Oct 31, 2010

Pumpkins and Candy, Mmm!

We had all of two trick-or-treaters tonight - the pumpkins are still lit and glowing - and we decided to have some fun of our own...

 ...and last but not least, baby boy's halloween picture 2010!

Oct 27, 2010

Two thirds

When I found out we were pregnant (5 days before I'd missed a cycle) I immediately took a picture so we'd have a 'pre' photo.  Because of how pregnant math is done, we were almost 4 weeks pregnant at that time (but really only about two).  I've had SO much fun being pregnant and watching my body change.  It sounds completely cheesy but it really is amazing what a woman's body is capable of - growing and sustaining life.

I am so, so glad I have taken weekly photos - it's neat to go back and see how much I change.  Since there's not really space to post 25 photos side by side, here are months 1-6 (and still not in the format I would have preferred, but that's another story!).

Hard to believe there are only THREE more months to go!  I've also been measuring belly circumference and it's interesting to really SEE the growth.  I was measuring weekly but then realized that there were days where I'd clearly grown so now I just do it whenever I'm thinking about it and this week from Sunday to this morning I was just under a half inch bigger.  The last photo above (also my 25 week TIBS photo) was taken on Monday.  The next 13 weeks should bring some BIG changes!! 

Hoping to have some nursery updates this weekend!

TIBS - Week 25

Week 25

Baby boy is convinced my uterus is a playground. 
Mama is convinced that watching baby boy play on (in?) said playground is fancy entertainment.
...and that about sums up the week.

PS - Baby Boy's best friend Baby Ching was born last Wednesday, happy one week Henry!

Oct 24, 2010

Nursery Sneak!

Last week when we were in NC, I stopped by the children's store to find out about ordering the chair for baby boy's room - while there, they told me our furniture had shipped.  We figured that it would be a couple weeks but got a call on Thursday that it was waiting for us.  It worked out perfectly since there was a game on Saturday and we'd already planned to be in town so we picked it up Saturday morning and it's now in the nursery!
I'll share more about the bedding when it's closer to being done - we need to add the ties/ribbon to the front and sides and the sheet we've put on now is just to give me a sense of completion until more is done in there... there are two options for where the chair will go, one is beside the crib where the stroller is now, the other is in between the window and dressed (below) - which is where I'd originally planned to have it.
The dresser would need to slide down closer to the entry, which isn't a big deal - it will all depend on the bookshelf and nightstand.  The nightstand is on back order and we haven't ordered the bookshelf yet as we haven't decided if we're going to splurge or buy one unfinished (or thrifted) and finish/refinish it in a matching espresso stain. 

Can't wait to share the wall - some of it will be done before baby comes, some parts cannot be done until after he's here.  Speaking of being here, his best friend HENRY was born on Wednesday!!!  We love baby Henry already and can't wait to meet him!!!

Oct 20, 2010

Mountain Mama

When we lived in North Carolina, I worked at an awesome shop called Great Outdoor Provision part time.  It was SO much fun and I miss it a lot.  Not only was it a great place to work where I met many great friends and interesting customers, I also enjoyed a fab wardrobe for my own adventures.  Fast forward a bit and we moved to VA and I now have a growing belly that my clothes no longer accomodate.  Not a problem for every day work and life in general - but we do almost everything outdoors when the weather is nice, so... cotton isn't exactly a girl's best friend.

My soft shell fit until just a couple weeks ago and now it no longer zips.  Thankfully, because of that I remembered I still had a blue soft shell at the shop in NC and stopped by to pick it up last weekend.  I'd forgotten about it because it was a medium - but the color was too good not to go for it so I put a little cash down and stuck it in the back.  I am SO glad I did that... it should fit perfect during the most part of when I will need it - nice!

For other needs though, I was out.  Or so I thought... before I discovered MOUNTAIN MAMA!  I can't even write more without jumping up and down to share...
Flame orange no less!   Amazing isn't it?  Not sold yet?  You must not be pregnant... It is AMAZING.  Seriously.  When the high was 60 today, I jumped at the chance to wear it.  I actually took the picture above earlier this week but the one below (also seen in TIBS Week-24) was taken today. 
(...and yes, I realize I'm looking at myself, I wasn't really thinking that I should look at the camera and thought that well, nevermind... pregnant brain?)

I was so excited to test it out, I took a short hike behind the neighborhood when I came home.  It started to rain a little so I had to cut the afternoon short, but I am in LOVE with it and know that I'll wear it to shreds.  I'm already planning to buy a medium in black.  The orange is a small and fits perfect right now so the black should carry me through the larger belly months. 

Aside from the obvious reasons to love Mountain Mama - all their gear is made in the US and they try to be as green as possible - most of their tops only have a 20 mile travel in total from production to shipping - pretty cool!  AND, because of the fab technology used in their tops, they could definitely be worn while not pregnant too!  That said, I doubt the medium I order will fit when I'm not pregnant (at least I hope it won't, ack!) but the orange one should fit for sure.  I have some Smartwool base layers and I'd say that the Cloud Rest top I have would be the equivalent to Smartwool's mid-weight apparel.  Today's weather was 60s and I was comfortable - I had a fleece vest as well that I shed once inside, but outdoors I was just fine and probably would be fine cooler as well.  Any cooler than high 50s and I'd need a soft shell as well, but I'm usually always cold so I'm sure the average person would be just fine with the top alone.

Is it obvious that I am really, really impressed with this top and Mountain Mama in general?  The best part about the company is that the owner was just like any of us, an avid outdoor loving woman with frustration over the lack of techinical clothing for pregnant women who saw a need and created a solution.  (What?  That's not you?  No worries, MtMama may have technical clothes but that also means SUPER COZY!)  A pretty awesome solution if you ask me.  Oh, and the owner, she's actively involved with the company - I spoke to her after I placed my order and she's awesome - what's not to love about Mountain Mama?!  If you're on Facebook, be sure to look 'Like' them - there are often posts about giveaways from other blogs!

TIBS - Week 24

Week 24
Baby boy is quite the mover - so far, all continues to go well.  I've gained a total of 14lbs - right on target with the recommended 25-35 for my size.  Twice daily rub downs with Lubriderm and Palmer's continues to be the routine - stretch marks are not welcome!  Evening entertainment consists of us sitting on the couch with my shirt half up so we can watch my belly move.  Why on earth we find watching the same thing so much fun is beyond me... maybe there's actually more to this whole miracle! :)
We've had one hospital tour and should have another sometime in November.  The nursery furniture has been shipped and I cannot wait to have it set up so I can get my wall plan in action - it's too complicated to describe... or I'm too lazy to try to illustrate what's in my head - you pick!

Oct 19, 2010

Baby Boy's Indian Brothers and Sisters

Of the world's malnourished children, nearly one in three lives in India, and about half of all childhood deaths are attributable to malnutrition.  In India, 1.5 MILLION children die before their fifth birthday because of unsafe water, inadequate sanitation, or poor hygiene.  Of every 1,000 babies born there alive, 52 will die before age one.  Nearly HALF of all children younger than five are malnourished.  - Compassion.com Fall 2010

Before I was pregnant, I didn't really 'get' it.  Women get pregnant, have babies, some struggle due to lack of care, some babies live, others don't, it's all in location and access to care.  Actually BEING pregnant has completely changed my view on this.  The facts remain - but it's a little scary being pregnant.  There is someone living inside of you.  Often when baby boy is really wiggly and I can look down and SEE him moving, I can't help but think, "omg it's alive!"  I WANT him to be alive, but there are just no words to really describe and express the feeling, both physically and emotionally. 

Once you're pregnant, you go to the doctor, confirm that there is a baby growing and then set up your next monthly appointment. If you have insurance, you likely won't pay again, but you'll know how much it would have cost because your insurance company will send a statement showing the total charged and how much was paid.  At each of our visits so far, the total charged has been about $300, add another $200 for sonograms - we've had four of those (we've actually had five, but one was elective because I'm impatient like that!).  The math on that brings us to just under $3,000 and we're only half way into the appointments.  When I say you likely won't pay again, I mean that we have not even had a co-pay for any of the visits. I know insurance companies work differently so this is just ours - but the point is that prenatal care is readily available and accessible if you have insurance.

For people without insurance, there are programs through most health departments that will provide routine prevention and care to a mother and her baby. 

After our first monthly prenatal appointment it really hit us how fortunate we were to not even have a co-pay ($30) for each visit.  Even when we're at the hospital and it's time for baby to debut in the flesh, we'll only pay $150 - total, all things included - yes even anesthesia if it's desired/required.  Insurance really rocks.

I promise I'm about to tie all of this together... We have several sponsored children through Compassion International and the plan is, when he's old enough (3), to request information on a little boy with Paxton's birthday.  Until then, and with all of the above thoughts in mind, we decided that we wanted to do something NOW.  Compassion has this thing called Child Survival Program that provides prenatal care, education, supplements, vaccines, and even income generating projects to pregnant women and women of young babies.  It's not a sponsorship program - but a very essential program to the women involved.  How could we not support this?  It's actually LESS than what we'd pay if we even had to cough up a co-pay each month.  It was a no-brainer.

We decided to be surprised rather than choosing a country and we have been assigned to a CSP in India called Upkar.  Right now there are about 30 women that receive benefits.  We're really excited to learn more about how we are helping them receive better care for their babies!  I LOVE that we can do this and am so thankful there are programs that provide such help to women in need.  I have WAY more to say about this, but I fear I've lost most everyone by now... if you're still here, I should totally send you a treat!  :)

Oct 12, 2010

Oliver, Harvey, Buddy & Charlotte

Remember Oliver, our evening dinner guest?  We've not seen Oliver in a few days and we worry when we don't see him.  He doesn't get close to us and we like it that way - but we do like Oliver (ok, some of us love Oliver) so we get concerned when he doesn't show up for his dinner.  Day before yesterday he finally came and we were relieved.  But then last night as I was getting in bed Chandler screamed for me to come downstairs.  I didn't really care to see the deer AGAIN so I said no... he pretty much demanded that I get downstairs.  I was half expecting to see Oliver and a posse of felines but instead, I saw THIS little guy:
 Harvey.  What is HARVEY doing here?!  Ew!  He was cute and gross at the same time.  EATING ALL OF OLIVER'S FOOD!  Poor Oliver!  So now we are back to worrying about little Oliver.  Sweet, sweet Oliver.  We decided that we didn't really know much about these things (nasty) so we read up on Wikipedia.
 No thank you Harvey... we prefer Oliver!  We watched this guy eat for several minutes, he was RIGHT on our porch!  INCHES from the door!  (EWWW!) (Seriously - ewwww!)  I don't want him to be hurt but I do NOT want him on our porch either.  We tapped on the window, he didn't budge.  We knocked on the wall, he didn't budge.  Finally, we turned the lock to the door and he seemed to take notice.  The heck?!  Is he rabid?!  We decided not to put Oliver's food out for a while in case Harvey decided to visit again.  I certainly don't want Harvey to starve but we are NOT going to invite him to dinner.  WHERE IS OLIVER!?
This is obviously not Oliver, it's another new friend this week - Buddy.  Buddy jumped up (no pun intended) on the car as we were heading to the hospital for our tour last night.  I had to stop the car, chase him down from the side view mirror to the middle of the hood, get him off... and then just because it was fun, I chased him a little because he jumped SO far.  I felt bad for scaring him, but it was hilarious - I swear he jumped almost 4 feet (ok, closer to three but STILL!) every time he leaped (lept?).  I figured he'd go back to tree frog land but Chandler said he helped him outside all day and took naps in between so I decided to make him an official friend.  I should have taken a picture of Charlotte while I was at it... Charlotte is our MASSIVE spider that took web at the corner of the porch.  We were going to spray her down (did I mention she is HUGE???), but then decided that if she made it to Halloween then she could stay a little while longer.  She has been catching several bugs but has a little white sack in her day spot and we are watching that thing like you wouldn't believe.  There will be NO mini Charlottes here - that I can assure you.  I do NOT do bugs! (NASTY!)

TIBS - Week 23

 Week 23
See me, see my basketball baby.  Er, wiggly baby.
We love wiggly baby.
Wiggly tickles.
Wiggly kicks.
Wiggly squiggles.

Oct 10, 2010

Doesn't take much

It doesn't take much to amuse us...

We have a thing for photo booths... these are a few strips from the stash. I think the last set is my favorite.  Can't wait to add Paxton!

Big Daddy

Pax went to his first concert on Friday night - it was SO much fun!  A couple months ago, our church announced that it would be hosting Big Daddy Weave (!!!) as part of their Hope Restored tour - we bought tickets the first day they were available.  Andy Kirk and Aaron Shust opened - they were AWESOME!  Andy is so cute and Aaron was very down to earth - they all were really.  I LOVED how genuine everyone was - Mike (Big Daddy) - was especially awesome!  You would have never thought any of them were well known - they were just THAT cool!  Cheesy, right?  I'm not kidding though - we had a blast! 
(Except that I got behind the woman that swayed back and forth - you know the type - the ENTIRE time so I kept having to move all around to see, and our seats were good even - blah!)

Here's Aaron:

Aaron Shust from Ginger Hatcher on Vimeo.

Pax was ALL about some BDW - here's one of the better videos I managed to get:

Big Daddy Weave from Ginger Hatcher on Vimeo.

I decided not to take my regular camera and instead just went with my Cool Pix so the video quality isn't great, but I wasn't sure if cameras were even allowed and I didn't take my bag in so I had to go with what was pocketable.  Sway lady is in the frame on the right, I'm sure you won't miss her. 

I LOVED the way they ended the night - BDW brought Andy and Aaron  back on stage and they all sang several songs combined starting with Mighty to Save - it was so, so good! 

Oct 9, 2010

Muffin Cupcakes, Mmm!

Tonight I attempted Butternut Squash soup - did you know that power tools are required to cut those things?!  I didn't think I'd ever cut into it... I finally gave up and had to go find Chandler to cut it for me.  The soup looked really, really good, but was a complete let down.  Maybe I just don't like butternut squash. 

What WAS good though, were my pumpkin muffin cupcakes - DELISH!  And they were the easiest things ever.  I read several different ways to make them and in the end didn't use any particular recipe - instead, I combined a few things and just made my own.  Box of spice cake, 20oz pumpkin, 1/2 c water, chunk of butter, mixed well - then I baked them at 350 for 20 or so minutes.  I think it was longer, I didn't really time it to be honest.  We had them plain with our gross soup and then put cream cheese icing on top of another for dessert.  We really like pumpkin around here! :)

Mom makes the BEST pumpkin roll ever!  It's in the Joy of Cooking so I should make it sometime, but it's just better when someone else does it, ha!  Do you know of any good [easy] pumpkin recipies?

Bino's Blankets

While Chandler cleaned the bathrooms I finally finished some blankets I'd been working on for Pax.  So glad to be done!  I still have a few scraps left from the first one I made so I might make something small with those, but otherwise, I'm done with blankets!  Hmm, just realized I never posted the finished first blanket.  I just used a cream colored minky on the back - it's my favorite one by far and  the one we'll likely use in his room.  The ones I made today will most likely be stroller/car seat blankets with the exception of the blue one that is shaped more rectangular for swaddling.

Oct 7, 2010

My current biggest weakness...

Thank GOODNESS we're having a boy!  It's no secret that baby girls have WAY cuter clothes that you can find almost anywhere... Boy clothes have come a loooooooooooooooooong, LONG, long way over the last few years, but they are still hit or miss for the most part while girl clothes just get cuter and more irresistible.  Thanks to some family shopping and Gymbucks, I HAD to shop this week or I'd lose $50 in free stuff.  I picked up a few things while we were in North Carolina last weekend, but they didn't have as much as we have here so I saved one of my Gymbucks and spent it today.  Here's the pile...

The green and blue striped onesie and the yellow pants were $4.99 each!  And the striped fleece, $7.99!  It's a 6-12 month so should be perfect for around this time next year.  And a few favorties below...
Hm... I hope Pax likes stripes...
Pajamas are a BIG thing at our house.  We put them on when we come home and stay in them as long as we can on weekends.  Pax HAD to be included... I've picked up gowns for night time since those are the only way to go as far as I'm concerned for night changes, but these footed, zippered PJs were way to cute not to get for general lounging... or let's just be honest, daytime wear.  February and March will be pretty cold and we won't likely be leaving the house unless it's gorgeous outside so even then, he's safe in some cute PJs for the entire day. 

TIBS - Week 22

 Week 22


Oct 5, 2010

Bon appetit - dégoûter! Or, ewww!

Not too long ago, I might have mentioned on Facebook that I enjoyed some Wendy's chicken nuggets dipped in a chocolate frosty.  I might have done that.  It should be noted that I really don't eat meat.  I'll eat chicken from time to time, but for the most part (that's for you Irene), I don't eat any meat.  Since Bino has been in the belly, I've been extra aware of what I eat... that's not to say I haven't consumed chocolate pie, but I have eaten some things I wouldn't normally eat - chicken being one of those things. 

Tonight, however, I saw THIS video.  I am a Jamie Oliver fan (did you know he named his new baby boy Buddy Bear Maurice?  Yeah, and you thought Gilgamesh was a bit over the edge...), but don't have any of his cookbooks.  I hope the recipe on the video is NOT in any - ha!  Unlikely.

Do YOU eat the nuggets?  It's safe to say my nugget days are over.  NASTY!  I can't believe I let myself eat that stuff... I thought about not posting because this was a little to might-barf-everywhere, but then decided that it's worth sharing.  Sorry.  But aren't you glad you saw?  Doesn't it make you think?  Even if our favorite Christian chicken, Chick-it, Chick-fil-a didn't use mechanically separated chicken, doesn't it make you wonder?  Zaxby's is another chicken place I will eat from - I might have to question my attempt at eating meat.

AND - get this... so I have this thing where I'll order a kids meal from McDonald's or Burger King, take the meat out, and put french fries in the middle - well Burger King has a veggie burger now (whoo to the hoo! Actually, a few had them back in '99 when I was in undergrad in the mountains, but the only reason was because it was a super crunchy artsy town of just students for the most part) - it's a Boca patty.  I was running around last week and decided I needed some lunch and drove through the BK.  I'd planned on getting a kids meal but then thought about a veggie burger.  The kids meal was $2.71 with tax.  That included a burger, fries, a small drink, and a cheap BPA ridden plastic toy (there's no proof on the BPA it just seemed to fit with the point here...).  The veggie burger - JUST the burger, was $3.79 - before tax.  WHAT is wrong with this?!  You are telling me that MEAT is cheaper - WAY cheaper if you consider all that was included in that $2.71 meal - than vegetables?  NUTS.  There is something seriously wrong with our food. 

We saw Food, Inc., Super Size Me, all of the big foodie documentaries - but it obviously didn't sink in with me.  We try to eat local whenever possible and had I not had some major all-day sickness going on for weeks on end, we would have joined the CSA up here.  Thankfully, they let us just pick up food when we were able without a full share since I was so sick and couldn't stomach much.  We've joined the fall share though so lots of root goodness to come.

I don't have a good way of wrapping this up - so many things wrong - so many questions - Chandler is totally sick of my rant about marketing (bigger, more for your money crap food advertising) so I thought I'd just take it to the mattresses, err, the blog.  No Godfather fans?  Actually, I've never seen the movie - I just like that line in You've Got Mail. 
"Sometimes I'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine, and injustice in the world when He could do something about it, but I'm afraid God would ask me the same question."
You don't change the world by trying to change the world; you change the world by changing yourself.
-Gerry Straub