Tuesday, December 10, 2013


I love research. I thrive on documents, books, articles, or any other type of resource that provides information on some kind of study done. It doesn't matter what the study is, if you say to me there has been some research done on the effect lady bugs have on the weather, I will run off to learn more about it. I don't know if it's my need to know it all personality, or just genuine curiosity, but I love learning about unknown topics as much as I love spreading what I know about them. Maybe that's why the scientific field I chose was teaching and not biology. I don't stick to one type of research either, I do make sure to look at all sides of a study done so I can come up with my opinion on the matter.

Most of my studies these days involve babies, obviously. I'm finding that as I research, and read, and study, it's getting easier and easier to see why so many women in this "great" country of ours feel so inadequate as mothers. I'm not a mother yet, and yet I already feel like I have failed.

Ain't that the truth, kid! 
I've recently been reading about breastfeeding. I have two mindsets on pregnancy, the first is that women have been doing this for millions of years, so it is a very natural thing, and what ever happens will happen. The second being, I should probably learn some basic skills, like breastfeeding, before the baby comes so I'm a little prepared. I'm not concerned about delivery, again millions of years, or caring for Hazel. I've changed many diapers, and provided some kind of care for children of all ages. I'm not even worried about getting the nursery ready. If it's ready when she arrives, great, if it's not, she won't know the difference. What I do worry about is things I don't know, like breastfeeding, and how to incorporate that into my full time working life. A full time working life that does not have the option of changing into a part time, or stay at home, kind of life.

From all my research, I've been feeling like I will be an inadequate mother because I won't be able to give Hazel the actual time and care she needs in those first crucial months, let's be honest, for her whole life! When I go back to work, Hazel will only be 8 weeks old. I find myself getting more and more upset at that fact the closer we get to having her. I'm mostly angry that we live in a country where women are treated as princesses while they are pregnant, and then left to the wolves once baby comes. Pregnancy is the easy part. The hard part is what comes after. In this country women are expected to pop out a kid, have their 6 weeks of healing because that's how long it takes to recover from having a child, and get on with their lives. There is no support given to provide bonding time between mother and child, no support given to the emotional healing and growing time that mother and baby both need after birth.

I know that I am not alone in this struggle. It's the nature of the beast living in a developed nation like our own. There are many mommy blogs, books, groups, and forums out there discussing this same fact, yet nothing changes. I know that this will be a life long struggle of mine, and I, as all working mothers, will have to work very hard to find that balance between caring for my child, and providing so we have food on the table. Please don't think I am being selfish and forgetting that I have a very loving and supportive husband because I know I do, and this life I lead would not be possible without him, but as a woman, and soon to be mother, these are the struggles I will face.

So, to end this little post, I will continue my research, so when Hazel arrives I will be prepared. I will cherish every second of my maternity leave, and be thankful that when I do return to work, it will only be for a short while before summer kicks in :).

Images provided by, Google

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

24 Weeks and Counting

Today we hit the 24 week mark, wahoo! This means two things, according to medical research, if Little Miss were to be born now she would have the ability to survive outside the womb, with lots of medical support, and we have 16 more weeks to go! It still feels like a lot to me, so I'm not terribly stoked about the second stat.

As far as the rest of our lives go things are pretty much the same around here. I've got the usual pregnancy symptoms for this stage of the game, we've registered for items Miss Hazel will need to survive, and Joey is doing an awesome job of putting up with me, so it feels like a win win for all involved :-). 

Little Miss' new thing this week is, hiccups! I have to say I feel a bit sorry for her in there because I hate when I get hiccups, so I can only imagine how miserable it must be to suffer from them multiple times a day! Good thing they're helping her diaphragm grow :-). 

As promised from last week's rant here's an updated pic of Hazel and me :-)


24 weeks, and yes, I feel as tired as I look....

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thar she blows!

This is how I'm feeling today. Like a huge freaking whale! Let me point out that I realize I am 5.5 months pregnant and I'm supposed to gain weight. I know that I am only going to get bigger, but that's not helping! I caught a glimps of myself in a mirror and was horrified at the reflection. I mean if I'm this large now how freaking big am I gonna get?!  

Recently it was pointed out to me, by a coworker, that it's staring to show in my face that I am pregnant. Aka I have fat face. Today another coworker told me I'm carrying this baby in my booty..... Both these women are lucky they are still alive. 

I knew I was going to get large, but it's getting pretty hard to accept the weight gain. I know I bring it on myself because my eating habits have practically gone down the toilet since our first pregnancy and they have just gotten worse with Little Miss. I'm pretty sure I won't be able to stand by the time this is all over because I'll be the size of a house! 

So to ease my mind, I'm going to go stress eat my second brownie of the night, prop up my swollen fat feet, and cry a little that my shirts have stopped covering my belly....

No update pics till next week when my hormones have possibly leveled and I'll be feeling less camera shy :-)


Wednesday, November 6, 2013


We hit the 20 week mark today! Wahoo!! Although, to be honest, I'm feeling more like "We're only halfway there?!" instead of "We're halfway there!" To me, growing a kid seems to be taking forever, and knowing that I still have 20 more weeks to go seems outrageous! Everyone has told me that time is flying by, so I will take their word for it and try to change my view on the timetable :). 
8 week sonogram
I know most women are starting to get anxious around this time about getting things ready for the baby, but since I feel like we still have an eternity to go, I'm not worried about anything. We'll start the nursery when I am home over winter break, and have a shower sometime after, and then we'll be all set. I am mostly worried about fencing in the backyard before Little Miss makes her arrival because we are entering the winter months, but I am sure it will get done :). 

I've continued to have numerous people warn me against cloth diapers; in fact just the other night, a friend of mine sent me home with some new born diapers. I politely took them, figuring we can use them as drool catchers for Sweetums. Here's my thoughts on the cloth diapers: if we hate them, or find them to be too much work, we'll sell them on eBay and use disposable, but I am going to give them an honest try. Also, after feeling how soft the cloth diapers are, I am jealous of Little Miss' rump. I wish my underoos were that soft.  
12 week sonogram
I have been feeling Hazel a lot this week. More and more throughout the day, not just at night. That's been pretty fun, and a bit inconvenient because she likes to use my bladder as a trampoline. It sure makes it hard to teach when you constantly feel the urge to pee!

After months of little to no meat, I woke up Monday morning wanting nothing but pot roast smothered in gravy with mashed potatoes on the side, and I have been a serious carnivore since! I have sauerkraut and hot dogs cooking in the crock pot as we speak, and for lunch today I had some beef brisket. It was amazing! My apologies to any vegetarians or vegans out there, but I am so happy to have meat back in my life :)

We had our 20-week anatomy scan on Monday, and Little Miss is looking like a healthy baby. All her measurements are in the "normal" range, and she was moving and shaking in there. The doctor told us it was good we already knew the gender because she was being very shy about showing us her goods! I thought, they're lucky I already knew because I would have demanded as many sonograms as it took until she started cooperating. As a bonus, we'll get another sonogram at our next appointment because of her lack of cooperation :).

Here's to a continued happy and healthy pregnancy :)

Hazel- 20 weeks!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Name Game

The cover of Saga Vol. 1
So, Joe and I have had Little Miss named for quite some time now. We've told a few people here and there when they've ask, but we figured why not just let everyone know :). A lot of people tell us we may change our minds when Little Miss arrives, and that could be true, but I don't usually change my mind. Once it's made up I stick with my choice :). Joe and I decided on, Hazel Elizabeth.

Once we tell people, the first question is where did we get the name from. As many know Joe and I are a bit nerdy. I am hooked on the comic book, Saga. The two lead characters have a daughter, and they name her Hazel. I thought it was a truly beautiful name. Another reason I am really fond of the name is because it isn't terribly popular. Hazel will also have a pretty cool story to tell about how she got her name. I mean not many people can claim being named after a seriously awesome book with a stellar opening line like this.......
Page 1
For those who may not be able to read, shes saying, "Am I shitting? It feels like I'm shitting." As someone who is known to curse like a sailor, I thought that line was great! I mean it doesn't get more real than that. For those of you who are curious about why she's saying this terrific line should pick up the book. It'll change your life. I swear. 

Well, that's the story in a nut shell. Little Miss will be known as Hazel Elizabeth :)

I thought I'd also include some updates in case anyone was curious. I'm 18 weeks 3 days. Currently I am off meat. I can't stand it unless it is doused in mayonnaise, which is a condiment I haven't eaten since I was 12. When I say doused I mean like thoroughly drenched. To give you an idea, I just had some chicken salad that was pretty much a jar of mayonnaise with a piece of shredded chicken..... don't judge. Other than that I pretty much just avoid meat all together. Which is very strange because I am a serious carnivore otherwise! 

The bump is growing and I've started to feel Miss Hazel move :). It's very sporadic, mostly when I'm lying in bed. She feels like light tapping and somersaults.  

I recently purchased a Doppler because I am still on edge. I don't think my anxiety will fully go away until Hazel is here. Joe and I recently registered, and as soon as we got home I almost deleted everything off the list. I didn't, and I have been working hard to add some more things. Believe me, I am excited, and that's the scary part. The Doppler has helped ease some anxiety because I get to hear Little Hazel's heart beating away.

Here are some progression pics:

Saturday, October 5, 2013


I figured I add some updates of Little Miss. We've already started receiving some cute gifts for her, and I have to say it's making me very excited :). We've got her cute little diapers, a really sweet Pens cap, and Joe's mom has already knitted the cutest outfit ever! I've already decided she will be coming home from the hospital in it :). Here are some progress pics and an update.

I can't wait to bring Little Miss home in this adorable outfit! 
Let's go Pens! She will never be a Caps fan!!!!

At this point I am 15 weeks and 3 days. I am getting my energy back and starting to feel a little more like myself. I've put on a bit more weight than I would've liked to, and I am trying very hard not to obsess over that! I still feel like I am eating cereal by the box, and I could eat fruit at any time of day. I am pretty sure I have lost my mind because my baby brain is out of control. Sometimes I can't remember what I said form one sentence to the next. My kids at school think I'm nuts for sure! Little Miss is sitting on a nerve, or so I think, and I know I am going to be in for a long 5 months of back pain. The good news on that front is, she is not constantly sitting there, so I do get some relief :). Although there are moments I feel like I am crippled! Again, my poor students think I am nuts! All in all I am feeling pretty fantastic :). 


Cloth Diapers

When Joe and I got pregnant with BabyV, we started thinking about the costs of having a baby. Turns out it's wicked expensive. One of the most expensive things is diapers! They range in price, quality, and size. We did some calculations and decided that our baby was gonna have to be potty trained by the time we brought it home from the hospital! So, after my little freak out, I started doing some research on cloth diapering.

I've continued that research with Little Miss. I spoke with friends who use cloth, joined a couple of forums, and constantly Googled brands and comparisons. I found myself slightly overwhelmed, but very determined to dig through and come out with a brand! I finally did after about 7 months of searching. Let me go into the little bit that I learned about cloth diapering and then into the brand I chose.

There many options for cloth diapering. There are prefolds and covers, fitted with covers, pocket diapers, all in ones (AIO), and all in two or hybrids. Prefolds are the old school diapers. You actually take the cloth diaper and fold it into the shape of a diaper and attach using diaper pins or a Snappi. Then you place a waterproof cover over the diaper to hold everything in. Fitted diapers already come shaped like a diaper and have snaps or Velcro to keep them closed. After you place the diaper on the baby, you put a waterproof cover over top to keep everything in. Pocket diapers have a pocket in the waterproof cover that you stuff the absorbent diaper into. AIO are pretty self explanatory. They whole diapering system is in one diaper. There is no folding, taking off cover, or stuffing. It's all in one. All in twos are similar to AIO, but the absorbent part is removable, which means the cover can be used again for multiple changes.  Then there are a lot of accessories to consider, like cloth wipes, sprayer, wet bags. I mean the list goes on.

Very overwhelming indeed. I found that once I started researching, it wasn't so overwhelming once I figured out all the lingo and needs. The beauty of cloth diapering is you can mix and match your needs. One consensus was if you are going to cloth diaper you need to make sure you have a complete set before baby comes. Some people recommend trying a few brands out then choosing, but most recommend picking a brand a head of time. That way there is no confusion, you have everything you need, and you can get used to the system with baby on hand.

I decided on the brand Softbums. They come in pocket and all in two. I went with the Echo all-in-two system. The outer shell can be reused multiple times before washing, and the inserts are easy to transport. I had many conversations with a friend and this is her brand of choice, so I feel confident about my choice :). Softbums offers two options for their inserts - fleece and bamboo. I chose bamboo because it is 60% more absorbent and has antibacterial properties. Bamboo was a bit more pricey, but I figured since they are going to be used over and over I should get what I want :).

Softbums offers packages or individual diapers. I chose their good-to-go package. I got 9 shells and 36 inserts in the package. I added a few other shells and inserts to make sure I would have enough. I really like that Softbums gave an unbiased breakdown of the types of cloth diapers - they go over the cost of each type and how many you would need based on washing preferences. From their calculations, Joe and I should only be washing about every 3 days and then once a week when Little Miss gets older.

I've heard a lot of skepticism from people when I tell them my choice. Things like "that's going to be a ton of work! You're going to be doing a ton of laundry so you really wont be saving money. Cloth diapers are so expensive. You'll never be able to take your baby anywhere." The comments went on and on. I just polity smiled and nodded and stayed confident in my choice.

The price we paid for the entire set of diapers is roughly the cost of three months worth of disposable, and we won't be adding to the insane amount of diapers that are added to landfills each year, which can take an estimated 200-500 years to decompose! My inner hippie screamed when she read that stat! We will have a diapering system for all our babies, should we choose to have more than one. Joe is set on making sure we like the first one before we decide on having more :).

Our diapers arrived last night, thanks to the generous donation of my mom :). Aren't Nanas the best??!! I was super stoked about this arrival, and realized that my life is already changing in ways I never thought it would. I mean, I literally got excited about the device that is going to hold my child's waste. I do have to say that cloth diapers are super cute, so that was part of the excitement :)

Happy Diapering, Folks!

Good to Go Pack 

Cutest diapers ever!!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

It's a.....

Joe and I received our test results from the Harmony test I had done about two weeks ago. This is a newer test that is out. It tests for chromosomal abnormalities and gender defects. The results have a greater than 99% accuracy rate, and you can have the gender determined! I was super stoked about this because we would be able to find out 8 weeks before we could if we waited until our 20-week screening, and it's 100% accurate. So there's no way getting around the results :).

So, without further ado, Joe and I will be expecting a little baby GIRL in March!!! If you recall, I had a feeling this little bean was going to be a girl. In fact, I have been thinking, and telling most, that this baby was a girl since I found out we were pregnant again. I had almost every stereotypical Old Wives Tale symptom I could have had. My skin was breaking out, I had a bit more nausea, and my hair was dry as the desert! You might scoff at these, but after some research on the matter, all those "Wives Tales" actually hold some clout. Since Little Girl is raging with all her lady hormones, I take the brunt of it :).

While we were rooting for a little boy, we are in no way disappointed with the results. Mostly because we've been prepared.

Here are a few updated pics. Not much change, but thought you may enjoy :).


Little Girl making herself known

First Outfit :)

P.S. Not that I am in any way against pink, but there is a whole rainbow of color out there, so I have a feeling Little Girl's outfits will have a nice wide range of shade :)

Monday, September 9, 2013


Baby taking a little break 
It is with much trepidation, and excitement, that I write this post. Joe and I are PREGNANT, again!! This has been the most anxious, exciting, exhausting, and surreal time in my life! It has been 4 short months since we lost Baby V. That was devastating for us, and to be honest, there was a moment when I thought that sadness would never go away. After the loss, we decided we were going to take the time to heal and just see where the road lead in the baby dept. Well in that short wait and see time, I got knocked up! If you're trying to do the math, we lost Baby V in May and got a positive test in July, so in one short cycle we got pregnant. I only mention this because I was pretty shocked to see those two pink lines appear.

Here I sit fresh after my 12-week appointment feeling very positive and excited. This pregnancy has already been soo different than my first. I've had more bouts of nausea, but I almost feel bad mentioning it because I know a lot of women really suffer from it. I just eat a little something every couple of hours or so and it stays at bay. My hair is like straw, I'm breaking out like a 15 year old, and I wake up every night around 3:30 to use the bathroom. There are some foods that I've had to cut out because I just can't stand the thought of them, but all in all I really have been feeling pretty fantastic, compared to what I could be feeling.

Joe and I are still rooting for a boy, but I am pretty convinced this one's a girl. We will luckily find out in a couple of weeks! No, I'm not wishful thinking. Thanks to medical advances, there is a simple blood test that can detect chromosomal abnormalities with a greater than 99% accuracy rate, and you can find out the gender. With everything we went through with Baby V, we felt this was an easy thing to do. Also, I don't have patience and I am not waiting till the baby comes to find out the sex. I wanna know. The sooner the better!

I'm optimistic about this pregnancy, but I still have a lot of anxiety. Everything has really been running on schedule that I feel like I am just waiting for that other shoe to drop. The good news is my doctor is amazing and very sensitive. She told me today I could come back in two weeks for another ultrasound if I needed to just to see the baby :). Here's to a healthy pregnancy :)

Here are a few stats:

Our estimated due date is March 26, 2014

I'm 12 weeks

All I want to eat all the time is cereal or tomato soup :)

Here are some pics for your viewing pleasure, or not ;p.

That blob at the top is the baby's head :)

Baby was kicking so much today it was hard to get a shot!

Getting bigger by the minute!!!

Saturday, July 13, 2013


Recently I took a trip to Portsmouth, NH, with my mom to meet up with my brother, Joe, and his girlfriend, Susan. Just an FYI for those who may not be aware, I have a husband named Joe as well as a brother. Yes, it gets confusing sometimes, and yes, I frequently say not my brother, but my husband or vice versa.

Unlike the Montana trip, Portsmouth was not something I had dreamed about since childhood. As I got older, visiting New England became something I wanted to do for sure, but it wasn't something that consumed me like Montana. I have to say this was such an amazing trip. It is a tie between the Montana trip and this one as to which is the best vacation I have taken. Not only did I get to experience the quaint town of Portsmouth, but I also got to go to Maine! Maine has been on my list of places I have wanted to go since I was young :).

As with most of my vacations, this was a trip that had almost no plans to it. I really prefer to vacation like that. I like to get up and decide what's gonna happen rather than make plans eons in advance. While this was a trip that had very minimal planning, it was a busy one indeed. I went to an authentic lobster dinner in Maine, saw amazing lighthouses, viewed some pretty awesome whales, visited some great beaches, and got to watch some spectacular fireworks from the comfort of our backyard.

My mom and I took the train from Baltimore to Boston. I seriously love traveling by train. I enjoy seeing countryside, the rocking, and the leg room isn't so bad. After a 7 hour train ride, moms and I arrived in Boston and met up with Joe and Susan. From there it was about an hour drive to Portsmouth. We stayed at Susan's mom's house. She lives in this great old home she has renovated and really made beautiful. It was a mill house at one time and backs up to a mill pond. The view is truly beautiful. As soon as we arrived in Portsmouth, I was in love. It really is the quintessential New England town. There are homes that date back to the mid 1700s. The fact that they are still standing is amazing to me, and all I want to do is sell Small House Love and head north. I love old homes! I know they require a lot of love and care, but I say the older the better :-).
Our lovely accommodations 
Portsmouth or bust! 

One of the coolest things we did was go whale watching. I have always wanted to go whale watching. We went with the Granite State Whale Watching tours, and it was a terrific tour. We started our tour bright and early. It was a beautiful sunny day, with calm seas, and a full boat. On our tour, we saw 8 minke whales and one giant finback whale. The finback is the second largest animal on the planet! They can reach up to 80ft and consume one million calories a day! Minkes are a smaller whale coming in at a sensible 20-30 ft. Unfortunately, I only got about 1 or 2 pics, but I have the memories, and sometimes you just gotta live in the moment.

We also took a visit to Nubble Lighthouse in Maine. I did get lots of pics there :). Nubble Lighthouse is set on this beautiful cliff overlooking the ocean, as all lighthouses need to, and it is spectacular. Like Portsmouth, Nubble is the quintessential lighthouse.

The only thing missing from this trip was the hubs. We forgot that Joe can work from anywhere, so he got left behind :(.

Here are some pics for your viewing pleasure :)


Tides out

Lighthouse every where you turn!

Poor little lobsters....

Can you guess my plate??? Lasagna anyone??

Classic New England

Cheesing it up at Nubble Lighthouse

Moms, Joe, and me :)

Lovely Portsmouth street :)

The front view of our accommodations :) 

Downtown Portsmouth

Downtown Portsmouth

Downtown Portsmouth

Market Square

Susan! Our tour guide

Susan grew up in this house!