Tuesday, December 31, 2013

How I Handle My Morning Sickness

ginger ale is a life saver

We just got back from our Christmas vacation in Rhode Island and had an amazing time! I caught a head cold but other than that the trip went off without a hitch and Echo was a champ for her first time on a plane. I am currently going through my photos and will have lots of images and stories to tell soon but in the mean time here is a post on dealing with morning sickness the second time around (aka, while simultaneously dealing with a toddler).

One of my big fears when I found out I was pregnant again was how on earth I would deal with being sick while I was getting up all night with my sleep challenged toddler. Thankfully the morning sickness hasn't been nearly as bad this time around but I have been feeling vaguely queasy on and off for weeks now. Here are my top foods for beating morning sickness.

1. Ginger Ale. When I was pregnant the first time I often used crackers to help settle my stomach. The problem with this now is that I am mostly sick in the middle of the night when I have to get up with Echo and coax her back to sleep. If I go in to her room crunching on crackers it will all be over, she'll be awake and wanting to share my crackers and I'll never get her back down. Ginger ale is a nice quiet way to ease my symptoms without disturbing my little one.

2. Lemon Drops. Same deal as with the ginger ale, these are quiet and and I can discreetly suck on one when I need it. They are also great to take with me when I'm out and about for a quick nausea fix.

3. Pretzels. These are a no go at night because they are too crunchy, however nothing beats nausea better in my experience. I fist learned the pretzel trick when I was scuba diving and got extremely sea sick. The pretzels help so much! They are bland and salty at the same time and for some reason they stop nausea in in it's tracks.

4. Apples. I like to have one right when I get up in the morning or for an afternoon snack. They are a good source of fiber and a nice sweet treat too!

5. Yogurt. This is another one I like to have first thing in the morning, it's incredibly soothing on the stomach. I use plain yogurt (our home made stuff) and some home made granola on top.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

More Christmas Happenings

Last night we went to see the Holiday Lights at the Botanical Gardens here in Atlanta. They do an amazing job and it was very beautiful and festive, the perfect thing to put us in the Christmas spirit. I am going to end up with so many Photos from December that I decided to go ahead and post these so that my once a month picture post doesn't get insanely long.

Out of focus because someone else took this picture :-(

Today we took echo to see Santa in Marietta Square. She was not a fan of Santa this year (last year she loved him). Oh well, better luck next time.

She had fun playing in the square though and checking out the big Christmas tree :-)

New Sofa

So just when we finished rearranging our living with our old couch and chair we were fortunate enough to luck in to getting a new sectional sofa! I've wanted a sectional sofa for years but didn't want to pay for a new one. Lucky for us some friends of the family were moving to Seattle and offered us their old one that they didn't want to move.

This isn't a great picture of the sofa but i thought it was a cute on with all 3 cats lined up in a row (they love this sofa!). Echo is sick in this picture and I spent all day snuggling her on the sofa, it was a comfy place to hang out for both of us :-)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Cheer and a Recipe for Spiced Cider

Echo helping decorate the tree

This past weekend we had our (semi) annual Christmas party and it was a great success! As usual I didn't take a enough pictures but here are a couple of our tree and then a few shots from the party.

The finished tree
We opted for a smaller tree we could put up on a table top this year to keep Echo from pulling it over or otherwise making mischief with it. The result was still pretty satisfying, almost as good as having a big tree.

I had been looking forward to this party for months, it's such a great chance to catch up with friends and see people that I don't see enough of. There were lots of babies in attendance this year which made it even more fun. I can see how much better it's going to get when they are old enough to play charades with us and participate in the white elephant. Having kids around at Christmas makes it so much more magical.

We played apples to apples (which I haven't done in ages) as well as our other standard party games and had a great time eating and drinking hot cider while we relaxed by the fire. Echo wanted to help play cards with us and was in to everyone's hands.

I wish i had gotten pictures of our food and drink spread which was pretty fantastic this year but I got busy hosting and forgot. This year I made my own spiced cider and wanted to record the recipe for posterity. Here's how I did it.

2 bottles of plain apple juice
1 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs molasses
3 cinnamon sticks
2 tsp whole allspice
2 tsp whole cloves
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 orange rind

All you have to do to make this yummy spiced cider is put it in the crock pot on low for 6 hours and enjoy hot! I also had some cold the next day and it was delicious as well.

Thanks so much to my party guests for coming, it is always such a pleasure to catch up with everyone and get to celebrate the season with some of my favorite people!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

November Photos

I am already getting pretty behind in my blogging and I can tell it's only going to get worse as December continues, what a busy month! Echo has been sick which put everything on hold and I have been busy cleaning and planning for our Christmas party. Here are some of our photos from November, a little late but better late than never :-)

Echo looks so cute in hats! 

We went back to Gibbs Gardens to see the fall foliage 

 Playing on the playground in the cold weather

And last but not least Pallookaville for Logan's Birthday!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

First Ultrasound Images

So as anyone who is friends with me on facebook now knows, we are pregnant again! We are so very excited, our goal was to get pregnant before the end of the year and the timing worked out perfectly. The funny thing is we had been trying for a couple of months with no luck but when we finally got burned out and stopped trying to time everything just right the pregnancy happened. I guess it's true that you just need to relax and go with the flow when it comes to these things. We had our first ultrasound yesterday and here are the pictures.

I drew the red arrow so you can see where the baby is. Yep, it's that little blob in the black space. Doesn't look like much yet huh? They said it is measuring at 5 weeks 5 days and we have an updated due date of August 1st. They were able to see the heart beat and said it likely just started since I am so early in the pregnancy.

Being pregnant the second time around is weird. It's strange to say but I keep kind of forgetting about it. I think it's because I'm so busy with Echo that I don't have time to think about it. After our appointment yesterday it certainly seems more real though! No I just have to find a way to stand the wait until we can find out if we are having a boy or a girl :-D

Monday, December 2, 2013

Echo's Kitten Mittens

I finally finished making a pair of mittens for Echo wear when it's really really cold out. She isn't crazy about wearing things on her hands but I tried to soften the blow by embroidering kitten faces on them.

The first pair I made turned out too small (I never leave enough seam allowance!) but I had already done the cat faces so I ended up cutting them off and stitching them to the new, larger mittens.

Here she is trying them on for the first time, she liked the cat faces. To make these mittens I just traced her hand on some tracing paper to make the pattern and did an overlock stitch all around the outside. I also added a little velcro strap to tighten them at the wrist which will hopefully help keep her from taking them off.

This last picture is her in her full cold weather gear. Here she is kissing the little cat face on her mitten (she often kisses pictures of animals) how cute is she?!?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Changing and Rearranging

We have been making big changes in our main living area of the house and now I am finally getting around to sharing some photos of our updates. I think it's really interesting to see how our needs have changed and how the space has developed over time. The first thing I wanted to show off are the awesome built in stairs that Eric made for under our staircase!

This is a project we have been wanting to do since we moved in. The previous space under the stairs was inaccessible and basically unusable and a waste of space.  We had some bookshelves stuck back there but we really couldn't get to them and they didn't give us as much storage as we wanted.  The new built in shelves are very wide and very deep and allow for plenty of storage for our games and extra kitchen goods.

The top section of the shelves will one day be a reading nook for Echo but for now it's a place to hide the cat food so Echo can't eat it (babies love to eat cat food, don't ask me why). 

In order to be able to access the shelves we had to do a little furniture rearrangement and this is the new setup. It is a much cozier arrangement and allows for better conversation and a better spot to sit by the fire since the furniture is closer together now. We even found a nice little nook for Echo's easel and her little rocking chair.

The area by the front window has changed too since we swapped out the round table that was in this corner with the rectangular table that used to be in the dining room. Eric is now using this corner as his work desk for when he works from home. It's great because he has a lovely view out in to the front yard and plenty of light. He also sold his IMac and works exclusively on his new Chrome Book and his Ipad so he doesn't need much room. We almost never use the loft now because we have pretty much stopped watching tv altogether and Echo hates being confined in the small space up there, preferring to have free reign of the whole house. The consequence of this is that we are using our "formal" living room a lot more now and not really spending much time in the the loft. Plans for how to revise the loft space to make it more usable are in the works though.

We got a cool new firewood holder so we can have dry wood inside and it fits nicely with the new furniture arrangement (it needs to be filled up more though!). The house is starting to feel like a greenhouse because I had to move so many plants inside to save them from the freezing weather but it makes everything feel a little fresher and greener so that's nice.

Here is a picture of the new dining room arrangement. I actually think the round table fits better in this space. Unfortunately this area wasn't very clean for this photo, oh well.

I also felt the need to change out the art on the dining room wall so I got a huge poster sized print of one of my photographs and framed it for this wall. I'm loving the updated look. The glass in the frame is a little too reflective though and messes with the photograph, I'm working on a solution to this. I'm moving the art that used to be on this wall up in to the loft where I'm making a gallery wall.

Here is an aerial view of the new downstairs space. Sometimes I think it really helps perk up your spirits to rearrange and redecorate a space. I think this is just what we needed and we are appreciating our house in a whole new way now.