same thing.  But once I got started it took no time at all.  I'll confess I did 95% of it sitting on a bar stool, which helped since my feet are always swollen.
So with 17 pounds of concord grapes we now have 20 half pint jars of grape jelly and five pints of concentrate grape juice.  Yum!  I got my recipes here and here.
I see a lot of peanut butter and grape jelly sandwiches in my future! 

Project 52: Date 12

Our date this week wasn't planned it just sort of happened.  While taking Olivia to a fall festival we decided to take the long scenic route so she could have a nice long nap.  Our scenic route was around a small town that Jesse grew up in.  We drove around the apple orchards while he reminisced and told me stories.
We stopped a cover bridge that he use to fish at.  We also came across this sign.
We had to stop and back up to make sure we read it right.  Poor cat and dog.

Even though our date wasn't something we planned it was fun to sit, talk and hear about Jesse's childhood.

For more date ideas check out Simply Modern Mom's Project 52.

Monday, September 20, 2010

37 Weeks

How Big is Baby: 6 1/3 pounds and 19 inches
Sleep: I've been sleeping very well but I'm exhausted all the time.  In fact every night I pass out for about ten minutes after dinner.  
Best Moment of the Week:  I love that I get to hear her heartbeat every week.
Movement: Emily never stops moving and I love it! 
Symptoms: Big belly.  I forgot how big it gets the last month!
Food Cravings: All things pumpkin.  I love fall! 
Gender: Sweet baby girl even though I'm starting to have panic dreams that it's boy.  Not that we wouldn't love a boy but I don't think he'd be a big fan of pink.  
What I'm looking forward to: Meeting our sweet Emily!

I can't believe that I'm full term! It's funny how uncomfortable people are around you when you're so close to having a baby.  I guess they think the baby will just drop out at anytime. Ha! Two more weeks! YAY!!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

No Sew Crib Skirt

When I found out that we were having another baby I knew that we wouldn't buy a crib bedding set.  We got one for Olivia and frankly it was a waste of money.  We've never used the bumper or quilt.  So this time around I knew that I wanted to make my own crib skirt.
After months of shopping I finally found a material that I liked. Emily's room is lavender.  I love green and purple together and of course we needed some pink.  Since my sewing skills are very basic I was going to ask my mom to make the skirt until I found a no sew tutorial at Young House Love.  Perfect.

I measured the frame of the crib and cut out the panels with an extra inch on each side.  Then I used Heat N' Bond to hem my edges.
I didn't hem the top of the panel since I was going to Velcro it to the top of the crib frame and the mattress would cover the raw edge. 

Once I had my panels done I attached them to the crib frame.  Easy peasy.  

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Fall Fun Fest

Today we went to the Franklin Fall Fun Farm Fest (say that three times fast).  Olivia loved looking at and petting some of the animals.  We also got free ice cream and a farm tour.  It was a great afternoon! 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Happy Fall Y'all

I'm so excited that September is here! I LOVE fall.  It means cool weather, leaves, football, pumpkins, mums, crock pot meals, sweaters, pumpkin lattes, fall festivals and corn mazes are right around the corner.
I also love decorating the house.  I found this cute tutorial for a fall garland and decided to try it out.  It was super easy and I absolutely love it!

I didn't do too much fall decor because I still have Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations that are just itching to come out of storage.  I can't wait until October 1st! 

Another project is crossed off my DONE list.  Yay!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Going Bananas

Recently Jesse brought home ripe bananas that his guests wouldn't eat.  So we had a banana weekend.  Saturday and Sunday we had banana pancakes.  Olivia loved them and asked for more both days.  I also made banana crumb muffins.  Jesse is not a muffin person but raved about how awesome they tasted. Yay, success!
Banana Crumb Muffins
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup sugar white
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted

1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F . Lightly grease 12 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.  Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.
Try these muffins.  I promise you'll love them too.  The next time we get ripe bananas...banana cake with cream cheese frosting. Yum! 

Monday, September 13, 2010

36 Weeks

How Big is Baby: 6 pounds and 18 1/2 inches
Sleep: I can't complain.  Any sleep is great compared to what I'll be getting in a few weeks.   
Best Moment of the Week: Receiving little gifts for Emily
Movement: Emily never stops moving and I love it! 
Symptoms: Swollen feet and big belly
Food Cravings: Nothing
Gender: Sweet baby girl
What I'm looking forward to: Meeting our dear Emily 

I can't believe I'm already at nine months.  We only have three more weeks until Emily arrives and so much to do.  I feel like my to do list just gets bigger and bigger.  I had an OB appointment last Friday (they're weekly now) and everything is great.  My blood pressure was 120/66 and Emily's heart beat was nice a strong. My doctor and I talked about  VBAC and it's still possible as long as Emily cooperates and my body goes into labor on it's own.  I don't think it'll happen (it didn't with Olivia) but I'm optimistic. So we'll see what happens in the next few weeks.  

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Picture Frame Cork Board

I decided to do an organizational wall because I wanted a cork board to keep our family calendar on it.  I found a great tutorial at Make It and Love It  on making your own cork board.  I used the same fabric as the Dry Erase Board.  I had an extra picture frame in the basement (the glass was broken) so I only had to buy some cork.  I started out with one layer of cork but the push pins hit the wall so I took her suggestion and doubled the thickness of the cork.  
I also made some decorative thumbtacks.  I found it difficult to make the thumbtacks.  I couldn't line up the pieces to snap them into place...until I used my teeth.  Hey, you do what you need to do. Ha! 
I only made a couple because I found cute ladybug thumbtacks at Michaels.
I thought I was done with my organizational wall until I saw a tutorial on decorating a clip board.  I hope to have it done this week and then I can call my wall done. Yay! 

Are You Ready for Some Football?

My hubby likes college football but LOVES the NFL.  Today kicks off the NFL season (technically it was Thursday).  I married into a Steelers family. Everyone in Jesse's family is very serious about the team.  Olivia's very excited to watch the first Steelers game of the season

Over the past couple of years I've perfected football Sunday.  Dinner is cooked in a crock pot so I don't have to worry about timing a dinner with half time.  We also don't really do lunch instead we have a dip or as Jesse refers to it as "football food".  This Sunday's menu: Bacon Horseradish Dip and Broccoli Cheddar Soup.

Bacon Horseradish Dip
6 sliced of bacon, crumbled reserve 2 tsp of bacon grease
16 oz- sour cream
4 green onion, sliced
1/3 cup horseradish

Mix everything together and let it marinate in the fridge for at least an hour.  Serve with chips or veggies.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup
1 pound cooked, shredded chicken
16 oz- frozen broccoli
1 qt- chicken broth
3 cups milk
1/2 diced onion
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 package shredded cheddar cheese

Add all the ingredients in the crock pot (except the cheese).  Cook on low for 8 hours.  20 minutes before serving add the cheese and stir.

I found this recipe at A Year of Slow Cooking last year.  As soon as I made it this time I remembered there are some changes I want to make to the recipe.  For one we add chicken and I don't use fancy cheese.  The next time I make it I'm going to wait and add the chicken with the cheese.  Cooking the chicken from the beginning causes the soup to become more like a broth.  I'm not a fan of condensed soup but I think I might add a can of cheddar cheese soup to help cheese up the soup.  Jesse's suggestion is to add rice to the soup.  We've having leftover soup tomorrow so I'm going to add it with dinner tomorrow.
I hope everyone had a happy football Sunday.  The Steelers won so we're off to a good season!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Read a Book- DONE

One of the items on my September DONE List is to read a (non baby) book.  Recently I've been up at 5 am with time on my hands so I figured I might as well read a book.
I just finished reading Janet Evanovich's new book Sizzling Sixteen.  It's a nice, quick (it took me a month) and easy read.  I really enjoy her books.  They're nice laugh out loud books.  I use to read her books in a day but now it takes me a little longer.  If I wouldn't have put it on my DONE list I probably wouldn't have finished it until Emily was a year old.

Now I'm back to re-reading my favorite baby books. Among my favorites Happiest Baby on the Block, The Baby Whisperer and Your Baby's First Year Week by Week.

Do you have a favorite baby or non baby book?

Ten on Ten: September




Ten on Ten: Take a picture every hour for ten consecutive hours on the tenth day of the month.  Here's what my day looked like: 

Olivia was tired and didn't want to get dressed this morning. She perked up as soon as she realized I had the camera.

I'm so excited that I was able to fit my swollen feet in my converse sneakers today.  I actually  wore them all day.
  
Listening to Emily's heartbeat.
A very talented co-worker made Emily this baby cocoon and washcloths.  I can't wait to use them!
I saw some adorable t-shirts at Target.  I can't wait until I'm in regular clothes again.  Maternity clothes are cute, but not this cute.  
I did a lot of traveling to see clients today.  As I drove through the mountains I saw some signs of fall.
Driving through the tunnels on the turnpike.
Out in the Amish country side. 
I stopped by the County Pantry to order my 1/2 bushel of concord grapes and did some bulk shopping while I was there.  
I stopped at a local pumpkin patch and picked up some gourds.  

Check out more Ten on Ten here