Thursday, June 26, 2008

You can guess where my mind is...

Yesterday I was in the elevator with a very nice senior manager that I have worked for in the past. He has a few kids of his own and is for the most part a family man. On the way down he asked, "So, what are you working on now?" I replied that I was working on the Cal State Audit planning (which I am) for this year.

A few seconds later he looked at me and asked, "So how are things coming along?" I replied, "Pretty well, I am almost 32 weeks!" He said, "Oh, I meant, how is the audit planning going." Then the guy who was standing next to us in the elevator burst out laughing. We laughed too. Hmm... audit planning or baby? What is on my mind these days?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Yay! We've been accepted!

Well, we should sign the lease in a couple of days and be set to move in mid-July. The landlady accepted our application! I will take pictures the next time that we walk by so that everyone can see our little dream house. :)

Thank you Lord for providing a place for us and our little one. He who had no place to lay His head allowed us to have one.

Baby Shower #1

Saturday was our first baby shower. Several girls at work got together to throw it. We played games, ate cake, talked about babies, and just relaxed. It was very fun and I got soem great stuff! Most of my Target registry was gone by the end of the day. We took pictures, but used a disposable camera, so I can't put those up yet. I will try to get a CD when I get them developed.
I got a very cute bouncer and a diaper bag from pottery barn kids. Mine is in blue. Also, I have three LARGE bags of baby clothes in my closet right now (I am getting rid of some of my clothes to fit baby's). I will have to post pictures of some of those. Baby boy clothes can be very cute too.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

We put in our Application

We saw a PERFECT apartment, meeting all criteria that we were looking for yesterday night. It has 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2 car garage, laundry, and dishwasher and is in a great area. Please pray that they accept it. There have been other applicants.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Apartment Hunting we go!

This weekend we are looking for an apartment. Hopefully we will not be doing this next weekend also. :) We are pretty specific about certain things, so I hope that we will find the right place. We are looking for:

1. A place in Huntington Harbor (NW side of Huntington Beach with close coastal access and close to Nathan's work)
2. 2 bedrooms and at least 1 1/2 bath (I can negotiate on the bathrooms, but not the bedrooms)
3. Close to a nice walking area and not close to the freeway.
4. Adequate parking (please visit us- especially after baby comes!)
5. Within our budget
6. Close to a grocery store so that I can walk instead of spending money on gas.
7. Not a place that requires a one-year lease (this may be very difficult in our area)

That's not too picky, is it? :) If you think of it, pray for us to have wisdom and to compromise on things that we need to, and not compromise on things that we shouldn't. We'll I will post pictures if we find something.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

No gestational diabetes

That is what I learned this time at the midwife. Hooray, that is good news. Also, the baby is head down for the 3rd time in a row. Keep it up little guy! Tomorrow we start birth classes. We will be doing Bradley classes with a woman in Costa Mesa. She is also a chiropractor (that might come in handy :) ). It was a headache to find classes though, and we are going to have to modify a bit with the ones we found. They run 12 weeks! I only have 10 left!

Monday, June 16, 2008

30 weeks and the Domesticated Lady

Here are some pictures from 30 weeks. I really lke this outfit. It is actually a petite top from Ann Taylor and just a super comfy knit skirt. I don't know in whose world this top is petite. Also, this is a fun outfit because from the front, you can't really tell that I am pregnant and from the side... surprise! there's baby. :)

In the background you will see a dozen long-stem roses from Nathan for our anniversary. It is so nice to have fresh flowers. :)

Also, I have included a picture of a apple bran muffin that I made on Saturday. I was very domsetic on Saturday. I cleaned all over (even in my closet) and made homemade lasagna and two types of muffins. I think that one thing I will try to do when I stay at home with baby is put together a cookbook. I have not yet decided how to do this. There are soooo many cookbooks that I must first find a niche. Hmm... fun thought experiment. Anyways, we already have a good enough camera to show off the goods.

Also, I am currently blogging-while-squatting (practicing my Bradley excercises :) ).

Saturday, June 14, 2008

How to Eat Well..... Should it Really be this Hard?

The dilemma: how to eat good, healthy, "real" food without breaking the bank. Visiting a friend's house made me again consider what kind of foods I eat. Do I eat real food, or just consumables? "Real" food is characterized by natural, local, devoid of artificial flavorings and chemicals. "Consumables" are items that have come to pass for food, but shouldn't- like overly processed packaged meats, snacks, etc..

On the other hand, it has been my experience that "real" food is usually more expensive than "consumables." $1 for Ballpark hotdogs, $4 for all beef, kosher Hebrew National, or $4 for organic milk and $2.50 for non-organic, etc... Somehow, when I was growing up, my mom fed a family of 5 for $250 a month. Now I can't seem to spend less than $80-100 a week at the grocery store (despite my vigorous couponing, sale shopping efforts). Now I know that over the last 15 years prices have gone up (especially lately with the gas hikes), but there must be an answer.

I think that it is partially about what we eat. Half of what I buy each week is fruits and vegetables and I have not to my knowledge served a hot dog french bread pizza (a favorite cheap dinner growing up). Not that I am critical of that- we had a very tight budget and my mom did an amazing job.

The difference is also about where I shop. I absolutely love Trader Joe's. I feel so satisfied walking out of there with a couple of brown bags full of healthful, natural, tasty goodness. If I could buy everything there I would, but sometimes they are just too expensive for me. In fact, today I noticed that bead went up 30-50c and my favorite cheese (celtic light sharp cheddar) had gone up in price by $1/lb.

So what to do? Well, I think that today I stumbled upon an answer. This morning, I went first to the 99 cent store around the corner. Ours is great. It has a great frozen section (bag of frozen yellow peaches for 99c, great fridge and produce sections (2lbs grapes, peaches, nectarines, romaine lettuce all for 99c), and canned section (tons of organic veggies and soups, sauces, etc...). The fruit is fresh and, by and large, California grown too- not shipped in from other countries.

Paying so little for my fruits and veggies made me feel better about buying the other items I needed from Trader Joes. I spent $60 this week without coupons or buying food that I regret. I got my cake and ate it too.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Best Oatmeal Ever

This morning I think I stumbled upon the best (healthy version) of oatmeal ever. I am a huge fan of the fruit and creamy variety, but that comes in instant packets and has a lot of sugar. Here is my version:

1/2 c. whole oats
Dash of salt
2 T. Apple Butter (this morning I used some fresh Julian apple butter)
Cinnamon to taste
1/3 c. Vanilla Soy Milk, or 2% regular milk (I can't drink regular)

Cook oatmeal on the stove with salt, apple butter, and cinnamon. After cooked, put in a bowl and add the milk.

The key here I think is the apple butter. Apple butter is not butter like peanut butter. It is usually like a saucy, thick applesauce. It is a great natural sweetener.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Mommy Brain Strikes!

So, it has finally happened... I have developed the Mommy Brain condition.

Today I was at work and my manager kept asking me questions about the areas that I was working on. I couldn't answer because I couldn't clear my head enough to think on the spot. Also, when I went to get lunch for the team, I made it all they way out to my car and then realized that I couldn't drive without keys. As I slinked back into the audit room, I could feel the others watching me thinking, "poor girl, where has her head gone?"

Also, in the afternoon, I discovered that I had accidentally gotten red pen ink all over my white shirt. Lately I have been spilling food or brushing up against things and getting my shirts dirty. I guess I still have some getting used to with this new body.

Reflecting more on the Mommy Brain phenomenon has led me to believe the following: Mommy Brain does not mean that the Mommy can no longer think straight, it is just a condition where she has to think about many more things than she is used to thinking about at one time. For example, today, in addition to working I was thinking about:

1. How much calcium was in my breakfast?
2. Oh wow, that was a big movement.
3. Did I just feel an elbow?
4. I just had a snack, I had better go brush my teeth when I finish this workpaper.
5. 6 more weeks until maternity leave.
6. Ooh a little bit of heartburn.
7. Bathroom... again?
8. I wonder what he is going to look like- hope he has a cute round head like Clara. Actually that is pretty possible since Nathan is Bethany's twin.
9. Lord, please don't let him come too early.
10. I need to call Kathy later about the baby shower..I have a couple of ideas.
11. etc...

No wonder I can't think straight, there are so many things now going on in my head that were not there before. :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

3 years

Boy does time fly!

"O God, our God, who didst come to Cana of Galilee, and didst bless there the marriage feast: Bless also these Thy servants, who through Thy good providence now are united in wedlock. Bless their goings out and their comings in. Fill their life with good things. Receive their crowns into Thy Kingdom, preserving them spotless, blameless, and without reproach, unto ages of ages."

Monday, June 9, 2008


A picture of LJ (in utero) and his cousin Paul Benjamin. We were at sweet little Kelly Joy's one-year-old birthday party.
And yes, that is the same green shirt as last time I posted pictures. I will mix it up in the future. :)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Glucose Tests and Baby Toys

Yesterday I had a glucose test and a regular appointment with my midwife (appts. are once every two weeks now!- exciting). for the glucose test I had to eat one apple, two teaspoons of honey, and 4oz of apple juice an hour before. Boy was that sweet. I think that I could live the rest of my life without having that combination in my system again. Little LJ like it though. He was dancing all around inside me and when the midwife checked the heartbeat, he was much faster than usual. This was a friendly warning to watch my sugar! (oh and everyone has to be tested for diabetes, it is not that I am suspected of having it.) I get the results next week.

Along the lines of my earlier post about baby gear recommendations, I came across a good article. This made me feel more at peace with things:

From "The Parent Trap"

How have toys changed in the last 20 years ?
Hugely. When you think back to the '60s and '70s, all the right-thinking progressive parents thought toys should be natural and open-ended. Crayola and Kinder Blocks and Lego were considered raise-your-kid-smart toys. Then, all this data that came out which said that kids need to be stimulated. They need sound! They need multi-sensory experiences! Now, the more bells and whistles a toy has, the supposedly better it is.

Our parents' generation actually had it right. The less the toy does, the better. Everyone thinks: "Toys need to be interactive." No, toys don't need to be interactive. Children need to interact with toys. The best toys are 90 percent kid, 10 percent toy, the kind of thing that you can use 20 different ways, not because it has 20 different buttons to press, but because the kid, when they're 6 months old is going to chew on it, and toss it, but when they're a year they're going to start stacking it.

I think everyone can remember how fun it was when their parents bought a new TV or other large appliance and gave you the box to play with. My sister and I turned an old TV box into a life-size playhouse- we cut out windows and a door, and even taped up curtains for decoration. Some friends of ours had a nice store-bought playhouse, but ours was of our own creation.

Creativity and a healthy imagination are really what is lost with a bunch of gadgety toys that stimulate all the senses. And these are things that come most naturally when you are a kid. I am going to try not to spoil that in raising our little guy, though the temptations are everywhere. (This is what I say now- pre actually having a little one. We'll see what happens when I get really tired or feel out of options. I have to shoot for my ideal though, don't I? I can't resign before anything has even happened)***

I myself, want to be stimulated instead of creating things for myself. It is easier. This past year, I made a bit of a resolution to read more and watch things like DVD's less. I missed getting caught up into a story, imagining characters instead of seeing them as a film producer saw them. I don't think movies are bad, but I know that they can allow me to be more passive. So far it has been very rewarding too. I think I am an 18th and 19th century English novel fan most of all.

*** A little rant I suppose because from cloth diapering to using a midwife, etc... has been met with several naysayers and pessimists. I obviously don't know as much as an experienced parent because I am not, but I must have a plan A to begin with. And, I will never be this young or this free to try things again.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Registry Input?

I have done some registering at Target and Baby's R US, but I was wondering if any experienced mothers have any thoughts on products for baby that they can't live without. I guess I am looking for the non-standard items like crib, clothes, carseat, etc.. Although, if there are particular favorites or recommendations in these areas, please comment. So far, here is my short list of gear that I want to have (not all encompassing):

1. Baby wrap/ sling
2. Arms Reach Co-Sleeper
3. Cloth Diapering System (looking at bummi's covers and pre-fold diapers underneath)
4. Boppy
5. Rocking Chair
6. Breastfeding supplies
7. Jogger stroller