Friday, November 29, 2013

What We're Thankful For

Ross and I are excited to announce that we're expecting a little turkey of our own! 
He or she will be fully baked mid-June. 

We couldn't be more thankful!

(P.S. If you click the pregnancy link, you can see the updates I've posted and post-dated, if you're interested.)

12 Weeks: Secret's Out

This felt like a big week!

Ultrasounds: 1

Lab draws: 1

Family members who know: Everyone!

Symptoms: Nausea and food aversions are worse than ever. I also noticed that I suddenly have to be really careful getting up if I've been laying down, lest I get really dizzy once I'm on my feet. Finally, maybe I just didn't eat enough last week when I was sick, or maybe the baby's going through a growth spurt, but I was so hungry all week this week!

Cravings: Egg drop soup. Tofu, particularly in some sort of Thai-flavored sauce. Cold, simple foods like cereal, vegetable sushi, fruit...

Dear baby,

We got to see you again this week. I ate a Larabar right before our ultrasound on Wednesday, and you must've loved it. You were bouncing and kicking and waving your arms when the ultrasound started. It was absolutely precious, and absolutely surreal. Of course, I still can't feel a thing in regards to your movement, so part of me felt like I was just watching someone else's baby up on that screen. I'm so glad it's you, though. And that you're ours.

You passed your NT with flying colors! I was so nervous. I've seen too many sick babies over the years-- it's truly a miracle that so far, everything seems to be going normally with your growth and development. You're already the size of a plum! I'm incredibly thankful.

I thought that good news with this ultrasound would relieve some anxiety, but alas, I'm still a nervous wreck. I think that's going to be par for the course for... oh... the next 50 years.

Speaking of 50 years down the road, I got to tell my grandparents about you on Thanksgiving. It was so fun to hear my grandmas talk about their own pregnancies. I can't wait for you to meet everyone!

Your dad and I are still adjusting to the whole concept of our lives being flipped upside down when you arrive. We're so clueless in so many ways and we have no idea what we're in for, but we do know we're very excited you're on your way. I can't wait to see who you are and who you become. Who exactly has been wiggling around in there all these weeks?

In the meantime, we'll keep celebrating milestone visits with street tacos near the hospital. All three of us seem to enjoy them!


Monday, November 25, 2013

Even Here

If you've known me at all in real life or via social media in the past 6 years, it's pretty clear that I don't like night shift. Loathe might be a better word. I don't handle it well physically, mentally, or emotionally. When I left the NICU this time last year, I took a huge, HUGE risk leaving my day shift and my seniority behind. 
Honestly, I regret that a lot. I knew the risk I was taking, and man have I grown a ton in the last year in ways that might not have presented themselves if I was in the same old job, but I do find myself longing for that old job more often than I should, given that they're not hiring right now. In two short weeks, I will officially lose all seniority at that hospital since I've been gone for a year. I hate that. But it's out of my hands at this point. 
Once I decided to resign from my clinic job, I was really anxious about finding a new job since most of the positions I applied and interviewed for were not day-shift positions. I'm so blessed to have found an arrangement that avoids full-time nights! However, I do currently work a few nights a month in a PRN capacity. It's so much better than full-time, but it's still a bit painful. Since I'm accustomed to being awake during the day and my night shifts are all spread out, it often means going to work without being able to take a nap and therefore staying awake for 24+ hours. It means not seeing Ross some weekends because I'm asleep while he's awake, and then I'm at work in the evenings. It means bringing some old wounds and fears to the surface. The last time I worked nights regularly, our marriage was so dysfunctional that we didn't even know dysfunctional it was! So it's scary to go back to the unknowns of what's going on while I'm sleeping or working.

It's frustrating to be so tired and not be able to sleep normally. It's a little suffocating to think about how little money we're bringing in right now and to feel the pressure to sign up for more night shifts while simultaneously dreading it. My thoughts are all jumbled up.
I had been dreading this weekend for a month due to back-to-back nights. It felt like Ross and I hadn't spent time together in ages. I'd been sick with an awful sinus infection since Monday and I dragged my butt to my other job Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, which wore me out. To say I was seriously bummed (and tired) heading to work Friday night would be an understatement. 
But when I got home Saturday morning, Ross was awake making me eggs. And when I woke up ravenous at 1pm, he brought me a snack. He went grocery shopping while I slept and made dinner while I got ready for work. When I realized we didn't have any food prepared or ready for me to make and take for lunch Saturday night, he ran to Chipotle and got me a delicious burrito bowl. As I walked out the door with my Chipotle bag in hand, I was overwhelmingly grateful. I still wanted to throw my bags down and stay home, but for a different reason. Instead of dreading work, I was dreading spending yet another evening away from this man I love.
My heart was so warm all night and I just kept thinking, God is so good at his job. To give us a chance of redemption here, in this painful place that's part of our past and present. To bring things such full-circle via night shift. To give Ross a chance to serve me in a place where I can do nothing but say thank you over and over again. And thank you to God for second chances.

Friday, November 22, 2013

10 Weeks and 11 Weeks


First of all, double digits, baby! Hard to believe that pregnancy is 1/4 of the way over but I'm barely showing and most people still don't know I'm pregnant! At 10 weeks the baby is the size of a prune but now resembles a real baby-- the tail is gone, the legs are formed, and he or she is moving even though I can't feel it yet!

Week 10 brought more extreme iterations of the same symptoms I've been having: Food aversions, nausea, some fatigue, and some crankiness. Honestly, I can't complain much when my acne is the pregnancy symptom that bothers me the most (although food aversions and nausea are a very close second).

Oh, and one other weird/entertaining symptoms is that I can vividly smell/taste things unexpectedly at the oddest times. The ones that come to mind right now are strawberries that popped into my mind at work one day, and Taco Bell tacos that popped into my mind while I was watching a movie that had nothing to do with Mexican food!

In other news, we went to Rachel and Marcus' wedding this weekend at Red Barn Farm. We love these two and we were so happy to celebrate with them!


At 11 weeks, the baby is the size of a small key lime, which blows my mind! Also, 11 weeks marks the designated change from embryo to fetus, which is exciting. Week 11 brought a wicked cold/sinus infection that had me down and out for a solid week. Noticing a pattern here? I swear I didn't get sick sick for about a year and a half, and now I've had laryngitis and a sinus infection in the last 2 months. I don't think my immune system loves the double whammy of pregnancy and flu season. I was so out of it all week. The one good thing about not being able to breathe through my nose was that I couldn't smell or taste, though! My nausea decreased significantly :-)

Finally, week 11 is when I really started to notice something happening in there. My lower abdomen is definitely fuller and I can't suck it in like I usually can. Here we go!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Spaghetti and Meatballs

I will be the first to admit: I'm not even a little bit Italian. I have some awesome Italian friends, and I've been to fun Italian weddings, but I make no claims to authentic Italian food coming out of my kitchen. That being said, we love these meatballs. In fact, we love them so much that every time I make them, we eat them too quickly to photograph them! I made them again last week and managed to snap an unattractive picture of reheated leftovers. I promise they taste 1,000 times better than they look!


1 tsp dried basil or parsley
2 Tbs parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 piece of gluten-free bread, toasted (or 1/4 cup ground flaxseed)

1 Tbs water
1 tsp olive oil 
1 lb ground meat
1 large egg
approximately 20 oz of your favorite tomato sauce


Preheat the oven to 375. 

Blend the dry ingredients into a fine powder in the food processor. Then pour them into a bowl and add the wet ingredients (except for the tomato sauce). Pulse until the wet ingredients are all incorporated.

Then add the dry ingredients and blend briefly until the mixture looks mostly uniform. Form the mixture into golf ball-sized balls or slightly smaller and place in a greased pie pan. 

Pour the tomato sauce on top, place foil over the pan, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for another 10-20 minutes uncovered. We've had varying bake times with these for some reason, so after 30 minutes, check for done-ness every 10 minutes or so by cutting into one of the meatballs in the middle.


Friday, November 8, 2013

9 Weeks: Being Real

Disclaimer: This post is not meant to be full of whining. I'm completely fascinated by the process of pregnancy and, in particular, the first trimester in which a lot of what happens is behind closed doors, so to speak.

Everyone wants to be one of those cute pregnant ladies who's all belly and nothing else. One of those women who can wear their normal jeans right into the second trimester?

I'm only 9 weeks in, but I'm pretty sure that's not going to be me. In fact, I think my skinny jeans are officially retired for now. Not because my belly is too big, but because my legs are. With that, goes the last bit of the illusion that your body is your own once you decide to have kids, right?

Look, this baby is already teaching me humility.

I thought I was prepared for the disappearing waistline and the rising number on the scale. In nursing school, I remember learning that a woman should gain a pound a month during the first trimester and then about 1 pound a week each week thereafter. Tell you what, I've already exceeded that first trimester cumulative goal, and I still have 3-4 weeks left!

The emotional part for me is that there's no apparent rhyme or reason for my general and abrupt inability to pull my jeans all the way up my legs. I'm so accustomed to gaining weight when I eat poorly and mindlessly, and losing weight when I eat more veggies and work out more. This weight gain does not compute. And why should pregnancy make my arms and legs bigger?!

Thankfully, minus the aversion to green veggies, my eating has been mostly the same, if not slightly improved since getting pregnant. I've tried to focus more on protein and, if veggies don't sound good, getting vitamins and fiber from fresh fruit. I've always been snacky and had a sweet tooth, but both of those actually disappear when general malaise sets in during the afternoons and evenings around here. I'm eating smaller meals, only eating to the point of comfort when I'm hungry (which is actually often, though), working out 3 times a week, and gaining weight! It's a big slice of humble pie, for sure.

Part of it may be paranoia when I'm around family and friends who don't know I'm pregnant yet: "They're just going to think I'm gaining weight for no reason!" (Why this is so tragic to me, I do not know. It all sounds silly when I type it out.)

In summary: I was prepared for a belly, not for all the things that expand before your belly does. I'm grateful that Ross is able to listen to my emotional paranoia, and I think I'll start to feel better when more people know I'm pregnant, and when the belly finally makes its debut! When I think back to the tiny little heartbeat we saw last week, I know this is only a small window of time and its all worth it.

(I also think I've had a little hormone surge this week between the emotional lability, acne, and weight fluctuations.)

On a positive note, my favorite pregnancy symptom remains my funny taste buds. I don't even mind being averse to tons of things, because when something tastes good, it's OMG THE BEST THING EVER.

P.S. This online tool is a handy way to check in on your weight gain after each doctor's appointment. I think checking it every day would be overwhelming. I don't have a scale at home, and I'm still undecided if I want to buy one just for pregnancy.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Watching: The sunset. It's beautiful, but thanks to daylight savings time, it still feels a bit early in the day for the sun to be setting.

Eating: Some no-bake granola bars: 1/2 cup nuts of choice, 1/2 cup almond meal, 10 medjool dates, 1/4 cup chocolate chips, 1 Tbs honey, 1 tsp vanilla, pinch of sea salt. Blend in food processor and then press into a thin layer and freeze for 1 hour. Cut and enjoy. We'll see how long these last...

Drinking: So. Much. Water.

Wanting: Warm weather and sunshine. It's been a cloudy week and today was officially COLD all day. Reclusive winter Therese is ready to go into hibernation now. Or plan a vacation.

Needing: A good night's sleep. And energy/motivation. Two sides of the same coin?

Loving: Fall colors in Kansas City! Forget frigid December. THIS is the most wonderful time of the year!

Creating: Dinner. We're having grilled salmon.

Thinking: About the last three years of life and marriage. It's been a true season of reflection and catching my breath over here. I feel like we're OFF the roller coaster and on solid ground now, and it's amazing!

Feeling: A little stressed about work tomorrow. So many babies have been born this week! It's going to be a really busy day.

Wondering: If I'll have the courage to go out in the cold for my workout class tonight!


Friday, November 1, 2013

8 Weeks: You're really there!

We had a big week this week, baby. Both sets of your grandparents know about you now and their  reactions were priceless! You're the first grandbaby on both sides, and to say you will be well-loved is probably an understatement.

As fun as those reactions were, though, nothing beats seeing you via ultrasound for the first time. I didn't think I was too nervous about Tuesday's appointment, but I was getting kind of anxious and short-tempered on Monday, so subconsciously I must've been a little worried.

Thankfully, we couldn't have asked for a better visit. You're really there! (Just you. No twins, which I grew irrationally fearful about since they run in my family.) You have a perfect little heartbeat! You're measuring right on schedule!

You're just the size of a blueberry and you look like a little seahorse, but I'm amazed how much we love you already. Your picture is on the fridge now and every time we walk by it, we just grin at each other. It's so bizarre that people are allowed to just make more people! (Profound, right?)

Your dad and I celebrated a successful ultrasound with a DELICIOUS lunch of street tacos at our favorite hole-in-the wall restaurant. He's so excited that you already seem to love spicy food. He keeps saying proudly that you really ARE half Texan! I think this will be our post-ultrasound tradition for the rest of this pregnancy.

Seeing you on ultrasound was a huge milestone and a sigh of relief that things are going the way they're supposed to. However, even though I was obviously present in real-time for the ultrasound, I still find it hard to believe you're there! That YOU are THERE. Maybe it'll seem more real when I start to feel you move in a few months?

Keep chugging away in there. We're so proud of you, and we're so excited to meet you!

Your Parents

P.S. Fall is in its element in Kansas City this week. I can hardly believe that, God willing, next fall you'll be here to enjoy the colorful leaves with us!