My new lens

For Christmas, Craig went a bit crazy and bought me one heck of a present. We have a Nikon D60 and I have used the heck out of the basic lens combo since EJ was born. I love taking pictures and have made it quite the hobby. As I have gotten more into it, I started looking into adding some lens to our collection. I was shocked to discover that even though our camera was less than 2 years old it was already outdated and the lens were double what the newest model lens were. 
After whining to twitter and facebook, I learned that was the main issue with Nikon. Once you were outdated you spent a ton of money, however Canon was different. I am a Canon girl anyway, my high school graduation present was the Canon Rebel 35mm, a camera that I loved and drug all over the States, Europe and Africa. I told Craig that we should start saving and upgrade our stuff to Canon in a year or so. 
Well, the man sure got me. Not only did he upgrade me to a Canon, he got me just about every lens you could ever want for a hobby… wide angle, 50mm, telephoto, and fish eye. He got me a bag, filters and a few other odds and ends. Seriously, the only thing I need is to get a strap cover. My husband is amazing and made my Xbox Kinex present look rather lame.
Needless to say I have been sick as a dog since the week after Thanksgiving thanks to the Wee One so I haven’t gotten to play with it as much as I wanted but here are a few taken with the 50 mm lens, the lens that started it all. 
PS. This lens rocks but is going to take some time to learn the ins and outs of it. So bear with me as I stumble my way through it.
My Kid’s eyes sure are amazing.
 He looks so old here that it almost makes me sad. No baby here.
 Craig took this of our favorite puggle and EJ’s BFF Bruno.
 Enjoying the Man Cave (playhouse) his Gammie bought him.

On a side note if you have camera strap cover that you love will you please tell me were you got yours? I would forever be appreciative.

When All Day Sickness gets scary

This pregnancy has made me hate life. Within days of happily watching a plus sign appear I have spent my days green with nausea. That coupled with my chronic UTIs and one kidney has proven to be a deadly combo.
I thought I was possibly getting a bit better. I actually craved something and successful ate it last weekend and was very hopeful that 12 weeks would bring some relief. I had been having mega issues for weeks drinking water. I just couldn’t drink more than 8 ozs every few hours, the lack of taste made me gag and throwing up water is nasty.
Needless to say I got extremely, extremely dehydrated which is bad news for me pregnant or not. But, the scary thing is I did not realize just how dehydrated I was. My body was doing its job and taking care of the wee one and was sucking the rest of my body dry. Monday morning I woke with a UTI, not a big deal. I get them all.the.time. I know how to deal with them and 90% of the time I am able to get over them without meds. I was in a lot of pain Monday night but woke on Tuesday “thinking” I had gotten over it. I felt much better except a very dull, very low backache.
Anyone who has ever had kidney problems knows that a backache on either side of your body is a scary sign of a kidney infection but this time it was in a totally different place. So I called the OB we decided that since it was really low and I had no fever we would wait it out. I was due for my big 12 week appointment the next day so she order some additional labs and I figured I would be fine until the next morning.
Yeah, right. By midnight, I could not stand. I could not sit. All I could do was pace. I was in more pain than I had ever been in while in labor. And I had back labor and waited until 8 cms to get drugs. Thank god my Mom was in town so I woke her up and told her were going to the closest hospital right then. I figured I was over reacting I still had no fever and I wanted Craig to sleep so he would not die at work the next day.
Fast forward a few hours the Dr in the ER walks in on me on all fours in tears due the pain and quickly got me a shot of morphine. A shot that took 15 minutes to take effect and wore off within 2 hours. That means bad pain. After a few hours and few phone consults and some labs it became apparent the lack of fever was fake sign. I was in bad shape with one hell of UTI and Kidney infection. And inpatient I became. On a sidebar, you know you must really be sick when you look at your Dr when she says she is admitting you and you say that you think its a good idea.  I was a pitiful mess the next 48 hrs. I couldn’t eat and I was totally out of it due to serious amounts of percocet. God bless the person who invented that drug. I spent the rest of the week on IV meds and fluids. It took me days to get re hydrated and all I can say is God was watching the wee one, he/she is perfect. I was petrified I was going to lose the baby, absolutely scared to death. And then I had the best ultrasound. The wee one was having a blast, arms and legs a going and wiggling all over the place. I got to see its sweet profile… eyes, nose and mouth.
I am home now after 5 days in the hospital and still feel pretty terrible. I am now faced with some serious Dr appointments. I am going to have to be monitored by a couple of specialists the remainder of this pregnancy and I am going to have to spend the next 6 months taking it easy. Not something I am very good at but I would rather take a step back now then push my luck and find myself on bed rest. 

Posted in #2

Cabo 2011

It has been awhile since Craig and I have vacationed and since EJ we have spent no more than 3 nights away. I have been proud of us for leaving him at all. I know so many parents who do not have the means to get away but thanks to a great family we have been lucky enough to get away here and there which something I feel strongly about. Craig and I are number one and the best gift we will ever give EJ and his sibling on the way is a healthy, happy marriage. And that happy marriage takes work, but so does anything worth having.
I can not recommend getting away for more than a day or two enough. It took us 3 days to get off “EJ” alarm but once we settled into enjoying each other and the decreased responsibilities it became a wonderful week. One that made us miss our boy dearly but one that we enjoyed so much that we have vowed to do again summer of 2012. Maybe not as exotic as Cabo, but mark my words we will get away just the two of us for a week.
As par for the course with this pregnancy I felt pretty awful. I wake up ok but by 3pm it’s downhill. I learned that I needed to eat a big breakfast because by the time dinner rolled around. I just couldn’t eat much. I hit 11 weeks in Cabo and after throwing up in 5 star restaurant on the beach I started praying hard that come next week this nausea will subside. Thank god for drugs is all I can say. They don’t make it go away but at least I feel human for a bit.

First night there, pale and ready for some sun!

Yes, I feel a bad as I look.

The difference of a new pregnancy

Can I just say that I thought I had a handle of what being pregnant entailed after, you know, experiencing it once before. As I watched the plus sign appear there was no panic of what! there is a baby in there and there is only one way out! There was no how am I going to feel? Is Craig going to run away from home for watching me simultaneously loose my grasp on reality and gain a few pounds? Instead I smiled to myself, remembered the wonder of a new baby smells and cuddles and thought to myself I got this.

And then I got sick. It started slow, a little sick to my stomach one morning and within a week, well, I wanted to die. If I started throwing up I could not stop until there was a total system evacuation. If I manage to stop myself from throwing up I could barely muster up the strength to get off the couch.  With EJ I was fine, never once got sick. Let’s all remember who missed the first trimester completely. Yeah, I felt that good. This time around I would have never missed anything. I have honesty had moments where I would give anything to loose my sense of smell. I can smell out ANYTHING, anything I tell you. And that is not a great gift with a toddler in diapers, two dogs and husband who isn’t bothered by dirty dishes.

With EJ all I did was sleep. I would be asleep by 7pm and sleep until 7 or 8am the next day. A few slight wakeful moments but nothing major. This time I am part bat. I am so nauseated at night that my prescription medicine often does not even work. I lay there on a heating pad because my slight bump is already causing lower back pain and my hips feel like they are being cranked open. I can’t get comfortable and am not even that tired. 

So fellow Mommas don’t think you got this when the time comes for number 2 or 3 or 4. Because if I have learned anything every single pregnancy is very different and there is nothing standard about growing a human.

Crockpot Pot Addict

Hello my name is LA and I am addicted to my crock pot.
I have used my crock pot to make everything from appetizers to meals to homemade baby food. Seriously, I use it all the time.

In honor of today’s crock pot blog hop I thought I would share a few of my favorite recipes.

Buffalo Chicken Dip- perfect for a party

  • 2 (10 ounce) cans chunk chicken, drained (please don’t be grossed out, it makes it easy you can use chopped cooked chicken too)
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup Ranch dressing
  • 3/4 cup hot sauce (We LOVE Crystal’s hot sauce)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Literally toss it all in together and set to low it will be ready to devour in a hour or less. I typically serve with homemade bread pieces (store bought french bread works well too), apple slices and celery.

Amazing Pork Tenderloin- perfect week day dinner

  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • 1 package of Beefy Onion Dressing Mix ( I recommend Liptons)
  • 1 can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 cup of water or Red Wine
  • Fingerling Potatoes 
  • Bag of Carrots

 Mix the Beefy Onion Mix, Cream of Mushroom Soup and Red Wine together. Place the potatoes and carrots in the crock pot, layer the pork tenderloin on top with a dash of salt and pepper. Pour liquid over the pork and vegetables (it will be very thick and chunky).

Cook on Low heat for 8 hours or High for 4 give or take a little depending on the size of your meat.

Homemade Applesauce- its just perfection, plain and simple

  • 1 bag of Red Delicious Apples
  • Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves
  • Sugar
  • Butter

In our house the boy is very, very thin. Which is mildly hysterical because he eats nonstop. Don’t ask I have no idea where it goes. So after the doctor requested we try to fatten him up a bit, I came up with an applesauce recipes that may not be great for the hips but let me tell you is so good that it’s worth the extra calories. And it smells amazing, amazing!! That alone makes it worth it to me.

I cheat with my trusty apple slicer and then peel the apples. Throw them all in to the crock pot then sprinkle a generous amount of cinnamon over the apples, a dash of nutmeg and dash of cloves. Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of butter sliced. Cover and turn on low heat for 8 to 10 hours. The longer you cook it the softer it will be, if you leave it long enough you will not even have to run it through a food processor. I taste it as I go and add spices as needed. Its really good, I promise!


2010: A Recap

As we embark another year with all the hopes and anticipations of what this year will bring. I can’t help but reflect on the year we just left and all we have been through… the great, the good, the bad and the ugly.

We ushered in the New Year with a cousin reunion. A concert and football game back-to-back left us with a packed night but lots of fun memories.  A moment of uncertainty hit our little family as we experienced yet another job loss, but before we had time to fret too much life turned around and Craig landed a fantastic job with a company that he had been trying to get on with for years. Craig jumped on an airplane for man’s weekend of fishing while the boy and I spent a weekend snowed in to a lake house with my oldest and dearest friends. We baptised our babe and spent a crazy weekend alone. I got smart and regained control of my life and emotions by removing the IUD that had left me a fragment of myself. Nothing like a hormone induced crazy fest to make you value your sanity.
Spring arrived and EJ moved from crawling to walking and grew a full head of hair overnight. I finally got to use my wedding flutes as we toasted to us and our day.  We celebrated Mother’s Day rocking out to Zac Brown, I turned a year older and so did Craig.  Craig finally got his hearts desire in a fishing canoe and we spent a relaxing long weekend with a favorite couple that lives way too far away. We celebrated our boy and his first birthday and then celebrated the fact we made it through our first year as parents in one piece with night away and some Phish. We watched my brother get married to an old friend and ushered in the fall full of Rocky Top Pride. Craig put his nose to ground and prepared for the GMAT and EJ became a total toddler.
As the fall ended and holidays began we spent some quality time on my parents farm and ate ourselves into many a food coma. A plus sign left us full of excitement as we realised that 2011 would bring us a new addition. Craig interviewed and got accepted into UGA MBA program and after a whirlwind Christmas family tour we heard our sweet new baby’s heart beat for the first time, fast and perfect.
The year concluded with a night of friends and food. There is nothing quite as special is finding other couples like you to share your time with and celebrate together.  This little family of ours is truly blessed. I look to 2011 with hope and faith that through the good and the bad we will continue to grow and continue to love each other more with each new day.