By the way, I'm pregnant.

So last Friday night, I put Hazel to bed and left the house around 8:30pm to do some grocery store pricing. I had some coupons that I was looking forward to using and I wanted to figure out who had the best prices between Albertsons and Safeway before dragging Hazel to four stores with me the next morning.

One of the coupons I was most excited to use was one for Coffee-mate hazelnut creamer. It was $1 off, and I knew that Albertsons was coming out with a coupon that would double my one dollar, so I'd get two bucks off the store price. I found that Albertsons had both the 16oz. and 32oz. sizes of creamer (for some reason I can usually only find the 32oz. size)...and they were on sale. I would have to wait until Sunday to actually purchase the creamer, but it would end up costing me $.29 - ACK!

When I put together grocery shopping lists these days, I focus on what will feed Hazel lunch and provide dinner for Nate and I. Breakfast is pretty simple most days, and lunch for myself, well, let's not talk about that. I eat what's available (which speaks to the annoying extra pounds right now).

Because I have to focus on dinners and Hazel's lunch, my budget doesn't accommodate too many "pleasures" - Nate still gets his wine (the man works too hard not to be able to wind down at night) and coffee, but I've been by-passing some of the things I like best, creamer being one of those things that's fallen by the wayside. Needless to say, I was STOKED when I figured out I'd only have to pay $.29 for creamer!

Yesterday, when I picked Hazel up from Nate's parents' house, Karen reminded me that we still had a box of freezer items in their chest freezer. [This might seem like a tangent, but bear with me.] When Rae Ann moved to Baltimore, she unloaded an incredible amount of freezer food on us - and it's been amazingly long-lasting and wonderful. I should have asked for help pulling the box out of the bottom of the freezer; it had to weigh at least 60 pounds...

Even though my grocery budget has shrunk considerably the last six months, since being married to Nate I've always had one and worked within it. So last year during summer, when I wanted to make jam, I only made raspberry (with a few jars of marionberry jam also) - we couldn't buy strawberries to make my fave jam at the time, so I only made Nate's die-hard favorite.

I hefted that 60-pound box out of the chest freezer because I had to bring some reality to my soaring hopes: I had spotted three huge jars of strawberry jam tucked into it. I swear to you, this year's Christmas was yesterday. I hope you didn't miss it.

Whenever I woke up during the night last night, I would think fondly of the hazelnut creamer and raspberry jam waiting for me when it was time to get up. Most mornings I wake up when Hazel cries out and then I give her a little time to truly wake up (she's a bear otherwise). This morning I raced into her room as soon as I heard her and whisked her off to the kitchen for breakfast. Nate came down to say good morning (his office is upstairs in the attic if you didn't know...) while I was feeding the cat and dog and getting Hazel's breakfast made.

I popped my English muffin in the toaster and pulled the strawberry jam out of the fridge. Next I checked the coffee pot and there was about 3oz. of coffee left in it. I balked at that for a split second deep inside, but poured my cup anyway. I grabbed the creamer from the fridge and sensed a problem: It felt light. Like, not new. I opened the lid and there was no foil safety seal. I hollered my displeasure, thinking I had walked out of Albertsons with an opened creamer.

But in the off-chance that that's not what had happened, I asked Nate if he'd had any.

He had.

I wanted to cry.


Because I'm pregnant and that's what I do these days.

It's totally unreasonable, but I felt so disappointed. I had so anticipated the thought of opening that bottle for the first time and glorying in it's wonderfulness (and newness...and mine-ness). I didn't say anything to Nate about my feelings, though, but I did make sure he wasn't just teasing me, that he had in fact had some and that I had not left the store with an opened container.

Two minutes later I was praying that I would quit thinking about how disappointed I was. Nate was still talking about how much he'd also looked forward to having some of the creamer and how much he'd enjoyed it while drinking his coffee this morning, so I said if I'd known he liked it that much I would have bought the bigger bottle (the $.29 came from my change jar; the $2+ it would have cost to get the bigger bottle would have been supplied by my Mary Kay account -  you can understand why I went with the smaller size; plus, it's a pleasure not a staple). He said something along the lines, "Well the creamer is for both of us..." and I interrupted him, overcome by emotions.

"Is it?"

"Well, yeah!" he said with a small smile and a laugh, thinking I was kidding.

"Is it?" I said again with tears in my eyes and disappointment evident in my entire body.

"Oh..." he said and he grabbed me in a huge hug. He felt so bad. I told him I was happy to share with him, it's just that sometimes it's frustrating when there's no small pleasure that's just mine. He has his wine, and I'm jealous of the fact that it's his and his only. Whatever I bring home from the store, I usually assume someone else will be eating, either besides me altogether or in addition to me. Hazel wants everything I have, which is the nature of the parent/child relationship, so I can't escape that; Nate likes what I like, so nothing is sacred there either.

I will admit I cried this morning over my creamer. Sometimes these pregnancy hormones are all-consuming. At least I have a wonderful family to melt down in front of on those occasions. [Oh how I'd love to insert "rare" into that last thought...]


He gets it now...I think.

I have a white board by the back door that I write my life on. Nate looks at it very rarely (or so it seems). Yesterday he was putting on his shoes and started muttering.

"Glencoe? What's Glencoe? Wait...Glucose? 8:45, Peggy at 9:30. Huh?"

"Glucose. You know, the test I have to take to make sure I don't have gestational diabetes."


"Because we're in our third trimester..."

"That's ridiculous! Holy crap, you're having that baby soon!"

By this time I'm laughing pretty hard, but I had to ask...
 "What's the big deal with the glucose test?"

"Well, the last time you took your glucose test, you had Hazel, like, the next day."

(Which isn't true at all, but it gave me good insight into his thinking.)

You know, I think Nate gets it now: This kid is coming, whether or not we're ready!


I feel like it's my birthday...

Hazel is 18 months old today, and I can hardly keep from telling everyone I see.

Oh, and now she says her name! I thought it was an accident the first time, but when I show her a family picture and ask her who each person is, she says, "Dadda, Momma, Hazie." It kills me every time! She's a freakin' genius, I'm just saying.


Did I post this picture before? I can't remember...It's from my Dad's birthday dinner in March. He decided to invite some family to dinner at Apizza Scholls (which is where I took Nate for his birthday in January). We devoured like 5 pizzas, I think.

Following that, my uncle took us to a nearby police station where his bomb unit stuff is stored. We climbed through one of his trucks, amazed at the equipment. Before I knew it, Dad was trying on a bomb suit! It was incredibly heavy, but he wore it well!

It was all pretty awesome, and it was an experience we could never pass up.

Okay, this picture is from December. I want you to take note of the intensity on Hazel's face. She knew her meal was coming and she was practically climbing out of her chair to get at it. Poor, impatient, starving thing. Just look at her face - she's totally waning away.

Oh yeah, all these pictures are from my cell phone. They really stink, quality-wise.

I can't remember if I posted this picture either. It's worth doing it again, just look at all the food! One of our favorite restaurants in Cannon Beach is Ecola Seafood. We really enjoy splitting an order of clam strips and fish and chips. They make the most wonderful cocktail sauce!

This last trip, though, turned out poorly: Nate put in our order and paid while I saved us seats. The little plate of clam strips cost $8, which we've never paid before. Usually we pay $4. Sad to say, we won't be buying them again, although they are so totally worth it!

Here's another picture I can't remember if I posted (wow, I'm on a roll). It's Hazel's last day at Neurotherapeutics in Oregon City. That's the building behind our heads.

It's been nice to have those two Thursdays a month free again. We're down to therapy once a month...And even then I'm not sure one could call it "therapy." It's more of just play time. In fact, the last time Chris came over, he sat and talked with me about dog training. Hazel had to get his attention by shoving a book into his hands so that he would read to her. We see him again in a few weeks and then not again for probably another 6 weeks, perhaps longer.

This last picture is from Super Bowl Sunday. We spent the day with Nate's family, eating too much and watching a lot of TV on a ridiculously huge flatscreen. Hazel tottered around in the family room, followed closely by Karen - meanwhile, I fell asleep on the couch. Hah! I'm blessed!

Nate took the opportunity to feed Hazel, and so the above is the picture I got. She's an escape artist, that girl.

Now I'm done with my delinquent postings. Sorry to inundate you!


Baby Belly, brought to you by Baby Girl Banks #2

[About 24 weeks, so an older picture. And don't mind the food on my shirt.]

Sunshine on my shoulder makes me happy!

I love the sun! I also love rain, clouds, storms, wind...all of the elements that Fall and Winter in the Pacific Northwest bring, but there's something to be said about an honestly sunny, 70 degree day. Do you know what I mean about "honestly sunny"? If you've spent any time in the NW, you should. We get a lot of faux sunny days, when the sun is there, but it's a tease. It peeks out from behind a cloud long enough for you to frantically grab everything within arm's reach (including your kid), dash out your door to your car, and hurry to the park, when it suddenly makes a smooth glissade behind another cloud, disappearing for good. The temperature drops 5 degrees, you have no fun at the park, and everyone heads home totally disappointed and still seriously lacking in vitamin D.

Yesterday was not at all like that: The sun came out and it stayed that way ALL DAY. It was marvelous! Mom treated Hazel and I to the zoo, and I have to admit that I was the most excited about this trip. I love going to the zoo. Hands down, I feel it's the best way to spend a warm day outside.

Our timing for leaving the Clackamas area all came down to Hazel and her naps. She's been falling asleep as soon as I stick her in her crib for the last week (which has been wonderful), but yesterday she went back to her old routine and played for about an hour before succumbing to sleep. That threw us off a bit. We finally made it out of the house around 2pm. When we arrived at the zoo, the parking lot was packed and "Lots Full" signs were up everywhere. It was afternoon nap time, though, for most kids, so I felt sure the zoo would be emptying out steadily.

Hazel recognized animals from her books, of course, and could make their sounds, but she mostly enjoyed people watching and walking everywhere on her own. She finally asked to be put back in her stroller about half way through our walk, just wanting to take a break for a few minutes. She walked with gusto and charmed everyone! Quite a few other moms kept sighing, "OHH" whenever Hazel tottered by. My heart swelled every time...

There was a nice breeze out and the zoo paths offered plenty of shade, but it was still nice enough for Hazel to wear a light cotton spring dress and sunscreen. I love her sunscreen but it does get greasy fast. Her hair was so nasty across her forehead! It will look like she's sweating profusely in some of these pictures, but she's not, I promise.

As the day progressed, I saw more and more of her roseola spots. Her little personality was alive and kicking so I didn't feel like she was out of it due to not feeling very well, but I kept my eye on the spots. I guess I should have done my research before leaving for the zoo/sunshine: Is roseola made worse by the sun? She didn't have a fever at all yesterday and her spots are nearly gone today, thank God. (By the way, the picture shows my 26.5 week pregnant belly. I am constantly surprised at how quickly time is passing! This kid will be here with us in just about 11 weeks. Oh, and I'll be 27 weeks on Monday, which is when we started having to monitor Hazel's health closely during my pregnancy with her. If we can make it through the next few weeks without any serious scares, I'll be incredibly grateful. In fact, God, please let's just make it straight through to the end of this pregnancy without any surprises, totally bored because there's nothing crazy to report. Thank You, and Amen.)

I couldn't resist sticking her in the eagle's next at their exhibit. By the way, she is fascinated by eagles. She really does belong to Nate and I! I took an Ornithology class in college and loved it (it was either that or some other science class that didn't include weekly field trips with friends). Nate and I never really talked about birds when we were dating (beyond my crazy list of facts that I had learned in Ornithology), although there is a lake in Bellingham, WA, that we had to drive past to and from my college to Oregon that was home to an incredible number of bald eagles. But it was on our first anniversary camping trip that we fell in love with birds: We had prime seats in our camping spot to watch an eagle fly up and down the river between her nest and fishing. We were enchanted. Since then, we've always become excited by falcons and hawks on our property. We stop to watch them. We are geeks. It's true.

Hazel loves fountains. "Water" is one of her most used words, so she says it whenever she finds a reason. There's a fountain outside of her pediatrician's office, so the last time we were over there we had to stop and watch it for awhile. She was so excited to stick her hands in the water feature at the zoo (in the PacNW exhibit). I kept saying, "Okay! All done!" trying to lead her away.  She'd walk a couple steps and then turn right around and head back to where the water was the most accessible.

Don't you just love her dress?

I realize I'm writing this post for myself more than anyone. So far it's filled with all sorts of tangents that can't possibly be THAT interesting to other people...

Continue to bear with me - we're nearing the end, I promise!

[Tutu and Hazel, who is almost 18 months]

[Can you see the spots? I realize this picture isn't super clear, but still.]

The zoo closed while we were still wandering around. I felt this intense need to "obey" the lady over the loud speaker who was telling us to exit and exit now, but I rebelled. We visited the elephants on our way out (yeah right, it's clear across the park from the entrance) and there's a "garden" of statues by their exhibit. I felt it was really really necessary to take pictures of Hazel on the little stone animals. She was a trooper! She hated the elephant and felt ill at ease, so we moved her from there to the mouse (her above roseola picture) and then to the snail, where she felt totally comfortable. His little humps made the perfect saddle for her.

The sun was warm and wonderful, but I have to say that it kicked all the animals into high gear: Many many of them were mating. I could have lived a happy life without seeing polar bears or bats mate.

We left the park around 5:15 and got home just after 6pm. Hazel was pooped! She fought me when I tried to feed her, so that was awesome. She took a bath and by the time she was dressed for bed, Nate was home from work. We found him outside, working on caulking our house. She said goodnight to him and I put her in bed. She never made another sound until 9am this morning. It's been glorious that she's sleeping so long!

I'm still job searching. Starbucks isn't going to happen - no one wants to hire a six-month pregnant lady who has to have a c-section (aka 6 weeks off from work following birth). I put in an application at New Seasons, so I'm following up on that today. Wish me luck!



Nate and I took another trip to Twin Rocks, around my 25 week mark. We had a good time, and it was all thanks to Rick and Karen. We couldn't have gone without their help - they sent us with funds to cover our reservation and gas, and it was such a huge gift! We had actually called them a few days before the trip to see if they would want to use our reservation and they both vehemently insisted that we still go on the trip - Hazel was spending those nights we'd be gone at their house, after all!

It was so wonderful and refreshing. Nate and I can't get enough of the beach. Here's the obligatory pregnancy picture, which is just plain messy.

Mother's Day was wonderful! I realized that it was important to communicate fully and clearly with Nate to tell him what I needed and what would be fun for Mother's Day. Clear-cut and specific seems to go a long ways. Don't get me wrong; I didn't tell him what to do for me or anything like that, but I did make it abundantly clear that the best way to start the day would be with Joe's Donuts (from Sandy).

Yum! Nate got up about half an hour before me and insisted I stay in bed, ignoring Hazel's chatting from her crib completely (hard to do). He took off and returned home within thirty minutes (this was one of those things we'd talked about, with clarity - he's usually gone like two hours when he takes off in the mornings to "surprise" me with flowers and a card; I asked if he could shorten his time a bit so I didn't feel abandoned).

When he returned with flowers and a card, which was signed also by Hazel (and how he finds such suiting and perfect cards the morning of floors me - it's magic, or he's just seriously talented, either is fine with me), he got Hazel out of bed and ready for the day. We loaded up the car and headed to the donut shop. We splurged and bought too many donuts, but it was so worth it when we were still eating them three days later.

Hazel napped for a long time that morning. When she finally woke up, she was groggy and much less chatty. She felt hot to the touch and was glassy eyed. We piled into the car and met Rick and Karen at Macaroni Grill for lunch. They treated us to an excellent meal - Nate and I were both adventurous and tried new things (that usually never works well). We tried to share our meals but then I realized his pizza was covered in soft cheeses, a no-no for preggo ladies. Ah well. I kept my lemon chicken pasta all to myself...such a bummer.

I really wanted to spend the day outside, but we ran out of time. We had about thirty minutes to walk around somewhere (after calculating drive-time), so we headed to the rhododendron garden by Reed College. It was chaos! We parked before we realized it was a huge Mother's Day plant sale. We decided to leave and go straight to Mom and Dad's hangar. We picked up Dutch Brothers on the way and actually arrived on time for dinner, rather than being harried and stressed.

We played for quite awhile, just enjoying the weather and being together. Mom felt Hazel was hot also (I thought I was going crazy) so she took her temperature. 101 degrees. Are you kidding me. The poor thing! My thermometer at home was off by like 3 degrees.

Soon after that, we knew Hazel needed a fever reducer, so we loaded up in the car and headed home, stopping to pick up some meds on our way through Canby. Hazel had a hard, hard time getting to sleep that night. She woke up every 45-60 minutes for the first four hours she was in bed. It was jarring for everyone. The worst thing was that she was nearly inconsolable every time she woke up - it took Nate a lot of *shushing* and cuddling to quiet her.

On Monday her temperature was up even higher, so I took her to the pediatrician, who said it was either the stomach bug or roseola. On Wednesday, her fever was gone but she broke out in a rash...Good ol' roseola.

She's on the mend now, thank goodness! I'm glad to see her improving, although she's still cranky. And tired, like all the time. But so am I so we're getting along great! She let me sleep in until 9am the last few mornings, which was a gift from heaven.

The pregnancy is going well. We start our seventh month on Monday. Yikes! Time is passing so quickly! I'm feeling good most days, but still starting each morning with a Zofran. I find I have an incredibly strong gag reflex if I don't take it first thing. I'm not feeling nauseous most days, though, so that's been wonderful.

We had an ultrasound a few weeks ago and the kid looks amazing! She has her dad's nose for sure! I can hardly wait to meet her...