Thursday, September 1, 2011

The BEST pumpkin bread!! (And it's vegan)

Okay, so my husband and I recently met some sweet new neighbors, and we invited them over for dinner.  They told me that they were vegan, so I had to really be conscious of what was in the things I was cooking to eat!  I really got stumped when I got to dessert.  I didn't want to be too boring and serve sliced strawberries or canned peaches or something equally lame, so I was excited when I found a recipe for vegan pumpkin bread.

I consider myself a conisseur of pumpkin breads and this one (even being vegan and all) was EASILY the tastiest ever!  Here's the recipe, which I found on allrecipes.com


1 c. chopped walnuts  (I only used 1/2 cup, and wished I had bought more!)
3.5 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. packed dark brown sugar
2/3 c. white sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1.5 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 c. pumpkin puree (I used Libby's canned pumpkin and it turned out delish - it came out to maybe 1.5 cans)
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
2/3 c. coconut milk (NOT coconut water!)
2/3 c. flaked coconut


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour two 8"x4" loaf pans.  (I used Pam for baking instead of greasing and flouring and I could only find 9"x5" loaf pans - both worked great)

2.  Toast walnuts if you want for 5-10 minutes in the oven (I didn't do this part)

3.  In a large bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, white sugar, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.

4.  Add pumpkin puree, oil, applesauce and coconut milk to the dry ingredients.  Mix til all the flour is absorbed. 

5.  Fold in the flaked coconut and walnuts.

6.  Divide the batter evenly between your prepared pans and put into the oven.

7.  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven (or until a knife in the middle comes out clean - you know the drill).

8.  NOW HERE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART!!!!!!!  After the loaves are baked and the knife comes out clean, remove the loaves from the oven and cover them TIGHTLY with aluminum foil.  Let the loaves steam for 10 minutes!  After 10 min., remove the foil and turn the loaves out onto a cooling rack.  Tent them loosely with the foil now, and let them cool.

9.  EAT!!!  (And don't tell people they're vegan.  Seriously.  It really scares people for some unknown reason.  They are delicious!!!)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Blog Challenge: Day 8

Today's topic is: Someplace I've visited.

Well, I like to travel a LOT.  Like, I'd sell everything I own and become a hippie gypsy if Ryan would 1) allow it and 2) come with me.  I don't want to go alone!

Here's where I've been by continent:

Cape Town, South Africa
Hermanus, SA


Saigon, Vietnam
Hanoi, Vietnam
Vung Tau, Vietnam
Tokyo, Japan


Amsterdam, Netherlands
London, England
Paris, France (got engaged here - awww)
Nice, France
Milan, Italy
Lake Como, Italy
Rome, Italy
Pompeii, Italy
Florence, Italy
Venice, Italy
Bologna, Italy
Lucerne, Switzerland
Wengen, Switzerland (LOVED)
Bern, Switzerland

North America:
Oklahoma City, OK (hahaha!)
San Diego
Honolulu, HI (where we were married - awww)
Kauai, HI
San Francisco
Chicago - lovely in summer
And pretty much everywhere else in OK, AL and MS)
Cancun, Mexico
Acapulco, Mexico
Cozumel, Mexico
Tikal, Guatemala
Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala
Nassau, Bahamas
Freeport, Bahamas

South America

Next up:  Miami in 2 weeks

Costa Rica - August 2012

Brazil - 2014

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Rough day

SO...I cannot get out of my funk!  Two things happened recently which made me funkier (???)  Not like funky funky, but like pissy funky.  Ha!

1.  People who have babies due in January 2012 (when our baby was due) are now announcing "It's a Girl!" and "It's a Boy!".  I kind of want to announce  "Baby T due 1/24/12.  J/K!  It died!!"  GAG.

2.  I learned that it most likely wasn't some one-off chromosomal thing that caused the last miscarriage.  It was because I have a luteal phase defect.  Apparently my corpus luteum sucks.    Looks like I get to take progesterone forever.  GAG.

If you read this, so sorry for the negativity.  Tomorrow will be a better day!  (Repeat.  Repeat.)  In other news, I look really cute today.  I bought a new Joie top at the new Saks Off 5th when the new outlet mall opened in OKC.  YAY!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Blog Challenge: Day 7

Today's post is favorite movies.  I have a few.

They are:

The Little Princess - starring Miss Shirley Temple.  I just adored this movie growing up, and probably watched it 50 times.  It's about this little girl, Sara Crewe, whose dad goes off to war and leaves her at boarding school.  Obvs, the headmistress is evil and makes Sara a servant.  Well, Sara knows her dad will be coming back for her, and so she checks the infirmary regularly to try to find him.  No big deal for a 6 year old.  But it's precious - and I love it.  Here's the trailer from 1939!  


Another favorite movie is Chips the War Dog.  This one's a Disney movie from 1990 about a German Shepherd that is loaned by a family to the military.  He fought in WWII alongside his handler and actually received a bunch of military awards, including a Purple Heart and a Silver Star.  However, the army took them back, because apparently they can't give awards to non-humans.  Boo.  He was a hero!  I couldn't find a clip on YouTube - I guess you'll just have to get the DVD!

And my final fave movie: Sliding Doors.  This one had Gwyneth Paltrow as a lady and it follows her parallel universe lives - one in which she makes a train and one in which she misses the train.  It's kinda cheesy, but I like it.  It's super interesting and delightful!  Here's the trailer!


Pinterest train of thought

So I was on pinterest (like I am 22 hours of the day) and someone posted a recipe for banana bread.  It sounded yum - you can find that post on my pinterest account here.  I'm trying it asap!  But then I decided to go check out the website that the pin came from.  It's called Shabbottshabits.com.  The author of the blog is trying to really change her lifestyle.  I like to watch shows like the Biggest Loser and Extreme Makeover: Weightloss Edition and watch people change their lives through eating healthily and exercising.  However, I watch these shows while sitting on my couch and eating Doritos and then I drink a Dr. Pepper and go to bed.  I have very grand ideas about getting up early and working out (which I did for a year or two) to lose weight.  These people on the weight loss shows have these "breakthrough moments" where all of their new healthy habits stick with them and miraculously they "get it" and can drop the weight.  So I'm still waiting for this magical moment to occur for me - haha!  But anyhoo, back to the point of the story.  This gal, Ms. Shabbott, has decided to make changes in her lifestyle month by month, using a 13-month plan.  The plan is this:

Devote 28 days to each habit - the first 21 days form the habit and the last 7 make it stick.  So goes the theory.  Here are the habits:

Habit 1: Drink More Water - 64 oz. or more per day.

Habit 2: Move it or Lose it: 45 minutes of cardio 5 times per week - also make small changes: take stairs whenever possible, get up from my desk and move around, and extend Kiki's walks by 5-10 minutes each day.  

Habit 3: Breakfast of Champions:  Have a healthy and balanced breakfast each and every day.  Experiment to find tasty and healthy breakfasts - we can't have Eggs Benedict every day, I don't guess.

Habit 4: Sleep Like a Baby: OH!  I should be good at this one.  Get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.  No caffeine before bed.

Habit 5: Say Yes to Fruits and Veggies: Get the recommended servings of fruits and veg each day, AND try F&V that I don't normally eat.  Yes, I'm talking to you, bok choy.  So for me, that's 2 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of veggies per day.

Habit 6: No Wait for Weights: Lift weights 5 days per week.  

Habit 7: Empty out Empty Calories: Bye-bye candy, gum, sweet tea (SOB), and DP.  Thank God they make caffeine-free Diet DP, so I'm all good.  Alcohol=2 drinks max per week.  Baked goods and sweets only occasionally.

Habit 8:  Take your Vitamins!  And by that, she means daily.

Habit 9:  No Artificial Sweeteners - see ya Splenda, Equal and Pink Stuff.

Habit 10: Core Challenge:  Do core exercises daily - hello - I DID learn this routine at bootcamp.  I can do this again!

Habit 11:  Portion Control:  Don't eat so much!!

Habit 12:  Meditation Sensation: 15 minutes of quiet time/yoga/stretching each day.

Habit 13: Peace-Out Processed Foods: No pre-packaged foods.  That includes Oreos and Weight Watchers Smart Ones.  

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Blog Challenge: Day 6

Okay, back on track now.  Today's post is a photo that makes me happy.

Aaah - 4 years ago tomorrow, my lovely husband and I were married in Hawaii.  This pic reminds me of how fun it was.  Our friends and family gathered in Honolulu for the big day - it was perfection.   :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I now interrupt the regularly scheduled blog posting...

to tell you that I'm annoyed with babies.  And facebook.  And people posting cutesy baby crap on facebook.  I swear to god, every time I log onto fb, someone else is pregnant.  Or showing pics from their baby showers.  Or their nurseries.  And then comes the five minute spiral into my personal pity party, complete with screeching violins.  I hate trying so hard to have a baby.  I hate that other people don't have to try.  I hate teenagers who get pregnant and go on idiotic reality shows about what horrible parents they are.  I hate that some people are lucky enough to have children, only to treat them like crap.  AND I hate what this hatred is doing to me.  I am mean.  I am hateful.  My bestie told me she was pregnant the other day and instead of responding that I was so excited (which I am - duh), I told her I was going to steal her baby.  WTF?  Who says that?!?!  Sigh.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Blog Challenge: Day 5

Welp, today's topic is a song to dewcribe my mood.  It's a JT song.  It's ALWAYS JT.  Today I think I'm in a "Carolina in My Mind" kind of mood.  It takes me back to the summer of 2001.  I had this teensy apartment in Norman on the second story of a home near the Theta house.  I LOVED it.  It had a tiny kitchen with a weird walk-in pantry, a little living room and a bedroom with the closet built inside one of the house's dormers.  There were little bitty hidey holes all over - stash holes that would have been a mobster's dream (or a drug dealer's - ha!).  I tried to find pics, but I failed.  Sigh.  Oh well - surely I have some somewhere.

Anyhoo, I would hang out in my little upstairs apartment and at first I only had a radio, no TV.  So I listened to my James Taylor Greatest Hits CD that I got at Hastings on repeat.  I would play it for white noise as I went to sleep.  (As my first time living completely on my own, white noise was a MUST).  I am slightly (ok, very) paranoid, and I thought every noise was someone coming to get me!  He really helped me sleep and to this day, a little JT puts me right out. :)  I LOVE him. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Blog Challenge: Day 4

 Doing zero better with timely posts.  :/  Today's Blog Challenge post is about my parents!

These are my parents with me at my 30th birthday party:

And my mom at my wedding:

They are both just wonderful - my mom is a very sweet lady, and I have loads of fun memories with her.  Like when I was obsessed with acting out television commercials and she would oblige me and play the non-starring roles.  And how she drove me around to sell Girl Scout cookies, come hell or high water.  (I did sell enough to pay most of my way to GS Camp, so it was totally worth it!).  She's loud and super talkative and my most favorite thing to do is to make her laugh so hard she can't talk or breathe - it's HILARIOUS because she still tries to talk through sobs of laughter and it sounds like gibberish!)  She truly is a nice nice person-she will do anything ANYTHING for me and I probably don't tell her enough that I appreciate her.  But I do.  I LOVE YOU, MOM!!!  :)

Usually, she is behind the camera snapping the pics, but I have a few of her too!

Here we are with my sweet Mama at a luau in Hawaii.

And on my wedding day:

Come to think of it, I have lots of pics of me and my mom, it's my dad that rarely makes a photo appearance.  Here's another of he and I at my birthday:

He's great too.  Super laid-back, loves outdoorsy things like fishing and grilling out.  He is always quick to lend a hand (thanks for helping us move last year, for example! And in and out of the sorority house!  And each apartment I lived in! He could be a professional mover - ha!)  He generally is a pretty quiet guy, but has the warmest laugh - it's contagious!  :)  LOVE YOU DAD!

And although it's a parental blog post, I also have a little bro who's pretty great and deserves a mention:

  Hi Matty!

And here we are at the Black Eyed Peas / U2 concert in Norman a few years ago:

And of course, the rest of my family, my lovely second set of parents - the Tupps!  Here are all 4 of my parents:

The ladies:

Me and my MaMa - see my mom on the right getting her camera ready?  Told you!

Ryan and MaMa

In this pic from Mother's Day, you can totally see my mom cracking up - her eyes practically close and she just laughs and laughs.  Hehehehe!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Blog Challenge: Day 3

Well, apparently I'm working the 90-120 day blog challenge at this rate.

Today's topic: My first love.

I wish I had a picture of her, but I do not.  Pics from the early 80's are not easy to come by, it turns out.

But my first love was born in Alabama, in a house across the street from where my Aunt Bessie lived.  Oh, I just loved Aunt Bessie - she was little bitty, and cute, and she had a porch swing.  Perfect, in the mind of a 5 year old.  

But back to my first love.  I crawled around on this floor, peeking into a cabinet, where a momma cat was hiding her little kittens.  My parents let me have one, which I promptly named Cupcake!  I loved Cupcake. She lived with us in Mississippi and eventually had a few litters of her own kittens,  a few of which I loved dearly.  But Cupcake was my very very first love!  She was gray and white, kind of like this:

And it was one of her babies that became my BFF - his name was Cinnamon.

He kinda looked like this - only with more brown instead of all the white on his back leg.  He was a gem - he'd let me and my brother carry him around our necks, like a scarf.  He was also enormous - a huge tom cat that fought with other cats during the night (loudly) and loved on us during the day.

And his littermate was my bro's fave cat: Flour or Flower - there's a debate today over his correct name.  I say it's Flour to go with all the cooking and pastry names, and others think it's Flower like from Bambi. Who knows?  My 2 year old brother named him!

He looked something like this:

Flower had a short temper.  And that's about all I have to say about him - HA!

And now I'm deathly allergic to cats - and I'm now a dog person!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Blog Challenge: Day 2!

Okay, after the day off yesterday from blogging (I DID have to drive to the Texas state line to see Steely Dan play at Winstar Casino last night, so that's my excuse), I am back for Day 2 of the Blog Challenge.

Today's task is to name something I'd like to do before I die.

My answer: Step foot on all 7 continents!

Here is where I have been:

1.  North America (duh).  This is where I call home!

2. Africa.  In 2004, Ryan and I got to visit South Africa for the launch of a new motorcycle (one of the major perks of running the dealership, for sure!)

3.  Europe.  Been a few times to a few different places, most recently in 2007 to Milan for the EICMA show (another motorcycle event) and a little vacation in Bologna.

4.  Asia.  Ryan had already been to this continent (Russia), so I caught back up - ha!  We went to Vietnam and Japan in March 2011 - it was awesome (and sweltering)!

Those are my have-dones.

Now for the to-do list:

1.  South America.  I've planned (in my head) many trips to South America, but I think it will come true in 2014.  My kooky husband wants to go to the World Cup in Brazil - and I am ALL about it!  But someday, I also hope to see Machu Picchu and the Galapagos (in one trip - that's totally doable!)

2.  Australia.  Hopefully we can see the land down under by cruise ship, because I am DYING to see the South Pacific - Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji, Samoa, etc. and there are many decently affordable cruises leaving from Sydney going to these destinations.

And last, but not least...ANTARCTICA!  I am just SO pumped to visit someday.  Just to say I've been.  For no other reason.  Except maybe to visit the penguins.  And because you board your ship to get to Antarctica from South America.  So it's like a two-in-one!

That's my life's goal.  Fingers crossed I get to them all!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Day 1 of the Blog Challenge

Haha!  Well, obviously I'm prompt, seeing as how 4 days have passed since I committed to the 30-day Blog Challenge.  Sigh.  I really do have the best intentions, I swear!  So maybe this will be more like the 40-45 day blog challenge, with 30 posts.  Ha!

Well, Day 1 is to introduce myself and provide 15 facts about myself, so here goes!

Hi, I'm Jenn!  This is me (any my husband):

I was born in Alabama and lived in Mississippi until I was in third grade - at that point my family moved to Oklahoma, where I still live.  I went to OU and OU Law, and now work for the family business.

Here are 15 things about me!

1.  I don't like watermelon

2. I love dogs, and would be a crazy dog hoarder if my husband would let me have more than one

3. I am obsessed with collecting things I don't use (For example, I have over 200 vintage James Avery charms and I'm always on the lookout for more, even though my 2 charm bracelets are bursting)

4.  I like thinking and scheming and planning (more so than doing)

5.  I am obsessed with making my yard beautiful  (I want to be the "good grass" house)

6.  I love swimming and am debating rejoining the Y so that I have pool access

7.  I feel like I'm a really fantastic driver, and that no one but me was properly taught how to drive.  (It feels that way, anyway)

8.  I cannot mask my feelings - you've heard of "heart on your sleeve", well that's me to a T.

9.  Love rainstorms, but am scared of thunder.  And fireworks.  And loud bangs in general.

10.  I'm a light sleeper, so I wake up about 1.3 billion times per night.  Unless the vent is on - with white noise I can sleep thru anything (except a loud thunderstorm)

11.  I'm a salty/savory person.  I do NOT have a sweet tooth.

12.  I've been to 4 continents and hope to visit all before I die.

13.  I struggle at times, but I try to remind myself that I have it pretty great!

14.  I've lived in Oklahoma for over 20 years now, and the only time I've seen a 'nader (knock on wood) was in Mississippi.  How strange!

15.  I love Akitas - I think I will always want to own one of this awesome breed of dogs.  And to leave you, a picture of my sweet Kiki dog.

This is when he was younger - now he spends most of his day like this:

Asleep!  :)


Friday, July 8, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge

So I was reading this super cute blog, Truly Thompson, and stumbled across a post she did for a 30 day blog challenge.  I decided it sounded like a fun project, so I have decided to do one of my own!  The basic gist is that you blog every day for thirty days about random stuff.  Here is the schedule:

Day 1: Introduce, recent picture of yourself and 15 interesting facts
Day 2: Something you want to do before you die
Day 3: Your first love
Day 4: Your parents
Day 5: A song to match your mood
Day 6: A picture of something that makes you happy
Day 7: Favorite movies
Day 8: A place you've travelled to
Day 9: A favorite picture of someone you could never imagine your life without
Day 10: Something you're afraid of
Day 11: Favorite TV shows
Day 12: Something you don't leave the house without
Day 13: Something that means a lot to you
Day 14: A picture of you last year - how have you changed?
Day 15: Favorite pet
Day 16: Dream house
Day 17: Something you're looking forward to
Day 18: Favorite food
Day 19: Something you miss
Day 20: Picture that always makes you smile
Day 21: Favorite picture of yourself of all time.  Why?
Day 22: What's in your purse?
Day 23: Favorite singer/band/artist
Day 24: Something you've learned
Day 25: Picture of the place you'd love to visit most
Day 26: Your dream wedding
Day 27: Photo of the city you live in
Day 28: Pet peeves
Day 29: 3 wishes
Day 30: A picture of yourself this day and 5 good things that have happened since you started the challenge.

See you tomorrow for Day 1!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Things I can do

Well obviously, the number one thing on my mind right now is the baby we lost.  And how soon we can try for another little one.  BUT my OB was very specific when I went in for my D&C that she did not want me getting pregnant for at least one full cycle.  Although this is 4-6 weeks away, it still feels like an eternity.  So rather than focusing on NOT being able to try for another baby, I have decided to try to focus on what I CAN do.  These include:

  • Call fence guy to get rear fence installed
  • Call gate guy to get gate plans arpproved and move forward with the Historical Society to get the gate installed
  • Call gutter guy to get gutters installed
  • Buy book on laying flagstone to prepare for our 4th of July project (which I have decided is laying a flagstone porch/walkway in our backyard)
  • Call sprinkler people to get estimates for sprinkler installation
  • Clean out storage room
  • Clean out basement and waterproof it
  • Close crawl space
  • Buy new door for basement to make a storm shelter type-space out of it
  • Paint old storage room
  • Move guest room into old storage room
  • Paint old guest room blue
That list should keep me occupied for a while...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Baby News

Please note:  This is not seeking sympathy.  I just wrote what I was feeling to remember it someday  (hopefully when I am snuggling our baby).  Also, sorry if it's TMI.  Get over it.

On May 22, when I got home from Dallas for Cathy's shower, I began to suspect I might be pregnant.  So I took a pregnancy test, expecting a negative like it had been for months before.  Well, this one was positive!  I was so excited and ran to show Ryan, who was thrilled as well.  I called my dr the very next morning, but she wanted to wait to see me after 2 weeks passed, since she didn't see patients before 6 weeks since LMP.  I guess I detected it really early, and my scheduled appointment would have been at the beginning of week 7 of the pregnancy.

Well those 2 weeks were torture, but finally my appointment rolled around and I went, full of excitement!  She chatted with me and sent me for bloodwork.  I also mentioned to her that I felt absolutely NO symptoms whatsoever, and if the stick didn't say so, I would not know I was pregnant (at least according to the symptoms I was supposed to be feeling at this gestation).  Well, that seemed to worry her, so she sent me for an ultrasound the next day as well to date the pregnancy and to check the viability of the baby.

 I went to the lab and had blood drawn and then went back to work, waiting for the u/s the next day.  Another long night!  Well, the ultrasound tech couldn't find anything transabdominally, so she opted for a transvaginal u/s to check on the babe.  At this time, she showed me my uterus and the gestational sac.  She thought she saw the fetal pole and she dated the pregnancy to 5 weeks, 1 day, which was 2 weeks off from my LMP.  So this worried me because what on earth had the baby been doing in there for 2 weeks?!?!  Anyhoo, she also said that she thought she saw the flutter of the baby's heartbeat, which made me super excited, so I didn't worry.

Later that day, the dr got my lab results back and said that my progesterone was low.  She said it should be in the 20 range, but mine was at a 5.  Since progesterone is what keeps you from shedding your uterine lining while you're pregnant, it is super important for this hormone to be present during pregnancy, or I would run the risk of miscarriage.  So she put me on progesterone supplements twice a day to get the levels raised.  Plus, after looking at my u/s results, she thought that both my hormone levels and the u/s were dating the baby to about 5w1d gestation.  Fine by me!  I can deal with a February baby instead of a January baby!

My dr scheduled me for another round of labs the next week, and a follow-up u/s at the end of the following week.  The first stop was my appointment for labwork.  The phlebotomist drew a sample of blood and I left with my fingers crossed.  And then got a call saying that my hcg levels were off.  I didn't really ask many questions, just kind of mumbled okay, thought the worst, and hung up.  But as I did some online research, I learned that this can be okay, and a healthy pregnancy can still come of this.  So when she called back the next morning to tell me that my progesterone levels were up where they needed to be, thanks to the drugs, I asked the nurse what my hcg levels were exactly.

The results:  on the first day I went in for bloodwork, the hcg level was 1312.  Apparently it is supposed to double every 48-72 hours, so being generous and saying every 72 hours, my levels should have been around 5200 or so for my bloodwork exactly one week later.  Well, they were at 1832.  NOT good.  The nurse has told me that it looks like this pregnancy will end in a miscarriage.  But to wait and see a few days later with more bloodwork and then attending my u/s as scheduled.  So the next lab appointment came and my level had dropped, apparently a certain sign of a miscarriage or an impending miscarriage.

And I was/am heartbroken.

But then I think, hey!  I still have the u/s to look forward to on Friday.  I should just wait until then to see if they can find a heartbeat before I have a meltdown.  Because I read somewhere that if you can see the heartbeat, there is a 70% likelihood that the baby will be a viable pregnancy.  But my OB wanted to cancel my u/s, as there was almost no possible way there would be a viable baby in there after my hcg started declining.  So I cancelled it.  And instead, had to schedule a D&C to remove the deceased fetus.  :(

My feelings have been all over the map.  I obviously want a healthy baby, so if there is something wrong with this one, I'd rather just miscarry and try again for a healthy baby.  But another part of me wants THIS baby.  The one that is already inside of me (but an obviously unhealthy one who has stopped growing).  And then I sink into a pity party.  I get SO sad about the loss.  And then it turns to blame - maybe that Dr. Pepper I drank caused it.  Maybe the glass of iced tea caused it.  Maybe it had a genetic disorder.  I JUST DON'T KNOW!  And it is driving me nuts.  No one would want to be so excited to be pregnant (as we were), and then learn of an impending miscarriage.  Let's just get it over with already.

Plus, I'm not really a religious person, which also plays into my pity party.  I start to wonder if maybe I went to church or prayed more, maybe I would have had a healthy baby.  Maybe there really is a God, and maybe he's punishing me right now for not behaving.  (Not a way to win fans, by the way).  But then my rational brain kicks in and then I realize it is just natural selection at work, weeding out the baby with problems (my precious, wonderful baby, sadly).

And then what do I do with the baby crap I've already purchased?  I've got the nursery planned out - already bought the rug and called a wood floor refinisher to come give me an estimate for sealing the floors.  And I've called a landscaper to make our yard a safe fun place for kids.  And a gate to keep the bad guys out.  And I've been eating super healthily, giving the baby TONS of nutrient rich foods and milk.  So that can't be it.  Or did I do something wrong?

It just sucks.  I want to move on and try again.  If I have to think about it, do I have to acknowledge that it WAS going to be our baby, and name it as I would have before?  And mourn it?   And do I have to change my nursery ideas for the next baby that we do have?  And rethink names?  Or is that horrible of me to worry about that?!

I just want it to be over, and for the next stage of my life to begin - the one where we can start again.  I willl continue eating healthily and exercising in case that was it.  I will be proactive next time, knowing about my low progesterone in this pregnancy.  I am also really scared about trying again--what if I conceive and then it dies again?  Am I unable to carry a child?  I don't want to have to be strong enough to go through this again.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Random Musings 4

1.  I really like the new Chris Brown song, and wish I could understand the lyrics and rap along with the song.

2.  I simply cannot write a capital "I" without the extra lines on the top and bottom (or its roof and shoes, as I like to say).  I just cannot do it!  The "I without" is so much prettier at times, and I'll start out with the good intention to make a cute I.  And I will get the envelope addressed or whatever, and the I (in MI, for example) sticks out at me like a sore thumb.  

3.  I also really like cupcakes.

4.  Dear Mr. Lupe Fiasco:  there is no such thing as a win-doo.  Just so you know.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Baby Shower and Decor!

Recently I was a co-hostess for a friend's baby shower.   She was my Big during my sorority days at Delta Gamma and she is expecting a sweet baby boy any day now.  My tasks for the shower were decorations and party favors.  I just KNEW that a diaper cake was a must-have.  But I had no idea how to go about making one.  So I did some google homework and came up with a plan. 

First, I needed supplies.  Tecate (with limes, of course) and diapers.  You would be surprised how many dirty looks I got at CVS while buying this combo of items.  I mean really...if I'm buying diapers, surely that means "my baby" has already been BORN, so I'm not a horrible pregnant drinking mother.  Duh.  Just a horrible drinking nursing mother, for all you know!

I spread out in the living room - thrilling my husband to no end.

Each of these NINETY-TWO(!!!!!) diapers had to be rolled and secured with a rubber band around the middle.  That took awhile!  Luckily I had booze.

Wow!  That's a lot of diapers - but really, not even half!

Then each rolled diaper had to be tied with blue and white gingham ribbon - this was to hide the rubber band!

Each finished diaper looked like this:

Then it was time to start building.  I got a cardboard cake round from Hobby Lobby to use as my base.  First I hot-glued a large bottle of baby powder to the center of the board.  (Actually, the first time I missed and had to unstick it and measure out the center, because when I eyeballed it, it looked wonky and lopsided).  So this is take 2.

I used a large rubberband to hold the first layer of diapers to the powder bottle.  Then another larger rubberband (from our dinner asparagus - look at me, so clever!) to do the next layer.

Aaah - taking a break and sitting on the couch - wood floors hurt your bum after a few hours of diaper rolling!

This is it after two layers were added on the bottom.  See how the baby powder will act as the next tier's base as well??

Then I added a layer on the second tier, and secured with a rubber band.  Also at Hobby Lobby, I found a gigantic oversized baby bottle (I think it may also be a bank??) to top the cake.  I hotglued the bottom of the bottle to the top of the baby powder - this would become my third and final tier.

Next I added another layer of diapers to the bottom tier and wrapped a 1" wide ribbon to the bottom of the first tier, securing with hot glue.  Also note that I made sure the be-ribboned diapers were on the outside of the cake to up the "finished" factor of the cake.  This last layer of diapers was really tricky, since 1) I didn't have a large enough rubber band for that and 2) you can't use hot glue on the diapers themselves since they are supposed to be useful to the expectant mother!!  So I had to get Ryan to help me with that step, as the ribbon has to be pulled taut in order to keep the diapers from falling out!

Now repeat with the top two layers.  When all was said and done, there were three layers on the bottom tier, two on the second tier and one on the top.

DONE!  (Almost!)

Here is a picture of the cake on shower day - I went to Pinkitzle and bought tons of blue M&Ms to fill the bottle with!  I waited to add those til the last minute, since I hauled this cake from my house in OKC to the shower location - a park in Dallas!  (Oh, and the bottom of the cardboard round was covered with the same ribbon as each layer of the cake - thanks to another co-host (and my Grand-Big) Ms. Darcy Ford!  **Snaps**)

That was definitely the most time-consuming decoration.  I also painted these cute little wooden letters I got at Hobby Lobby.  I tried to match the shower invitation with the colors for the letters (I will scan a pic of the invite in later - ooh, it was SO cute - I got them from Tiny Prints and they were precious!!!)

Back to the letters - I painted them all white first, and then added the blues and browns with paint pens.  

A few more beers were needed - haha!

And the result:

AWWWWWWWW.  Next I made signs to alert people that they'd arrived at the party!  I found these in the clearance aisle at Hobby Lobby and they were perfect with the shower colors.  I just wrote on them in brown paint pen and done!

OH!  And I also bought these yard stakes to hold these signs - I bought blue spray paint and Ryan sprayed them blue!  These stakes held these signs and some balloons.  Did you know HL sells mini helium tanks?  Well they do and they are awesome!!!  Here is the finished result:

I also found a super cute banner on etsy for the shower - here are pics of it:

The set-up for the shower was pretty easy - since it was held at an outdoor pavillion, we really only had to add tablecloths and balloons to make it festive!  But it was SUPER windy on the day of the shower, which made me glad I 1) got flowers for the tables and 2) got weights for the edges of the tablecloths.  They were amazingly helpful - I found them at (guess where? )  Hobby Lobby and they were miracle workers.  You just clip them on the edges of the tablecloths and they hold it in place!

The park was beautiful and everyone seemed to have a good time.  Plus, Cathy got lots of cool stuff for Baby C!

Finally, my favorite part: COOKIE FAVORS!  I went to One Smart Cookie, which I believe is a franchise type store, to get these favors.  I had her made little blue onesies with C on the front.  They were big!!  And had the cutest little details, like silver balls as the little snaps at the bottom of the onesie.  Too cute!  Here's the not cute part: I paid to have them individually wrapped in cellophane and tied with blue ribbons at the top.  Ummm...these are just laying in a box.  Which is how I got them.  But after I pitched a good old-fashioned fit, the nice lady at the store gave me the stuff for free so that I could wrap them myself.  I saved 50 cents a cookie this way, but still!  I picked these up Friday afternoon, and was heading for Dallas Saturday at 7 am.  I knew what my Friday night entailed! HA!

Wrapping cookies!  It was hard!  Those suckers wanted to shift all around in their bags, making tying the ribbon kind of hard!  Luckily, Ryan did the heavy lifting on this task.  

For his help, he ate two of the cookies.  hehehe!

And here are the pretty cookies on the table ready to be eaten!

Nina was in charge of the cake - and it was SO cute and more importantly, SO yummy!

Eventually, Darcy and I became a little sunburned and kooky and things like this started happening...

Darcy used my silver platter to tan.

Darcy twirled a sign like a baton.

Darcy apparently does not watch America's Next Top Model like a good American.  I told her to give me fierce and she gave me a cat.

Interpretive dance. 

I have two thumbs!

And a lovely singing voice.  I think this was me operatically singing the praises of nature??

Finally, we calmed down and took a pic with Cathy - and here are the hostesses with the beautiful mom-to-be!!

Now hurry up and get here, Baby!