Time to Accomplish Something

Tick tock. So the New Year is coming and it has me thinking, like every person on the planet, about what I hope to achieve in 2011. I'm hoping that making my list public will push me to do them all, so here it goes!
  • Read all of the physical books that I own and get rid of the least important ones cluttering my house. (I got a Nook for Christmas!!)
  • Be the best mother I can for Lynaea
  • Get rid of any stretchmarks that I got while pregnant
  • Get rid of the baby weight
  • Get back to Freshman year of college weight
  • Finish the first draft of my novel
  • Join a group of some kind that meets at least once a month to keep me social
  • Get the courage to talk to people who knew my mother so that I may know her better as well.
Wish me luck! Happy New Year everyone!!

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33 Week Milestones

I have been nesting hard for the past week or so and decided to sit for a minute. I'm sure I will think of something to clean soon, but for now I will try to relax.

Just like every mom-to-be in America, I read the changes my baby is going through week to week. This week I thought I would share some with you, because let's face it. I can't think of anything else!

  • She is about 4 1/2 pounds (No wonder she doesn't seem to have much room in there anymore!
  • Her lungs are almost mature
  • Her bones are fully formed and hardened
  • Average weight gain for mommy at this week is between 22 and 28 pounds (I'm at 25)
  • Mommy should expect having trouble finding a comfortable way to sleep, sit, and walk. (yep...)
I'm so excited!

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The Best Chocoate Chip Cookies For the Best Time of Year!

I'm a big fan of cookies on Christmas (and Christmas Eve) and this is by far the best chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe I have found. 
Happy Holidays!!!!


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Stir together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the dry ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon.
  3. Refrigerate the dough until firm (about an hour or two)
  4. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
  5. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
  6. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. (Sometimes they need 20 minutes... just watch them until the edges are starting to turn golden brown) Cool on baking sheets until completely cool. Transfer to sealed container.
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Sunday Night Sucks... So Cheer Up!

I'm having a harder time with tonight than most Sundays... so a double dose should do the trick!

No these aren't my videos.. but they are hilarious!

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I Want a Beer

Don't worry I will wait a few more weeks to taste the deliciousness, but I gotta tell you... I can't wait!

I never used to be a beer girl, but college can, and does, change a person. Lately I haven't been able to get comfortable enough to relax... though all I seem to do nowadays is sit!

A couple more months and counting... then again I'll be breastfeeding so it might be a little longer. All I have to do is build up a supply so that hubby can bottle feed her my saved milk while I also nurse a bottle of a different kind.

I'm looking forward to it as much as children look forward to Christmas... oh yea, I still have to do my Christmas shopping...

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Write a Book... Or Not

For some time now I have wanted to write a book, but never knew what about. I felt that I could do it if I tried hard enough, don't laugh, and to be honest I still do. So, I think I'm going to attempt it. At least then I will won't be able to say "What if..." Call it a "bucket list" item if you'd like.

I encourage all of you to start work on one of your items. What will it be? Set a deadline or else you might let yourself off the hook!

By telling all of you, now I feel I have more of an obligation to get it done rather than by just telling myself. I always let myself off way too easy.

So what will it be?

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Pelvic Girdle Pain

I've decided that pelvic girdle pain... is weird feeling. I had never heard about it before, though I suppose I should have expected it. It started a few days ago and silly me, I thought I was just sleeping weird. Turns out, it's a totally normal pregnancy experience that I should have been expecting.

Pelvic girdle pain is what happens when the crazy pregnancy hormones in your body make your pelvis ready for childbirth by spreading them. Fun.

Anyway, if you are a newly pregnant woman with her first child on the way, this is from me to you. I don't like being surprised so maybe you don't either. Oh, and if you are standing in a hot room and you get dizzy... that's your blood pressure. Sit down and you'll feel better (though you should tell your doctor in case it's more serious than you know)

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If I See Anymore Cardboard Boxes, I May Scream!

Sorry for the hiatus guys. My husband and I had to move into our apartment a couple of days earlier than planned, so I have been quite busy! My internet will not be connected in our apartment until the 7th (I'm in the library now) and I'm more than a little bummed. Wish me well! I will be back sooner than you know!

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My Many Thanks For

1. Warm salt water to gargle, Ricola cough drops, and humidifiers.

2.  The tiny baby trying to burrow her way out of my stomach through my (super stretched) abdominal muscles.

3. The best husband in the world who always knows the right thing to do or say.

4. In-laws who treat me as their own.

5. My fabulously crazy family.

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3rd Shift Poses Dangers to Women and Their Unborn

My husband's new job is third shift for the moment and I was considering adopting his sleeping pattern to get more time with him. I was thinking I might mess up my baby's sleeping pattern, but it turns out the dangers are much more severe.

You would think that as long as you are getting the proper amount of sleep and you were eating healthily at the correct times that nothing else would be affected. Wrong. Hormone production gets screwed up and this leads to the health risks.

Women who work third shift (especially during their first trimester) are 50% more likely to deliver a premature baby. 50%!

Also, the production of the hormone melatonin gets screwed up and this leads to a much greater risk of developing cancer (breast cancer is a major one connected with working 3rd shift).

I never knew this before, but I'm so glad that I do now! Tell all your female friends and family members.

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Sunday Night Sucks... So Cheer Up!

Just another video (I didn't make) to cheer you up on the suckiest night of the week!

This kid just keeps going in for the torture!


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Walking and Pregnancy: Some Facts

We have all heard that walking is great for pregnant women, but what does it really do? Walking during pregnancy on a regular basis (at least 4 times a week for 25 minutes) helps to:
  • shorten labor
  • lower your chance of getting gestational diabetes
  • keep the extra pounds off
  • relieve stress
  • get your body back after baby (toned muscles burn more calories than flabby ones)
I have been walking for the past couple of weeks and have noticed that my lungs are healthier and my leg and lower abdominal muscles are toning up.

If you are pregnant and did not exercise much before, make sure to take it easy. If you walk too hard, your lower abdominals are going to let you know! Don't ask me what they have to do with walking, but apparently they are connected. Find your pace and try to keep it steady.

Remember: never walk to the point of exhaustion or breathlessness. Pushing yourself to the limit forces your body to use oxygen that should be going to your baby.

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I'm Waiting to Cut the Cord.. Are You?

This is just another thing I didn't know until a couple of days ago: the importance of delayed umbilical cord clamping. Early cord clamping weakens babies and contributes to a host of illnesses later in life. It is well documented that this is so, and that babies whose cords had not been cut until they stopped pulsating are much healthier. How did I not know this?!

Before I go on, let me say this: there is absolutely no benefit to early cord clamping. Quite simply, there is only harm done. Unfortunately it is a habit that many doctors and midwifes have so if you want them to wait make sure you tell them!

If you are pregnant you know about cord blood banking. It's in every pregnancy magazine and website. So why is it available? Because umbilical cord blood really is amazing. However, we fail to notice something very important: if we deprive our babies of cord blood in the first place, we may only be contributing to them needing it later!

Early cord clamping has been associated with respiratory distress, anemia, intraventricular hemorrhage, and late-onset sepsis among others. There is even some speculation that early cord clamping contributes to autism. Delaying the cord clamping for just a few minutes decreases the chances of all of these complications!

If you think about it, it makes sense. If you cut the cord early, the infant is being deprived of nearly HALF of its blood supply! Let mother nature do her thing. She knows a thing or two.

Cord blood is not ordinary blood.

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Freecycle, I'm in Love With You. Sorry Hubby.

Have you ever heard of freecycle.org? I hadn't until a couple of days ago when a friend told me about it. Think of craigslist on a smaller scale, but everything is FREE. I'm not joking.

You join a group that is the area you live in and people post things they are giving away or things they want. I have seen everything from couches to high chairs to styrofoam blocks (don't ask) being given away. The only thing you have to do is contact the offerer and pick a time and place to pick up the stuff! Of course, you provide the transportation of the items.

If you are looking for something specific and you need it fast, I might post a "wanted" message in the group just in case, but also check craigslist and ebay because you never know what will be posted. If you have time to acquire things, then this is for you!

Tip for those of you who decide to join your local freecycle group: opt to have a "daily digest" of the messages from the group. If you don't, an email is sent to you every time someone posts something and it gets overwhelming! With a daily digest, you get a daily compilation of everything posted.

Happy hunting!

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Oh, the Life of a Poor Couple With a Kid on the Way

My husband and I are in need of fun things to do together that don't involve money. This is easier said than done in today's society, but I was determined to come up with a list of at least 5 things tonight that would cost absolutely nothing. This is what I came up with and I think we might actually do them all!

1. Double date in! Invite a couple over to talk, watch a movie you already own, or play board games (or all of the above!) A date by yourselves is also allowed ;)

2. Stop by your local library and take out a movie. Though the selection is not as extensive as a rental place they usually have some newer movies that you probably forgot you wanted to rent when you saw the trailers  a year ago. If your library is close and the weather is nice, take a walk there! Double whammy.

3. Learn a silly new skill together and have fun watching each other trying to master it. Juggling, learning a card trick, and card shooting all have fun possibilities. Plus, the next time you go to a party you will each have something to show off!

4. Go to a nearby park or beach and allow yourselves to be kids again.

5. Volunteer together. Sounds lame, but it actually feels really great to do something for someone in need. Sharing the experience only enhances the feelings you have for each other.

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Sunday Night Sucks... So Cheer Up!

Just another video (I didn't make) to cheer you up on the suckiest night of the week!

One of my all time favorites!

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Found: Zen Moments

The top 5 things that help me when I'm going insane: 

5. Closing my eyes, I breathe in and think "Let it Go". Even if I'm not sure what "it" is. Helps more than you would think.

4. I grab my iPod, turn it to Enya and melt into it for a few minutes.

3. A 20 minute walk outside. I am a nature lover all the way.

2. Closing my eyes I open my mouth and shove in some delicious strawberry ice cream.

and last, but not least

1. I go outside (I live in the country) and scream. Not a bloodcurdling one because I don't want the cops coming, but more like a ROAR. Or a loud grunt.


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Pregnancy Brings Out Our True Colors

What is my color? Control freak.

I have realized that I am in fact one of those hideous freaks of control. To me this came as a surprise though my husband laughed at my realization. Apparently he had always been privy to this information.

I try to go with the flow, but it is so hard for me! I remember one time someone read my palm and the first thing they said to me was: "Woah, you need to lighten up." Hmmm... easier said than done.

My cousin is pregnant and she is just the opposite of me. She's waiting until the birth of her child to find out the sex. Me? I found out the first chance I got because I needed to be prepared. She has a "it's natural so things will go the way it should" attitude. I have a chart on my wall to track my daily intake of water, kegals, vitamin and exercise. Not even a joke.

I have started to meditate and it seems to be helping. Marginally.

I suppose every step in the right direction is good...

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Ironic Stretchmarks

Turns out I think that my Tummy Butter really does work! Why do I say this? I have been putting it on since I have been about 3 months pregnant and it had been going well for a while. I put it on all the places I thought I would get stretchmarks. This led me to skip the very fronts of my hips and the very middle of my booty. Where has this gotten me you ask?

I have no stretch marks except for in those two places.

You better believe I have started to lather them up, but now all I can hope is that the butter will catch up to my stretching skin and lighten the ones I have. I'll let ya know how it goes.

So the moral of the story is: even if you don't think you will get stretch marks on _name a body part_ use tummy butter there anyway. Because if you don't your body will laugh and stretch that skin to mock you!

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Happy Halloween!

Turns out, being a troll doll for Halloween was super easy. Sure, I first pictured being one with an outfit on... but that didn't work so:

Step 1: Buy a cheap pair of khakis and nude turtleneck.

Step 2: Paint a jewel in the center of your turtleneck's belly (it helps to put on the turtleneck and use a pen to mark where the center of your jewel should go)

Step 3: Take a sheet of pillow stuffing and dab acrylic paint the color of your choice all over to create a uniform color.

Step 4: Put up your hair and mold the stuffing around your head (it sticks to itself!)

Step 5: Go out and celebrate!

DIY: Name Wall Decoration for Nursery

Oh yea.. we decided to only have one "N" in her name... :)

What you need:
  • Fleece or felt fabric
  • Scissors
  • Marker
  • Acrylic paint (optional)
  • Paintbrush (optional)
  • Thin cardboard of some kind (I used file folders)
  • Hot glue gun with glue sticks
  • Picture hanging hardware (dollar stores carry them)

Step 1:  Cut your letters out of your fabric. It helps to cut out rectangles the size you want your letters to be (so they are uniform) and then use a marker to draw them before cutting out. I made my letters extra cute by having circles at the ends of my letters.
Step 2 (optional): Paint a cute design on your letters. I painted the circles on the ends of my letters a slightly darker pink than my fabric.

Step 3: Use your hot glue gun to glue strips of your thin cardboard to the back of your letters. This will make the letters less floppy and so much easier to hang!

Step 4: Hot glue the picture hanging hardware to the back of your letters where you would normally nail the pieces into wood and hang! I personally used the blue sticky stuff that you use to hang posters because I am not allowed to put holes in my walls, but I assume that the hardware would make them more secure. I'm going to put Lynaea's name above her crib. I can't wait!

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Sunday Night Sucks... So Cheer Up!

I have always hated Sunday nights, so I always try to find something that will cheer me up.

I found this video (it isn't mine) and thought it might cheer you up too! And yes I'm a terrible person for thinking this is funny, but it is hilarious. It's only 1:25 long, so wait for the ending! PRICELESS!

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This is No Way to Live

I have come to terms with the fact that I am crazy, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. I want to change it, but how? My husband has been away at training the past two weeks and I don't know how to pull myself together. I know I sound pathetic, but he really is my glue. Sure we get to text during the day and he calls me for a short periods of time at night, but my cracks are beginning to show!

How am I supposed to be a good mother if I'm not even good at being a person? Anxiety, depression, and a lack of direction all mixed into one body just waiting to explode... that's me. I want to love life! I want to enjoy my days, but it feels like I've forgotten how to enjoy anything. I fill my day in with crap just for something to do, because sleeping all day just gives me a headache.

These things are not happening because my husband is away. Him being away just exaggerates the problems I already knew I had. The ones I already knew I had to fix.

I need a purpose.

I need direction.

I need SOMETHING that does not include a prescription.

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23 weeks!

I feel so cute in the mirror/in person, but so huge in pictures!

Oh well, such is life.

23 weeks 2 days!!

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Knock, Knock.. Who's There?

Even though my stomach looks like a pregnant stomach, and even though little Lynnaea kicks me with a vengeance sometimes... it still doesn't feel real.

Don't ask me how I could feel this way, but I do. It's almost like I'm in denial. Every time a stranger comments on my belly it feels real and I get excited, but then the feeling evaporates (ok... only one stranger has commented on my belly so far which is another thing I wasn't expecting. Everyone tells you strangers just walk up to you and talk to you about it, but that's not really the case with me so far.)

You know the excitement you had when you were little whenever Christmas was around the corner? Then, how after years of Christmases the Christmas feeling didn't come until the day of, and maybe not even then? That is how I feel. I know Christmas is coming, but I don't feel it.

I think I may feel this way until I hold her in my arms. I hope I don't go into shock!

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A Church of... Acceptance?

I've always envied the sense of community a person must feel when they are a member of a religious congregation. To become part of a community like that always felt like something I should do, but any group that says being gay is a sin is not okay with me. (There are other ideological conflicts I have, but that one popped into my head first.)

I thought that my envy would stay that way because there was no way I was going to be a part of that nor let my children. Couldn't anyone get down to the core values of love, acceptance, peace and openness without damning others to hell? I used to think it was impossible before hearing about UU.

When I first heard about the Unitarian Universalist church, I never thought that it would be up to par with my expectations. Turns out that maybe I was wrong. Anyone and everyone is welcome regardless of race, gender, sexuality, and even religious affiliation. I have yet to attend a service, but I have found a UU church in the area where my husband and I will be moving to soon. Reading their local website, I realized that this may be the community I have been looking for:

"Our mission is to encourage free expression of philosophical, spiritual and religious beliefs, work for social justice, provide religious education, deepen our acceptance of ourselves and others, and unite as a caring community." I'm skeptical because that is my nature, but have high hopes.

We shall see!

If you are even a little interested, here is the website for the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. Check it out and let me know what you think.

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Do NOT Use Sleep Positioners for Your Baby!

Ever since I learned that babies are only supposed to sleep on their backs (it reduces the chances of SIDS by a crazy amount) and started to register at stores, I learned of sleep positioners. They are like two tubular foam pillows that are attached to each other by a piece of fabric or wedge. They are made so that babies will stay on their backs while sleeping and they seemed like a perfectly logical solution. So I registered for one.

I am taking it OFF my registry immediately!

Since the emergence of said sleep positioners, they have caused babies to die of suffocation! Both the CPSC and the FDA have issued warnings against them recently. Read more here.

SPREAD THE WORD! Never ever use a sleep positioner! All you have to do is place your beautiful baby on its back in a crib free of anything but him or her. (no pillows, blanket, toys, etc...) That baby blanket your best friend worked on for weeks from the wool that they sheared and spun into yarn themselves? Either use it to swaddle, or don't use it at all until after they have reached their first birthday. Here's an awesome guide to keeping your baby safe and your mind sane.

If you know anyone with an infant or who is pregnant, let them know. It could save their child's life.

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And the Winner Is

I am going to be a treasure troll doll for Halloween! However, I think I will be one of the treasure troll dolls that wears some sort of clothing. Maybe a bikini (don't worry.. I won't ONLY have a bikini on. I'm gonna need a bodysuit) or a ballerina outfit. We will see.

I plan on making it myself, so I will have to get my supplies soon to start all the work!

I will make sure to post my step by step process and the finished costume once I'm done. Wish me luck!

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That Thing Called Loneliness

Have you ever been in a house full of people and still got the twang of loneliness in the center of your chest? Maybe not. Maybe that is only reserved for lunatics like myself. So what am I doing to ease it? I'm watching episodes of Project Runway online and thinking about going into the kitchen to get Caramel Praline ice cream that I bought on sale for $1.99 a quart (nice, I know)
Yep, sale ice cream that tastes just as good as the full-priced stuff definitely fills one kind of void.

I just can't stop thinking about what kind of mother I am going to be. Everyone says that once they become a mother, their worst fear comes alive: they become their own. So who will I become? And while we are on the subject, who was I? What was my first word? When was my first step? Did I have any favorite foods and were there foods that I would throw across the room if anyone brought them near me? "Your mother knew all that stuff" my father would say. Am I really allergic to penicillin like I remember being told when I was little? "Your mother kept track of that stuff" my father would say (apparently there is no test to prove a penicillin allergy). What time of day was I born? "Definitely around 4 in the afternoon" my father would say. Nope. I found a birth announcement. I was born around 9 in the morning.

So who am I? It's scary living your life when you aren't even sure what some of the possibilities could be... when there are no guidelines to stray from or follow.

The hardest assignments I have ever gotten were the ones in which I was told: "Write about whatever you want." Sounds exhilarating... freeing even. Then you realize it isn't so simple.

Welcome to my life.

It's A... (Updated!)


I feel like everyone I know who's had a baby recently or is having one soon is having a girl. Plus, almost my entire family is made up of girls so I guess I'm just carrying on the traditions. Bring on the estrogen!

It didn't matter to us which sex the baby was, we are just so excited to finally have a name for the little baby growing in my belly. We've had names picked out since the beginning of the pregnancy and I'm proud to say that baby Lynnaea is going to meet us all in a few months! I wanted to name her after my mom, but "Linda" is a little boring, so instead of Linda Jane she will be Lynnaea Jane. I'm sure she will be daddy's little princess. He's already very opinionated about what she can and can't wear...

(Half an hour later) So, I was going to post a picture of my 3D ultrasound picture because it is the only one that looks like a baby... but I can't find my ultrasound pictures!!!! I swear I put them in a safe place.

I guess I'm losing everything else on top of losing my mind. Yesterday it was my phone charger (on the day I wanted to talk to everyone about our baby girl) that I later found in a random room I haven't been in for about a week. As soon as I find the pictures, I will post the "good" one. Lynnaea is always looking straight out during the ultrasounds so the pictures make her look like a skeleton/alien being. Maybe I should be a skeleton with a baby skeleton in my belly for Halloween...

(one day later) FOUND THEM! They were exactly where I thought they were... and I had taken everything out of that bag three times without finding them. Then today I take something out, and there they are! Just sitting in there..

This is a 3D picture of her face (straight on) squished between the placenta and my uterus apparently very content. (they are the white things on left and right)

Right below the exact middle of the picture is her nose. Two dark spots above that are her eyes, and the dark line below her nose is the separation between her lips (I realize ultrasounds are hard to decipher if you dont know what you are looking at). She's so beautiful already!