Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Baby London

I'm not even sure where to start on this post, but I guess I'll start with the baby news.
First of all, I am super excited to announce that London Olivia is here! She was born on September 20th at 1:33 p.m. weighing in at 8 lbs and was 21 inches long.

A part of me still can't believe she's here, even though she has been with us for over 6 weeks now. Even though I'm going through all the mom motions (feeding, cleaning, nurturing), it still seems all too surreal for me. I thought I would have this big mom moment when they laid her on top of me after she was just born. I thought I would feel a wave of emotions at that moment, but nope...that came later and what a wave it was! I love looking at her at seeing some of my traits and some of David's. This little girl has stolen my heart and I feel my love growing more and more for her each day.

It is so fun to see her little personality. She does NOT like to be messed with once she's comfortable. Sounds a lot like her ol' mom. She is a smiley girl, though- at least when she's not screaming.
Grandma Lisa holding London

Our [angry] little mermaid

London's baby blessing
I also want to post pictures of London's nursery. I have to admit that I am super proud of it. My husband did an amazing painting job and I feel like everything goes together pretty well. We thought it would be fun to have a London theme since well, her name is London.

London wooden toy set

London post cards

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Witty blog title that knocks your socks off

I can't believe my last post was about school! I have been horrible at keeping up with my blog... or basically anything social these days. I really have no excuse for my antisocialness except that I like to turn my brain off when I'm at home. It really is a terrible sight... and extremely dangerous.

Here is a little about what has been going on:
  • School- Totally non-existent now. I graduated! Woot! A special thanks to my family for coming and enduring the super long ceremony.  I am especially grateful that my family traveled the excruciatingly long trip from Texas. Yuck! Sorry, guys! It is going to be so weird not starting up again later this month. This will be the first time in my school career that I will not be going back. Crazy! So here are some pictures from graduation. More were taken, but I haven't received the pictures yet (Jamie, mom, I would like these at your earliest convenience. Thanks!)

  • We also had the baby shower when my family was down in May. It was super cute! Thank you so much, Lisa and Amy for putting it together! You ladies are amazing! Pictures also to come once I get them. For now, you'll just have to take my word for it regarding the cuteness. We are so grateful for all the gifts and support we have been given. We are truly blessed to know such amazing people.
  •  Work: I can't believe I have a grownup job. Yes, that's right. Grownup. This is what I have been going to school for all these years. Speaking of school, I realized that school didn't prepare me for this job. Surprise, surprise. Sometimes work becomes stressful and at times I really feel like I have no idea what I'm doing. Scratch that, I feel that way most of the time. "Oh.. yes.. I see you are playing with that puppet there. Ah yes, his name is John, you say? Why John? Oh.. what is John doing now? Aw, John committed suicide? Uh...*Crap! What now?! What now?! This is important, but what do I say now?!"* Not to mention the fact that stuff like this often happens in Spanish! My Spanish is improving a great deal, but I'm still not 100% in this area.
  • However, I've realized that it's like what I've heard at least a thousand times in school- the therapeutic relationship is the most important tool I have. Yes, there are times when I think, "What the heck am I doing? I don't know how to help this kid! I am not specialized in this area. In fact, I have absolutely no experience in this area! Oh, a 3 year old that doesn't speak, you say?". So what do I do? I look it up! I read some books and do my research ("Go away, read some books." Sorry. Nacho Libre quote. Again, the brain is off. I cannot be blamed for my words or actions). Sometimes I get frustrated because I really want to help these families. I want to make their time worth it. However, I often have to remind myself that change doesn't come through me. I can only lend a hearing ear and make suggestions. The change doesn't happen because of me and I definitely can't force it. This job really has helped me learn so much about the kind of parent I want to be and just how important it is for individuals to feel loved, valued, and heard.  I'm learning that it doesn't always matter what you say. Often it is just enough that you're willing to listen.

Oh how the time flies:

Time has been going by so quickly!  I am in my third trimester and there's so much to do! I can't believe I am just 6 weeks away from the due date. 6 weeks! Eek! Hello anxiety! At least I can say the nursery is almost done, minus the finishing touches that I have been procrastinating. Pictures to come soon! I am so excited!

The last ultrasound is just 2 weeks away. I can't believe it! It seems like only yesterday she was our little frijole. Now she has a name and I'd say a personality as well. When she doesn't like something my bladder knows it. "Oh, London, you want me to give the song a thumbs down on Pandora? Will do! Now please stop punching my bladder." 

As my belly grows and grows and grows... and grows, I realize more and more that this baby actually exists and that those pokes and nudges are not because of something I ate.  Yes, I am a little slow in this realization. It's amazing to see how much David and I already love this baby, and I can tell my mom is in love with her as well- She's very vocal about her love for "her baby"-Hands off! She's mine! (...and David's). I'm so excited to meet this little girl that has already totally altered my sleeping patterns. It's funny how nature starts preparing you for motherhood. Sleep? What is that? Oh, you mean what I feel like doing at 1:00 in the afternoon but often find myself not doing at 3 or 4 in the morning?  And yes, it is actually 4 in the morning and I haven't seen the bed in a good hour. At least pretty soon I'll get to be up at 1 and 2 and 3 and 4  and 5 and 6... holding our little girl. I'll take that!

Well that's all for now. I'll be sure to make another blog post soon. Maybe when London graduates from college or something.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Instead of working on my very last paper.

I have one paper to go in my MSW career, but I feel a post is necessary at this time, so oh well!
Thursday was a great day! I finished my last day at the internship and most importantly, we were able to see our little one-our little girl!
I have to admit, David and I were a little sad that little Jonah doesn't exist yet. I've been imagining a little boy with David's dimples and my darker skin for quite some time now.  However, the more we saw of that little girl, the more excited we became to meet her.  We are in love with her already and I am so excited to get started on preparing the nursery for our newest addition to the family!

Chair from my grandmother's that I painted for the nursery
Our little girl's feet! (Hopefully there's only 10 toes and not 12)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Spring Break Vacation

Yes... it has been several weeks since and I am just now updating the blog about spring break. Hopefully that just shows how completely swamped I have been these days.  Pity me! ... Or at least my unborn child.

For spring break "vacation" David and I went to Utah to stay at his parents' vacation home near Salt Lake.  This would be a good time to visit family, get away (at least somewhat) from the stresses of school, and reconnect ourselves with our BYU roots.   Oh, BYU! I used to shake my fist at that school and curse it's name for making me realize my insignificance.  My first year I felt so out of my element. I was just an average student at a very small high school who never had really studied in her life! I cried and cried my because I thought there was no way I could make it.  I felt like everyone around me could speak at least 3 languages, knew how to play musical instruments, had 4.0s, and sewed their own clothing. Yes, this was a definite exaggeration. Not everyone had 4.0s.....
But looking back now, I really loved my time there. I learned so much about my purpose and what Heavenly Father wants for me. I learned that I can do hard things. I learned that it is important to learn as much as you can in this world. A common quote at BYU is " The World is Our Campus".  This is also a time when I learned to love myself for who I am and most importantly, I met and fell in love with my eternal companion.

I was able to take note of some of the highlights of the trip:

---It wasn't snowing! However, it was cold enough to still give us the feeling that we were at BYU. If it had been any warmer, the feeling would've been lost.

---J Dawgs! An absolutely heavenly hot dog place near the south end of campus. They were just as amazing as I remembered.. except maybe even more amazing! It brought back such wonderful memories of sitting outside with David having a lunch date between classes because we wanted to see each other, but were still new and dating.  Ugh, I'm now craving those delectable dogs (hot dogs, that is!).

---David being on campus and not abiding by the honor code. *Gasp! There's no way you could take a test at the testing center with that hairy face! They would've sent him to the bookstore to buy a cheap, disposable razor.

---Always being forced to listen to somebody's music, no matter where you are. This doesn't mean iPods or radios, but actual people playing music on their instruments. This used to really bother me, but this time it just made me happy because it was familiar.

---Hearing one of the students say "shiz". How sad is it that it caught us off guard!?

---BYU baby onesies! We got 3 to represent! Hello indoctrination!

Scary snowy weather that we had to drive through to get to UT. Luckily, that was really the only snow we had to deal with.

J DAWGS!! I highly recommend :)

David's scruffy face ON CAMPUS!

Scott opening his mission call!

Can you spot the Y?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I must be a baker because there's a bun in the oven!

 It seems like forever since I last posted a real blog post.  I have been writing things, just never got around to posting them... If you haven't heard the news, David and I are going to have a baby in September. The baby is due for either the 19th or the 20th. I've been receiving mixed messages from people, but I figure it doesn't matter because the baby is going to come when it wants.  David and I are super excited to hold this baby in our arms.  Life has been pretty hectic, but I really want to document the progress :)

Week: 7
How big is baby Lake: The size of a kidney bean
Thoughts/Feelings This Week: I'm so nervous about my doctor appointment. I am scheduled to meet with the doctor for my 8th week ultrasound. I sure hope baby is in there, otherwise I will be a sad Jenny.  It seems like this appointment will never come! So far no real morning sickness; however, I am expecting for it to come because I have a natural talent for feeling nauseous for just about every occasion. What can I say? It's a gift.
Dear baby, I hope you are doing okay :)

Week: 13
How big is baby Lake: About the size of a peach or a lemon
Thoughts/Feelings This Week: Grow, baby! Grow! I can't wait to find out the sex of the baby, but I know that I will love and squeeze this baby regardless if it's a boy or a girl! Just a few more weeks until we found out! We are almost through with the first trimester. I am actually really surprised at how fast things have been moving. I have been super busy with school and my internship, so at least I have that as a distraction for now.  It looks like my morning sickness won't be so bad! I have only had bad reactions to the smell and consumption of Mexican food, but that doesn't seem to keep me from it....I've also had the worst indigestion ever, the tiniest bladder, the foggiest brain, and the most unbearable fatigue, but things seem to be getting a lot better! I will happily welcome the second trimester. Woot!

Also, a couple of weeks ago we decided to make our first big baby buy and bought the crib! We are really impressed with the quality and the price. This crib is adjustable, which will be nice when the babes gets bigger.  I am so excited to start decorating!
        **Just a note: When I say "babes" I mean just one babe, but I have this weird thing where I like to pluralize words sometimes.  When I first told my parents, my mom thought I was having twins. Heavens to Betsy, no!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tremendous Blessings

You know, being a social worker is really hard. There have really been times when I have wondered if I am cut out for it. We have to deal with all of the bad stuff in the world. As my professor said in my intro to sexual abuse class, it is often hard to be positive and not constantly worry about friends, families, our children, and ourselves. Sitting in class, I realized how blessed I am. I have come to this realization many times in my life- I am not that blind- but I think sometimes I get caught up in life and I often forget this. There is so much pain, hatred, and envy in this world, but there is also so much love, happiness, beauty, and peace in this world as well. There are so many good people out there and I'm grateful to have so many of those good people in my life. Being a social worker gives me the opportunity to work with so many special people. Yes, I may hear a lot of bad things throughout the day, but I also get to hear a lot of the good stories, too, and I think that's what's most important.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Jenny's Jolly.....Meals

Alliterations are hard to make with Js.

I was in the mood for Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana soup, salad, and breadsticks this weekend, but instead David and I went to Long Wong's to eat wings instead. Although I enjoyed the wings, my belly still ached for some of that soup! I decided I would make some today for dinner and I have to admit, it was pretty amazing. Plus, we saved a few bucks! Who can complain about that? I also made it with some rolls from a recipe that I got from my friend Rachelle (Good job, Rachelle!). I thought I'd share the wealth :) I made a few adjustments here and there based on the ingredients in my kitchen. Enjoy :)

Soup Ingredients:
  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • 2 large russet baking potatoes , sliced in half, and then in 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 large onion, chopped(I didn't use any. Just onion powder because David doesn't like the texture of onions. Weird, I know!)
  • ¼ cup bacon bits (optional-I didn't use any)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (I just used 1 clove)
  • 2 cups kale or 2 cups swiss chard, chopped(I used spinach because I didn't have kale)
  • 2 (8 ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream (I used cream cheese instead because I didn't have cream. It's basically the same, right?)
  • I also used some crushed red pepper flakes for a little spiciness.   

Directions for soup:

  1. Chop or slice uncooked sausage into small pieces.
  2. Brown sausage in your soup pot.
  3. Add chicken broth and water to pot and stir.
  4. Place onions, potatoes, and garlic in pot.
  5. Cook on medium heat until potatoes are done.
  6. Add sausage (and bacon).
  7. Salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
  9. Turn to low heat.
  10. Add kale (or spinach) and cream.
  11. Heat through and serve
    Directions for swirly garlic bread rolls:
    Garlic bread seasoning 1/2 cup powdered Parmesan cheese
    2 teaspoons of kosher salt (I used regular salt. Still awesome)
    2 tablespoons of garlic powder
    2 teaspoons oregano
    2 teaspoons basil
    2 teaspoons marjoram
    2 teaspoons parsley
    (I used about a tablespoon of olive oil in place of some of the butter. A half cup seems like a lot of butter!)
    Cheesy Garlic Bread Swirls
    1 Tablespoon of active dry or bread machine yeast
    1 1/2 cups warm water
    1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
    1 teaspoon salt
    3 tablespoons Vegetable oil
    1 egg, separated
    4-5 1/2 cups flour (I used a cup of bread flour in place of some of the regular flour. Whole wheat may be good too!)
    1/2 cup real butter
    1 1/2 tablespoons of Garlic Bread Seasoning (recipe above)
    1 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese

    1. Combine the yeast, water and sugar in a large mixing bowl and allow to stand for 10 minutes.

    2. Add salt, vegetable oil, and egg yolk and combine. Add 3 cups of flour and mix well till combined. Continue to add flour till it barely sticks to your fingers. Knead bread for another 2-3 minutes. Cover and allow to rise for 1 hour.

    3. While dough rises, combine butter and garlic bread seasoning and then set aside.

    4. When the dough has risen roll the dough out into a 18 by 6 inch rectangle. Smear garlic butter over the surface. Then sprinkle with cheese.

    5. Roll up the dough jelly roll style and then use floss to cut it into 12 equal slices for really big rolls, I cut them into about 22-24 equal slices. Place into a muffing tin sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and cover with a clean cloth. Preaheat oven to 350 degrees F. Allow rolls to rise while oven heats.

    6. Bake for 18-22 minutes, watch for cheese to brown.

    This Recipe came from "Our Best Bites: Mormon Moms in the Kitchen" cookbook pages 32, 33, and 53