Friday, April 30, 2010

19 months: Devon (April)

Devon has a favorite TV show. It's pretty much the only TV he's seen so it's an easy choice. He will hand you the skinny remote to turn on the TV and he'll say,"Show" then hand you the big remote so you can find the tivoed episodes and say,"Pooh" (Tigger and Pooh 3D .... not the old ones. Trust me .... I tried and he hated them). I am somehow not annoyed by it and he only sporadically watches so it's fine. God forbid he develop a liking for Elmo .... I may just have to get rid of the TV.

He has developed a new game simply called "Bed". The rules are simple. Round up the 2 down comforters into a big pile in the center of our bed. Place Devon in front of the piles of blankets. Push Devon over into the blankets. Shrieks of laughter and giggles and,"Again!" ensue. If you tire of pushing him over he will just throw himself on top of the blankets so not to worry .... the game will continue for about 20 minutes with or without you. When he starts to get tired he will want to be tucked in and will start snoring. This means that you should lay down, close your eyes, make snoring sounds and at some point open your eyes and make a sound that will both startle and amaze him.

He loves to eat cheese, strawberries, raspberries, apples and peaches. He will even go into the pantry and retrieve a cup of fruit for me to feed him which is nice for me to feel like he is communicating his needs. He seems to really understand what we are saying when we talk about feelings, being careful and describing what is going on. He has stopped throwing food on the floor when he eats and has learned to just tell me that he's done and I get him out of his chair. I hated mopping the floor after every meal!

I'm not even going to tell you what words Devon can say up til now because he will pretty much say and repeat anything at this point so watch your language ;) If he doesn't get the word exactly right he gets the syllables or the basic sound. He is such a chatter box and Joe and I love hearing him go on and on ... and on ;) It is so fun to hear him say new words with perfect enunciation. We talk all the time about how sad it is that he is getting big. Then Devon will say,"Sad" and make a pouty face and we try to avoid saying the word sad around him because watching him do it is well ... sad. I have started to get into the habit of calling Joe "Daddy" because Devon started saying,"Joe! Joe! Dada!" Cute and everything, but I don't want him to start calling us by our first names until he becomes an ornery teenager.

He is learning to jump and kick a ball and is getting so independent! He is into everything and I begrudgingly baby proofed the kitchen drawers. Joe and I find all the baby proofing to be SUPER annoying and hoped that we would be able to somehow avoid it, but we both agree that it is totally a must. I don't mind him getting into that stuff, but I want to be able to have some control over the amount of mess and I had to keep him out of the knife drawer somehow!

Devon is such a good boy and is so funny! He is very careful about getting down from chairs, going up and down stairs that he will, more often then not, wait until I can help him and hold out his hand for me to hold. He is definitely not that kid that runs off and goes in a million directions with boundless energy. He does have (and require) lots of energy, but he is a really calm kid. He is not one to go up to kids and interact very much, but he is very friendly and will say hi to everyone at the grocery store. I have seen him turn grumpy shoppers from stone to mush with one flash of his toothy grin. By the way, he seems to be getting his molars. All of them. At the same time. That's a lot of teeth at once, poor guy.

Joe and I worry about the adjustment phase that will inevitably come when the little lady arrives, but there's nothing we can do except be attentive to Devon and let him know that he is still important to us. He isn't terribly interested in other kids (and he HATES it when they touch him ... that's my little germaphobe ;) so hopefully he won't mind having her around as long as she keeps some distance. He has been very interested in his new furniture that arrived last week and it has been encouraging to think maybe it won't be a huge room-switch-new-baby-all-at-once-adjustment that I've been building it up to be. I have been thinking that as soon as we get the floors done we could move Devon into his new room before the new baby arrives. I have been looking for stuff to decorate both of their rooms so they look more put together without going overboard, but it is a process. There is a lot of work that will have to get done before that happens, though, and I am anxious to get it all going!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Roses for the lady

When Joe and I were dating, I think it took about a year for him to literally hand me flowers. Don't get me wrong ... I got flowers all the time, but he always found a clever way to give them to me. They weren't usually given for any special reason other than just making me feel special. He left them on my car, in my car, in my locker, on the window sill of my room or he would get to one of my classes early and leave them on my desk. I always got something a little out-of-the-ordinary like Bird's of paradise, tulips, hand picked yellow wild flowers or fire and ice roses. No red roses or carnations for me! At the ripe old age of 16 I always thought he was so romantic ... and I still do ;)

He planted these for Valentine's Day.

I have been with Joe nearly half my life. This post is a bit late, but as of April 13th we have been together 14 years. Joe still gives me unusual flowers, but also plants them around the house so I can have flowers everyday. Well ... every day when they are in season ;)

I knew there was something special about Joe before I even really got to know him. He was just unique ... he stood out. He was different from every other 16 year old high school boy I knew. He had this brilliant smile and an infectious laugh. He was so good looking he made me nervous! To be honest, I didn't really think that he liked me for a long time because I thought he was so cool and I was ... not. I mean, I was "cool" in the sense that I wasn't a dork or totally weird or anything, but he was mysterious cool.

Now we are "grown ups" and it has been so amazing to go from being his high school girlfriend to his wife and all the wonderful time in between. Joe is such a good Daddy and really looks out for Devon in ways that I haven't seen most Dad's do. It's hard to describe, but you can just feel the difference. When most Dad's complain how kids changed their lives (ie: no more golfing, no going out, all the negative stuff you usually hear, etc) Joe talks about how amazing it is and how excited he is for his 2nd one to arrive. He works so hard to provide for our family so I can be a stay at home Mom and I am so grateful to have such a wonderful husband.

He always says something nice about my hair when I get it done and compliments me on what I'm wearing. He encourages me to take naps instead of doing the laundry. He has ALWAYS been my biggest supporter and has fulfilled so many of my life long dreams with enthusiasm as if they were his own. He tells me all the time how beautiful and sexy I am which is nice to hear when you are 6 months pregnant ;) When he's not at work or being a hands on Dad he's building something in the garage, learning a new skill, toiling away on the new and expanded garden or planting me flowers.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

24 weeks

Even though my doctor says I'm a week ahead I am going to stick with the week that corresponds with my due date unless she changes it officially at my next appointment. I am not one for the "belly shots", but I figure that I may as well since this is the last time I will be pregnant.

For those of you who know what I mean .... I thought this looked unintentionally "Ollin Mills" with the strange fade at the bottom. The camera did it on it's own and I can't get rid of it. Whatever. I hate having my picture taken so moving on ....

The baby is moving so much! It is a nice change to go from a few movements at night to consistently throughout the day. I have been accumulating things to go in her room (IE: clothes hamper, a painting, a clock, etc) and have been storing them in her closet for now since we will be having some major work done on the floors in the upstairs over the next month or so. All the furniture will have to be removed and moved downstairs so any decorating I do right now will probably be undone with all the mess and moving around.

I don't know what in the HELL happened, but I put on like ... 3 freakin' pounds in the past few days. Not even kidding. HOW does that happen?!?!?! I feel like I am trying so hard to stay on track plus all the working out I do and I put on 3 pounds?!?! It's a little disheartening to say the least, but I guess that's just how it goes in the baby business.

Things seem to be going sort of slow for me right now, but when I look back at the 6 months that have gone by they have flown! I guess the days are long, but the months are fast. I will be in the delivery room before I know it!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Stuffed pasta shells

I am a planner. An organizer. I have more than one label maker and I'm not afraid to use them. My hospital bag is already packed and ready to go. I am starting to plan ahead by gathering recipes for dinners that I can pre-make and have available while I recover after giving birth that A) I can prepare ahead of time B) freeze and thaw well and don't taste like they were ever frozen. My Mom was so great about bringing us dinner for a week after Devon was born and I am hoping to ease the burden off myself and have meals prepared ahead of time to get us by for a week or so. I don't have a lot of freezer space, but I hope that I will be able to freeze SOME dinners so I don't have to be on my feet cooking. Cooking can be a struggle when Devon is this little so it is magical when I can get dinner put together while he's napping and pop it in the oven right before we eat. This is one of those recipes. It reminds me of lasagna, but SO much easier to make with a similar (maybe even better) flavor. I don't eat leftovers (like .... NEVER), but this dish is almost better the next day.

2 10-ounce packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed
15 ounces ricotta cheese
1 cup (about 4 ounces) grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried, crumbled
3 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper

3 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce *(I make my own sauce and skip buying a jar of it. SO worth the minimal extra effort)*
32 jumbo pasta shells, freshly cooked
Additional grated Parmesan

*I didn't take any pictures after I put the sauce on top. It just looked like a pan with sauce ... not a great picture.*

Squeeze spinach dry. Transfer spinach to large bowl. Add ricotta, 1/2 cup Parmesan, fennel, basil and garlic to bowl. Season mixture with salt and pepper; blend.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spoon 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce evenly over bottom of 9x13x2-inch baking dish. Fill each pasta shell with spinach mixture. Place shells, filling side up, in dish. Spoon remaining sauce over shells. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan. Cover loosely with foil and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Serve, passing additional Parmesan separately.

Line the pan with foil THEN ladle on the sauce, stuffed shells and cover with sauce and cheese. Freeze the food overnight in the pan. Remove food from the pan, cover with foil, write down oven temp. and cook time on the foil as well as what's inside. When you're ready to eat just pop the whole thing back into the pan, let it thaw, cook and voila! The foil helps to keep the mess to a minimum so you don't have to even wash the pan. If you are making this dish for someone else you don't have to give them your pan (with the hassle of having to get it back) and you don't have to buy a disposable one. How awesome is that?!?

Let me just say that I am not a fan of spinach. I have tried to get into it, but I just don't like it. I SWEAR you can't taste it at all and there is a lot of it in here. Devon inhaled this for dinner and even had it for lunch the next day. Joe loved it as well and told me I couldn't freeze any to save for later because he was going to eat the rest of the pan by today. It was a hit!

If you get a chance I would love to have yummy, freezable ideas to add to my growing list if you have any. (No soup or sea food please) I need leftovers people! Please send them my way to

So far I have:
stuffed pasta shells
spaghetti sauce
shepherd's pie

Thursday, April 8, 2010

23/24ish weeks

I am nearing the end of my 5th month and had a sonogram this past Friday. Everything looks normal and my placenta has shifted into a normal position so barring any complications I shouldn't need a C-section. The baby is getting so big that my doctor put me one week ahead of schedule so .... does that make me 24 weeks? She didn't change my due date, but did say that this might be an indication that the baby may come early which would be late July. Sweet!

(Little lady profile. Her hands are resting on her knees, but only for a second then she shifted around).

I have gained 15 pounds so far. She went through a growth spurt over the past month for sure. I guess she needed the extra calories because I was finally hungry! I am still on target with my weight even though my doctor's scale says I've gained more than my home scale says. I hate when people say, "You're pregnant .... this is your time to indulge!" Ummm yeah .... no it's not! Gaining too much weight can be just as damaging to the baby (and your own health) as not gaining enough weight. I was hoping to stay closer to 25 pounds this time around (since I gained 37 with Devon), but that will probably not happen at this stage of the game. I think I'll probably end up somewhere near 30 lbs. It doesn't seem like a big difference between 25 or 30 pounds, but YOU try loosing 5 pounds. It's HARD! Some weeks you gain more, some weeks less and that's just the way it goes. I am still running, though it is very slow and I only run 2 miles each time I get to the gym which is NOTHING compared to what I used to run. I am just happy to get my pregnant body moving like that at all without pain. I stopped running once I hit the 8th month with Devon so I hope to keep that up this time around.

(2 tiny feet. One a little blurry and the other so clear you can count the tiny toes).

I was working full-time when I was pregnant with Devon and was so sick and tired of the barrage of comments that I had to deal with day after day. I had tons of co-workers and since I taught group fitness I saw over 100 clients a day. They all seemed to have something to say about my growing belly and most of it was rude at best. Not all of it was bad, but I am always surprised how people go right to the negative. This time around it has been a dream. I teach 2 yoga classes on Sunday and all my students are just so excited for me they have been so sweet. They always say things like,"I haven't seen you in 2 weeks and your belly has grown ... you look so beautiful!" or "I hope I look like you when I get pregnant." Nice things a pregnant girl wants to hear. I am an old lady compared to the doe-eyed, 19 year old college students that pass through those walls, but it's nice just the same.

(2 little feet off to the left and a hand on the right. Look at those fingers!)

I am, however, tired of people asking me "how I'm feeling" and if one more person tells me that I will be "in my 3rd trimester through the hot, hot summer" I may have to strangle someone with my bare hands, but other than that I have been lucky. I live in the desert. I KNOW I will be pregnant through the summer. Even if I got pregnant in May I would be pregnant in the heat at some point since it's only actually "cold" for December and January. I dealt with the heat with Devon and it wasn't a big deal. Listen, when it's 110 degrees outside it's hot for everyone so you just deal with it. I would rather be pregnant in the summer with a full on belly than give birth in April and have to go through bikini season over weight and out of shape. THAT would suck.

Even though I have totally easy pregnancies being pregnant is hard work and it seems like everything is a little more difficult. Bringing in the groceries, taking out the garbage, hauling the laundry up and down the stairs .... makes me tired thinking about it. Even though it has been harder this time around I keep telling myself to enjoy being pregnant because this will be our last baby. We are a two kid family for sure. I do enjoy being pregnant .... really I do, but now that I know how great a baby can be I am just excited for her to arrive and get on with the fun! I can't believe I will have kids. Like .... more than one. Life just keeps getting better!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

You kiss your mama with that mouth?

I am what I like to call an "assertive" driver. I don't dilly dally. I don't text or talk on my phone when I drive. I drive extra carefully with Devon in the car. I don't take chances. I am in my car to get from one place to the other as safely and (let's be honest) quickly as possible. Drivers who clearly don't share my same goals get on my nerves. That being said, I am fairly vocal when I drive. If another driver doesn't use his signal and makes a sharp turn, I "remind" him that he forgot to signal. Driving too slow, swerving into my lane, taking my parking spot, not letting me over, on your cell phone and oblivious .... I usually say something to them even though I know they can't hear me. Just a little tap on my horn, a glare, or a head shake. I know they don't notice or care, but it makes me feel better.

Today I realized that maybe I should cut back on my driver-to-bad-driver banter. I backed out of the garage, drove through the neighborhood and pulled into traffic and Devon says,"Go! (4 seconds later) Jeez!" I just about died. I know I say that ALL the time and he finally caught on.

I have to laugh because he says both words so clearly and he says them only when we are in the car. On the upside, at least I know that I don't swear at other drivers ;) Thanks for the reminder, baby Devon, that you understand more than you let on!