The Dawleys

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It's Been Awhile!

I haven't done a good job of keeping up with this blog, but at least we have the photo-a-day site to look back on, right?:)
Ella will be 8 months old on Wednesday! I still can't get over how quickly time has gone. I am amazed every day as I watch Ella explore her environment, interact with us, and become more confident in her ability to move and make noise. She is such a sweet little girl and is very aware of her surroundings. I catch her staring at things that I wouldn't think she would notice, like the shelf above our sliding door that currently holds Christmas decorations or plants that sit high atop shelves. She also likes to watch faces. Just yesterday when I picked her up from school, I took her from one of the teachers and walked to the hallway to get her coat. I stopped for a second to read her daily sheet, the whole time preoccupied and not looking at her. I noticed a shift in her weight and looked up to see her leaning all the way around so she could watch my face. She had such a look of curiosity on her face. It was so cute!
Since Ella got her tubes in on November 23, I have noticed such a difference in the sounds she makes. I love listening to her sweet little voice and listening to her as she experiments with new sounds.
The past few nights, Ella has slept through the night in her crib. I am so proud of her and am so happy to be getting more sleep. But there is a part of me that is sad and a part of me that wants to yell "I told you so!" to all the people that told me that I was basically ruining her. I am sad to lose that extra cuddle time with Ella and I am sad to not have her sleeping by my side for a portion of the night (after her first night waking). There is such a joy and peace that I feel laying in bed in the middle of the night between my two loves, listening to them both snore contentedly. There's no place I'd rather be.:) Part of me is glad that she is showing independence though because so many people (well everyone that has offered their opinion) have told me that we are creating bad sleep habits for Ella or that she wakes up just to sleep in our bed or that we will have a heck of a time getting her out of our bed someday. The past few nights have proven to me that children will sleep on their own when they're ready and will show independence when it's developmentally apropriate for them. Our society really pushes sleeping in cribs, sleeping through the night, and falling to sleep on one's own without help at an extremely early age. I personally believe that this shouldn't be pushed on a child before they are ready. Kids will always let you know when they are ready for things and it's not always in the same timeline that our society makes us think is appropriate. I also think that parenting doesn't end at night just because I want some sleep. If Ella needs me, I will always be there to hold her and love on her no matter what time it is. I know my thinking is controversial, but for me Ella has been a perfect example. With all of her ear troubles, she needed the closeness and comfort of Mom and Dad in the middle of the night. She needed the frequent bottles because she wasn't able to eat much during the day. Now that she is feeling good, she can display some independence and doesn't need me for as much comfort at night. So I am proud, but sad at the same time. One of the first of many mixed emotions that I know I'll feel as a parent.
Now that things have settled down in the health department at our house (knock on wood), we have been looking forward to Christmas. Presents are already wrapped and under the tree, I've started baking Christmas cookies, the decorations are up, Ella and I have been listening to Christmas music (Mariah Carey and Glee of course!), and Yankee Christmas candles have been making our house smell wonderful. We are so excited for Ella's first Christmas!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

4 Months Old

Ella is 4 months old! It is amazing how quickly time has passed. These past 17 weeks have flown by and yet I think back to being 17 weeks pregnant and how slowly that same amount of time dragged. It's strange how time works that way!
We found out we were expecting Ella a year ago on August 2. I've been thinking about how much has changed from August of last year to August of this year. Back then I knew our lives would change, but I just couldn't grasp exactly how it would change other than the obvious - a baby in the house. I never knew what I was in for and just how very much I would love this little girl. I never knew how infinite and awesome this type of love is. It has changed me so much in ways I never could have imagined and I thank God every day that I have been given this beautiful experience.
Ella has changed a lot in the past month. She is interacting so much more and is so aware of her surroundings. She loves to be talked to. She also loves to listen to music or be sung to. Her particular favorites these days are "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" and Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds." She usually likes to be read to and will stare intently at the pictures and try to grab at the book. She enjoys playing in her exersaucer and likes to sit in her Bumbo seat on top of the kitchen table while we eat meals. She seems to think it's really neat to be a part of that and sit and smile and "talk" to us while we eat. She loves to grab her feet and stuff toys or her hands in her mouth and she now drools constantly. Since her surgery, she has become attached to a Winnie the Pooh security blanket.
At Ella's 4-month checkup, she got 3 more vaccines. She was such a good girl for them. Her pediatrician commented on how inquisitive Ella seemed - how she was watching very intently to see what was being done to her. Ella now weighs 12 pounds and is 24 inches long. Now that she is on Prevacid and the hypoallergenic formula, her weight jumped from 10th percentile to 20th percentile! We are supposed to keep her on this formula until she is 6 months old and then we can see if she can handle a cheaper formula. Let's hope she can!:) We also got the okay to start her on solid food, but we are going to wait until she is 5 months old. Since she has been so sensitive to regular dairy and soy formulas and to skincare products, we figure we'll give her a little extra time before we introduce foods to her, especially since she is doing so well on this formula right now. We are looking forward to that next stage of baby food though!
Another new thing this month was our transition to cloth diapers! I have wanted to try them from the start, but Dave was against it and since I don't know many people that do use them and therefore assumed they would be a nuisance, I never pushed the idea. After reading a very informative article in Mothering Magazine last month, I decided to make the jump and do a trial of cloth diapers. The article gave some disturbing facts about ingredients that are found in today's disposables and how these ingredients in Pampers, Luvs, and other mainstream diaper companies are not allowed to be disclosed, nor are there any material safety data sheets available. Tests on the diapers have shown that whatever these ingredients are, they give off toxic fumes. When the article listed things that I recognized from work, I knew I had to look into an alternative. I didn't feel right putting something against Ella's skin that gives off the same VOCs and SVOCs that the guys at my work test for and work to eliminate at Air Force bases. Granted, I know the levels in diapers are quite different from the levels my coworkers are dealing with, but regardless, I don't think it can be good. After talking to Dave about this, he was on board too. Switching to cloth has been a great decision and I'm glad I didn't wait any longer to try them!
We tried several brands and varieties of cloth diapers through a trial with Jillian's Drawers and decided that we like the BumGenius 4.0 AIOs best(www.cottonbabies.com). They are easy to use, cute, and comfy for Ella. Out of all the diapers we tried, they seemed to hold up the best. It is so nice that the diapers we chose grow with her so we don't have to replace diapers due to her outgrowing them. The BumGenius colors, particularly the pastels, are so cute. Not only are we now a fan of the BumGenius diapers, but we love their diaper spray and laundry detergent as well. On top of all that, I have been very pleased with their customer service, especially after we had our diaper spray leak during shipping. We are still using disposables at daycare, but are trying out the Seventh Generation diapers since they list all of their ingredients and are eco-friendly.
And now for some pictures of Ella:)







And Miss Ella in one of her trial cloth diapers:

Friday, July 9, 2010

3Months Old

Ella turned 3 months old on July 8th. She has changed so much this past month! One big change is that she has recently decided that she doesn't care much for her swing and gets bored with her butterflies very quickly. She no longer coos at them. Quite a change from last month! She also doesn't seem to like the confinement of the swing and when placed in it for more than a few minutes, fusses and tries to sit forward as if trying to get out. She is such a big girl now that she doesn't like to be cradled anymore either (unless sleeping in my arms). She prefers to be held upright when being held or carried. Because of this, she loves being carried in the Moby wrap. She thinks it's fun to see things from my level and I love it because I can get things done around the house and still be close to her. It's also an exciting new view when going to the store and definitely minimizes her fussiness when we're out too long - she is too busy exploring, laughing, and cooing to get bored or upset. I feel like she learns a lot more while being worn than she does if she's put in her car seat, bouncy seat, or swing. It's also nice to have that closeness, especially after being apart all day.
Ella is making a lot more noises these days. Her coos are becoming more complex. When crying, it sounds like she says Mama. I know she's not really saying it, but it sounds enough like it that her daycare teachers have commented on it. She also laughs and squeals when she is very excited about something.
Lately Ella prefers me over Dave, which is supposedly normal for this stage. Sometimes she likes to cuddle with him, but not as often as she used to. If the three of us are sitting on the couch together, she will smile and "talk" to him, but if he tries to hold her, she will cry, give him a pouty face, and look back at me. As soon as she is back in my arms, she stops crying and then continues the smiling and cooing at Dave! Despite this, she still loves to have conversations with him and loves flying like an airplane with him.
A huge milestone that Ella met recently is rolling over. A few weeks ago she started rolling over in her crib, but was unable to do so on the ground. Over the 4th of July weekend she rolled over twice on her floor mat and finally did it again today. It's so neat to watch her and see the proud smile on her face!
Ella started daycare last week and the transition has been a little easier than I thought it would be. Last week was a little rough because I was guilty and anxious about leaving her and because Ella didn't want to sleep there, which meant fussy evenings for us, but this week seems to be much better. I am finding that working 8-2 is a good balance (not ideal, but good enough). I can contribute to the household income, socialize with adults, and get out of the house, but still have lots of time with Ella. I also think it is good for Ella (again, not ideal, but good enough).. She is learning to trust other people, and she gets to socialize and experience new things that she wouldn't be exposed to at home. ..

Saturday, June 12, 2010

More Thoughts on Returning to Work

I found the following text on an internet article I stumbled across. I copied the text and pasted it in a blank document so I could remember it and now I can't find the website so I can't cite it. Anyways, it is something I needed to read as I have been having a lot of anxiety and guilt over having to go back to work. I know that I am the best person to care for my daughter, but I'm certainly not the only one. I seem to have a hard time remembering that so when I stumbled across this article, it helped me put things in perspective:

"I have learned: a real mom opens her hands. A real mom opens her hands to let go. She lets go of her expectations so her child can have independence. She lets go of the idea that she alone can meet all her child’s needs in order to give room for others' love. She lets go of the desire to control what her child thinks of her. A real mom opens her hands to receive. She accepts help, because no child can be raised by just one person. She is open to learning from others, including her child. She welcomes validation however it comes. She receives so she can give in turn."

I know that it will be hard for both of us at first when I go back to work...most likely harder on me than it is on her. But ultimately I know that Ella will benefit and grow from having lots of wonderful caregivers in her life. And if I allow it, I can grow from this too.

Monday, June 7, 2010

2 Months Old

Ella is two months old! She has changed so much in the past month! She has now outgrown all of her newborn clothes and most of her 0-3 month clothes! She loves to cuddle, she loves to play on her floor mat, she loves listening to music, and she loves staring at the butterflies in her swing. She is gaining much better control of her head and when placed on the floor on her back, she wiggles from side to side like she wants to turn over. Her favorite thing, however, is to smile and coo at people. Just recently she has started cooing at us when we coo at her. We can carry on a whole cooing conversation with her and she seems to think it's so much fun. She will fight sleep just so she can socialize with us. When she gets up in the middle of the night (we are typically down to one night waking around 3 or 4 in the morning), I have to make sure not to make too much eye contact with her or she will start smiling and cooing and wanting to stay up. The cooing doesn't stop with people though. Nope this little girl loves to "talk" to the dogs, her mobile, the butterflies on her swing, and pictures on the wall! Ella is such a happy baby despite some tummy troubles she's had this past month. She was diagnosed with acid reflux and a milk protein intolerance.
Ella received her 2-month shots last week. She weighs 9 lbs and is 22 inches long. She is in the 10th percentile for weight and 50th percentile for height. She is small for her age, but she is still gaining weight which doesn't always happen for babies with reflux or protein intolerances so she's doing well. She was so good during her appointment. The pediatrician even commented on how happy and alert she was and said that most babies with these issues hardly even smile. Thankfully smiling has never been a problem for Ella though. She even started "chatting" happily with the nurse, who thought she was adorable, but who still stuck her with needles anyways. Ella went from smiling to a look of "What the heck was that for?" to screaming in a matter of seconds. She cried most of the way home, but was good after a dose of Tylenol and a nice long nap.
I have 3 weeks left of my maternity leave and am dreading going back to work so much! I have had so much fun spending every day with Ella and I wish it could always be that way. She is so much fun and brings so much joy to Dave and I. I still can't get over how wonderful it is to be a mom and how no matter what, her sweet smile always melts my heart!
As much as it kills me to send her to daycare, I know that she is in good hands. The center is NAEYC accredited (which is a big deal in the daycare world---only 5 centers in Omaha are accredited, 2 being related to the universities in town). There are also cameras in every room so I can see her any time I want. The ladies I've met are all well-educated and love what they do. It is just a very warm environment and I've even received hugs from the ladies after getting teary talking about Ella's first day there. While I hate to pay someone to spend time with Ella, I know that she will ultimately benefit from this good daycare environment. She seems sociable already so I think she will enjoy being around other babies and people. I also think it will be beneficial for her to be in the care of other people and know that she can trust others. I worry about her teachers not knowing the "right" things to do when comforting her, feeding her, etc., but I know she will be taken care of and will hopefully be able to adapt to things easily in the future because she's had to adapt to things so young. My heart is telling me it's not right for her to be away from me all day, but my head is trying to remind myself of all the kids I know that have been in daycare and thrived there and loved it. I also have to remind myself that right now it will be hard, but in the long term, it doesn't make sense for me to not work. My job offers amazing health insurance compared to Dave's and if I wasn't bringing in an income, we wouldn't be able to do things like save money for Ella to go to college, take trips to different places (most importantly visiting family), and we wouldn't be able to save money for emergencies such as having to replace things in the house or with the cars. We would be cooped up in the house living paycheck to paycheck and I think that would be very stressful for me and boring for Ella. I'm sure I will have to reread this post several times the day I go back to work because I know I will be a mess!! I am so glad that I will be able to leave at 2:30 every day.
Anyways, sorry to bore you with my ramblings. Now for some pictures of Ella. :)






Talking to her butterflies:

Monday, May 3, 2010

Our lives will never be the same...

Ella Bernice made her grand entrance into the world on April 8 at 6:12 pm. She weighed 7 lbs 2 oz and was 20.75 inches long. She is absolutely amazing. I had dreamed of meeting this little girl for so long. What would she be like? What would she look like? How would I feel when I finally see her and hold her in my arms? I used to get teary just thinking it. When that moment finally arrived, it was everything I imagined and more. I couldn't believe how perfect she was and how I was just meeting her for the first time and yet I felt like I'd known her forever. She's only been here for 3 weeks and 4 days, and yet Dave and I cannot imagine life without her.



She is such a sweet little girl. Very content. We love to cuddle with her. I could stare at her for hours and sometimes I think I do. I am so in love.
It is such an awesome feeling to be a parent. It amazes me and overwhelms me to think of the life she has before her. Not only do I have such high hopes and expectations for myself as a mother, but I have so many hopes for her. I want her to be a compassionate person. I want her to be independent and do what she feels is right even if it's not what everyone else is doing. I want her to take chances. I want her to love deeply. I want her to know that it's okay to feel sad, lonely. frustrated, hurt, angry, etc. That it's just as important to feel those emotions as it is to feel happiness. To know that even when things seem hopeless, this too shall pass and to keep her head up and not give up. I want her to know that she can always count on her mom and dad to be there for her and to love her. I want her to know that even when she feels alone, she never truly is. I want her to love herself and I want her to love God. I want her to help others. I want her to follow her dreams no matter how "silly" they might seem. I want her to be happy. I want her to truly live life and not just watch it pass her by.
I am so thankful to have such a beautiful, sweet, and healthy baby girl. I am so thankful to have an amazing husband who is now an amazing dad. I am thankful that Ella has a wonderful family that loves her so much - grandparents, an aunt and uncle, and two sweet little cousins that I can't wait for her to play with,
My heart is so full. Every struggle and heartache that Dave and I went through to become parents was all worth it for this awesome little person.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Any Day Now

Today is my first day of maternity leave! I wasn't planning on taking any time off until Ella arrives, but seeing as we're being induced on Thursday (unless she arrives before then), I figured it would do me some good to take a few days to prepare for the big day. Today I just ran errands, watched the Cardinals win their first game of the season, baked some cranberry bran muffins (I was craving bran muffins so bad you'd think it was something amazing like chocolate!), and trying to ignore Rusty's CONSTANT (not exaggerating) whining.
I don't know what to do with this dog. He is so emotional and anxious and no matter what we do, he whines OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER. He whines so much that he makes himself puke. The only time he doesn't whine is when you are throwing his ball, sitting with him, or looking at him. Any time the attention is taken away from him, he whines and shakes. It's getting ridiculous! So if you know of anyone that wants a dog....I'm kidding (kind of).
The hospital called today to go over my medical history and fill me in on everything that would happen the day of delivery and during the rest of my stay. It's crazy that we're already talking about her being here. It seems like it's taken so long to get here and yet it's just a few days away! I sat there on the phone trying not to cry (and failing!) as the lady talked to me about everything, but the emotion I feel about her arrival is overwhelming. We have waited so long and now it's finally here. Some days it almost doesn't seem real. I can't wait to finally hold that sweet little baby in my arms.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

20 days

On Friday, I had a "surprise" baby shower at work. I was surprised at how many people showed up considering the majority of employees in my office are men. Sure enough though, the conference room was full and while the conversation did end up being mostly about March Madness (which ended up not being a bad thing since my bracket is currently ranked 5th in the office), it was still nice to have everyone there. I had a delicious cake:



And some nice gifts including a $250 Target gift card, several outfits, a book, bear, coffee, wine, and three adorable Cardinals onesies:



This weekend, we went to Costco to stock up on things. Maybe I will sleep better now knowing that we have 50 rolls of toilet paper in the house. :) We found some great produce there too. I bought a 2-pound container of fresh strawberries, and they are HUGE. They look and taste amazing...better than Whole Foods and only $6! We also got a bag of avocados and made fresh guacamole this weekend.
We have spent a lot of time in the kitchen the past few days. We thought about going out on a date night again since those will be a distant memory soon, but we also know that we probably won't be cooking nice meals much (at least for a while). Since that's something we love to do, we decided to do that this weekend. Last night Dave made his best enchiladas ever. They were filled with Morningstar Farms chik'n strips for me and shrimp for Dave, sauce, mushrooms, black beans, onion, roasted red bell peppers, and artichoke hearts and then covered with shredded Daiya cheese and black olives. They went great with that guacamole. For breakfast this morning, we made biscuits and gravy. And for dinner, we are going to make Cajun Creole Spiced Tempeh served over creamy polenta.
To work off all of that food, we have been deep cleaning the house--everything from cleaning the carpets to cleaning the blinds. Yes, nesting has now kicked in for Dave too. :)
Overall, I have been feeling really good especially compared to how I thought I would feel this late in the game. I am definitely getting uncomfortable, but I really can't complain. And to make things even better, Spring is finally here. The sun is shining today, I can hear birds chirping outside, the weather is mild. It's almost as if the world is preparing for Ella along with us. I am so excited to meet her.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

9 Months

Nine months! Hard to believe she will be here in about 4 weeks. I have been feeling really good lately with the exception of not sleeping well. No matter what I do, I just can't get comfortable. The good news is that I think I'm getting used to being tired all the time. :)
The nesting instinct is also kicking in majorly. I am wanting everything to be spotless and put away because what if today were the day? No way am I coming home to a messy house! I also have this sudden need to stock up on things. Dave and I always buy enough groceries for each week, but for some reason I have this intense need to buy multiples of everything - just in case we need it.





We have had a very quiet weekend this week! I was off Friday because I didn't have any work and I have to use up all vacation/sick time before my company will pay me for maternity leave. I met a friend for breakfast and spent the rest of the day running errands, cleaning, cooking (vegan beef stew and blueberry cake), and catching up on quality TV: The Real Housewives of Orange County. We watched "Precious" this weekend. Dave fell asleep towards the end! It wasn't as good as I expected, but Monique definitely deserved the Oscar she won for her role. Dave has been playing his video games A LOT this weekend. I guess he needs to get it out of his system before Ella arrives. While he's been doing that, I've been doing a lot of cleaning (surprise), finishing the wreaths for Ella's room, and reading. I finished the book "Eating Animals" by Jonathan Safran Foer. Definitely a book that I wish everyone had to read.
Hope everyone has a great week! I have a doctor's appointment on Thursday and a surprise shower at work on Friday...yes someone felt the need to warn me about it so I guess I need to practice looking surprised this week!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

What's In a Name

Before Dave and I found out whether we were having a boy or girl, we agreed on how the name would be chosen. Dave would choose the boy's name and I would choose the girl's name, but we would both have to agree on the name. We both had a very strong instinct that we were having a boy, and seeing as they say 80% of parents-to-be are right on their instincts, we had to be right! So we agreed on the name Benjamin. Well as you know by now, we are the 20% of parents-to-be that are apparently out of touch with their instincts! We were thrilled to find out that we are having a girl, but panic set in as I realized that I didn't have a name I loved.
A name is such a huge commitment. I think back to being a girl and doodling the names of my future kids (am I the only child that ever did that?) and I cringe at some of the names I liked (which I won't mention so I don't offend anyone who may like those names). How can you pick a name for your child and be sure that you'll still like it when they're 5 or 10 or 30? One thing I knew is that the name had to be classic. I didn't want a trendy name that would in a few years make me cringe like the names I liked in childhood. Dave and I both seem to be drawn to more classic names so at least we agreed on that. Dave's first choice for a girl was Audrey and while I adore Audrey Hepburn, I don't like how the name sounds with our last name. Fortunately, one of my stepsisters named her baby Audrey so I could safely eliminate that name without any hurt feelings. :) As I continued to think about names, I remembered a cat that we had a few years ago named Bella. We loved that name before the days of the Twilight books, but it's a little overused now. Bella made me think of Stella, but Dave found that to be little too harsh. From there we decided on Ella. A simple and classic feminine name that sounds good with our last name.
The middle name was pretty easy to choose. Do I go with a pretty name that I like and that will not embarrass Ella when she's in trouble and I call her by her full name?:) Or do I choose a name with meaning? I decided to go with the latter. As a child, I always disliked my middle name, Bernice. I just knew I would never pass it on to my children! Now that I am older though, I can't imagine not passing it on. I still don't like the name, but it means something to me. Bernice is the middle name of my grandmother (my dad's mom), my great aunt (my mom's aunt), my mom, my sister, and myself. Two sides of the family! While the name doesn't sound good to me, it is a name shared by some amazing women in my life. What greater gift to share with my own daughter?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thankful

While I am always thankful for this pregnancy, aches and pains and all, I have been reminded even more this week that each second should be cherished.
I have kept in touch via Facebook with two sisters that I used to work with at the daycare. One sister due a week after me and the other due a week after her. All of us expecting girls. The sister due a week after me went in for an ultrasound on Monday and they found no heartbeat. At 32 weeks, she'd lost her baby. It is completely heartbreaking and something that has hit me really hard. Tonight she posted pictures of her baby, which disturbed me greatly, but I understand is something that is probably helpful to her. I can't imagine the pain she and her family must be going through. Please say a prayer for them.
This has reminded me that every discomfort I feel in these remaining weeks should be welcomed and every kick and poke should be cherished more than it already is. And while I anxiously count down the weeks and days until Ella's arrival, I should appreciate each and every day because nothing is guaranteed.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Common Pregnancy Questions

Throughout my pregnancy, I have been asked many questions (although not as many as I anticipated) about my vegetarianism. While family have not asked me these questions, I realize that you still may have the same questions that friends and coworkers have, but may be hesitant to ask. I figured this blog post would be a good way to show some of the questions (and my answers).

How will you get enough protein without meat? Where do you get your protein? It's very easy for me to get more than the recommended daily amount of protein, even during pregnancy. Protein sources include beans, nuts, seeds, tofu, tempeh, veggie burgers and other mock meat, soy milk, and whole grains such as bulgur or sprouted grain bread.
Is it safe to be vegetarian during pregnancy? A veg diet is healthy during all stages of life and is supported by the American Dietetic Association. http://www.eatright.org/About/Content.aspx?id=8357
Won't you become anemic? Even meat-eaters can become anemic during pregnancy. There are plenty of iron-rich vegetarian foods such as tofu, beans, green veggies, pumpkin seeds, whole grains, and vegetables (particularly some of my favorites like sweet potatoes, kale, and broccoli). And by eliminating caffeine (which blocks iron absorption) and including foods high in vitamin C with those iron rich foods, I am able to absorb more of the iron I eat.
Where do you get your calcium? Nondairy milk, yogurt, and cheese. Tempeh, almonds, and green veggies are other good options. Cow's milk is not the only source of calcium. And when you think about it, cow's eat greens (if they're lucky enough to graze) and those that are fed feed (which is the case with more than 90% of our milk supply) are given calcium supplements. But if an animal as large as a cow can get plenty of calcium from grass, then it makes sense that we should have no problem getting enough calcium through different leafy greens.
Don't you have to take special supplements? The only nutrient that is not readily available in a vegetarian diet is vitamin B-12. This is because B-12 is found on bacteria and bacteria grows on meat since in reality it is decaying flesh. Vegetables have a small amount of B-12, but since we wash our vegetables, they are not a dependable source. I get my B-12 from fortified non-dairy milk and through my multi-vitamin. The good thing with B-12 is that the body stores it. Most people have a supply of B-12 in their bodies that will last several years.
People are meant to have meat. Humans can't survive without it. (This comment came from a biologist at work.) Carnivores cannot survive without meat. Humans are not carnivores. We cannot chase after animals and kill them with our teeth and nails that are very weak in comparison to a carnivore's. We have to season and cook our meat in order to safely eat it. Carnivores eat their meat raw. We also have extremely long instestines compared to carnivores. They are able to quickly digest meat in a matter of hours, while meat sits rotting in our intestines for days (which ultimately leads to a lot of diseases). For centuries, humans have been able to survive without meat and get the adequate nutrients needed for survival.

These are the biggest questions I've been asked and hopefully I haven't bored you too much! I promise to post about something more interesting next time. :)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

30 Weeks!

Yesterday we finished our prepared childbirth class at the hospital. This was a 2-Saturday class that was a total of 8.5 hours. A lot of the information was pretty boring to us, but we did learn a few things such as proper carseat installation and some really great calming tips from the book "The Happiest Baby on the Block." We also got to see the hospital rooms and they are very nice! The hospital was built in 2004 and I saw the rooms last year when visiting a friend and thought they were really nice. Apparently those are now the old rooms. A new maternity wing just opened up this year so the room we will have is even nicer and they are huge! Dave was most impressed with the flat screen TV and the menu. :) The hospital has room service so you can order food anytime you want. Breakfast for dinner? No problem! Although I'm sure he won't care about the TV or the food as much as he thinks he will. :)

Dave had to travel to Warroad, MN today as he does every February for Marvin Window Training. It is very lonely without him especially because in the past few weeks I have become very needy and clingy with him. Gotta love the hormones! I am hoping the next few days fly by and am sadly looking forward to work tomorrow!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Big Spenders

Nothing too exciting going on here this week so I figured I would post a picture of our new fridge since our 1.5 year-old just-out-of-warranty fridge decided to go out on us!



This week we also purchased the travel system and a convertible car seat (that can be used from 5 lbs to 100lbs!). Looks like all we have left to buy is the pack-n-play, bathtub, and diaper pail! Pretty good considering we still have about 11 weeks to go!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Third Trimester!

I am now officially in the third trimester! It seems like it has taken forever to get here. Hard to believe that in about 12 weeks, she will be here! I have been feeling pretty good except I am already starting to get uncomfortable. Besides the normal back pain and sciatica, I have been getting pretty bad pain under my right rib which wraps around to my back, which is apparently just due to organs and everything being pushed under my ribs. Seems a little early for me to be feeling like this. It's all worth it though just to feel her move around all day. :) This weekend we hung up some of the pictures on her wall. Things are really starting to come together!
Here are some pictures:





And here is a picture of me at 27 weeks:



Other than that, we have just been trying to take care of things we need to do before Ella arrives. I mailed my last homework assignments and took my last test for the online Medical Coding and Billing program so that is finally done! Unfortunately I am not sure at this point if I will even use the certificate because my current job is so flexible when it comes to families. They seem to understand that families come before a job so it's no problem to leave early or do a little work from home or make up time on the weekend if you have to take care of a sick child or something. Not to mention, I would be taking a pretty big pay cut until I gain experience in Medical Coding and Billing. I am definitely going to keep my eyes open for job openings at the hospitals in town though. If anything, I'm just glad I have the peace of mind that I have something to fall back on if I need it (although URS is one of the few companies that is still growing like crazy in this economy). Besides finishing that program, we also just mailed off a check to pay off Dave's truck. It's so nice to know that we will only have one car payment! Also, Dave painted the hallway today. It was the only thing in the house that we haven't painted and it really needed it! It looks so much better now.
The weather is finally starting to change for the better here. There's going to be a real heat wave this week - temperatures in the 20s and even reaching freezing a few days! I am so ready for Spring and for all of the ice and dirty snow to melt! For now I just have this beautiful fragrant hyacinth plant in the house to remind me of warmer days! :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Our New Blog

I have decided to create a family blog so that when Ella arrives, our family that lives far away can stay up-to-date on what's going on with us. I know I enjoy reading my sister's blog and seeing pictures of her sweet little girls so I would like to do the same thing. A warning though, until Ella arrives, this blog could be pretty boring. :)
Is anyone else finding it hard to believe that it's 2010? I am just trying to grasp that it is a new year and a new decade and our lives will be forever changed in about 3 months! It is hard to believe! This past decade seems to have flown by. It is crazy to think of how much my life has changed since 2000. High school, college, getting married, relocating to Nebraska, and a lot of growing up! I can't wait to see what this next decade brings. I just hope it doesn't fly by as fast!
Things have been pretty lazy around our house with the holidays, 2 recent blizzards, and the below freezing temperatures (the temperature this morning was -25!!). It's hard to want to leave the house when the temperatures are that cold so we've been spending lots of lazy time at home! This past weekend was spent watching almost an entire season of the TV show Fringe on DVD (a show I think Chris would love because it reminds me a lot of the X-Files). We also spent a lot of time in the kitchen. Dave made shrimp, chicken, and crab gumbo for himself and I made a creamy chickpea pasta sauce served over spaghetti. I also made hummus, hot artichoke dip, lemon blueberry cake, and kale chips over the long weekend!
Now we are just trying to get back in the swing of things at work. This will be the first full week Dave and I have worked since the first week of December due to the holidays and bad weather...and 5-8 more inches of snow is expected on Wednesday. This is supposedly the worst winter in Omaha since 1912! I hope all of you are staying a little bit warmer. :)