Friday, September 27, 2013

7 Quick Takes

--- 1 ---
First, a prayer request. My progesterone levels are the pits. They were doing pretty well but went down at 14 weeks and down again at 16 weeks. I'm on the max dose of injections and my doctor added oral progesterone on top of that as of last Friday. I have another draw on Tuesday and I'm praying so hard for better numbers. As many of you know, low levels of progesterone put me and this sweet baby at a risk for a whole host of things (preterm labor, stillbirth, miscarriage, placental abruption... I could go on but it's too depressing). Scary stuff, so COME ON progesterone!!! Hopefully I have happy news next Friday. I also have to say thank you to the HUGE group of people already praying for Penny and my progesterone. I could write an entire quick takes on this alone (but I'll spare you!).... I feel peace and reassurance in my most ugly of cries that I know comes from all those prayers. So, thank you!!!

--- 2 ---
Last weekend I went to DC to visit one of my closest friends, Jillian. We had a great time although my feet were NOT happy with me about the walking, especially since half the time I was in non-supportive sandals. It was great to catch up on some girl time! (Yes, that's decaf ;). )

--- 3 ---
Sunday, before heading home, I went to the noon Mass at the National Basilica. So, I should mention first that I cry about once every 24 hours while pregnant (compared to once a month or less when not). I figured I'd probably cry during Mass there, but I cried just as I walked through the doors. It was just so overwhelmingly beautiful! I could have spent ALL day exploring the side chapels, crypts, gift shop, and even walking the grounds but I was so ready to get home to Steven. I did manage to snap a few pictures!


 Sparkle ceiling! I want one for the house!

Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of my faves. I loved her side chapel! 

--- 4 ---
I'm going yard saling Saturday and SO excited about it. I always want to do it but then Saturday comes and my jammies are soooo comfy. But this Saturday I'm really doing it! I found a multi family yard sale which will be good so I can hit up a bunch at once. My only goal is children's books. Anything else is a bonus. Tips?

--- 5 ---
I'm so ready for October and November. We have a lot of fun stuff planned (plus holidays!). Then December is busy with Advent and Christmas (and my shower!!!), and next thing you know it will be time to tie up loose ends for the baby to come. I don't mean to wish my pregnancy away, especially because I always imagined myself to be one of those people who looooves being pregnant, but I feel like this babe will be safer on the outside so I just want it to be March! But back to Oct/Nov. On the line-up is an Ikea day for baby stuff, Steven's birthday and vacation week, 20 week ultrasound, the fair.... November is a weekend beach marriage retreat and shopping weekend with my mom and sister in law. So much fun wrapped up into 2 little months!!!

--- 6 ---
I'd really love to sit and think of a take to put here, but Breaking Bad is calling me in a serious way. Steven is off to his weekly men's group and I am ready to veg! 

 --- 7 ---
Friday question: Ok readers! Is there anything you'd like to see me post about? It can be related to topics I've posted before or completely out of left field. Of course, I have the right to pick and choose based on my comfort level ;). I've seen other bloggers do this, and I like it for times like now when I feel like I'm in a blogging funk. I did it a year or so ago and got some great suggestions, but now I need more! 

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dear Penny: Letters to our Child #13

As always, click the "Dear Baby Series" tag at the bottom of the post for all the letters I've written to our baby, including the ones I wrote before our baby was conceived. Thanks for sharing this special journey with me :)

Dear Baby Penny, 7/27/13

Just call mommy a slacker! I have SO much to write about since I’m a little behind. Telling your grandparents about you was a LOT of fun. There was tons of joy and some happy tears. Everyone loves you so much already! Here is the picture from when we surprised Gammy and Gampy on the 4th of July. They had NO clue we were coming and no clue we were pregnant... Gammy was waiting on me to give her the surgery date (to check for endometriosis)!

What else? Well, I’ve been a nervous wreck. I’m a worrier by nature, but it has been on overdrive. Luckily daddy researches every little thing that makes me nervous so that I can see that it can be normal. And I have wonderful friends who pray for me and encourage me to pray. I thank God for you every time I use the bathroom and there is no blood! If people talked more about early pregnancy, it would probably be less nerve wracking. No one told me that I’d have menstrual like cramps for weeks and weeks and that it is totally normal!

Daddy and I went to a mini high school reunion last weekend (just my close group of friends from high school). I wasn’t planning on announcing you there because I wanted to wait for 12 weeks. But after the THIRD person asked me, not “when do you want to have kids?” which I could have truthfully answered with “sometime next year”, but “When are you going to start TRYING?” which there was no way to truthfully answer, I began (happily) crying and announced you. To everyone at the community pool. Oops. Mommy talks loud when excited. I guess you already know that.

That following Tuesday (23rd) we saw you on ultrasound. Unfortunately, the moment was completely ruined for me when the doctor said “I’m not getting the length I’m wanting” meaning you are a little short. He followed it up with “Ultrasounds can be 4 days off. Everything is on track.” but all I could think about is “is the baby not growing right????” and I panicked. You measured 7w3d at 7w6d so I’m hoping our date is off by one day (which I do think it is) and that maybe you implanted a bit late. BUT we saw your teensy flickering heartbeat so that really did help me feel better. It took me until the next day to calm down about the growth thing and just look at you in the picture. And then I almost cried. You are the sweetest little shrimp looking baby in the world!

Since that appointment, my symptoms have basically been MIA. That has me very freaked out. I read about 50/50 saying that it’s normal and then that it points to miscarriage. From our super thorough research, we know that our chances of losing you after 8 weeks and seeing your heartbeat is only 1.5% (I guess as compared to all other pregnant women 8 weeks + heartbeat), and that does make me feel somewhat better... but if my symptoms aren’t back by daddy’s next day off (this coming Thurs) I think I will call the doctor.

I hope I’m not this anxious when you are in my arms as when you are in my belly. But I’ve got to tell you baby.... no such luck. I just love you SO MUCH!


Friday, September 20, 2013

7 Quick Takes

--- 1 ---
Last Friday, we had a barbecue dinner date. The weather was perfect and we had a nice walk around the park afterward. 

--- 2 ---
The very next night, we checked out a local festival held every year (I don't think I've missed one yet since moving here!) called SparkCon which celebrates the arts in a very unique way. There were art vendors, food vendors, street performers, a circus (no animals- yay!), and tons of chalk drawings- my personal favorite part. 

--- 3 ---
This week, I think I officially earned my pregnant stripes. One night, I sent Steven out for mini bagels and cream cheese around 9:30 pm. I told him to get strawberry cream cheese because I looked it up and it only had 2.5 grams of sugar per serving. Well, he came back with regular because the only one they had in the store had 5 grams of sugar. I was like "Five grams isn't that bad!!!!" in an emotional, pregnant panic. So, he left to go back and get me the strawberry cream cheese. But halfway to him getting to the store, regular cream cheese starting sounding really good, and strawberry started sounding gross. So I called him and told him to come home. Sorry, dear.

--- 4 ---
Monday we heard the heartbeat which was awesome but entirely too quick... like 15 seconds quick! Then Tuesday night, I think I might have felt the baby. It was definitely not gas, and was a twitchy, non rhythmic feeling low down a little towards the left. I'm just going to say it was the baby so I can be excited! I also grew like crazy this week. I went from wearing mostly regular clothes (just more of the drawstring variety) to needing mostly maternity clothes and having a bump within just a few days. Baby must be getting a lot of work done!

--- 5 ---
I think I need to change my comment settings. I swear, I will never make you type in a captcha code. THEY MAKE ME WANT TO CLAW MY EYES OUT. But I may do the whole "comment must be approved" thing. The reason? I'm getting more and more spam comments. After Lady Gaga left me a sexually explicit comment yesterday, I figured it's time to change things. I mean, you're cool and all Gaga, but just not super appropriate for this blog.

-- - 6 ---
This weekend I'm off to see one of my oldest friends, Jillian, in DC. I'm so excited for girls' weekend! We have lots of things planned that mostly involve food, such as brunches, cupcakes, and coffee (decaf pumpkin spice latte WHAT!?). I'm going to go to Mass at the national basilica before heading home Sunday and can't WAIT to see it in person!!! 

 --- 7 ---
Super lame Friday question: actually you get this week off ;). I was asking a question about blender recommendations because mine was holding food in this tiny space and it was SO SO SO gross once I realized it. I couldn't get it apart and I was ready to trash the whole thing. Yeah, Steven came home, twisted the bottom, and the blender came apart. So it's clean now and I'm drinking a smoothie right this very minute. YAY!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Craving Holy Days and the Need for Simplicity

Or maybe I should say holidays. You know that's the origin of the word, right? Holy days= holidays :). Lately, I have been thinking so much about the Good Friday service I attended earlier this year at my parish. My parish, as humble as it is, seriously did the most powerful Good Friday service I'd ever been to... ever. The music was just stunning and so moving. They had beautiful acapella singing, a very small orchestra playing, and also some traditional Mexican music as it was a combined English/Spanish service. I almost lost it and, when not pregnant, I'm really not that emotional. The meaning of that day is already so emotional, with our hearts and minds focusing on the Great Sacrifice, but adding in music of that caliber when I'm used to a cantor, a singer, and a piano/organ just blew me away. So I keep thinking about it and getting excited about it, only to realize it's allll the way til the end of next March before I get to experience that again! Here is to hoping that Baby Cash will just snuggle down in a wrap or sling and let me enjoy ;). So then I started thinking about Christmas mass, holy days of obligation, Lenten masses, special masses said for Thanksgiving.... all of those 'out of the ordinary' Masses. It's so easy to get enamored by them! There is often times incense which, in our parish, we don't have weekly. Sometimes, like in Lent, things are taken away and the power of missing them (certain images or sounds) makes me realize how much we rely on our senses and how God stimulates every single sense during Mass. Sometimes the music is stepped up a notch or people are dressed in their best which just brings a different feel. Every now and again, the altar is decked out in flowers, more than the one or two arrangements normally there. Sometimes, if you sit close enough, you can smell the fresh cut flowers from the pew.

All these memories from past holidays and holy days make me nostalgic for them and I look forward to them every year. But then I think about how I can experience God in the flesh every single day of the week. And there may not be bells and whistles, no incense, very little music, but that gift, the gift we are given in daily Mass may be simpler for a reason. And sure, a reason could be less staffing, less volunteers, and less people attending. But I also think one reason is that we can get so tied up in 'feeling' that we may lose that feeling and begin to pull away. But when we are connected on a Eucharistic level, without any of those extras, we are connected to the root, the source and summit of our faith and, with or without it evoking a certain feeling, we know we why are there. Daily mass is something new for Steven and me. We only just started attending within the last year. We aim to go once a week depending on our work schedules. It's just not something I ever thought about or considered before and, frankly, it's just easier not to go. There's certainly no requirement for it. But what I've found that it's done in my life is to help me make a deeper connection to the Eucharist that transcends warm fuzzies and cravings for certain sensory aspects. And that's not to say that those things aren't important; they definitely are important in our human experience or God certainly wouldn't have given us such strong senses and especially not ones that can take you back years in only a second (like smelling a certain kind of cookie your mom made when you were little).

But I think equally as important is the realization that, without that, God is still in the flesh in the Eucharist and it is just as amazing and powerful when there is no music, few people, as when we are experiencing it on the high of a holy day or special Mass. I've been really glad for the gift of daily Mass over the past year to help me realize this. And you know what I think pulled me to daily Mass? The simplicity of adoration. Because with as sharp as our senses our and as much as we love sensory experiences, I do believe sometimes our senses crave silence and simplicity. We are bombarded daily with smart phones, television, work and social conversations, advertisements, and the radio blaring. Adoration is rest for my soul while in the powerful, simplistic presence of my Lord. And I can find that same type of simplicity in daily Mass. Sometimes I am blown away by how providential God is that, in his all knowing wisdom, he provides all of these experiences for us that we don't even know we are needing or craving.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Dear Penny: Letters to our Child #12

As always, click the "Dear Baby Series" tag at the bottom of the post for all the letters I've written to our baby, including the ones I wrote before our baby was conceived. Thanks for sharing this special journey with me :). As you'll see in this letter, the baby was the size of a lentil exactly 2 months ago. As of this week s/he is the size of an apple! Grow baby, grow!!!

Oh... and before you go thinking you know our #1 boy name, it has changed. Bwhahaha... sorry! We'll announce our names once we're sure and once we've shared with family. Which possibly might be after the baby is born and we see his or her face! 

Dear Baby Penny, 7/14/2013

Mommy is so, SO anxious to see you again on ultrasound, to make sure that your little heart is beating and that you are growing. Only 9 days left! Last night I asked Daddy, “Has it only been less than 2 weeks since we found out Penny exists???” and he said yes. It feels like so much longer for two reasons. One, the amount of sheer joy and happiness that you have already brought us and our families, And two, the amount of anxiety mommy has about whether or not things are ok.

God has given me so much peace amidst my stress this past week. I will have a day with little to no symptoms and freak out that you are no longer with us. I pray to God for nausea (can you believe it?) and BAM within a few hours I’m usually nauseous. I pray to God for peace, and a little while later get one of the twinges in my abdomen that I’ve been getting since before we knew you were in there. Those things help me so much. There are also things that, to me, are even more powerful though they might seem silly to someone else. Remember how I was given so much peace by originally being told that our due date was St. Felicity’s feast day? Well, yesterday at Mass, Daddy had arranged for us to have you blessed. And Mass just seemed to point to peace and new life in the songs and readings. The first song was the prayer of St. Francis. And as I sang the line “where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope”, I happened to look down at the bottom of the page to see that the author/composer of that song’s first name was Sebastian, which is our #1 choice for a boy’s name. Another wave of peace washed over me.

After Mass, the priest took us up to the front of the church. He said prayers of thanksgiving, prayed over mommy and daddy individually, read from the Gospel of Luke about Mary being pregnant with Jesus, and gave us the biggest smile to send us on our way. It was a bit rushed because the next Mass was going to start, but I won’t forget the line where he prayed for my anxieties.... that we had not told him about. So many little moments we feel God with us.

You are only the size of a lentil, but you have brought us so much closer to God. We are praying like crazy both in thanksgiving for you and for our health during this pregnancy. Who knew that a baby the size of a lentil could bring us so much closer to God? You already have purpose, even as a teeny baby in the womb.

We’ve been naughty and have been buying things even though we said we wouldn’t until 8 weeks. We are just SO EXCITED! Mommy scored an awesome carrier for really cheap, and got fabric for Daddy to have an Avengers wrap made. We got a few pieces of clothing on clearance and at thrift stores, and it makes it feel more real! We are starting to sell some things we don’t need (furniture occupying your room) to get ready for you, and used the money from a sale to get a like new co-sleeper. Yes, it’s early. Yes, anything could happen. But we are celebrating you being here with us every single day and I will never regret that! We love you so much, little bean. Stay safe and cozy in there and I can’t wait to see you in 9 days!

Love, Mommy

Friday, September 13, 2013

7 Quick Takes

--- 1 ---
I made the BEST biscuits this week, but I can't take any credit. I followed some of the suggestions in the comment and cut the butter in half, but upped the milk by 1/4 cup. THEY WERE SO TASTY. I also added more garlic powder because... garlic = yummm. They were super easy, so I am probably going to make another batch next week. Try them! 

--- 2 ---
The baby had a big week this week. First of all, s/he grew from the size of a lime to an apple. I thought that was pretty impressive growth compared to some other weeks... like the week s/he went from a lemon to a bean sprout. What!? Anyway, part of this week's development is that the baby's eyelids are still fused shut but s/he can see light. If you shine a flashlight at your stomach, the baby will move away from the light! I think it's mean to do that, so I won't, but I thought that was pretty cool in theory!

--- 3 ---
Our activity for the week was to talk to the baby which, admittedly, we haven't done too much of yet. I was waiting for the weekly email to tell us the baby could hear. It hasn't yet, so I'm assuming this is more of an activity for us than the baby lol. Penny heard his/her first 2 stories last night. I read The Birth of Jesus (dolla tree! came with a cd!) and Steven read The Berenstein Bears Go Out for the Team. Sister Bear told Brother Bear he was being sexist... I did not remember those books being so advanced lol!

--- 4 ---
We are on a neverending search for a doula. Ahhhh! I never thought it would be so hard! Most don't want to drive out to the hospital I'll be delivering at (which is not THAT far away; about 45 minutes). We have a few to choose from so we need to get to interviewing! 

--- 5 ---
On Monday, we get to hear the heartbeat for the first time. Yes, we've had 3 ultrasounds, 2 of which we could watch the heartbeat, but we have yet to hear it! We are so excited! The fun of that will hopefully get me through the one hour glucose test. At least I don't have to fast.

--- 6 ---
Tonight we are going to a bbq fundraiser (Penny is excited!) and then a free outdoor movie. Our town does family friendly flicks, followed by camping for those who want to partake, and this is the first one we'll have gone to. We'll be seeing The Avengers, one of Steven's favorites, in a nearby park and I can't wait for some outside time!

 --- 7 ---
Friday question: What's your favorite thing about fall? My love for fall increases every year. I think I'm most excited about going to the farm for a hayride and to pick out our pumpkin. We are routinely the only people without kids (no shame!) and we have SO much fun! Our favorite is Vollmer Farms. Luckily, we have a few years left til we get sucked into paying the $12 entry charge. For now, a free hayride and the cost of a pumpkin makes a low cost, fun trip! They also have homemade ice cream which I will be partaking in on their rocking chair front porch. *squee*

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

God's Protection in our Journey Towards New Life

*I know there are some non-Catholics who read my blog and do not agree with and/or do not understand the Church's teaching on artificial reproductive technology. Please know that this blog is for myself, for my future children, and is a very honest account of my faith, beliefs, and experiences. I don't want to hesitate in sharing things that I find to be important and emotional for me, even if it may be a tough topic to read about.*

Trying to get pregnant with lots of medical issues hindering us was really, really hard. It was much more emotional for the experience to be so intensely medicalized than I expected, rather than what you always think it will be.... just getting pregnant through the union of you and your spouse. I can't even imagine the experience for couples who dealt with it, who ARE dealing with it, for much, much longer. They have our prayers every week when we pray a rosary for couples struggling with infertility (by the way, 5 pregnant so far!!! God is so good! Let me know if you have someone you'd like me to pray for by name.). We got a small taste of what that's like, and it is so incredibly hard. It was hard on me feeling like my body was broken and failing me... failing us. It was hard being poked and prodded and having to constantly rearrange my work schedule to go to the doctor. It was hard on Steven trying to find the right way to support me and seeing the toll that it took on me. It was hard on him knowing there wasn't a whole lot he could do. It was hard on both of us trying to take care of ourselves and each other in ways we never had.

We had to work really hard on our connection during that time, both physically and emotionally. Steven was such a rock for me and the experience, as tough as it was, really strengthened us and further bonded us. For that, I'm thankful. We had to take turns encouraging the other, praying for the other, and just holding the other person in a tight hug when there were no words. We grew even deeper in our faith as we did what was in our human power, but knew that ultimately it was not up to us. Honestly, I felt God every second of the way and I'm so grateful for that. I can't imagine getting through it if I had felt a void. I prayed for hope and peace and He answered in a big, big way. We reached out to the communion of saints for intercession and we asked for God's will, not ours, to be done. That was tough but empowering. We upped our Mass attendance to include some daily Mass and that was an experience that has still remained powerful for us... the experience of the sacrifice of Jesus in the middle of a rough week. It helped to refocus us. Basically, we could not have done this on our own.

My faith in the medical community was strengthened by this experience. To know there are so many doctors out there, the numbers growing all the time!, who want to work to restore fertility instead of bypass it is so amazing to me. To learn about Naprotechnology and just how woman focused and woman centered it is made me feel so valued as a woman. To experience a doctor who shares my faith and has the exact same goals as I do, to create new life by working with by body, helped me restore my faith in the medical field after years and years of being offered only the pill. Our eyes have been opened to a relatively new and beautiful field of healthcare, to which we are so, so appreciative. We may have never had Penny without it.

I am most sincerely thankful for the wisdom of the Church. I have always agreed with the Church's stance on IUI and IVF, but never thought too much about it until we were dealing with infertility issues. Even then, I knew it was not an option, and not just because the Church told me so. It just did not feel right for us. The Church in Her wisdom protected at least one part of our experience and, to us, the most important part. Our journey to conceiving may have had many medical bumps in the road, but our baby is a product of the love we have together expressed in the most intimately physical way. I am forever thankful to the Church for preserving that for us. It has strengthened my relationship with God, my relationship with my husband, my relationship with Penny, and my understanding of our faith and values. Fifteen little weeks with Penny and look what this experience has done for us already! New life is powerful.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Womb Service: What's on the Menu

So for the last month or so, I've been thinking about how I don't want this to become a pregnancy or 'mommy blog'. But the more I think about it, and the more I have an itch to write something pregnancy related, I decided that my blog should just be whatever it's going to be. The whole point, for me, is to document where I am  and what life is like right now.... and right now that is pregnancy! I blog for the primary purpose of having it to read many years from now and to be able to share it with my children. Secondary is probably keeping friends and family in real life updated and meeting new friends via blogs. I don't write for monetary compensation (not that I mind it!) or to get a large following (wouldn't mind that either!) so... I'm going to write about whatever comes out without shame :). It just took me a month to realize that. So thanks to Colleen, I'm going to share Penny's "womb service". The actual link up is closed, but I'm writing anyway!. Enjoy it future children, because you know subsequent children get the short end of the stick, so I can't promise that I'll even be blogging by the time the next baby comes or that I'll be nearly as sentimental when I do ;). 

I wrote this mid-August, but I've updated it a little to cover the last few weeks. 

These are a few of your favorite things 08/14/2013

Right when we found out about you, mommy was craving protein like crazy. One of the first meals I had, when we went to celebrate on Tuesday, was Outback ribs and bbq chicken. DROOL. Daddy laughed at how fast I ate. I basically inhaled it. He said he definitely knew I was pregnant by watchign me eat that meal. Weeks 5-7 all I wanted was protein... eggs, nuts, beans, dairy, and MEAT. This a-few-times-a-week-meat-eater has been craving meat ALL the time! I still talk about how good that Outback meal was, though. Too bad they aren’t in our budget more often!

A few weeks after we found out about you, we realized you don’t like sweets. That’s a win-win really, but you wouldn’t believe my astonishment at 9 or so weeks when I took one bite of a brownie a la mode and had to put the fork down. And around 8 weeks when I ate a homemade donut, I felt sick for hours. Good for you, Penny! That’s probably why the baby sites say I should/could have gained 2-5 lbs and I am still rocking my pre-pregnancy weight, even with all the calorie rich foods I’m eating! (We won't mention that I shouldn't gain much more than 15 lbs due to my pre-pregnancy fluff anyway.)

For about 2 weeks, somewhere around weeks 6-8, you did NOT like me making lunch. I was ok eating it, but preparing it was not fun. Sometimes daddy would help, sometimes I’d grin and bare it, and other times I’d end up buying something because I just couldn’t stomach it. I also found out at 10 weeks when getting new tires from Sams that you do NOT like the smell of rubber. Thankfully, I haven’t thrown up once!

You love, love, love ice water. It keeps my tummy happy, too! If I start feeling a little queasy, ice water seems to do the trick. The colder the better. Daddy bought me a cup that can go in the freezer for maximum coldness. Love it!

Around 8-9 weeks, I had a Wendy’s berry almond chicken salad. I really just wanted SOMEthing healthy after a weekend of being naughty, but now I get a super strong craving for it at least once a week. No, I can’t make it myself. IT TASTES SO MUCH BETTER ALREADY MADE!

Starting at 10 weeks, you began craving bbq. Daddy ran out and bought some and it completely hit the spot. I had been consumed with thoughts of it for 2 days! Here at week 11, I still talk an awful lot about bbq. Daddy thinks you’re awesome.

You love progesterone, but mommy does not (well, mommy loves it for keeping you alive!!!). I got a giant hematoma on one hip from the shots, so now all the shots are being done in the left side.... 2 shots in the muscle per week! It is rough but I’d do anything for you. Plus, I can hold this over your head when you’re a teenager ;). (Update: now back to both sides, thankfully!)

Weeks 12-14 (current week), you looooove dairy. I'm drinking so much milk, even just plain in a glass which is very unlike me. Breakfast every day is a smoothie. You STILL crave bbq periodically but it's not the kind of craving that HAS to be cured, so I haven't had any more. But the other day, you were craving meat so badly an hour before dinner time when everything was frozen. I raided daddy's coupon stash and ended up with a 3 piece tender from Arby's. I felt bad about it, but it hit the spot so good! Then of course I wasn't hungry for dinner. You've been wanting tortilla chips too which I'm happy to supply. Trader Joe's has some awesome organic yellow corn rounds. For dinner one night this week, we had tortilla chips with cheese and homemade refried beans on top. Pretty sure you were in heaven.

Love you, baby!

Friday, September 6, 2013

7 Quick Takes

--- 1 ---
So an online friend of mine got me hooked on Breaking Bad. She kept posting about it and I figured I'd watch episode to see what I thought. Yeah, that was last weekend and now I'm in the 3rd season. The awesome thing about Netflix? You can watch stuff whenever you want. The bad thing? Once you finish the seasons available there's usually no free way to find the episodes/seasons after that, or between the end of the Netflix seasons and where the episode is on tv. AHHHH first world problems!!!

--- 2 ---
I bought my first bag of flour this week since we went gluten free in June. I'm kind of unsure what to make with it. It's funny how fast you can get out of the habit of your 'normal' recipes! I used to bake with flour a few times a week. I do like that we're staying low gluten, but have the option back to eat certain things. Sadly, I still have a bag of unopened gluten free baking mix that I'm thinking I will officially never use. 

--- 3 ---
Perks of the hubs managing a grocery store? When the truck makes mistakes, like delivering deli items and the store has no deli, we gets free noms! He brought home a ton of ham and 2 whole chickens. There's going to be some serious crockpotting going on here! 

--- 4 ---
I loooooove signing up for restaurant email rewards. One of our favorite local chains, Greek Fiesta, has awesome perks. We just got our 'anniversary' email from them (anniversary of signing up) and each get a free chicken pita and free baklava. We will drink water with it and enjoy a TOTALLY free date night. Especially awesome since this is a tight budget life month.

--- 5 ---
Baby Cash loves milk. LOVES it. I normally drink a quart a week and sometimes only need to buy that every other week. I am now downing a gallon by myself every week easily. YUM. I never liked just drinking milk before but it is a regular afternoon snack for me now. I've also been having smoothies (ice, milk, cocoa powder, overripe banana, and peanut butter) for breakfast most mornings. YUM. Now I'm hungry. 

--- 6 ---
So this is my last official weekend of nothingness before life is busy until forever. EEEK. Although I guess it's not fair that I'm lumping next weekend into it since I only have a 2.5 hr training at church. But hey! That's not nothing, so I'm lumping it! I plan on watching more Breaking Bad, picking up some Craigslisted cloth dipes, and going to church. That's it, my friends! Probably an occasional load of dishes, too, if I must. 

 --- 7 ---
Friday question! If you took birth classes, what method did you take? We were about 2 seconds to committing to Bradley classes, but due to scheduling issues we are reconsidering. I just don't know much about other methods since Bradley seemed to fit so well. Do tell! 

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Dear Penny: Letters to Our Child #....10.5?

Oops! I missed a letter! I didn't post the one between the day we found out we were pregnant and the day we announced to my parents. Here it is! As always, if you want to see the whole series, just click the 'tag' at the bottom of the post.

Dear Baby Penny, 7/3/2014

WE SAW YOU TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! Granted I wouldn’t have known that was you if the doctor hadn’t pointed it out but still.... WE SAW YOU!!!! You made mommy AND daddy cry! The appointment took about 3 hours starting with an exam, then talking with the doctor about progesterone treatment and normal pregnancy stuff (foods to avoid, etc), then bloodwork, then an ultrasound, and then daddy giving me progesterone shots in front of the nurse. He did so good!

The doctor moved your due date to 3/5/14 based off of mommy’s chart. But you know what? I was sad for a minute and then realized that St. Felicity and God probably teamed up to make my phone and the doctor agree on Monday to give me peace of mind (which it absolutely did). Today the doctor told me that my numbers were good, so I guess I didn’t need that due date peace of mind as much anymore. Since only 1/20 babies comes on their due date, maybe that means you’ll show up on the 7th after all! Today I am exactly 5 weeks pregnant.

The doctor did diagnose me with chronic hypertension which means he’ll be following both you and me really closely throughout the pregnancy. It made the tough decision of whether to stay with him or use the birthing center REALLY easy since they won’t let me birth there with high blood pressure. We love our doctor though, so I think I’ll find peace with it pretty easily.

Speaking of which, the nurse, Amber, said that when mommy called on Monday, the doctor ran in to her and said “Stacy Cash got a positive pregnancy test!” and then she debated today whether or not to bring in the “Celebration” song to play when mommy and daddy arrived. Yes, I think we are in goods hands. We are praying for you and SO MANY amazing online friends are praying for you as well. Tomorrow we tell Gammy and Gampy.... can’t wait to write about it :).



Monday, September 2, 2013

Product Review: The Fathers of the Church Bible

One of my favorite things that I've reviewed on this blog so far is The Fathers of the Church Bible. For the past year or two, I've thought a lot about how I wanted to be more educated in the writings of our early church fathers. But getting started with that can be very overwhelming, so I was really excited to get this Bible. In fact, the first time I began reading through it, the excerpts from the early fathers were so fascinating that I would read one and then skip right to another! The Bible is set up with sections from various church fathers scattered throughout. Those pages are tan so you can see where they are located in the Bible very easily when the Bible is closed. They are also listed in the front if you want to pick and choose who and what you read. There is SO much learning to be done in this Bible! It's really convenient to have scripture and writings of the early church fathers all in one place. It's also a great introduction to these writers so I can decide whose complete works I'd like to read. The only (very minor) downside I can see about this Bible is that it is larger and heavier than any other Bible I own. I would probably take one of my other Bibles to a Bible study and keep this for home use. I think this Bible would make a great gift in general, but it would really be a wonderful confirmation or conversion gift! You also can't go wrong purchasing it for yourself!

 This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on The Fathers of the Church Bible. The Catholic Company is the best resource for all your seasonal needs such as First Communion gifts as well as ideas and gifts for the special papal Year of Faith.