Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Recipe - Zucchini Bread

I've tried a few recipes for zucchini bread the past couple weeks (thanks to ward members' zucchini producing gardens, and their generous sharing), and this one is the winner in both taste and preparation ease. It comes from my friend RaeLyn, and it is absolutely delish!

Zucchini Bread

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup oil
3 teaspoons vanilla

Mix the above ingredients well until light and frothy.

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chocolate chips

Add in the above ingredients. Pour into two greased and floured bread pans. Bake at 325 degrees for one hour. Makes two loaves.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Capturing Me: Right Now

Things are going well for the most part. I am excited to be moving on to the final stage of this pregnancy and getting our little guy here. We have been very busy preparing for all that is to come. This is what is going on with me as I enter the last week before the new baby arrives.
  1. Organizing and moving. We have been dejunking for months to make room for our new son. I've either purged, organized, sold, donated and moved about half the items occupying our home. It is a great feeling. We moved Palmer into his big boy room yesterday. He was a little unsure when we took his crib upstairs just after his nap, but once he saw the bright, kid friendly completed room, he was super excited and made himself at home. The final project this week: set up the nursery.

  2. Car Repairs. Our cars have been a nightmare. Mine has completely died. We had to use all our savings to purchase another vehicle, a used Ford Windstar. We have enjoyed our new van and find it very reliable and family friendly, which is a blessing. Only a week later Greg's Mustang started having problems. We had to shell out close to a $1000 to fix the clutch and when we got the car back from the shop (four days later, and a whole lot more commuting for Palmer and I, than expected) it had the check engine light on and was running poorly. We've had the new issue diagnosed and hope to get it fixed while I am in the hospital. Amazingly, his car passed inspections this month. Unfortunately, as a result of our recent vehicle malfunctions, all of our months of hard core budgeting have been erased and we find ourselves in a slightly worse financial position than before we started our money makeover. It can be disheartening. We've decided to just view this a rough patch, and do the best we can to get through it.

  3. Frozen Meals. I'm almost done getting a weeks worth of homemade meals prepared and frozen for after the baby comes. We are very blessed to have many considerate friends and ward members bring in meals for the first week, and the meals I have previously frozen will be a fabulous solution to get us through the second week. I hope to be getting back into the swing of things after that.

  4. Home decor. You may not be able to tell, since only half the rooms in our house have been redesigned in Hess style, but I love home decorating. We've taken the process slowly, working on one room at a time for budgeting and time purposes. So imagine my delight when we realized the baby would be taking over the nursery and I needed to make up a new room for Palmer. We went with an Elmo theme, and with a modest budget, I think it came out pretty cute. I will post pictures later.

  5. Buying Used. I have been loving eBay these days. Not only was I able to sell a load of scrapbook paper piecing sets, and some leftover big items from our garage sale, but I found some great deals on toddler shoes that Palmer desperately needed. We also have frequented the KSL classifieds where we got a steal of a deal on our van and a double stroller.

  6. The Office. Oh how I love Jim and Pam, and am so happy to see them back in our livingroom on Thursday nights! We've also enjoyed catching up on last season on DVD.

  7. Reading. We had book group at my house this past month and had a great turn out. I'm loving this group of gals, for the fun and insight they bring to our get togethers and also for rekindling my passion to read. Currently I am reading The Art of Chasing in the Rain on my own and then I will move on to next month's book selection The Peacegiver.

  8. Tired. I've been keeping myself busy with long daily to do lists and I've been working as many shifts as possible before my maternity leave, which has left me pretty darn exhausted (not that it takes much at this stage). And now, in the last stretch as I am too uncomfortable to sleep, I have been waking at four in the morning. This also happened with my last pregnancy as well, which was easily solved by napping in the afternoon. Such a solution is not possible this time with a toddler in tow.

  9. Paper crafting. I have completed my second month of a paper crafting swap I am part of, and both times has been awesome! These woman really put their heart and soles into the projects each month. I have my project for next month (recipe card sets) already to go since I probably won't have much time to get to it with a newborn.

  10. Runner up. And finally, these days, I find myself in the position of second choice. Palmer is so in love with his Daddy! I am, at best, a suitable backup. He sobs every morning as Greg leaves for work, or even leaves the room. Palmer proceeds to ask for him all day, and runs to him for cuddles the moment he gets home. He recites "da da" in a happy excited tone and "ma ma" in a whiny sad voice. I think it is good timing for him to be such a daddy's boy, since I will soon be physically consumed with taking care of a newborn, but selfishly, I can't help but feel sad about it once in a while.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Nine Month Pregnancy Photos

Sunday evening my sister Sariah took pictures of us as a family to document my last month of pregnancy. We did a previous nine month pregnant photo shoot just before I had Palmer, and upon comparison, Greg confirmed that I am definitely bigger this time. I'm so glad I only have two more weeks; I don't know how much more my belly can stretch.

Hard Core Scrapbooking


Some girlfriends and I did a scrapbooking overnighter this past weekend. Palmer had woken up the morning of with a fever, and Greg, being the good Dad he is, told me to go ahead and enjoy my girls night anyway. And what a fun time I had! We scrapbooked at my friend Jenn's grandparents' house. They have a huge open basement with a separate entrance, bathroom and a few bedrooms. It was the perfect space. We cropped until about 3 AM and woke up at 7:30 AM to begin again. Not only did I have a fabulous time hanging out with my buddies, but I was also super productive. I completed ten pages and three sets of 12 recipe cards (for an upcoming paper crafting swap). Most everyone else who stayed the whole time completed about as much. Go us! To check out my work, as well as others', head on over to our scrapbooking blog Scrapliftable. Thanks for the good times girls! I'm looking forward to our next scrapbook extravaganza.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Pregnancy Update

Well I am certainly in the last stretch of this pregnancy. And I must admit, I am ready to be done. My sister-in-law told me to enjoy the last couple weeks, because it'll just get harder with the addition of a newborn. I know that will be true, but honestly I just don't care anymore. I am ready to move on. I truly believe that God makes the ninth month of pregnancy as uncomfortable as it is in order to coax women into actually wanting to go through the labor, recovery, sleepless nights, etc. Overall the pregnancy has gone quite well. I would say, even a bit easier than my first. Let's compare.

  • I only threw up regularly (and during those months, even less than last time) for the first five months, instead of six since my doctor gave my anti-nausea medicine early on.
  • As a result of throwing up less, I have gained a bit more with this pregnancy. With Palmer I gained 11 pounds; this time I am already at 15.
  • I am carrying much, much lower. Palmer was really high, to the point that I felt like I couldn't breath. I definitely prefer to carry low, but it does also have it's accompanying discomforts (i.e. whenever the baby kicks, I think I will pee my pants, and I can't wear my regular pants as long because they have to fit around my big belly instead of simply wearing them under the baby bump.)
  • The main thing I would say was better the first time was that without another child to care for I was able to nap whenever I wanted. I have been much more tired this time, and have gotten sick a couple times as a result. I have had an awful cold/cough for the last couple months that I can not get rid of.
  • And I did enjoy being pregnant in the winter. I didn't even have to wear a coat most of the time. The summer had been pretty darn hot!

I am excited to see our little guy soon. We have a scheduled c-section for October 6th. I've heard the recovery is a lot better when you are scheduled and don't have to labor beforehand. Plus, this time I won't have to have gallbladder surgery just seven weeks after to recover from as well. Many of my friends have confirmed that it's easier caring for your second baby, since you already somewhat know what you are doing. I am hoping all this turns out to be true. If so, things are looking pretty good.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Word Girl

For those who know me well, you know I am a certifiable English nerd. I love staying home to raise my children, and wouldn't have it any other way. Yet at times, I do miss being in the classroom teaching literature and all the metaphors, hyperboles and figures of speech that accompany such lessons. Therefore, imagine my delight as I was blog stalking and discovered a fellow blogger with my own passion who documented her favorite words in a post. I, of course, had to follow suit. So, without further ado... big drum roll... since I am sure you are all at the edge of your seats to find out... I present to you a list of my favorite words.

serendipity
acquiesce
felicity
salient
nonetheless
plethora
poppycock
nonchalant
palpable
hodgepodge
ubiquitous
flabbergasted
meander
loquacious
parched
juxtaposition
requiem
chortle
malodorous
hooey
discombobulate
heretofore
asunder

Are there any other literary nerds out there who would like to come forth? What words do you like to work into your daily conversations?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friends and Feet

I am so blessed to have such kind and supportive friends. They are always there for me and find ways of lifting me up through my trials, whether through kind words, a short phone call or visit, or even dropping off a zucchini from their garden. Yesterday evening as I was taking a soak in the tub and looking at my so very pregnant and swollen body I couldn't help but smile when I saw my nicely french manicured toenails. My sister Rie painted them this past Sunday. Three of my other friends have also volunteered their toenail painting services through out this pregnancy, Annabelle, Erin and Shannon. How wonderful that I have people in my life who are mindful of me and chose to perform simple acts of service that brighten my life. I truly hope and pray that I am able to make such a difference in others' lives.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

D-Day

Today is Greg's, as well as his entire department's, last day working for LogLogic. We've known this was coming for about six weeks. Not one coworker has found an IT job to move onto during that time, which I find very scary. I can't help but conclude that there is not a whole lot of job opportunities out there. Half of the department is staying on with the company and taking a starting position on a different account (Netgear, where Greg began a couple years ago). The pay cut is substantial, as in $7.00 less an hour. The other half will be getting unemployment. Greg has chosen to stay on. I'm not sure how we will make it financially on so little money, but thankfully, at least we will have insurance for when the baby comes. He also says he will be happier working while looking for a job than staying home and doing so, even though unemployment will pay the same as his new position. I totally agree with his decision and can't help but think what good character he has.

I will be continuing to work at the daycare part time until I deliver and then will have to take six weeks off, unpaid of course. We will be practicing some serious faith in the next few months. Please if any of you hear of an IT job opening send on the information onto us. We appreciate any help.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Toddler Days

It is official that Palmer is no longer a baby and rather has become a full blown toddler. He has proven this time and time again in the last few months by getting into everything and throwing serious tantrums over nothing. He really is growing up so fast! Which is great at the moment for our family since we are welcoming a new baby in less than a month, but sad at the same time because I feel he should still be my little baby.

Besides the few difficulties related to the toddler phase, I have to admit that it can be a pretty fun stage. He talks and signs nonstop. This week he has picked up the sign for eat and ball, and had started saying "peek-a-boo" (so cute) and "thank you" (which melts my heart). He understands when we ask him to go get something or take something to someone. He eats his meals with utensils. He will go off and play by himself and especially with other kids for a short period of time, which I find fabulous when I need to clean or even would like to visit with an adult for a bit. And yesterday Palmer had his first haircut. This may not seem like such a milestone to most babes, but considering that Palmer was a baldy for the majority of his life, it seemed like a big deal to us. Auntie Rie was kind enough to do the job and she did spectacular amid his constant wiggles and curiosity concerning her hair clipping equipment.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Happy Month!

Just wanted to wish all my readers a "happy month." My dad would always wish my mom a happy month on the first of the month. I'm not sure exactly where the saying comes from, but I always thought it was so sweet and thoughtful. I have remembered a couple times to say it to Greg and he has also remembered once or twice to tell me so as well. My dad was pretty on top of it, but if he ever happened to miss the good tiding on the first of the month he was sure to apologize and vocalize it on the second or third.

My parents set such a wonderful example of a loving husband and wife relationship. I'm am truly so very lucky to have grown up in such an environment. I was always finding little love notes they would write back and forth to each other since my father would return home from work after my mother went to sleep, and she would awake before him. And they were always affectionate with each other: little kisses and holding hands, even rubbing each others' feet. I hope to follow their example and create the same loving atmosphere in our own home for our children.