Still waiting...

Dearest content one,

Hi Baby.  Today is September 29, less than one week from your due date.  Today was my last appointment before I will be considered 'overdue.'  Today, I felt like having a baby.  I woke up early, walked two miles on the treadmill (attempting to give you a little bit of a head start before your appointment), and looked forward to going to what I thought would be my last week of school.  There's always an excitement surrounding doctor's appointment days, especially this late in the game.  I was confident I was going to be much closer to having you today than I was last week and even had a weird feeling today might just be the day.  Your birthday.

I wasn't the only one thinking this way.  Your Uncle Gabe sent me a text shortly after 8 am, asking if I was a mom yet.  Your grandma called, reminding me to call her as soon as my appointment was over.  And your dad sent about a dozen text messages throughout the morning hours.  It was difficult to concentrate during my morning classes and I counted down the minutes until 10:20. 

Well, we made a little progress from last week; however, not enough to send me for my hospital bag instead of back to school.  A little discouraged and highly anxious, I left the hospital once again, already looking ahead to next week.  From now on, I'm simply going to plan on you arriving a week overdue...that way, if you come any earlier, it will just be a nice surprise.

Boy, have you been moving lots today.  In fact, at times, especially during lunch with your dad, I even questioned whether I was having contractions.  What was I thinking?  It was probably just you responding to the BEST TENDERLOIN I'VE EVER EXPERIENCED!  Newton's Cafe is legit!  I would have thought that alone would have enticed you to begin your descend to this side of the world.  I guess I was wrong...

What else might entice you?  Well, the house is clean, your room is ready, and the Bears are 3 and 0.  Your dad can't wait to spend Sundays with you and tell you all about his favorite team, and more importantly, you will match!

Whether it's tonight, tomorrow, this weekend, or two weeks from now, know that we are waiting, pacing, and more than ready to welcome and love you right into our lives.  You have already made our lives so exciting and I can't begin to fathom the next chapter.  All I know is that I'm craving...

...listening to a sleeping baby, the little noises you will make, and the way your little head will rest against my chest.

...that distinct, perfectly unique baby smell. feet, barefoot or in those tiny baby socks. 

...mornings where the only thing on my 'to-do' list is to hang out with you.  Days where hours spent staring at you becomes the idea of a perfectly accomplished day. 

...hibernating inside as the weather gets colder and the nights get shorter.  I'm dreaming of fires, blankets, and tummy time. 

...the chance to finally get to see the face of this little boy I've been dreaming about for a very long time.

We love you.  Now, come out!  

Your momma. 


How far along? 39 Weeks

Total Weight Gain? 29 pounds I think…it’s all starting to run together!

Maternity Clothes? I’m officially out of options. Even though the weather is getting cooler, I keep rocking my summer wardrobe…I refuse to buy a pair of maternity dress pants this late in the game. I’m still wearing my summer flats, but by the end of the day, my swollen feet are half in, half out.

Sleep? I think God knows I need as much sleep as I can get right now. I’ve been sleeping so well lately…going to bed is one of my favorite parts of the day!

Symptoms? My energy level is definitely a roller coaster. Monday night, I was a machine; Tuesday, a zombie. My feet and ankles are swollen by the end of the day; however, nothing terrible. Baby J is officially out of room…when he moves, I can actually make out his body parts. I’ve also had lots of Braxton Hicks, especially after my appointment today. He’s definitely dropped; however, as far as labor signs go, not a whole lot to record!

Cravings? This week, my menu has consisted of Instant Breakfast, lasagna, and apple crisp!

Best Moment This Week? I spoiled myself with a pedicure yesterday after work. I’ve never felt so deserving of one in my life! My feet were swollen, my toe nails were disgustingly long, and the massage chair put me to sleep!

Least Favorite Moment This Week? The thought of planning for another week of school! I didn’t exactly plan on going past my due date!

What I Look Forward To? Going into LABOR and having this BABY!

Weekly Wisdom? Ivory soap under the covers! It’s brilliant! My friend, Amy, recommended this after I was complaining of terrible middle-of-the-night leg cramps. Pop a bar of Ivory under your fitted sheet at the end of the bed and let it work its magic…I haven’t had a leg cramp since!

Milestones? My last appointment before I’m ‘overdue.’ Next Wednesday’s appointment will be one day past my due date! Will I make it to then?!?!?!

What About Bob?

A few years ago, when the company I'd worked with for 11 years went out of business, Sugar and I decided it was time for me to give the writing thing a spin. I'd dreamed of writing and sporadically tried to fit writing into our lives for years without much success. Now it was my turn.

I've been a voracious reader practically from the cradle. I'd write what I loved to read, I thought. What I didn't realize was that my eclectic reading habits were producing a schizophrenic manuscript. It wasn't sure whether it was romantic suspense, a mystery, or women's fiction. I needed a critique group.

My first critique group--and one I still attend when I can--was the Greenville chapter of South Carolina Writers' Workshop. This is a great group--tons of fun--and for the first time I had the chance to talk to other writers about writing. One of the first friends I made was Bob Strother.

Bob is very low key. In fact, he speaks so softly that you'll miss what he says if others are talking in the room. And you want to hear what Bob says, because he's a smart guy and a talented writer. What I didn't know until much later is that Bob is also an ex-Marine (yeah, I know, Marines are Marines for life and all) and he may be soft spoken, but he could kill any of us eight different ways if he took a notion. Bob's a master of critique in that he can tell you what you need to fix without burdening you with how he would write it if it were him.

I've lost track of how many short stories Bob has published, but I've read many of them in our group. Each is well-crafted, and it's fascinating to me how different they all are. Some make me laugh out loud. Others are so creepy they have prompted me to ask his wife, Vicki, how she sleeps next to him at night knowing what goes on in his head. One was nominated for the Small Press Pushcart Prize.

Main Street Rag is publishing a collection of Bob's stories, Scattered, Smothered, and Covered, which comes out in February. It's available for pre-order right now, and I've ordered my copy. You'll want one, too. Just click the title link and it can be yours.

Peace, out...


A Delicious Crisp

Here is a recipe for the absolute best apple crisp.  It's so good!

-10 cups or approximately 6 apples (depending on the size) - I've used Granny Smith or Honey Crisp and both are great, peeled and thinly sliced
-1 cup sugar
-1 tbsp. flour
-1 tsp. cinnamon
-1/2 cup water
-1 cup Quaker quick cooking oats
-1 cup flour
-1 cup packed brown sugar
-1/4 tsp. baking soda
-1/4 tsp. baking powder
-1 stick of butter, melted

1.  Preheat oven to 350.
2.  Place the sliced apples in a mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix the white sugar, 1 tbsp. flour, and ground cinnamon together and sprinkle over apples.  Pour water evenly over all and toss to coat.
3.  Arrange apples in the bottom of a 9x13 pan.
4.  Combine the oats, 1 cup flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and melted butter together.  Crumble evenly over apple mixture.
5.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. 

Serve warm, but store in the fridge for left overs!

Another Little One

This little girl was fun to dress......I think a cotton velour top and pants would be so comfortable! LOL

Have a great day everyone,

A weekend without baby...

This weekend, I celebrated fall.  The first official weekend of fall.  A Saturday filled with an overcast sky, rain showers, and chilly temperatures.  A Sunday of warmth, sunshine, and a distinct, autumn-like scent lingering in the air.  The perfect mix of indoors and outdoors.  The cozy feeling of being trapped inside, followed by a perfectly crisp Sunday of enjoying outside.

This weekend, we celebrated fall without a baby.  We're getting so close and now it seems that every morning, every day, and every night that passes takes on a whole new meaning.  Every night, I go to bed and wonder if it will be the last night I fall asleep without a newborn baby.  Every morning, I go to school and wonder if it will be the last day I see my students for awhile.  And every weekend, I wonder if it will be our last before we have a baby at home.  Soon, this waiting game we've gotten pretty good at playing will turn into the stark realization that it's time to go to the hospital.  Time to have a baby.  Time for our lives to change...forever.

How unbelieveable.  To leave the house, the two of us, and return home as three.  To finally get to see this baby we've been dreaming about for the last forty weeks. To live the reality that has seemed completely surreal for so long.  

So what did we do on this first weekend of fall?  Possibly the last weekend before becoming parents? 

-We slept in.  Listened to the rain do the work outside while we curled up under the covers.  

-We casserole'd'.  A pot of coffee, a couple of Johnson's bakery donuts, and a trip to Fareway for five pounds of hamburger, three pounds of Italian sausage, chicken, and all the essentials to transform our kitchen to a restaurant assembly line.  

We were rock stars.  We had three casseroles made in a little under an hour.  Beau manned the hamburger frying station, and I did the chopping.  A pound of mushrooms for chicken tetrazzini.  Cumin, chili pepper, and a pinch of cayenne for Mexican lasagna.  Egg noodles al dente.  Spaghetti noodles al dente.  Lasagna noodles al dente.  The sounds of Ben Harper could not compete with the smells of the world's best lasagna sauce filling the air.  It was a lot of work, but I remembered how much fun it was to share a kitchen with my husband.  We now have five casseroles in our deep freeze...cross that one off the nesting list!

-We saw Inception.  Or did we?  I was so utterly confused afterwards, I couldn't tell you if I was pregnant, in labor, or in some weird kind of dream limbo.  The movie is amazing, however, and for the most part, I was impressed with the fact that my pregnant brain could keep up with the brilliant, abstract mind of Christopher Nolan for almost three hours.  Beau and I went to the 5:15 show, and our supper became a large popcorn, a Cherry Coke, some Milk Duds, Butterfingers, and Hot Tamales.  The best movie dates are the ones where you remember to stop by Walgreens for cheap candy!  It was a perfect night for a cozy movie theater, followed by a couple of belly aches!    

-I baked.  One of my favorite ways to define the season of fall is by eating tremendous amounts of Honeycrisp apples.  It's a good thing they are only in season a short time, as $1.99 per pound is a bit pricey; however, they are well worth it in my mind.  This morning, I woke up early and baked a pan of apple crisp and monkey bread.  It was one of those mornings where I wish I could have slowed time and trapped the smells that were coming from the kitchen.  

-Church.  Like everything else, I keep wondering if it will be our last Sunday as two.  Since I've been pregnant, I have sat through church with a solid lump in my throat every Sunday.  It's a guaranteed hour each week that I can sit quietly with Beau and take in the sheer magnitude of the blessing that is growing in my tummy.  I'm in awe, of the One who gave it all.  

Baby J rocked out to the music throughout most of church.  I can't wait to dance with him in my arms!

-We continued to nest.  I swear I've mopped the kitchen floor more in the last few weeks than the last year.  Beau got in on some nesting of his own...let's just say, Jade now has the cleanest litter boxes on the block.  I think he also felt sorry for his baby's mama, as he returned from Hy-Vee with not only kitty litter, but a pretty bouquet of fall flowers.  I'd say they did the trick!

-We walked.  Maybe the longest walk we've went on since 'my condition' (as we like to call it).  I'm not sure if it was the absolutely gorgeous late afternoon weather, or the fact that I was motivated to walk this baby out, but I think I could have kept going.  Sad to say, the only response to our walk was a series of Braxton Hicks.  

Another weekend in the history books.  Another weekend without a baby.  We tried to tell him while we were on a walk that the weather was way better out of the womb; however, I'm learning that this little man will come when he's ready.  So, in the meantime, we will continue to enjoy this time together, time we will probably never really look at the same again.  

Happy Fall.  Happy last week of September.  Happy Baby.       

12 Weeks and Nursery Ideas

Hey everyone, so I think this little baby has been doing some growing this week because I sure have felt tired! In the prior weeks it seemed like my focus was on food, but now my focus has been on sleep! I have taken a 20 minute nap everyday for a week now, usually I'd be lucky to get 2-3 in a week. On top of that I've been going to bed early too! Wow! As a result of all this sleep, this baby sure seems to be growing. I feel like my lower abdomen has finally "popped" as you can see from the pic to the left and to the right. Usually that part of my hip/low abs was flat...but no more. Pop goes the baby! ( : I'm excited that it's growing!
12 weeks

Other than the fatigue and growing feelings, week number 12 has treated me very well! Next week the baby will graduate from a plum to a peach!

Starting to pop out a bit!

Now anyone who has ever been pregnant can probably remember the common questions that people ask you when you're expecting. Here's the list of my top four most commonly asked questions or comments:
1- "You're showing already!" (Yes, I'm 3 months pregnant should I not be showing?!)
2- "Have you been sick at all?" (Luckily I have not, yeah!)
3- "Are you going to find out whether it's a girl or boy?" (You bet! We are counting down the days! But we have about 7-8 weeks still to go!)
4- "What are your nursery ideas?" (Let me get back to you on that one!)

Up until the last few weeks I had a few nursery ideas, but no real plans. So lately I've been browsing around the internet looking for colors/themes/and styles I like and I figured I share with you all what I found. For starters, here's what the room looks like to begin with. It's kind of a smaller room, but I think it will work perfect for a nursery. Just a note, the color of the walls will be staying the same. When we had our house painted this summer with a healthy, zero-VOC paint we picked this color out (we love tans and neutrals) and I want to keep it as the main color and just add accent colors once we know the sex.

My blank-slate of a nursery.

My baby vision board wall.

Also, you might be wondering what's up on the walls of that 3rd pic, well that's my baby vision boards. I discovered vision boards after reading The Secret and I have several scattered around the house. I use them for daily motivation, to remind me what I'm working for, and just as a place to put ideas. For example, I have several baby products on this baby vision board that I came across before I was pregnant that I didn't want to forget, so I put them here. My vision boards are constantly changing, but I love them and the purpose they serve for me. ( :

Okay okay, so onto the nursery ideas!
If the baby is a boy here are two rooms I like. You can probably tell right away that I'm digging the Chinese lanterns above the cribs, since that's in both room pics...and you're right! I like the pic below because that's the wall color of our room, and I like how they tie in those different accent colors. So, basically if it were to be a boy, the room colors would be: tan, teal, orange, green, and dark brown.

Photo credits

Now onto if the baby is a girl! I'm a little bit more picky about girl rooms and I wasn't able to find one that really clicked with me so I have several ideas that I want to incorporate into the room, so bare with me here if it all seems confusing! The first thing I definitely want to have is a tree of some sort, I really love this pic to the left of the cherry blossom tree with the monkey. I'd like to have the tree kind of leaning over the crib and since my mom is quite the painting artist I am going to have her help me paint this one! (Please ignore the other side pics to the tree pic, they are not my favorite, but they came with the pic!)

The next thing I would like in the baby girl room would be for the accent colors to be: light pink, lime green and dark brown. As you can see in the pic below that incorporates all of these colors. Just a note, I will be having all white baby furniture ( :


Okay, so that's not much if it's a little girl, but it's hard to find complete rooms that fit you're style perfectly. But at least this will get me started! I'm sure the planning will become much more real when we know the sex of the baby!

Well I hope you have enjoyed the belly pics and nursery ideas. I know I am always curious how other pregnant mamas plan their nursery rooms, so I figured I would give you a little sneak peak of mine. I got most of these pics off of, and a few others were just from Googling the nursery room colors I liked. Do remember what it was like planning your baby's nursery? Anything you all would recommend or resources that worked for you? I am open to any ideas! ( :

Way too long!

Boy am I a slacker......geez! I can not believe that it has been 2 months since I posted. Life has been a little too busy with some family health issues and trying to stay on top of the doll making. But, it finally fall and with some cooler temperatures, I can do one of my favorite things.....sitting on the deck in the sun. Not to get a tan or anything...just to soak up its goodness!I decided if I waited to show a quilt.... before I posted I would be waiting a long time. So my blog is going to just be a blog of my crafty endeavors.
The last group of "Ready to Go" Dolls.....I love having free reign with making them. Customs are okay, but this is my real love. I plan on no more customs for a while so that will free me up to do other things.

I hope everyone has been doing well....I see Carol on facebook sometimes and I have chatted with Jacque when I am not being a bad emailer, but it is good to be back.

Take care all,

We've Got to Do Better Than This

Y'all might have heard me Twhining (whining on Twitter) about my nasty cold this week. Here's the rest of the story. It's, okay, a little self-indulgent, but stay with me. There's a point.

I have weird sinuses. A deviated septum and a hollow flat bone that's not supposed to be hollow or flat combine to make my sinuses drain poorly, or so says the ENT guy who did the CAT scan on them a few years back. (I know, TMI, right?) Because I also have chronic allergies, he wanted to perform surgery to correct the problem.

Oh nay nay. I don't believe in elective surgery. Even when it's not elective, those release forms you have to sign give me pause. After some trial and error, the ENT and I came up with a routine to manage my sinus woes. An important piece of this is a steroid spray, Nasacort AQ. I've tried other brands. For whatever reason, they don’t work for me. It's like squirting water up my nose, except they also give me a headache. For years, my primary care physician has been renewing my Nasacort AQ prescription.

Then, (as I understand it) because our current insurance company was going to raise premiums a substantial amount, Sugar's employer changed insurance providers from Insurance Company A to Insurance Company BCBS. This was August 1st.

On August 12, I went to get my Nasacort AQ refilled, and the pharmacy clerk at Walgreens told me that BCBS would not pay for it unless the doctor’s office filled out a pre-authorization form. (Excuse me, but when did writing a prescription stop being enough authorization from a doctor to give me medication? Used to, you only had to get pre-authorization for surgery.) She said she'd fax it to the doctor right then, but it might take a few days, did I want to pay the full amount for the prescription?

I was completely out, and knew from experience that letting the medication lapse during ragweed season was NOT a good idea, so I said okay. I nearly choked when she handed me the slip to sign. ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-EIGHT DOLLARS AND NINETY-NINE CENTS for a bottle of nasal spray. WTF?

But I paid it, because I needed it, and I thought SURELY by the time I went back to get my next refill, this would all be straightened out. Oh nay, nay.

A week or so later I got a call from my doctor's nurse. "Dr. (Redacted) would like you to try Flonase because your insurance company won’t pay for the Nasacort AQ." I asked her to please look at my chart and she would see that I had already tried Flonase and every other nasal steroid manufactured in our galaxy. She looked. She saw. She said she'd call me back. She didn't.

A week goes by, and I call the insurance company. They haven't received the faxed form from the doctor, but they'll be glad to fax another. I called the doctors office. They're having trouble getting Insurance Company A to pay for it...

I explained (without losing my temper) that I was no longer with Insurance Company A, but with BCBS. Okay, the nurse said, she'd try them. I never heard anything else from her, but I figured the SNAFU had been identified and corrected.

Oh nay nay.

When I went to pick up my prescription at Walgreens on September 12, the pharmacy clerk informed me that BCBS was still declining to pay for the Nasacort AQ, but did I want to pay full price?

Ha! I fell for that last month, thought I. I will call and straighten this out in the morning. So I did not get my prescription, even though we are still in ragweed season. I was living dangerously, but figured I could get this worked out quickly. Oh. Nay. Nay.

I spent the next week going back and forth between the doctor's office and the insurance company, who are apparently plagued by sunspot interference on faxes that travel between the two places. Both report having no trouble sending or receiving faxes with anyone else.

Then, last Saturday, we went to my sister's house for a cookout. Someone there was a carrier for a cold virus. I'm not pointing fingers, but my niece had a runny nose, and my brother complained of "allergies." All I know is that Sugar and I both came down with heinous colds in less than 24 hours.

Monday morning at 5 a.m., poor Sugar had to get on a plane, regardless. I stayed home and by Monday afternoon, I was feeling good enough to go to Jazzercise. Big mistake. By Tuesday morning, I was much sicker than I had been to begin with. There was a perfect storm in my sinuses. Ragweed, cold, no Nasacort AQ.

By this morning (Friday) I had green gunk in my head and my chest, and I was coughing so much my throat felt like it had been carved up with razor blades.

I called the insurance company yet again this morning, but they were having system problems, and the recording advised me to call back after 11a.m.

I called the doctors office and made an appointment ($35 co-pay). He must have thought I looked and sounded rough, because the antibiotic prescription he gave me ($60 co-pay) is, according to the leaflet written in 3 point font that they give you with all drugs now, ALSO USED TO TREAT ANTHRAX. I am not making that up.

When I explained my Nasacort situation, he regaled me with stories of having received faxes from insurance companies at 3:15 a.m., with a refusal to pay coming in at 3:30 a.m. because forms had not been submitted in a timely manner. I do not doubt him.

As I left the doctor's office, on the way to Walgreens to pick up my prescription, I called BCBS back. Their system was up. And no, they had not received the fax from the doctor on the Nasacort. I called the doctor's office back. The clerk said, "Wait a minute, you were just here? Why didn't you talk to the doctor about it?" I explained. (I did not yell at her.) She told me to come on back by and talk to the nurse. When I finished at Walgreens, I did just that.

My regular doctor (not the guy on call today who I'd seen earlier) came out, apologized, said the form was on her desk. They'd just gotten it two days ago, she said. Today, they faxed it back.

But, no one at BCBS can confirm receipt due to the volume of faxes they receive. I had the Nasacort filled. I paid the $138.99. Again.


What about all the poor souls who have prescriptions for life-threatening illnesses who have to go through all this crap? The ones who can't afford to pay exorbitant amounts for their medications? The antibiotic, by the way, would have been $193 had I not had insurance. I asked.

What about the ones with cardiovascular conditions who would have had a stroke from the stress?

I'm sorry, but WE HAVE GOT TO DO BETTER THAN THIS. For the love of sunshine and blue skies, we've got smart people in this country. Some of them are doctors and insurance executives. Some work for pharmaceutical companies. Heck, some of them are even in the government. Surely, someone can figure out a better way.

I know legislation has been passed. I still don't know what's in it. Does anyone? I'm not saying it's good or bad. I'm saying I don't have a clue what the impact to me or anyone else will be or when we can expect to see it, and I'm not sure anyone else knows either.

Here's what I do know. If memory serves, Sugar's company pays his portion of the insurance and part of mine as well. But the part we pay ourselves (however it's divided) went from $412 per month to $465 per month when we changed to BCBS, but that was less of an increase than if we'd stayed with Insurance Company A. Our co-pays also went up.

So far, the only change I can see that was caused by the recent legislation is that beginning January 1, we will have to have a prescription for over the counter drugs if we want to use our health savings account to pay for them. And we can no longer use the Visa card attached to our health savings account, even if we get a prescription for aspirin, cough syrup, or Alka-Seltzer. I will have to fax receipts to the HSA manager and wait for reimbursement from our own account.

More paperwork for my doctor, more paperwork for me, and more paperwork for the folks that manage our health savings account. But so far, nothing is cheaper.

Is this really the best we can do? Really?! I hope like hell it's not.

Peace, out....



How far along? 38 Weeks

Total Weight Gain? I am up 28 pounds.

Maternity Clothes? Running out of options. I feel like a balloon in everything!

Sleep? Still sleeping like a rock. My nights are getting longer and longer. Went to bed at 9:30 last night and the night before. Woke up in the middle of the night with my contacts still in! I start to get zombie-like after nine…

Symptoms? My hormones have been a rollercoaster this week. I’m learning the difficulties involved with being a teacher on maternity leave. Trying to plan lessons for 12 weeks of class seems demanding and a little impossible. Plus, being a person who likes control, it’s hard to swallow the thought of giving up my classroom. I have a feeling that once this little one arrives, however, my thoughts on this will change!

I finally called about my weird calf pain and ended up having an ultrasound on my leg (the baby ultrasounds are much more fun) to rule out a blood clot. Thankfully, no blood clot; unfortunately, no consensus on why it hurts to walk on my right leg. The doctor thinks that maybe a late night cramp caused a nice muscle strain, but isn’t exactly sure.

Cravings? Honeycrisp apples are in! I’ve had one every day since Saturday

Best Moment This Week? I loved having a weekend at home and am looking forward to another one this weekend.

Least Favorite Moment This Week? Sitting in a doctor’s office for an hour and a half waiting to be ‘excused’ after my leg ultrasound. I know hospitals are busy places, but trying to convince a tired and swollen pregnant woman of this after a long day of work is a tough feat! And my heartburn was terrible!

What I Look Forward To? Going to the doctor’s office and hearing of some progress! Weekly appointments are teasers!

Weekly Wisdom? This baby will come, but all in God’s timing!

Pep talk...

Hi peanut,

We've made it to 38 weeks, less than two weeks from my due date.  I'm getting more and more prepared, more and more anxious to see you, hold you, and try my hand at this new mommy thing.  About a week ago, I decided it was time for you to come out.  I had waited long enough, had been pregnant long enough, and it was time to get on with things.  I would say I'm usually a pretty patient person; however, I once heard that 'patience is the art of hoping,' and well, I was really hoping for a baby this week!  

After today's appointment, however, I learned that it's really not up to me when this whole birth thing happens.  Weekly doctor's appointments are so much fun, as I wait in anticipation all week to see how much closer we are to D-day.  I like to call this 'cervical suspense.'  Today's appointment, however, was like one of those really suspenseful movies that ends about 10 minutes too soon.  The ones where you stay in the theater a little longer, watching all the credits, hoping the director will turn around and yell, 'Gotcha!' before revealing another, more satisfying ending. 

What I learned at my appointment today is that you are warm, snuggly, and content exactly where you are.  I'm not sure if it was the meal at Texas Roadhouse last weekend, or the dreary weather we've been having lately, but you are showing no strong signs of wanting to exit the ute anytime soon.  This is okay, as I've always envisioned an October baby, and have final work to complete at school; however, let's not get too carried away, deal?  I mentioned I was a patient person; however, your daddy is terrible at waiting.  In fact, he would like to remind you that he would really prefer a buddy to watch football with this weekend.  And the Bears have looked quite impressive so far this season!

Other news to report from this side of the ute?  Your momma has been a little emotional lately, my belly button is now half in, half out, and new shows started on TV this week.  Fall is in full swing in the Jorgensen household, with a Pepsi roast in the crockpot, a squash on the countertop, and mums planted outside.  I ordered you a Halloween costume last night and can't wait to see you in it.  

As I wait in suspense for another week to go by, I want you to know how incredibly loved you are.  You have given our lives a whole new meaning and for that, I can wait.  Your birth day will be here soon enough and until then, it's about savoring the last few days of carrying you, feeling you move, and having your sweet little companionship with me always. 

I love you, always and forever...


The three of us, 38 weeks pregnant.  Your dad is a goof ball.

Managing the Voices in My Head

I love novels--so much that I may need an intervention, or possibly a support group. I typically read books that fall into the mystery, suspense, or thriller genres, though I do enjoy the occasional women's fiction or romance novel. And I sometimes pick up a mainstream or literary read, especially if it's a Southern novel. (I love everything Joshilyn Jackson has ever written.)

Recently I was reading a very well-written Southern mystery, something I would ordinarily be incapable of putting down. But I struggled to stay engaged in the book. It's written from three different rotating characters' perspectives, and they get roughly equal stage-time. There isn't a clear main character. This made it difficult for me to become invested in any of the three candidates. I understand that this is purely a subjective preference. Certainly, other authors write this way, and other readers enjoy these books.

Maybe I've always been this way, but I've only recently noticed that I prefer books with only one narrator. The occasional, brief chapter in the villain’s (or love interest's) point of view doesn't bother me, but I want to experience most of the story through the eyes of one main character

Maybe this is a response to an increasingly complex world, but I want my reading entertainment to be focused. I don't mean I want it delivered on a fifth-grade level. But I like slipping into a character's skin and experiencing her/his world. It's harder for me to stay in character if I have to keep switching roles.

Or maybe I just need to keep the number of voices in my head at a manageable level.

Peace, out...


Just what I needed...

My favorite pair of Gap leggings, an oversized hoodie, and a warm recliner.  My first Honeycrisp apple of the season, and the Bears are looking good.  This has been the tone of the entire weekend and it is exactly what I needed.  

Don't get me wrong.  I haven't sat in the recliner all weekend long.  I got some things crossed off my pre-baby to-do list and feel more ready to say hello to our peanut than ever before.  

Especially now that the kitchen floor is mopped.


And the junk drawer is clean.  

And my pumpkin spice and harvest candles now engulf the air in our home instead of the funk that was coming from the wastebasket last week.    Our fridge is now full of apples, yogurt, and fresh herbs, instead of a cardboard pizza box.  The diaper bag is packed, Beau's sock drawer is full, and the pantry is stocked with tomato soup, chicken noodle soup, and stuff for spaghetti marinara.  

My mums are planted and my tummy is still full from a complete and utter takedown at Texas Roadhouse last night.  We stocked up on last minute baby needs at Target, and more importantly, turned our storage room into a bomb shelter after a Sam's Club run.  We now buy in packs.  A 12-pack of paper towels.  A 5-pack of toothpaste.  A 24-pack of fruit snacks.  When we walk in to Sam's Club, I let Beau lead the way.  Funny how I had no idea he had such a love for buying in bulk.

Last night, Beau dropped me off at Hobby Lobby to return a few remaining supplies from Baby J's palm tree creation.  As I was waiting in a line only fit for Black Friday, I saw my doctor walk in with some girlfriends.  She didn't notice me, but just like my students act when I see them outside of school, I was fascinated to see her in an environment other than the hospital without a white hospital coat on.  I was not the only one to notice her, as a minute later, I received a text from Beau, still waiting in the parking lot.  "Doc just walked in...see if she can induce you."  Fifteen minutes later, still waiting in line to return a meager $8 worth of merchandise, Beau texted again.  


As I laughed out loud, picturing me giving birth to our baby in between the artificial flowers and gallery frames, I noticed everyone else in line was staring at me.  Staring at the pregnant woman who had seemingly lost her mind.  I never did see my doctor again, but I now have a funny story to share with her Wednesday.

I have no idea when Baby J is going to arrive, but I wish he'd hurry up.  Sure I'm still a good two weeks away from my due date, but pretty soon I'm going to run out of things to prepare.  And I'm for sure going to run out of clothes to wear. 

In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy the beginning of fall, continue to wander in and out of the baby's room, and continue to take pictures of my cat. 

Who was not where she was supposed to be when we returned from church this morning.

Week 11...Ashley We Have a Heartbeat!

Hey fellow bloggers, hope you all had a good week. B and I had a lot of fun on Monday night because we got to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time! It took our midwife a minute to find it, but when we did, we both got this huge grin on our faces! What a fun memory we will have now about that special moment. I bet all you moms out there can remember what it was like to hear the heartbeat for the first time! As far as everything else goes, my midwife said that everything looks great and we'll meet with her again in 4-5 weeks when I'm about 16 weeks along.

I can't really complain much about how I've been feeling this week, my appetite for food is coming back around...especially for sweets! Thank goodness for Kelly's blog which I've mentioned on here many times before: The Spunky Coconut. I made a rocking batch of her gluten-free, vegan brownies and I topped them with this frosting from another blog I like to follow.

After I made them and took a bite and they were so amazing that I almost send B a picture of them with the caption: "OMG!!!!!" The pic to the left does not do them much justice because it was the last one left of the batch...but you get the idea! After coming home and tasting them, B agreed that they were one of the best desserts I have ever made- score! Thank you fellow bloggers for your awesome recipes! I know what I'll be bringing to holiday gatherings now! The best part of these brownies is that there's no sugar! It uses almond butter, applesauce, cocoa powder, and coconut sugar as the main've got to try this awesome recipe!
Coconut sugar
Here's the kind of coconut sugar I got from my local health food store for about $8-9. Also, here's what it looks you can see from the pic it looks a lot like brown sugar and it tastes like it too! No coconut taste, just a natural, yummy sugar alternative.

While I'm on the topic of food, I've been loving these chip/crackers called: "Beanitos". You can read more about them on the link, but the ones I tried are the "Pinto Bean and Flax" flavor, and on top of having tons of protein and fiber, they have a nice and short ingredient list...and best of all- they taste good! I ate about half the bag on my way home from the store, and I'm trying to hold off on eating the second half until at least tomorrow! LOL. I got mine at my local health food store, has anyone else ever tried these? If so, what do you think?

Clothes update: So as you've seen in my posts over the past few weeks, I've been adjusting to my changing body with a few wardrobe changes. So it was fun this week to try out some of my new outfits. The only problem is that I'm not quite "big enough" (referring to my belly) to fill the clothes out, so they just look kind of big on me. Which, at this point, isn't so bad since I was squeezing myself to death trying to fit into my old clothes, but still not the most comfortable feeling.

The straw that broke the camel's back was when I tried wearing these "Belly Leggings". They are a super comfy fabric and the top of them actually goes up and above your stomach like most maternity pants which is great, unless you don't have a big pregnant belly to keep them up. The leggings seemed fine while I was at home, but when I got to school and I was walking around, they began to fall down!!! AHHHH!!!! Now although I have a little baby bump, it was not enough to keep these leggings up! So all day I kept having to pull them up. I tried rolling the top down, it just fell faster then. Oh boy. See the pic to the right- can you see how much space is between my belly button and the crotch of the pants, goodnight! Luckily I had a very long shirt/dress on that day, so no one could tell, but still I knew! Let's just say I won't be wearing those for a few more months! LOL!! ( :

Really leggings...really?
Well that about sums up my week, I feel like my blog has took a turn for the boring with all this talk about maternity clothes and what foods I'm craving at the moment. But, hopefully some of you find it interesting and maybe there's someone out there who is curious what pregnancy is like other than what the "books" tell them (I know I was). On top of that, I feel like this will be a fun way for me to look back and remember what it was like being pregnant, I even had an idea that maybe I could combine all my posts into a scrapbook of some sort. Who knows...( : Have a good week! By the way, our baby is now the size of a plum!

Friends, football, and fireworks

Shortly after finding out I was pregnant, Beau and I received a call from Dallas, Beau's friend from Texas, telling us he had proposed to his girlfriend, Teresa.  We were beyond excited for the two of them, 1) because we knew Dallas was incredibly happy, and 2) because knowing Dallas, the wedding would be something big and exciting.  We envisioned a beach wedding, a week of all-inclusive with good friends, and a welcomed getaway after becoming parents (even though I now wonder if I could have left our little man after all).

After we found out Dallas and Teresa were planning a September wedding in Hawaii, we were a little disappointed that we would not be travelling to the the tropics to celebrate with them; however, we also knew that with all the expenses that go along with a new baby, it was probably better we stay put and focus on crib-building, sub planning, and diaper-buying.   

Last weekend, we got the next best thing!  We traveled to Fort Dodge to welcome the newlyweds back to the mainland and celebrate at a wedding reception.  No, we didn't have fresh flower leis, sand between our toes, and an umbrella drink in hand, but it didn't matter.  We had a river, a totally B.A. bar that resembled a 1970s style basement (complete with a lava lamps and an 8-track player), and Iowa football...what could be better than that?!?! 

Best of all was the fact that we had an entire day to hang out with great friends.  We laughed, listened to our husbands reminisce and tell the same college stories we've heard a million times before, and ate really great food (I'm allowed to comment on the food for a couple more weeks)...

We don't get together near as often as we should; however, it's such a comfort to know that when we do, nothing seems to change.  Families may grow and locations may change, but the relationships remain strong. 

The reception was held at this beautiful little golf course in Fort Dodge.  The patio overlooked this really pretty hilly area, perfect for the fireworks show Dallas put on as a finale to the night.

Yes, there was a fireworks show. 

A really great fireworks show.  

I told you Dallas likes to go all out.  

Although I was utterly exhausted by the time we made the trek home at the end of the night, it was worth it.  Beau was his typical giddy self after getting to spend a day harassing and telling jokes with his friends, I was forced to relax a bit, and Jen got to feel Baby J move...twice.  This might have been my favorite moment!  

Now, we await for July to celebrate the wedding of Heiney and Danielle.    

And if we're lucky, we'll have some visitors after Baby J arrives!

After a full day away Saturday, and a busy baby shower last Sunday, I am looking forward to a full weekend at home.  Lots to do before this little one arrives and Texas Roadhouse is calling my name!