Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Momma Cat

We picked out this "grandma" name for my mom many years ago, when some other kid happened to call her that. I don't remember all the details of that story, but the name seemed to stick. I'm not sure if my mom wants to keep that name, now that she is, in fact, a grandmother--but until I hear otherwise, that's what I'm sticking with.

Anyway, my mom went back to Montana on Saturday. Reese and I hated to see her go--especially after she had been taking such good care of us all week! It was so wonderful to have her here for two whole weeks! She was a huge help in getting us settled into our new apartment. She and I ran errand for two days straight getting things for the apartment--groceries, area rugs, lamps, etc. Then we spent another two days finishing unpacking boxes and finding a place for everything. My mom hung all our pictures (I really struggle with that) and made everything look so put-together and homey!

My mom was even more of a help after we came home from the hospital! She slept in the baby's room and rocked her to sleep, changed her diaper before feedings--even gave her a bottle for one feeding each night so I could catch some more z's! She made us dinner every night and even left a batch of cookie dough in the fridge for after she was gone. What a star!

It was so much fun to have her with me for so long to hang with, play with all day long, play with Reese together (Reese LOVES her Momma Cat!) and ask questions about what to do with a brand new baby. The two weeks went by way too quickly and we can't wait to have Momma Cat back! Reese really misses her roommate--she did not want to transition into sleeping by herself in her own bed (we are still working on that).

Thank you so much, Mom, for everything. I couldn't have done it without you. We miss you like crazy and can't wait to see you soon!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Wii Night

Check out these pictures-- every time I see them I want to die laughing! I think they are hilarious! We went out to dinner with some friends a few weeks ago and then went to play Wii for a little bit. (It was Mike's and my first time to play Wii, and I think Mike was hooked! I had to take it a little bit easier, since I was very pregnant at the time.) The boys were so funny about it! Here Sterling and Mike are playing the boxing game and Mike was seriously working up a sweat--it was so funny to watch! We also tried Tennis and Baseball--but the boxing showdowns were definitely my favorite.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A chip off the ol' block

My roommate at BYU, Heidi, used to make fun of the way I slept. No, I don't snore. I used to sleep on my back with my hands crossed across my chest. When I saw this little mush sleeping just like her mom used to, I just had to document it to show Heidi that my baby girl is already a chip of the ol' block. (I haven't been able to sleep on my back for months! And now I can truly appreciate it as one of the best things about not being pregnant anymore.) Heid, you may be the only one who gets how funny this is, but I thought you would at least enjoy this.
Reese doesn't quite yet fill this sleeper's a 0-6 month sleeping gown, which is so nice for easy diaper checks in the middle of the night, but Reese pretty much swims in it for now. "You'll soon fit into it, Titch."

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sweet Baby Reese

Back by popular demand, here are a few more pictures of our sweet baby girl. This is Reese in one of her newborn outfits that actually fits! I love that she is posing and showing off the strawberry detail on the bottom of her foot.

One wakey, wakey picture. Those are a little tricky to get with my camera--I am having serious camera technical difficulties lately. The light of my flash goes off and Reese makes a face, like, "what the?" and I either get a picture with eyes closed or a weird face.

This pic is from our day trip to the library. I live essentially across the street from a public library and today my mom and I bundled Reese up for the first stroller outing. She had her clothes on, then a pink fleece coverup, then a light blanket wrapped around her under her seatbelt, then two big blankets doubled up on top. She looked hilarious! It was pretty windy outside, but she stayed quite warm!
Here's another view of the fleece coverup onesie. Ooh, she is a musher!

Friday, February 15, 2008

She is here!

Baby Reese was born this afternoon and she is beautiful! 7 lbs 9 oz. and 20 3/4 inches and not even a squishy head! Mommy Taryn is doing well also and I think Michael has never been better! (this is Lauren, guest blogging, I just couldn't wait to share these pictures with Taryn's readers) - Here are some pictures to hold you over until Taryn can post on her own. Isn't she just soooo cute!!!!! Congratulations Tar and Mike!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

D-day come and gone...

Ok, I guess the entire day is not over yet...but it is after 9pm and there has been no sign of a baby.

In hindsight, it's probably best that she didn't come yesterday, as my mom and I spent the entire day running much needed, post move-in errands. But today is the actual due date, and still no change. We spent today doing much of the same--we ran errands all morning, came home and unpacked more boxes--I must say the new place is looking a lot more like a home now!

We started the morning off at Let's Dish, putting together dinners for later. It was so much fun! There are a dozen or so stations at Let's Dish, each with the ingredients to make a different meal--you put the meal together in freezer bags and take them home to eat when you want. (Right now we are doing mostly take-out, as we don't have countertops or a sink just yet.) After Let's Dish, my mom and I went to some furniture stores, some carpet stores and, of course, Wegman's. By mid-afternoon, we had been walking all day and still no contractions. (What's a girl got to do?!) I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow morning and hopefully he will give me good news.

Until then...

Friday, February 08, 2008

Thoughts at 39 weeks and 5 days...

Now is not a good time to tell me, "I never carried any of my babies that long." If you are lucky enough to deliver a couple weeks early, don't rub it in. I had two or three people tell me something like that last week. Luckily, I wasn't feeling horrible at the time, so it didn't bother me that much. However, if I were feeling as bad as I hear you can in the last few weeks, I wouldn't want to hear any bragging about delivering early--just a tip. If you come across someone at 39 weeks and 5 days pregnant, the best thing to do is just tell her how great she looks, even if you have to lie.

I was talking to my friend the other day and she asked me, "Can you believe that by this time next week you could have a baby?!" No, I can't. Not even close. I'm not exactly sure why...because my belly is huge, and my doctor tells me that I'm making progress when I go to my now weekly appointments, but somehow I still can't wrap my head around the concept that I am actually going to have a baby in less than a week and a half. (I'm due on Tuesday and my doc won't let me go longer than a week past due.) Should this worry me? When does it sink in?

I mean, if you ask me if I'm ready...I guess that depends. I've done all of Baby Girl's laundry--washed all her newborn clothes, blankets, burp clothes, etc. in the Dreft detergent that some doctors recommend, which I must say was pretty fun because now it all smells like a baby! I've got a car seat, which is the only thing the hospital requires you have before they let you take the baby home. I've got diapers, wipes, bottles, blankets, towels, washclothes, Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo (LOVE that smell!)...Michael and I got a new apartment, in which the baby gets her very own bedroom (today is actually moving day--isn't Baby Girl a doll for waiting until we are moved in before making her debut?!). Michael and I are going to take a tour of the maternity ward at the hospital this afternoon, so we will have a clue where to go and what to do when the time comes. And, lastly, my mom arrives tomorrow. So, yes, it would appear that we are technically ready for the baby to arrive. But, how do you actually get ready to have a baby? (Someone passing through our office one day at work said to me, "No one can prepare you for delivering a baby...nothing you read, nothing you hear..." I don't think she was trying to scare me...but she must be right. It's not like it's ever textbook. Anyway, if there is no way that I can really prepare for can I ever feel ready for that?)

I've been having a few restless nights lately...I'll wake up a few times in the middle of the night and think to myself, "my water could break at any that?, just have to pee." It's kinda like the anticipation you feel the night before Christmas morning...although all the excitement is also mixed with some anxiety, and a touch of scared-out-of-my-mind-but-isn't-it-great adrenaline.

So, there you go...these are the thoughts that go through my mind. Oh, yeah, and I also wonder how much hair she will have when she is born...whether it will be jet black, like her mom's was, or if it she will look bald with some blonde fuzz, like her dad had. Sometimes I think, "what if the doctor was wrong and the baby comes out a boy?" I try not to go there for long...what the heck would I do with all of the pink clothes and blankets I have?!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Super Bowl XLII

One thing that I LOVE about big sporting events--like the Super Bowl, or the Final Four--is that it gives me the chance to throw a party and plan a fun menu full of sports-fare! Michael and I had a Super Bowl party at his house yesterday and we had quite the spread! Michael is fast becoming the king of Brats--he loves any excuse to throw some on the bar-b-que. Apparently, he is not alone because all the guys that have come over to watch football games in the last few months have also been big fans of the "glorified hot dog", as I sometimes call them. So, while Michael plans his parties around Brats and Bauernwurst, I work on rounding out the menu with lots of chips and dips, finger foods, and desserts. On yesterday's menu were the following:

Brats and Bauernwursts
Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Mississippi Sin dip in a bread bowl
Spinach Artichoke dip
Seven Layer Dip (compliments of Lindsey N.)
A wide assortment of chips, pita chips, and crackers
A beautful veggie tray with yummy dip (compliments of Jessica)
Brownies (supplied by Lindsey S. and Jessica)
Peanut Butter Balls

I made my mom's Mississippi Sin dip, and as it always the case, it was a hit and the bread bowl was picked clean! (I'll ask her for permission to publish her recipe.) I also tried a Spinach Artichoke dip for the first time (my normal go-to is Chicken Artichoke dip, but I thought I should mix it up a little bit), and I made Heidi's Peanut Butter Balls. It was a miracle that any of the peanut butter balls actually made it to the party because I had so many little hands sneaking tastes all afternoon! (You know who you are.) I found about a zillion recipes for Spinach Artichoke dip in my search, but the one that I picked was definitely a winner--so much, in fact, that I thought I would share the recipe with all of you.

Here's what you'll need:

1 box frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup shredded mozzarella
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, plus more as needed
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Thaw spinach and squeeze all excess liquid. Place in a food processor with sour cream, Parmesan, 1/2 cup of the mozzarella, the cream cheese, garlic, pepper and hot sauce. (My food processor is boxed up in storage, and you really don't need one for this recipe.) Mix until just blended but still slightly lumpy. Add artichokes and pulse to form a chunky mixture. Place in a 1-quart baking dish. Top with remaining mozzarella. Bake until bubbly, about 30 minutes.

Serve with carrot sticks, celery sticks or tortilla strips.

Note: You can take shortcuts with low fat sour cream, reduced fat cream cheese, etc. I probably wouldn't go for fat-free, though, especially if you plan to serve it to others. ;)