BAM Family

BAM Family

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Nursery Art: Tree of Blessing for Baby

Our small group at church gave me a baby shower a few weeks ago and before I opened each lady's present, they each read a personalize verse of blessing for Baby Silas. Each verse was printed on a leaf. I loved all the verses so much that I wanted to encorporate them into Silas's nursery decor. 
 So I made a Tree of Blessing today!

Armed with my 40% off coupons, I went to Michael's today and bought a 20x24 canvas and some card stock. I have a TON of paper left (YEA! More crafts!)--I really only used 2 pieces of paper for the tree and then small scraps for the birds. 
I tore the brown paper into strips of varies sizes and laid them out on the canvas with the leaves until I liked the arrangement. 
Then I used a small foam brush and some diluted Elmer's glue (so it would spread better) and glued everything in place. 
Next, I drew the birds free-hand, cut them out, and glued them in place. 
I used 4 birds, one for Aaron, me, Micah and Benji, all looking over Silas as he comes into our family. 
 (you know you are an impatient blogger/crafter when you take pictures before the glue has even dried. ::hangs head in shame::)
(BTW, all the leaves had hole punches in them because at the shower they were hung on tree branches with ribbon).
As you can see, (or click on the picture to see it larger) each leaf has a verse on it that is personalized with Silas's name. So special!
 I plan on hanging the canvas in his nursery as both art and an image of blessing for him as he grows.
YES! One more project done before he arrives!! 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sewing for Silas: Woven Baby Quilt

So, I finished Silas's baby quilt last night. Here is the finished product! 
This was an interesting project for me because I have never made a quilt. Ok, let me back up. I have never made a quilt by myself from start to finish. When I was about 17 or 18 I made two twin size quilts (that are absolutely beautiful and I LOVE them!) but my mom helped me extensively. In fact, I don't think I would attempt to do the same project by myself again. And I didn't actually "quilt" them. We had that professionally done. So....this was kinda a "first quilt" for me. 
I followed this tutorial online for the "Basketweave Quilt Pattern". It was a great tutorial with lots of pictures. Basically you cut two inch strips of fabric (I used my rotary cutter and it went really fast, 30 minutes-ish?) and weave them together to make the top. 
Here is the quilt all woven! 
Then I quilted the top by layering the top, batting and backing (I used minky fabric) and sewed a grid, basically a 1/4 inch seam down each row on each side of the square (you can see the pattern in the picture below). Then I used scraps to do the binding, machine sewing it on one side and hand sewing the finished side. 
 The lady who did the tutorial said she made her quilt in an afternoon (it is super cute too if you click on the link above). She is an experienced quilter. This project took me over a week, though I didn't work on it every day. My favorite part was hand sewing the binding to finish the quilt. My least favorite part? Everything else. I don't think I have found a new hobby in quilting. 

For one thing, my back was KILLING me while I wove all the fabric together (though for a person who is not 9 months pregnant, this process would probably  be fun). Then the darn-minky fabric was so hard to sew on! Oh my word! Never again! It made my machine go super slow and I like to sew FAST FAST FAST--especially if I am just sewing in a straight line, which is basically what the whole quilt was. So I had to push the fabric with one hand and pull with the other so my machine wouldn't make the tiniest baby stitches you ever saw. I've heard a "walking foot" for your sewing machine helps this but I don't have one. Oh well. The quilt got done. 

I am pretty happy with the results. If I would do this project differently, I would cut the strips with pinking sheers or pinking rotary cutter to minimize strings (because the raw edged do show and there are a LOT of strings). I would also do a darker/different color scheme. I am not super thrilled with how beige the quilt looks. But I am glad I got it done and the back is SUPER soft...which makes up for how hard it was to sew on the minky fabric. 
 
I think it will be a perfect crib quilt or playmat for Silas though, and overall, (despite my hassle with the minky) this was a really easy project. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Meng Menu


Sunday: Cheeseburger Soup, yeast rolls 
Monday: Roasted Chicken breasts, roasted red potatoes, green beans
Tuesday: Hot dogs, chips, fruit salad
Wednesday: Sloppy joes, baked fries, green bean casserole (Aaron's birthday!)
Thursday: Shrimp and grits, salad (Candace's Birthday dinner!)
Friday: London Broil, mashed potatoes, corn
Saturday: Dinner from friends

Lately I have been grocery shopping on Monday mornings after I drop the boys off at school. Tomorrow, though, I have a meeting at work at 10am, which wouldn't leave me a whole lot of time to grocery shop. I know my energy would be really low after the meeting (around lunch time) so I was dreading shopping tomorrow. 

Well, around 8:45pm tonight I had a burst of energy and decided to go to Kroger. I whizzed through the store in 30 minutes and was done! No shopping tomorrow! Yea!

Plus I got some good deals on meat (chicken and london broil on sale, shrimp $1 off, and I got the hot dogs for free with a "best customer" coupon from Kroger). All in all I spent $112--pretty good with two birthday dinners to cook this week! (Aaron is pretty easy to please though with his yearly (and weekly?) request of Sloppy Joes. Plus I have a little money leftover to get him a special birthday dessert. :) 

One of our friends from church offered to bring us dinner this week as I am near the very end of my pregnancy (37 weeks on Tuesday) so that is super nice too! 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Pregnancy Diary: Week 29-36

WOW! I am almost at the end of my pregnancy! I am currently 36.5 weeks pregnant, which is how pregnant I was when I gave birth to my twins. So, in the weeks to come, I will be more pregnant than I have ever been. Whew! 

(reading over all these posts, I realize that I sound like a pregnant "b" most of the time. Sorry about that.   Wish these status updates showed a more pleasant side of myself....oh well....)

July 26: "just finished 2 All in One diapers for Silas. :)"

Later: "feels like Silas is dancing the cha-cha in my belly, complete enthusiastic kicks and fist bumps!"

July 27: "pregnancy dreams = weird."

July 28: "Micah: I don't like babies. I fight babies. (Awesome....)"

July 30: "The pintrest plaque that reads "Excuse the mess; The children are making memories" is a little too Pollyanna for me. How about "Excuse the mess: I'm pregnant and I hate housework"? ;)"

July 31: "my pregnancy dreams lately have been about large scale home renovations, like finishing our basement or gutting our kitchen....um...no."

Aug 1: "is under strict instructions from the boys not to cry when I get my shots (glucose test) today. :)"

Later: "passed the glucose test and my iron levels are looking good too. And I didn't cry (per the boys' request!) ;)"

Even later: "I am supposed to count 10 kick counts in an hour. Silas knocked those out (literally) in 2 minutes."

Aug 2: tetanus shots and I do not get along. Exhausted because I was in so much pain last night....

Aug 3: "After telling the boys that Silas would be born in the hospital, Benji very seriously told me, "Mommy. Don't get medicine in the bottom." I think the memory of the enemas last fall are still very strong."

Aug 4: "that root beer float tasted great...but it is making Silas go nuts...."

Aug 6: "thinks Silas is doing the plank in my belly: Feet in the right rib, fists on the left hip."

Aug 8: "the boys' idea of feeling Silas kick is to pump my belly in rapid succession. Ug...pounded from the outside and inside..."

Aug 12: "really tired and vein leg pain is really acting up day....and I need to go grocery shopping...:P"

Later: "Silas: ::quiet quiet quiet:: Mommy: (eats one bite of ice cream) Silas: ::kick! kick! kickkickkick!!!!::"

Aug 13: "did not expect a 30 min appt to turn into two hours with a trip to the radiologist to get an ultrasound of my leg veins. Did I mention I had the boys with me? Everything is fine but I am kind of stressed out. Plus I have a meeting this afternoon at LU....

Aug 14: Mother and academia are not mutually exclusive. I am proud to be both a young mother and an academic!"

Later: "pregnancy has reached the weird alien stage: you know, when you can see the limb moving from the outside of the belly."

Even later: Micah: When is Baby Silas going to come out? Me: he is going to come out in-- Benji: 30 minutes!!!!! (Holy cow...that would be quick)"

Aug 16: Positive: Freshmen Seminar was a big success today. Negative: My feet/legs are KILLING me"

Aug 18: "Aaron took the boys to the softball tournament early so I could sleep in and have some time to myself. :)"

Later: "‎8 weeks till due date. W.O.W."

Aug 20: "SILAS! lay off the rib, child!"

Au 21: "Oooh...I am tired. Did lots of walking today on the hilly LU campus and I am sore (pathetic, right?)"

Aug 22: "really dislikes pregnancy in the evenings. Mornings and afternoons are fine but in the evening everything hurts and I can't get comfortable. 8 more weeks to go...."

Aug 23: "Agenda for this afternoon: lay down and watch tv. I am exhausted."

Aug 25: "Is at the stage in my pregnancy where well-meaning strangers are making rude comments about the size of my belly/when I am due."

Aug 27: "Benji: I want to see him! (smashes face really hard against my belly) I don't see him! (dejected) There's no baby in there...."

Aug 28: restless legs! BAHH! Can any other pregnant mom relate to this???"

Aug 30: "Silas is doing belly-yoga again. Feels like Downward Facing Dog."

Later: "thinks we'll have another train-loving boy in the family. Silas went nuts when the train whistled as it went by."

Sept 2: "caught Aaron and Micah's cold. Feeling sickly."

Sept 3: "Man at the meat cooler at Kroger: So, when's the watermelon due? Me: (polite pity laugh)....mid October (thinking, who wants to be compared to a large fruit?)"

Sept 4: feeling miserable. Going to bed."

Sept 5: "why do so many people act like having a 3rd boy is such a bad thing? Not so! Let's hear it for the boy!!!"

Later: "After reading online birth stories to Aaron.....Aaron: Please don't have Silas in the tub. I'll never be able to take a shower in there again!"

Sept 7: "feels like I hit a "pregnancy wall" this past week. Everything got a lot harder...like walking." (Baby dropped)

Sept 8: Life Group Baby shower!

Sept 10: lungs = squished."

Later: "Micah (hand on my belly): is that his hand? Me: No, I think that's his butt. Micah: His butt???? Ew! That's disgusting! (removes hand!)"

Sept 11: "Me: The baby is in a special place called the 'womb.' Benji: The room? Me: the WOMB! Benji: No, that's not the room! that's the BELLY!"

Sept 12: "Doctor's appointment confirmed what I knew last week: that the baby has dropped and is head down."

Sept 13: "feels horrible today...and I took it out on my kids before they went to school...:("

Sept 14: "Is having a productive day: editing, cooking, light cleaning, lunch with Aaron, class prep, and now sewing for baby. :-)"

Later: "Pregnancy is magical. At the end of everyday I am transformed into a duck. You know, waddle, waddle, waddle..."

Sept 15: "So...I expected to go to brunch with my best friend Candace this morning BUT was REALLY shocked to find myself at a surprise baby shower with all my best mom friends! Thanks everyone!!! I was SO surprised and had a great time!"

Later: "oh, heartburn....you are not my friend!! Go away!"

Sept 18: "‎36 weeks"

Later: "‎2 things of note: Lemon cheesecake was a HUGE success! and I got all the strips cut for Silas's baby quilt. :) Domestic bliss!

Sept 19: "Benji: Mommy, your big belly is going to grow and grow! And then it's going to POP! (Oh, my word I hope not!)"

Sept 20: "Benji put his face really close to my belly and said "HI baby Silas!" And Silas immediately kicked. Brotherly love. :)

Later: "exhausted. Husband is bringing home Chinese take-out."

Sept 21: "Silas decided last night was a good time to boogie...feel like I was awake half the night."

Later: "While watching a news story about a non-invasive liposuction procedure, Micah said: "Mommy, you want to get that so you belly isn't so big?" Wow, thanks son."

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Meng Menu


Sunday: Pizza rolls, salad      
Monday: Hawaiian roll sandwiches, veggies, apples, chips  
Tuesday: Asian pork chops, rice, broccoli
Wednesday: Eggs, bacon, bread, fruit
Saturday: BAM Cheeseburger soup, rolls 

Confession: Aaron and I have become cheese snobs. Someone gave us from fresh mozzarella cheese a few months ago and after making the Pizza rolls (link above!) with the fresh cheese (we're talkin' fresh, soft, creamy, smooth, melty, stretch-for-a-mile cheese, not the block or the bag kind) we have not gone back. 

The fresh mozzarella led to fresh parmesan cheese (SO much better than the shake-out-of-a-can kind!). The only problem is that fresh cheese is a LOT more expensive. So, I look for sales a lot and I bought some mozzarella that was on sale today to stick in the freezer. Even though the fresh cheese is more expensive, I don't think I can go back....I  think my taste buds would throw a fit. 

Total today was $130: a bit over budget. It was probably all that cheese I bought. ;) In my mind (and mouth) though, TOTALLY WORTH IT! 

Can I also say how excited I am that the high this week is only in the 70s in Virginia???? Bring on the Cheeseburger Soup, baby! My recipe for this yummy, healthy soup makes 8 hearty servings so am going to freeze half so we can have a quick dinner after the baby arrives (it freezes beautifully!). 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"Ants are delicious!" Or what Micah did at school today

This is an actual conversation we had with Micah (4 years old) tonight at dinner:

Micah: I ate ants at school today!

Me: (horrified) You ate ANTS???

Micah: Yeah! I ate them outside! They were delicious!

Aaron: (laughing) They were?! 

Micah: Yeah...some were yucky though. But some were good! 

Me: (horrified silence)

Aaron: (grinning) Some were yucky? Why were they yucky?

Micah: The red ones were yucky. They were so crunchy!

Aaron: Crunchy, huh?

Me: (in shock, mouth gaping open)

Micah: Yeah, but the black ones were soft! They were yummy!

Me: PLEASE DON'T EAT ANTS AT SCHOOL!!!!!!

Micah: But I ate them outside. But I didn't eat worms. 

Aaron: No worms, huh?

Micah: No, they were so squishy....

I didn't find out if he actually ate worms. I don't think he did. 

But I really, really don't want to know. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Shower for Silas + 34 week belly

 The ladies from my wonderful life group at church gave me a baby shower today and I had a wonderful time. 
 Well, here I am at 34.5 weeks! 
One word comes to mind for describing my body right now: ROUND. 
My best friend Candace bought me this dress to wear because she said it make my belly "look amazing."
My sweet friend Jean hosted the shower at her beautiful home. There about 7 ladies in all.
We had brunch and then just talked for a while. Then we opened presents for Silas and talked a lot more!
 (The pictures look off because my camera settings were messed up. Sad!) 
 A fun diaper cake made by Maria. There were newborn and size 1 diapers plus toys, teethers, and some lotion inside. 
 Plus, she added some Red Sox pacies because she knows what a big fan Aaron is. He loved them! (hopefully Silas will too!) 
 My friend Kim gave me this adorable Owl print picture for our nursery plus sheets that have owls and woodland animals on them! I love them! 
(She got some sneaky help from Aaron in order to find out our nursery theme) 

My other favorite thing about the shower was that each lady read a Bible verse of blessing for Silas before I opened each present. Jean had inserted Silas' name into each verse to make it a personal prayer for him and attached the verses to leaves made out of pretty paper. I am going to take all the leaves and make a picture/mural for the wall in his room. 

Silas, you are loved! We can't wait to meet you! 
What a lovely shower. Thank you everyone! 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Pregnancy: Twins vs. Single Baby

At 34 weeks, I am almost at the end of my pregnancy. Lately I have thought, "Wow, with the boys (my twins) I was only two weeks from giving birth!" 
Ever wonder what a twin ultrasound looks like? Pretty awesome, right?
Having a singleton pregnancy after a twin pregnancy is a whole new experience. I've had lots of people tell me, "Oh I bet it is SO much easier this time around!" 

It HAS been easier but in some unexpected ways.  

The only two things that were worse with my twin pregnancy were morning sickness and back pain.
Back pain is kinda inevitable when you are preggo with twins and gain 55 pounds.
 I am 36.5 weeks in this picture, right before we went to the hospital for the c-section
I was sick the same amount of time with both pregnancies (about 16 weeks) but instead of toughing it out (why did I do that?) like I did with the twins, I got anti-nausea meds for this pregnancy, which helped but didn't completely take away the sickness. 

This time around I've had varicose vein pain, charlie horses, heartburn, restless leg syndrome, constantly broken-out skin, or a slow moving digestive tract. 

I was also never kicked in the bladder or ribs (amazing, right?!) until this pregnancy. Can you say "ouch!!!"? 

But while I've had more pregnancy symptoms, having a singleton pregnancy has been a breeze from a medical standpoint. 

With my twins, I was constantly at the doctor. In addition to my once a week appointment with my in-town doctor, I went to see a neonatal specialist every 2 weeks starting at 24 weeks until I gave birth. Then, starting at 28 weeks, I went to regular doctor twice a week for non-stress tests until I gave birth. 

My twins were diagnosed with Twin-to-twin transfusion (where, because of a shared placenta, one twin draws blood and nutrients away from the other twin) and intrauterine growth restriction (very low weight gain in the womb) (and a few other things). 

At our 2nd appointment at the specialist the ultrasound tech told us that after our 1st appointment she went home and cried that night because she honestly thought that our babies were not going to make it (thank God she didn't tell us that at the 1st appointment!). 

The doctor also told us that if he saw that the babies were in distress anytime after 28 weeks that I would have a c-section that day. So every appointment I went to I wondered, "Hmm....I wonder if I will have the babies today?" (Imagine thinking this twice a week--or more?!)

Thank God this did not happen (I had the boys at  36.5 weeks) but it made for a pretty high anxiety pregnancy. People often asked me how I coped with the stress. I remember two things helping me through:

I prayed a lot and really just gave the situation to God. 
I didn't let myself get emotionally attached to the boys

The 2nd coping mechanism is pretty sad, right? but honestly, I never knew if at the next appointment the doctor was going to tell me, "I'm sorry, but...."

Because of this, I didn't or couldn't let myself get excited about their birth or even about being a mom. I knew we would not have a typical birth. I knew they would be taken to the NICU immediately and would most likely be there for several weeks. I "comforted" myself by counting down the weeks till they were viable (able to live outside the womb) and knew every symptom and complication that resulted from being born at x-weeks. 

Everyone around me was so excited and happy for the birth. 

I was not. 

The only emotions I remember feeling were terror and uncertainty. I poured out my heart (and eyes)  to the poor girl in the surgery center office  (who was supposed to be prepping me for the c-section the day before I delivered) about how scared I was. 

There were no thoughts of snuggling with my new babies or breastfeeding right after birth. I didn't even get to hold Benji until 6 hours after he was born and didn't get hold Micah until the next day. 
Holding Benji for the first time: 4 lbs, 12 oz
Micah's first night. He was getting a blood transfusion. ( 3lbs 13 oz at birth)


I wish I could say my emotions changed after they were born. There were brief moments of intense joy--hearing Benji's first cry--and more terror--Micah didn't breathe for over 5 minutes after he was born. (The doctor who delivered him told us many hours later (after Micah was fine) that he thought that Micah was dead before they pulled him out of the womb). 
Mentally, I knew they were my babies.
I knew I was their mommy.
Benji (my first time seeing him without the oxogen tubes covering his face; he was over a week old here)
Micah (IV in his head)
But I felt very disconnected from them. 
I actually didn't feel strong, emotional affection for them until they were about 4 months old. 

The next two weeks were about coping with two premature babies in the NICU, both of whom were barely 4 pounds when we finally brought them home. 

Coping, Coping, Coping. 
No excitement, no anticipation, no joy. 

And this is primarily why my pregnancy with Silas has been different. 

I didn't have to count down the weeks till he was viable and then breathe a sigh of relief when we passed the 24 week mark (though I still did check off each week on my calendar and breathe that prayer of thankfulness). 
My life is not consumed with doctor's appointments, horrible anxiety, or wondering if he will be born "today"
And most importantly I am excited, happy and eagerly anticipating his birth (as is my husband and soon-to-be big brothers!)

Lord willing, everything will go as planned and I will go full term, have a successful VBAC, and get to actually hold my baby right after he is born! And hopefully feel the whole "fall in love" thing that so many moms have talked about but that I have never experienced. 

I am so blessed to have twins and though my pregnancy with them was actually physically "easier" for me (not them!) than with Silas, there is no comparison about how much better I feel emotionally this time around. 

I can't wait to meet our new little man! 
Silas Edward: Due in 6 weeks!

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