Tuesday, October 30, 2012

no sugar november.

{image via}

Are you ready for a challenge?

Starting November 1st, join me for No-Sugar-November.

I think this is a real thing, but I just decided to do it on my own. I have a hard time with moderation, I'm an all or nothing kind of girl, so with the exception of pie on Thanksgiving, I'm going sugar free in November. To me, this means no candy, no soda, no baked goods, no frozen treats. It does not mean no fruit, that's just crazy. And occasional agave may be used in oatmeal, etc.

I guess I'd better hurry up and eat the rest of those pumpkin snickerdoodles! Oh, and my last huzzah will be a Banbury Cross donut at my family Halloween party tomorrow.

Are you going to try No-Sugar-November? What will your last sweet be?

you must try these.

You know how after making a pumpkin-something recipe, you're usually left with a half-used can of pumpkin puree? Well maybe that's just me.

But I have the perfect recipe for you, if you're in the leftover pumpkin puree boat. It comes from Emma, who bakes up the most delicious treats and is kind enough to share the recipes with all of us.

Here's why they are good. Not only do these cookies use up the last of the can of pumpkin (you'll need 3/4 cup), but they are the perfect cakey-cookie. Some snickerdoodles are too butter, too rich, make you feel sick after eating one (or three). These are spicy, substantial, and oh-so delicious. The pumpkin is not overpowering, and you can smell the ginger in the coating just before you take a bite. My advice? Eat as many as you can without feeling sick right when they come out of the oven. My limit was three. You will not regret it. Also note, you will have to refrigerate the dough for at least an hour before shaping and baking. I was planning to make and eat these on Sunday night, not realizing there was refrigeration involved. I looked forward to coming home to them all day Monday!

emma's pumpkin snickerdoodles:


2 sticks butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

rolling sugar:

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice


in a large bowl, cream butter until fluffy.  add sugar and pumpkin puree and beat well.  mix in egg and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl to incorporate all of the ingredients.  in a medium bowl mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.  beat flour mixture into butter mixture a little at a time until incorporated.

cover dough with plastic and chill at least one hour, or until dough becomes slightly firm.  when ready to bake, preheat oven to 350.  line baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray (I used Silpat silicon mats).  mix rolling sugar in a small bowl.

use a medium cookie scoop or large spoon to scoop out dough and roll into balls.  use your hands to roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar and make sure they're coated really well.  place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.  use a glass with a nice, flat bottom to dip in sugar and flatten the balls {don't forget this step!  they won't bake well without it}.

bake at 350 for 10-14 minutes, or until they are slightly firm to the touch (I found that 12 was just about perfect).  transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

yield: about 3 dozen (with my scoop, I got 3 dozen plus 9, I think my dough balls were about 2 inches?)

week 33

How far along: 33 weeks, let's make it another four at least, okay?

Total weight gain/loss: thirty-something gained. Yikes!

Maternity clothes: Sometimes I think, oh only seven more weeks of wearing these clothes, I can do that! Then other times the thought of dressing for seven more weeks is really discouraging.

Stretch marks: No new ones since last week.

Sleep: Still staying up too late, there is just so much to do! Lately it's been washing, folding, and sorting tiny little clothes. But, the sleep I do get is delicious.

Best moments this week: Another baby shower, from my ward. So many wonderful ladies, and so fun that there will be four baby girls coming in a four month period! Also, an MA in my midwife office is training to be a doula, and pretty much is going to be my doula for nothing. Score! And setting up the crib. Things are getting real, people.

Worst moment this week: Tuesday night in labor and delivery was not so much fun, but it was all okay in the end.

Food cravings: If what I've been eating is any indicator, sweets and chocolate! Mini candybars are my weakness. Gearing up now for No-Sugar-November.

Any new symptoms: Grunting has now become necessary when performing certain tasks, like bending over or getting up.

Labor Signs: None really since Tuesday. I did take one of the blood pressure pills on Saturday, because after walking to the car following the U of U football game I was having a lot of (Braxton Hicks) contractions. Not painful, just noticeable and frequent.

Innie or Outie: Okay, I think it can be called an outie now. You know how you can poke the finger of a latex glove in the wrong way? If I squish my belly button it can do the same thing, but poke out instead of in. Don't ask how I figured that one out.

Wedding rings on or off: On.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy! Though tired and uncomfortable most of the time.

Looking forward to: Birth classes this Saturday and next, hopefully making it at least to 37 weeks, family Halloween party, covering the nursery ottoman in the cute fabric I found last week, and being able to see past my stomach again someday.

Monday, October 29, 2012

dear baby girl.

You keep threatening to come early, or at least hinting that you will.

Sometimes I get excited about that idea. I do want to meet you, to hold and kiss you.

But, I don't want you to have to spend the first days or weeks of your life in the NICU. I want you to be healthy and strong, so please, hang in there for a few more weeks (four would be ideal). I'll do my best to hang in there too.


Marta (your mom)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

another night in l&d

Well, I'm that dumb girl that goes to the doctor like, every week. But seriously, the short cervix thing has me super paranoid.

Monday and Tuesday I just felt sort of "off." I don't even really know how to explain it. Slight increased pressure, back pain, increased contractions that were actually a little painful, and just crummy in general. Monday night I thought, if I can't sleep or if I feel bad tomorrow, I'll call the doctor and perhaps go in to be checked out.

Monday was okay, but by night time I felt crummy again. Called the on-call midwife, and she said "better safe than sorry, go on in." So, around 8 pm, I went in.

They put me on the monitors, and the contractions were coming pretty regularly. They did tests for possible amniotic fluid leak, and tests were negative (that's good). They had me drink a boatload of water, and that seemed to slow things down pretty well. And all of these contractions were painless, just the hard-stomach kind. So then they measured my cervix, still 1.5 centimeters (bad, but unchanged, which is good), and they found that I was dilated to 1 centimeter. They didn't act concerned about this at all, but when I asked the nurse later, she said that at 32 weeks I should not be dilated at all.

Anyway, they were going to forego sending in the fetal fibronectin test and send me home, but then my back started hurting. Real bad.  It was constant, and would get more intensely painful when a contraction would come. So that worried them. They sent in the fetal fibronectin test, and started me on some blood pressure medicine to slow the contractions (the heart and the uterus are both smooth muscle, so that's why it works).

The test came back positive. Now, this test is totally confusing to me. Negative means, there is a 90% chance you won't deliver in the next two weeks. Positive means there is a 1 in 6 chance that you will deliver in the next two weeks. Is that not confusing? So they also gave me the steroid shot to help baby girl's lungs develop, should she come in the next two weeks. Man, that thing hurt way more than the rhogam shot! We've decided we'd better get a carseat and put the crib together, because there is no guarantee that baby girl will wait until December to come.

So anyway, I got more comfortable in the bed, swapped the crappy hospital pillow for my own special one, and that made the back pain go away. And the contractions seemed to ease quite a bit too, some I couldn't even notice without watching them on the monitor. Once I was feeling better, they let me go home. My instructions were to come back between 11:00 pm Wednesday and noon Thursday to get the second shot. I was also given a prescription for the heart medication, and told that if I had more "unusual" contractions to take it, and if it didn't slow or stop the contractions, to come to the hospital. I'm not on bedrest, but supposed to take it easy. If I'm having contractions I'm supposed to stay home from work so I can be closer to the hospital. Oh, and more pelvic rest. Joy!

Two weird things happened there: first, the nurse said normally they do catheters. She let me do a cup sample instead. But I was like, really? I'm pretty sure I'm just fine and don't need a catheter. Second thing, related, when they wanted me to get hydrated, she said the RA would prefer if I did an IV. Again, I was like, really? I can drink water just fine thanks. I had to have a hand poke anyway, because the phlebotemist couldn't find my tiny arm vein, and the nurse was like, see? If you'd had an IV, you would have only been poked once. Why are they so obsessed with maximum-intrusiveness? And, I didn't see a midwife, the whole time. What the heck is the point of going to the midwife group if I'm never going to see them when things are actually real?

So we got home around 3:00 am. I took it easy today, did a little work at home, and have really felt fine. I know baby girl could be just fine born this early, but I would really love it (for her sake) if she could just hold on until 37 weeks. If she is born on October 31st, she will be named after her Grandma Grace, with whom she would share a birthday. Any other day? Names are still up in the air.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

32 weeks

How far along: 32 weeks, only 56 days to go!

Total weight gain/loss: Haven't checked this wee. My next appointment is on Friday.

Maternity clothes: Work pants are so hard. I was just thinking, oh I'm almost done with this whole maternity clothes thing, but then I realized that I still have a good number of work days left that will require dressy pants. Not enough to make buying another pair worthwhile, but enough to make me groan at the thought of the discomfort.

Stretch marks: I have a small dark red one on either side of my torso. But really small, like button-sized.

Sleep: Still sleeping well, thank goodness. Last week I stayed up too late every night and was so tired all day everyday. I've got to stop doing that.

Best moments this week: Seeing the nursery start to come together (finding a $10 chandelier on KSL!), prenatal massage on Friday, visiting with my sister and her family, a delightful family baby shower (seriously, so much love and support, I am so lucky), family pictures, pumpkin ice cream at Cold Stone, and a delicious nap on Sunday.

Worst moment this week: Feeling sort of uncomfortable, all of the time. And not having enough hours in the day, consequently staying up too late and feeling tired all of the time.

Food cravings: None really. Though I did make some de-licious apple crisp on Sunday. I love fall.

Any new symptoms: Nothing new. I'm excited for baby to drop away from my ribs, that seems to be her favorite place to play.

Labor Signs: Nothing new, we'll see if the doctor catches anything new on Friday.

Innie or Outie: Belly buttons are normally weird, and pregnancy only makes things worse.

Wedding rings on or off: On.

Happy or Moody most of the time: I think it was a happy week.

Looking forward to: A ward baby shower (combined for the three of us having baby girls!), doctor appointment on Friday, checking more things off of my to-do list, the ottoman I ordered arriving, and being one week closer to meeting baby girl. Quite a few friends have had babies this month, and it is so fun to see and hear about their experiences as new moms. I can't wait to join that club.

Monday, October 22, 2012

fall bucket list.

I don't feel like I achieved much on my summer bucket list. Don't get me wrong: it was a great summer. But I do want to squeeze in a few fall activities before it is winter. Here's my list.

  1. eat a caramel apple, one covered in chocolate and nuts or candy. 
  2. drive into the mountains to see the colors.
  3. go to a pumpkin patch. carve pumpkins.
  4. see Odyssey Dance "Thriller" (anyone want to be my date?).
  5. drink cider and eat donuts (maybe at the pumpkin patch?).
  6. make one last visit to the farmer's market, buy heirloom apples.
I have already made two apple crisps and some pumpkin muffins, so at least I can check those of the list. And yes, I realize most of my list is about food. What can I say? That's what most of my life is about.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


It is finally starting to look like a baby girl's nursery! Walls are painted, carpet is in, dresser is moved down, mirror placed above dresser, curtain and bunting are hung, shelf in place in the closet, and baby things are making their way into the room!

I just want to look in there, all the time. I need to get my chair cleaned up and then I can sit in there all the time. I love it so much already.

Still to do? Buy a crib, get bins for sorting clothes by size for easy rotation, clean chair and move down, recover ottoman and make coordinating pillow for chair, make cloth bunting, repaint print frames, hang mirror, paint and decorate chandelier, and have this baby!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

sneak a peek

The nursery is slowly coming along. I've even created a pinterest board for it, and begun posting little hints about it on instagram. So I thought I'd share those sneak peeks here with you.

Photo one: I'm making-over a chandelier. It used to have a big ugly plexiglass panel shade thing. and is currently brass. So far I have disassembled it to remove the shade, and can't wait to finish it. Still to be done: find a finial for the bottom, paint it, change out the ceiling-wired cord for a plug-in cord with a dimmer, and add some bling.

Photo two: I'm painting a dresser for baby girl, those are the knobs. One of those colors is on the nursery walls. Can you guess which one?

Photo three: we bought new carpet for baby's room. I love the remnant section at RC Willey. Carpet will hopefully be in when I get home today!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

week 31

How far along: 31 weeks (baby is 16 inches long, 3.3 lbs, according to Baby Center)

Total weight gain/loss: At last check, it was totally depressing, up like 33 lbs. This is almost the very top of my goal (maximum 35 lbs). My feelings on this are tempered with knowledge that gaining weight is normal and healthy and what is supposed to be happening. Still, it is never fun to see that number on the scale.

Maternity clothes: Still haven't made my maxi skirt, but the on I ordered from Old Navy arrived in the mail and I want to wear it every.single.day. So I'm motivated to sew up a new one.

Stretch marks: Don't think there are any new ones.

Sleep: Slept funky one night last week, and had a dead arm for days. Seriously, it felt like I had been weight lifting 100 lbs just with that one arm, so very sore!

Best moments this week: Choosing nursery paint and carpet, buying a vintage tweed swivel rocker, making progress on painting the ombre dresser, and getting the room almost painted (one more coat needed). Also a beautiful shower put on by my BFF Trisha. It was so fun to see the few that were able to come, and they were so generous and gave really cool and unbearably adorable gifts (including binky sanitizer and girly-girl ruffled romper). We also made some name progress, I think, though we'll have to see her to know for sure what her name is.

Worst moment this week: Like I said, I was a bit of a beast last week, on a few days. It was a hard week at work, and I mostly felt terrible all week.

Food cravings: None really.

Any new symptoms: I seem to just hurt everywhere, all the time. Sciatic pain, mid-back pain, arm pain from crooked sleeping, etc. And, I've noticed some slight swelling at the end of the day. Here's to hoping that cool weather nips that in the bud.

Labor Signs: Nothing yet, though I'm starting to wonder if some of my "Braxton Hicks" are actually real.

Innie or Outie: Obviously poking out, but the inside is still in, and probably will stay that way.

Wedding rings on or off: On.

Happy or Moody most of the time: A few days of moodiness, but I think I'm back to my happy self.

Looking forward to: My sister and her fam coming this week! Also getting a prenatal massage on Friday, a family baby shower on Saturday, and family pictures (I still have to find something to wear, yikes!). Also looking forward to the nursery progress (finished paint and new carpet), and being able to move baby girl things into the room. And seriously, I'm so excited to meet this girl. Based on her crazy movements, I think she's going to be a feisty one.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

happy or moody?

I usually answer this question in my weekly posts with a firm "happy." Well, I don't know if I will be able to report that next week. This morning I found myself being rather moody, in fact,  a bit of a grouch. And then I immediately felt really guilty about it.

Now, let's face it. I'm not always as cheerful as a little bird, even when not pregnant. And I'm not sure if pregnancy is really having an impact on my moods. But yesterday and today it just feels like every little thing is a big thing, like my fuse for being teary and emotional or really grumpy is cut short. I hate that feeling. I just want to go to bed for a few hours, wake up, and start this day over again. This time with a long fuse. And hopefully with the people around me suffering from mild amnesia, having forgotten my grouchiness. If only that were possible!

I don't want to blame it all on pregnancy, that would be like admitting I don't have control over my emotions, and conceding that I cannot take control and make a change. And I'm resolved, to do better, and to be happy. Not moody. Wish me luck (and if I crabbed at you, please forgive me!).

P.S.- It doesn't help that I've had a sinus headache for three days. And that my bum/hip is killing me (sciatic?). And that my back aches all the time. And that my arm feels like it is going to fall off every time I move it, after sleeping on it wrong two nights ago and waking up to it being completely numb. Two more months of these aches and pains, oh joy!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

week 30

How far along: 30 weeks, only 10 more to go!

Total weight gain/loss: haven't checked this week.

Maternity clothes: Took a leap and bought some jersey to make a skirt (it was 40% off, and I had a 20% off coupon), so I guess I'd better buck up and get sewing!

Stretch marks: Maybe I was just oblivious before, because now I can definitely see the stretch marks.

Sleep: Still great, but sleeping has always been one of my special gifts.

Best moments this week: Spending extra time with the Mister for his birthday, talking about this little girl, what her name might be, our hopes and fears, and feeling kicks together. Also catching up with my friend Trisha, crafting together, getting my hair done  (she's amazing), and seeing her cute little boys.

Worst moment this week: Missed my weekly TV obsession (Once Upon A Time). Thank goodness for Hulu! But really, it has been a good week. Also sad to hear that my also-pregnant friend Chelsea is having hypertension and is on bedrest. Worried for her, and praying for her little family.

Food cravings: None really.

Any new symptoms: Sciatic pain has returned! Oh joy.

Labor Signs: None since last week, or at least nothing new that I know of.

Innie or Outie: Definitely protrudes a bit, visible through tee shirts. Center is still in.

Wedding rings on or off: On.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy! Though wishing to be able to spend more time at home, either resting or getting ready for baby. Work is work, and it is hard. And days are long, and really tiring.

Looking forward to: Painting the nursery, having it start to look like a real nursery. And really, really looking forward to meeting baby girl. I played with my 8-month old nephew yesterday, and he is just delightful. We are seriously smitten with him. Not only is he stinking cute, but he has the best personality. He is so cheerful and smiley, and so much fun! Let's just say that I love babies. And I can only imagine how much that love will be multiplied when it is my own baby. I also have a baby shower this week, and one next week that I'm looking forward to. I have such amazing friends and family, they truly spoil me, and throw beautiful parties. I'm honored that they are doing parties for me.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

name of the day

[image source]

We picked up this baby name book from the library. The name of the day is Henrietta. She could be Hattie. Possibly Harriet. Ooh, just thought of another one, how about Etta?

there's a lil' person in there

And she has a cute lil' face!

(Right click and "open in new tab" to view larger.)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

funny husband

Last night Andrew asked me when I was going to come up with a name for this baby. Said he was just wondering what her name would be. I said, me too!

Cracks me up, and terrifies me at the same time. That he might maybe leave the entire naming thing up to me. Though he won't say, my guess is that if he had to do it he'd choose Maren or Madeline. He also consented to Portia, but I don't seriously want that. It was kind of a joke.

I still like:

Amelia (Millie)
Eliza (# 53 in UT, nickname Lizzie)
Matilda (Mattie or Tilly)
Clara (#74 in UT)
Grace (#17 in UT, nickname Gracie)
Charlotte (#27 in UT, nickname Charlie)
Violet(# 67 in UT)
Magdalene (Maggie)
Hazel (#51 in UT)
Judy (Jude with nickname Judy?)
Nellie (Eleanor with nickname Nellie?)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

week 29

How far along: 29 weeks

Total weight gain/loss: gained 29 lbs

Maternity clothes: I bought a new shirt last week, a sort-of tunic with wide blue and oatmeal stripes, and ruching on the sides. I kind of want to wear it every single day. Still haven't found any pants that I really feel comfortable in, and think I'll resort to making my own jersey maxi skirt. And, I need to find something to wear for family pictures in three weeks, which is proving to be quite difficult.

Stretch marks: I might have some, but none too noticeable or big.

Sleep: While I can't get enough of it, it is great!

Best moments this week: Seeing the 3D ultrasound of baby girl. She has chubby cheeks! Also being told that I could go on with life as usual at today's follow-up check (work, shopping, nursery-prepping, etc.).

Worst moment this week: If you're a frequent reader, you know all about the debacle that was last week. Worst moment was just not really knowing what was going on, or what to expect. Would we be having a baby this week? This month? Would I be spending the next three months in bed? It was slightly scary. I had also sort of geared-up for being put on bed rest, so while I am thankful that I don't have to stay in bed, I'm also a little disappointed (I had so many crafty projects in mind!).

Food cravings: None really.

Any new symptoms: Not really.

Labor Signs: Apparently cervical thinning.

Innie or Outie: Still that weird hybrid. Seriously, it is weird.

Wedding rings on or off: On, since my office is a refridgerator.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Feeling pretty happy.

Looking forward to: Only 11 more weeks (give or take a few) till we meet baby girl, and till I don't have to be pregnant anymore. I truly am thankful to be pregnant, and am enjoying it, but there are some times when I  think it is pretty hard. Wouldn't trade it for anything, but am glad it is a limited time event. Also, instead of moving around three rooms we decided just to move one, and it is almost done! Then it is time to remove the built-in desk, repaint, spray for creepy spiders (killed a quarter-sized one the other day, eep!), and let the decorating begin. And super excited to see the finished product of the baby quilt my mom and sisters have been working on. It is going to be seriously adorable.


I read on the interweb yesterday that in pregnancy, your cervix should lengthen to be from 3.5 to 5 centimeters. Last measured, mine is 1.5. Whoops! Here's too hoping that today at 8:40 it will have gone up.
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