It's a....(for real this time)

GIRL!
(the Doctor said he was very confident...but that if it ends up a boy, we still have to take it home :-)

There she was - with all the right parts, all the right size, moving around like she is supposed to (even though I can't feel her yet...it was weird to see her move and not feel it)



She has cute feet (or in the case of this picture...a cute foot)


And she has my nose! (Mon Amour and I came to this conclusion independently, so it must be true)

She currently weights about 15 ounces. (Which officially (according to my Dr) does NOT account for my extravagant 17 lb weight gain...oh well)
She has a real name...but I may have to work on an official blog name for her...


Life Comes at You Fast

This is not a Nationwide ad, rather, it seems the slogan has decided to prove true in our life. We sort of knew it would happen, but it doesn't make it any less overwhelming when it does happen.

I will give you the short version. Within the next 5 months these are some of the things that will (or already have happened)
  • Mon Amour will quit his old job and start a new job
  • I will return to in-office work rather than working from home
  • Mon Amour will attend the funeral of one of his childhood mentors
  • Mon Amour's 55 year old Uncle may be deployed (having been called to active duty this week)
  • We will move (off the farm and in with my parents)
  • We will leave the church we love
  • I will find a new OBGYN
  • We will buy a house (Lord willing)
  • We try and find a new church and start trying to make new friends
  • We will move again (out of my parents house and into a big city)
  • I will retire from the job I have had for 6 years
  • Mon Amour will graduate with a Master's (we may put this one off...)
  • We will have a baby

....and some time around August, we will start thinking about regaining out sanity.

I think the only significant life change that we are not attempting in the next 5 months is a change in marital status. Thank heavens that is not going anywhere. Though we are going to have to work pretty hard to find time for "us" in these next months.

Needless to say, the blogging may be a little lax for a while. My apologies in advance.
Prayers would be appreciated - we are super excited about all the fun things to come, though more than a little sad to leave behind the fun things we have had.

It's a....

...cantaloupe.

Or at least the size of one they tell me. A cantaloupe seems much bigger than last week's "large heirloom tomato".
20 weeks, 17 pounds.

1/2 way through - and still at the delightful stage of pregnancy where being fat-ish is fun, and time seems to be flying by!

Other fun updates to follow later this week! Stay tuned.

Baby Cow's Breakfast

The cutest things always happen when I am without my camera. The other morning while Marge and I were out walking, we happened to walk past the baby cows having breakfast. They would have been done by the time that I went back to get my camera - so I whipped out my cell phone camera. Which limited the quality of the photos I could take, but they were still cute.

Here they are lined up for breakfast - if you look closely you can see little baby tongues licking up their oats!
I couldn't get them all in one picture, but there were actually about 15 baby cows lined up here.


They were all hungry...but one in particular couldn't get enough of his breakfast!
He stuck his feet through the slats in the feeding trough so he could reach more!


New Born

Yesterday we had the pleasure of meeting our friends new little boy. He was just under 24 hours old when we got there. And he was very soundly asleep. He looked like this most of the time:

He made a sad face when we took his hat off. But kept sleeping.

Eventually we un-swaddled him so that we could take a peek at his cute fingers and toes (that led to a few more adorable sad faces) - and when we wrapped him back up, he finally opened his eyes a bit.
Just a little bit.

Our Driveway


This is what our road looked like a 4 days after the last of the snow fell. 2.5 days after they "plowed" (the first time the county (not the local farmers) actually plowed our road was a full 7 days after the first day of these February blizzards).
The parts where you can see pavement are few and far between.

I was glad to get out of the house this past weekend, but I am also glad that Mon Amour was driving and not me. There was a significant amount of sliding, and a couple incidents of getting out to push.

When you move into the country/middle-of-no-where, they really should issue you a 4-wheel drive vehicle. Or a tractor. The farmers with trucks and tractors don't mind this quality of plowing, but us city-folk are not impressed.

Space for Baby - 19 Weeks

At 19 weeks, my body has decided it would like to make lots of space for baby. In theory, the baby weights about 8 oz and is 6 inches long, which makes up for a very small percentage of the 16 pounds I have gained to date.


There is currently lots of space for baby.


Who knows, maybe all that extra padding is part of the reason I haven't felt him/her kick yet. I think I have felt movement. From time to time I will feel something odd...could be described as bubbles popping, or "flutters"....and I am guessing that is the baby. But I am still anxiously anticipating that first real, undeniable kick.

In other pregnancy news, I am still feeling great. Other than having a growing belly, and continuing acne, I feel very "normal" most of the time. From time to time, I feel really really bloated with gas (sorry, unpleasant, I know) to the point of being painful. But those moments are few a far between, so I really have no complaints.

Oh, and in addition to making my belly grow, all these new found growth hormones have made my nails grow like weeds! I have always been a nail biter, always tried to break the habit, never really succeeded. But, at this point, it doesn't matter, cause my bad habit can't seem to keep up their rate of growth. Its kind of fabulous. I should go buy some nail polish...

My Little Godson

This weekend (having successfully unburied ourselves from the snow) we had the privileged of once again visiting with this little chap (and his parents as well, of course). He is my godson, and he is now about 2 weeks old.

He is terribly terribly adorable, and sleepy.

I have never had godparents, so this whole godmother concept is rather new to me. I am under the impression, though, that as his godparents part of our job is to spoil him with love (and possibly with presents...)


Which shouldn't be too hard, considering his adorable-ness.

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my fabulous Nannie!


The hands down best grandmother anyone could ever ask for.

Happy Birthday from me, Mon Amour, Marge, and the Munchkin :-)

Pretty Again

I got off the farm a couple times this weekend. It was glorious. And it was just what I needed to make this kind of thing pretty again.




Oh, so pretty.

No snow pictures; Cabin Fever

By this time, I expected to have some fabulous pictures of snow #2, such that I could keep up the snow picture trend today.

However, as of this morning I have been confined to this house/farm for 8 and 1/2 days. During which time I have not seen any bit of outdoors that is not covered in snow. And round about day 6, the novelty of snow pictures wore off. (My short attention span for snow is one of the many reasons I would not want to move further north, and when Mon Amour says, "Let's move to Alaska!" I tell him rather sincerely that he would be moving there alone. )
All that to say, today, it looks like I will finally be leaving the farm for the day! Hooray! (I think I may take a picture of the legitimately plowed roads as we leave - who knew that asphalt could be so exciting.)

So there will be no snow pictures today. Perhaps tomorrow, once I have fought off this serious case of cabin fever, I will resume posting snow pictures in order to officially document the 2nd half of this blizzard.

For now, farewell to the farm and to this snow covered driveway that I have been pacing like a prisoner for 8+ days.

More Assorted Snow

These are all still from February storm #1. Pictures of Storm #2 will likely come eventually.

For now - enjoy more random snow shots.


Snow, hanging of the barn.



Rather precariously. And in case you are curious, this is the barn that had the 6ft snow drift in front of it.




Thanks to the wind, our house had a little pathway around it. You could walk around the house, but the tricky part was trying to get more than 3 feet away from the house, because at that point you were confronted with waist deep snow.


Our little farm house. The snow is deeper than it looks. I really wish we had bought firewood for this year.

Marge's Change or Heart About the Snow

Since I last shared about Marge's thoughts on the snow, Marge has had a bit of a chance of heart. It seems that as long as it is not actively snowing, and blowing in her face, she actually loves the snow.

Here she is rolling in it...just for fun.
Apparently if she can't be a lap dog, she would like to be a Siberian Husky. She gets all excited about going outside; she jumps on the chunks of snow with quite the passionate furry, and tries to bite them - though obviously they crumble in her mouth. She often chooses to walk in the deeper snow, rather than in the on the parts they have plowed.


Recently she has taken to spend most of her time whining at the door because she wants us to take her back out.

Crazy dog.

Assorted Snow

This post mostly consists of a few of my favorite snow pictures so far. Other than that, there is no real rhyme or reason or order to the pictures. So just enjoy. These are all from this past weekend's snow - there will probably be more (both snow and pictures) to come.



Possibly my favorite picture. The cows had walked a little path through about a 3+ft embankment of snow. But its one lane only. And here stands the bull. Behind him is a small baby cow trying to get through. But the bull will not move. He doesn't move for much.



I wish I could get a really good picture of it - but I love the undisturbed wasteland of snow in the fields and the way the wind blows ripples into it. You can sort of see that above.



The wind did some weird things around our house. This one kind of curls over like a wave.


The wind also left pretty much no snow behind our cars - but developed this intense spike/ledge thing in front of the cars.





The poor baby cows look so cold. This one has a bit of breakfast on its nose.




Again, I just love what the wind does around here. This is from Sunday morning - no plowing or shoveling has taken place yet. But on the left - there is no snow. On the right and back by the barn (that you can't really see...oops) - that's a 6+ ft snow drift. And right along the edge there, there is a cool little lip or something. Crazy


Country Plowing

Out here in the country, this is what the roads look like after they plow.

The roads are more often plowed by local farmers than by the county.

Sometimes it can be hard to tell where the road stops and the side of the road begins. But when you hit one of these (what used to be an electrical box of some sort) ...

You can pretty much rest assured that you have plowed your way off the road.



I don't really know who lost power, or internet, or whatever, because of this (we haven't lost anything)...but I suspect this will take a while to fix

Week 17

Week 17 actually ended yesterday. We are now officially 18 weeks along. But I haven't gotten to those pictures yet. So for now - some 17 week belly shots.

We really need to stop taking these right before bedtime when I look (and often feel) like death. I am pretty much always ready to sleep (or eat for that matter), but I hope I don't always have those rather dark cirlces under my eyes. Oh well.


Many thanks to my
good friend for loaning me some of her maternity clothes. I am very much enjoying them!

I am still feeling good this week. I think that I may have felt some baby movement this week (I am like 95% sure that is what it was), but no official kicks or anything yet. Perhaps that will happen this coming week.


Marge's Thoughts on the Snow

Marge generally doesn't like the snow, and this particular blizzard is no exception. Not only does she not like it, she actually goes so far as to hate it.
Here is poor, dejected Marge, after having been outside for no more than 2 minutes. She was very forlorn.
Here she is debating whether it would be more comfortable to "hold it" all day long, or to brave the icy wind to "go" in moutains of snow outside.


It was quite the conundrum.


Marge is the cutest when she is forlorn.



A Legitimate Blizzard

We were out of town for the Christmas 2009 Blizzard in this area. However, we needn't have worried, because in addition to all the random bits of snow here and there, we have just had another, even larger and more intense blizzard.
I have no idea how much it has snowed around here so far. I am guessing about 20 inches, but the drifts are approaching 4 or 5 feet in places. If the wind ever dies down, I will go get more pictures of the drifts. But, when I took Marge out this morning, the wind made it painfully unbearable to be outside.
At least that is what I thought. Mon Amour, however, decided to get bundled up and torture the dog...I mean, take the dog for a walk.



This is the kind of progress that they made. I am pretty sure Marge thought he was taking her out to die.

video

But, about 20 minutes later, they returned triumphant. And cold. Apparently, he did not carry Marge the whole way, just for the deep parts.

Note: Mon Amour is standing on almost no snow - but the drift behind him would almost come up to his shoulders if he waded in. Crazy!

Calzones

We did not do a super job of documenting this particular project, but I figured I would blog about it anyway.

The other day, we made calzones. We took some of my homemade pizza dough (which was conveniently made and frozen, and so just needed to be thawed), rolled out individual sized pizzas and piled on the toppings.


Then simply fold in half - sprinkle on some parmesan cheese if you like, and put them in the oven.

By the time they were done, we were too hungry, and they were too tempting to actually remember to take pictures of. But, I can assure you, they were delicious.

Fun things about Nannie's House

There are many delightful things in my Nannie's house, or at least things of which I have delightful memories. So while I was there recently I took a picture of some of them, and figured I would document them here.

The giant stuffed panda, the Othello game, and the toy castle (bottom right corner) - all wonderful toys that my siblings and I enjoyed to the fullest whenever we would visit Nannie.



The fabulous and functioning Grandfather clock which would let out a little chime if you walked past it to heavily, and would keep you up all through the night if you were a light sleeper. But I loved it - it always seemed to make sense to me that my Grandfather would have a Grandfather clock.




The huge and amazingly solid antique cabinet thing. Complete with marble top, and carvings of dead fish and birds on the doors on the bottom. Weird, but some how beautifully impressive.



This is one of my favorite pieces in the house - the small cast iron doggy. It has always always always been in Nannie's house somewhere. And in the days before my family had a real dog, this cold unmoving dog had to suffice.




The tiny kitchen/pantry combo. Which is remarkably small, but somehow the perfect place for baking all kinds of things - cookies, chocolate peanut butter easter eggs, apple butter, etc. Nannie always had a least 20 aprons to choose from when you baked, and so picking out an apron was typically half the adventure.



Also in this kitchen is a delightful hidden staircase. It use to actually go upstairs - when the upstairs was an attic. But when the upstairs became an actual upstairs, the moved the functional staircase elsewhere. So this staircase goes nowhere. And is all the more amazing as a result.


The Jello sign. Its been hanging in Nannie's kitchen for as long as I can remember. I don't know why I like it, except that it has always been there.



But perhaps my favorite part of the house (in that it seems the most fascinating to me) is the layout of the upstairs, which, as I mentioned earlier, used to simply be an attic. It Is now 4 bedrooms.
This picture is taken just as you reach the top of the stairs - and yes, you come out directly into my Grandfather's bedroom. Each of the other 3 bedrooms is directly off this room. This means that if you sleep in one of the other rooms, and have to get up in the middle of the night to get something downstairs (water from the kitchen, or to use the bathroom) you actually had to walk through this room, where, presumably, someone would be sleeping. To me, this seems to add a cool sense of sneaky mystery to the house.