Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Cousin Erin's Baby Shower

The weekend before last our family went over to Houston for a baby shower. One of "the cousins" Erin was pregnant with her first. I use past tense because in the amount of time I could upload my photos, and get through a week, Erin decide to go ahead and go into labor. Or maybe it was the baby's idea. Her due date was December 16th, just a month ahead of me, but it turns out the dates were off, and she went into labor early, just as she had expected the whole pregnancy. Mother knows best. I wish my dates were off. Oh yeah, anyways, back to Erin.

I will say moving to Austin has had many benefits, and one of the biggest is how close we are to all of Andrew's family. I have written about "the cousins" and how much fun Andrews family is the last time we were all together, last Christmas. It has been fun to see pictures of them when they were little, and more and more of them getting married and starting to have babies. The first little babies are now toddlers and there are new ones here and others on the way. So much of the family was able to travel to Houston, and with us living in Austin it was way easier to travel just a couple of hours to see everyone.

Andrew happened to have two days off in a row, which hardly ever happens. I thought this meant he should come with us. He was able to visit and spend time with his sisters, and do Blanche's favorite "boom snap clap" for his niece Caroline. She is the one mesmerized in the first photo. I just love Caroline's little looks and eyes. Even if she doesn't smile at me there is something so sweet about her little face.

Erin's shower was beautiful. I am not hundred percent on who did what, but I know our cousin Ashleigh and her mom were the ones who had done so much of the beautiful decorations and food. Andrew's mom helped cook all morning, and well, I felt like I just showed up and ate a lot of the food. "The cousins" had all worked together to throw me a beautiful baby shower when I was pregnant with Blanche, so it was fun to see everyone working together to do the same for Erin.

I love the idea of a big family. Thats why even though some days I am so tired with just Blanche, I still say I want four kids. What I love about Andrew's family is that they are a big family that keeps getting bigger but they are so good about making time for each other. Andrew's mom's cousins even do the same thing. I bet five or six of her cousins were at my wedding and baby shower. It makes me not only feel loved but it can make even an outsider or newcomer to the family see that though there may be hard times or a share of drama, everyone continues to love and support one another. It has made me feel like I am just a cousin, from somewhere, not a girl who married in by any means. I truly had such a good time talking with everyone, and the eating too of course. Ashleigh's mom let me lick a spoon full of carmel. The things you do when you are pregnant. Or maybe the things you allow yourself to do.

As I already wrote, Erin had Ben earlier this week. I do know little has been posted from them on social media, so I won't steal her thunder. But I will say he is so adorable and chubby and cute.  At one point last weekend Erin asked me if I was still hungry after dinner. Her dad had made fish and salad for dinner. Great for your average person, but a girl needs more if you are eating for two. I told her I was full, but I had steak. (Uncle Reg is always awesome about making me something else due to me getting really sick off salmon last year, but not his, just so you know). Anyways, I had to smile seeing her look at the pantry and then have Matt go to buy some mac and cheese. I feel you girl. But what amazes me is how Erin was just walking around all weekend. Eating and being merry. And then seven days later has a 8lb 9oz baby. No wonder she was still hungry! I am always amazed at how awesome women really are. I told Andrew after having Blanche that if any true feminist has pushed out a baby she has nothing to prove. Sure, woman can go get a job and work along side a man, but that is nothing compared to creating, carrying, and birthing. I think after having gone through almost two pregnancies, I am even more amazed at how something can be wiggling and kicking inside my body one day, and then born an adorable little human the next. They are just little people from the very beginning.

I have probably rambled too long. This is what happens when a pregnant lady writes about another pregnant lady. I am so proud of my cousins Erin and Matt. So happy for the blessing they have been given. And I can't wait until next Christmas when my baby and their baby play together.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Yummy Vegan Thumbprint Cookies

I was told by the doctor that I needed to watch my sugar intake. I had to take the three hour glucose test after having elevated levels with the first one hour test. I do not have gestantional diabetes, my body may just have a hard time digesting sugar. The nurse said to stick to a mostly protein and vegetable heavy diet. To not eat lots of cookies, cake, and ice cream. Oh? Just that? I can do that. I mean, I really try and eat that way anyways. But then the third trimester either hit me hard…or I just want to do something I am not suppose to do. Cookies and cake just sound so good!

But I have made two different vegan recipes from Whole Foods website that have been pretty good. You can find the recipe and instructions here:


I will say, this is all thats in them:

1 cup pecans
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup expeller-preessed canola oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
5 tablespoons fruit juice sweetened jam

I know that eating lots of maple syrup and canola oil isn't amazing for you. But not seeing a cup of sugar added to these cookies like most, made me feel better. Plus the oats and pecans were filling and have fiber and protein.

Andrew absolutely loved these. He probably ate 3/4 of them. He also refuses to eat a dessert that is vegan and has been topping everything with whipping cream. Last night I also made a banana-cocoa snack cake. It is a healthier version of the deadly banana bread I love to make from college. I'm pretty sure the old recipe I have has at least a stick of butter and cup of sugar. This recipe:


It has no sugar, oil, butter, or eggs. But surprisingly good. The bananas make it sweet and the cocoa makes it yummy as well. If you wanted it as more of a dessert I am sure you could add some mini dark chocolate chips to make it sweeter. We had it with coffee this morning, and with blended dates and coconut inside it was perfect.

Andrew also has topped this with whipped cream.

At least I try.

(I also made these cookies during Blanche's nap. And if you know how Blanche naps… it couldn't have taken me that long. This is also why I took all photos on my phone, I figured phone pictures were better than no pictures)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Halloween 2013

I am getting to the point in my pregnancy where I want to be cleaning, baking, organizing, or sleeping. I text one of my friends that I had joked with when she was pregnant that she wanted to organize the whole world. I sent her this message: "The I want to organize the whole world feeling has hit me hard. I go between that and exhaustion and tears. It's a good life for everyone involved."

I know that this part of the pregnancy is short. On Saturday I will finally be 30 weeks, and after the holidays are over any day could possibly be baby time. I have days where I almost make myself sick trying to deep clean everything. Then there are days when I realize I should probably just calm down. So the mixture of the two is doable.

One of the things that I have felt has been lacking a bit has been my writing and taking pictures. My blog helps me to do these things, and when I haven't posted much, I know I haven't been writing more than a paragraph in my journal if I am lucky. Sometimes I wonder why I do this blog because my ideal writing would be to write more about my past, but I always surprise myself when I realize I am keeping a memoir of sorts on here as my life as a mother. I always dream and envision writing deep and inspiring things and sometimes I feel like my posts end up being mommy time writing. When I read back to older posts I do see that I am processing and writing my every day life. I also was showing a friend in Austin what Blanche was last year for Halloween. It was nice to be able to look up my blog on my phone and have all the pictures right there. I hope one of my children will grow up to love and appreciate the accounts that I wrote during their childhood.

Last year Blanche was an elephant because that was what I found for under ten dollars at a resale. This year I was digging through her closet to try and make her a cowgirl or something, and I found my little sister's Alice In Wonderland costume from over twenty years ago. It was a little big, but Blanche made the perfect little Alice. My photo shoot was about two minutes long and ended with me begging Blanche to stop walking down the stairs to the car, so I could get ready. These pictures are similar to her birthday pictures on here; I just can't believe how much she has changed in a year.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Blanche Turns Two

In my creative writing class in high school we were told to stay away from using cliches. Or to at least try and write them in a more creative way. Maybe cliche's are the easy way out. The older I become though, I know that they are true and even in my writing about my own life and being a mother I find myself constantly trying to put better words and understanding to the things that have always been told to me. Children grow up so quickly. I have always heard that. And when I first had Blanche I was not only wondering why people choose to have more than one of these things called "children" but how it could possibly move fast. To be honest, thinking back to even four years ago when I was graduating college feels a life time away. Getting married and having babies changes things. The other thing people always told me, Once you have a child you won't be able to imagine life without them. For a long time I could still remember. It involved sleep and warm meals and going to movies. I still remember parts of that life. Or was it someone else's and they told me about it?

When I look at these pictures, and even more so when comparing them to her first birthday, I can't believe how much Blanche has grown. I cannot believe it has been a year and at the same time only a year. I am not going to focus too much time on writing about time. If I sat down with my brother and tried to discuss it he would continue to blow my mind about what life is like outside of time. Or he would tell me theories about how all of time is happening at once and a person works themselves through all these moments. Then all of the sudden I see my whole life, Blanche's whole life, spread out like an old roll of movie film. I see all theses moments that I get to walk through and be apart of, and once I have been a part of them they are gone, or actually I am gone.

Celebrating my child's birthday is now so much more happier than celebrating my own. Being a grown up is funny and I never know what to do on my own birthday. I feel more thankful for my own mother.  I want to feel loved, but I know its not like I am the child anymore. People have told me how special I am my entire life and it feels like I should know I am loved by now. But Blanche's birthday, that's a celebration. I have to celebrate because she is the best thing I have ever done. She knows she is loved, but she hasn't even lived long enough to understand what a birthday is. Blanche is living each of her days not even knowing that she is aging with each one.

Being a parent feels strange because there was never a moment when I came to accept and say yes to these feelings I have inside of me. I can see and know that Andrew has them too. There is a feeling of great love, which can be expected, but its even more than that. It is this feeling of longing. Longing for my child to be happy and loved. Not just by me but by those around her. For Blanche to know how amazing she is and that she has something to offer the world. There are all these big emotions and feelings and then I have to try and wrap it up into a two year old's birthday party. So it looks like Elmo cupcakes and stuffed animals. New blocks and little toy animals. I guess for now gifts that are on her level. I have never wanted to be the parent that spoils their child or goes way over the top for birthdays. I do understand a little bit more though on why people do. I believe that every choice I make in raising Blanche is a way to show love, but it is hard to not celebrate with sugar and presents when she turns two.

*(My mother in law hosted Blanche's party at her house and made it so special. She went to all the work while I was tired and pregnant. I also wanted to share the reason for the first two images. Some of you follow my photos on instagram, but for those that don't, there was a very special feeling in the fact that Blanche was outside in her diaper the week before, and on the day of her birthday it was rainy and cold. Blanche brought fall with her when she was born, and she continues to even all the way down in Austin, Texas. My mother and nephew Kyetin also came for a week during Blanche's birthday and these were some of my favorite photos.)