Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Come on, baby!

Today is my due date. My EDD (estimated date of delivery). The day we've burnt into our brains for the last 9 or so months. Today, January, 28th.

Am I still pregnant?

Am I mad about it?
Nah. As long as she's healthy, I'll be happy. 

BUT . . .  am I anxious?
Uh,  you betcha! 

We have her room ready. Diapers stocked. Bags packed.

Our parents, grandparents and siblings are on alert. All in the name of waiting.

By the way, I'm not a patient person.

In the meantime, I find myself wandering into her room from time to time and sitting in the rocker. I think about how chaotic my life will be in a day, a week, whenever, and beyond. And I think about how blessed we are to be parents of this angel that we will so soon meet.

I'm so ready to introduce her to her room. Yea, I'm sure she won't care what color the walls are or which stuffed animals she has waiting for her to play with.

I know she doesn't care which bedsheets we picked out for her.

Or if those bedsheets match her curtains or not.

But I love knowing she will soon invade this room of hers. And our hearts. Our life.

I'm so ready to be a mom.

Happy due date!!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday 15: Looking forward to Baby! (Double whammy)

It's baaaaaaaack! Friday 15!

Not that most of you noticed, but I haven't posted a Friday 15 in like 15 Fridays (or some number less than that). If I'm being Frank, though my name is Angie, I will say it's because I forgot. Every week that passes is a blur because it's another week closer to meeting my daughter. Freaky to say that. My daughter. Our daughter.

Dudes, I'm going to have a child in a couple weeks.


And speaking of "our daughter" I thought it would be fun to make a list of 15 things I'm looking forward to when she gets here. This is going to be fun!

  1. Seeing what she looks like. (I have imagined her features for months and I can't wait. Will she look like me, like Mike, like both of us a little, like NEITHER of us?! Oh, the suspense!)
  2. Singing her to sleep.
  3. Reading to her.
  4. Being called mommy. 
  5. Seeing Mike be a dad & calling him daddy.
  6. Watching her sleep.
  7. Learning all about her personality, what she likes and doesn't like.
  8. Taking her on walks.
  9. Breastfeeding her.
  10. Loving her.
  11. Fitting into normal pants again [even if they're not my pre-baby pants].
  12. Saying good-bye to the heartburn, I hope!
  13. Sleeping on my stomach.
  14. Being able to touch my toes and comfortably put on shoes and socks again.
  15. Finally sharing her name with everyone that is waiting in anticipation!

Annnnddd.... As I was making the above list, I thought I could also make a list of 15 things I'm *NOT* looking forward to. But, really, I couldn't think of 15. So, I had to stop at 10. And really these 10 are minor in comparison to how much I am looking forward to meeting her. 

(These are meant to be read sarcastically, with humor and all with love. I really can't wait to meet her, but truthfully there are things I am not looking forward to.)

  1. Touching poop.
  2. Being puked on.
  3. Not getting more than 2 hours of sleep at a time. 
  4. Labor recovery. Enough said. (well, for that matter, LABOR)
  5. People wanting to touch my baby during cold/flu season.
  6. The crying. Lord, the crying.
  7. Losing the baby weight.
  8. Time management. 
  9. Doing laundry daily - cloth diapers for us!
  10. Breastfeeding. (Yes, this is on both lists. I am looking forward to it, but also anxious about her latching, the pain, etc. I am thinking positive, though!)
There ya go! The good outweighs the bad, which I suppose is a good sign! I'm so excited for her to be outside of me instead of inside of me! 

For the record: I'm not sure how much I'll be blogging after she's born or if I'll even want to look at my computer for a while since I'll be staring at her all the time. I will try to stay active on here. If there is a lull, it won't be permanent. I like blogging too much to leave it alone forever! 

Happy Friday!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Hershey’s Spread the Possibilities.

I am a member of Crowdtap (http://crowdtap.com/) and periodically I get to sample products and tell my friends and my blog readers about them.

The most recent product my husband and I got to try was the Hershey's new Spreads. We were sent the chocolate with almonds.

It was so good!

We tried in on bread.

And then I tried it on graham crackers.

Then a friend suggested we try it with peanut butter on bread and make a peanut butter cup sandwich. That was so good that we both ended up doing it again the next morning with toast.

That was my favorite way to use it so far.

Mike liked it, too!

He said that it was good enough to try again, but he probably wouldn't buy it (mostly because we don't buy stuff like that).

I will add that it has a TON of sugar in it. For 2 tbsp. it has 20g of sugar. That's a lot, in my opinion.

Overall, though, I'm impressed with the spreads we got to try! It'll be good for a special treat from time to time.

Happy sampling!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Build a mantel (no fireplace needed).

I've always wanted a mantel.

I've not always wanted a fireplace, though I'd enjoy one if we had one.

But, I've never understood why I couldn't have a mantel even if we didn't have a fireplace. Why should the two be mutually exclusive?

Well, they're not.

When we moved into our new home a year ago, I had already planned a mantel project in my head. Within a few weeks of living here, I painted the wall blue on a whim. Seriously. On a random Tuesday night I got a burst of energy and just painted the wall.

Once that was done, I talked to my grandpa about helping me follow through with my mantel project plan and last summer through fall, we finally got it done!

The process from start to finish took a few months. Time and energy played a big part (I was working through my first trimester filled with wonderful fatigue and nausea).

But in the end, I'm so happy with it.

I'll spare you the initial steps, ya know, like measuring, shopping for the wood and all that. Basically, Grandpa had some spare wood in his shop for the end pieces and front beam.

By the way, this is how my Grandpa organizes his screws and such, using baby food jars. He's so smart.

Grandpa and I went together to purchase the wood planks from Menards for the top and the bottom. Shopping at Menards was fun with Grandpa!

After we had all the measurements and the wood cut to size, he and I built the mantel. Essentially, it's a big box. We sanded it and then I took it home.

(Don't mind the old mattress in our garage...)

I had a couple different stains to choose from, but I settled on the one I liked and got to work. For those concerned, yes I did wear a mask to protect babe and me from the fumes.

I ended up doing two coats, no top coat, though. I wanted it to look rustic.

Once I made the call to Grandpa that I was happy with the stain job, he came over so we could mount it on the wall. (This was when I got really excited. It was all really happening!)

We left the bottom off so we could secure the back to the wall into the studs.

Then Grandpa did a fine job of attaching the bottom beam.

Soon after the mantel was hung, my husband and my cousin got busy mounting the TV on the wall using a wall mounting kit. They did some kind of fancy cord hiding, hold drilling in our wall and such and POOF!  a floating TV.

I was so happy that it was done in plenty of time for Thanksgiving and especially . . . Christmas.

I couldn't wait to hang our stockings from it and marvel in our handy work!

I'm very happy with how our living room wall looks and especially the mantel. It means so much more that my grandpa and I were able to make it together. I told our realtor that if we ever move, I'm taking it off the wall and it's going with us.

I'm not kidding.

Happy woodworking!

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Saturday, January 4, 2014

10 minute boxed cake mix chocolate fudge.

Before I go far, I will say that there's a catch to this recipe. 10 minutes is how long it takes to make this fudge. If you're DYING to have some fudge, this recipe isn't for you and you should just pound a handful of the chocolate chips. The actual wait time from start to finish is about an hour. 

But it can be done.

I survived the hour. 

So can you. 

I found a recipe recently for boxed cake mix fudge using sprinkles from a blog called Baked From A Box. I made that fudge according to the recipe, but it didn't turn out as SOLID as I was hoping it would. It was more of a sticky fudge and impossible to keep in its form as a bite size piece. 

This is how it was supposed to look . . . 

Image Source
This is how mine turned out unfortunately. 

I was reading on the post about solutions to this problem and her suggestion was "while the fudge mix is still warm, alternate adding 1 tbs at a time of confectioners' sugar and cake mix. Do this until the mixture is quite thick and difficult to stir. It won't thicken in the refrigerator, it will only solidify, so make sure that the thickness is satisfactory before you press it into your pan!" 

Next time I'll try that. 

Have no fear, though! This fudge wasn't an entire loss! As you saw at the beginning, this post is about chocolate fudge. Not sprinkled fudge. 

As I was mixing the sprinkles and the colors were bleeding into the mix my gears started turning. "What other ingredients could I stir into this recipe to create different types of fudge?" 

That, my friends, is how this chocolate fudge recipe was born. 

It's important to wait the whole hour for the fudge to solidify, as much as you'll want to dig into this stuff. It needs that time to set. 

Mike got home from work, saw the fudge in the refrigerate and tried a piece. A few minutes later, he went back for more. His comment was that the fudge is "really sweet, so you can only eat one piece at a time." 

He gives the fudge a 6.5 on the Mike Meter. The fact that he went back for more (as I've learned in our 2 years of marriage) means he liked it. If he didn't like it, he would have obviously left it alone after first try. 

I count that as a win!

Happy fudging? (ha!)

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