Friday, January 29, 2010

Recent pictures of Quinn


I have been on a selfish kick recently. I want to go back to school.

I really miss being in school. I really want to be a surgeon. It is awesome, amazing, fascinating, life saving, a constant learning curve, thought provoking and I really like using a bone saw.

Apart from the time that a cadaver kept giving me electric shocks, but that's another story.

But in the meantime I was going to become a nurse and then when my kids were older go back to med school and climb that ladder.

I won't go into details but it looks like it is going to be harder for me to go back to school than I was originally thinking. I wish people would stop changing curriculums, adding interviews, not offering night programs, ya know, that sort of thing. I worked hard when I was in college, got straight A's in all my nursing classes, did well on the TEAS test and got accepted into UVU's nursing program. But I gave that up so Peter could go to law school. And that was the best decision. Because his education is more important, he has to provide for our family. And I got to have a baby. Enough said

But it still kinda bums me out. I really want to do my bachelors in nursing, no other major interests me as much.

So we are exploring a couple of options and I am looking into different nursing programs in the west. I might even change my major. Because you see with nursing, I can't do one or two classes at time or do it online. Its clinicals and a set course load that you have to stick with on their time schedule. So maybe I'll do something like exercise science, that's what I was going to do originally, and that way I still get to keep learning, and then when the time is right I can become a nurse or just skip it and go straight to med school.

However, today I removed mucous from a nose, wiped away tears, soothed a baby, rubbed a back, gave a sponge bath, spoon fed breakfast and lunch to an unwilling child and took a rectal temperature...maybe I don't need to be a nurse, just a mother.

Highs and woes of a pregnant lady

I love being pregnant! I have looked forward to this part of life for a really long time. I have always wanted to be a mother and really do it enjoy it. Its so neat that I am able to provide a nice home for this little one while it grows and gets ready to join us.

This pregnancy has been slightly different from the last one. Thankfully I am not as sick this time around, it more comes in spurts and on a daily basis than a continual, I have to stay in bed otherwise I will puke kind of sick. This is a huge blessing. I don't know how I would be able to take care of Quinn if I was that sick again.

I am experiencing a few different things this time around that I didn't with Quinn. I have that metallic coppery taste in my mouth. Actually before we found out I was pregnant I started having nose bleeds and thought the taste was just because of that. My left eye has also been drooping which I thought was just due to new contacts but that's pregnancy related too. I also noticed that I was showing around 4 weeks. No one else but Peter and I would have noticed but the bloated belly look started to clue us in to the fact that I could be pregnant. Either that or I had suddenly gained a bunch of weight.

My belly and back have been aching too. This didn't started until around 20 weeks with Quinn. With this one it started around 7...

With Quinn I knew what I could eat and not be sick. I loved baked potatoes with cheese, cheese and green onions together and breads! I couldn't stand raw chicken and actually have never really gotten over that.

It reminded me of working on the cadavers removing fat.

I won't go into details.

This time I can eat something one day and the next it makes me sick. I am a lot more aware of how my food smells and if it doesn't smell right I can't eat it.

This is definitely a healthier baby in that I want fruits and veggies and with Quinn I wanted fried food and carbs...maybe my eating never swung back to how it was and so now my body is just telling me what I need. Or maybe its because its a summer baby and wants light summery sorts of foods.

But I wouldn't miss out on any of this. I'm glad for the pregnancy symptoms because with this baby my attention is divided and sometimes I forget I am pregnant. Well maybe not forget....but its not at the front of my mind as it was with Quinn.
We had an ultrasound on Tuesday though and that was amazing. It is so neat to see the baby and it makes it that much more real. We have another ultrasound in two weeks so we get to see him/her again. Yay!

The ultrasound showed that the baby wasn't quite as far along as the original due date predicted so the new date is August 20th. Kinda weird...I already did the 11th and 12th weeks and today I just started my 11th week again.

I will have to post the ultrasound pictures soon, they are really sweet.

Quinn's 1st Birthday

Happy birthday Quinn! I know its cliche but we really can't believe how much he has grown and matured over the past year. He brings so much joy into our lives and we love every minute of it. At the one year mark Quinn weighs 19lbs (25%) and is 31" (90th) tall. So pretty much a bean pole. There is too much about him to sum it all up but here are some things worth mentioning.

He loves food, especially fruits and mama's homemade buttermilk rolls. He is starting to read more and often pulls books off the shelf and will read to himself. His favorite books include the "On the farm" book from Gramma, Peedie, and a book about all the different noises dogs can make. (He thinks its hillarious). Quinn has such a fun personality. He'll do things just because he knows it will make us laugh. He has a cute mischevious smile and will often raise his eyebrows slightly if he thinks something is midly interesting but doesn't really want to let us know. He is walking and loves to be chased and to play hide and seek. He also enjoys pulling his blanket out of his crib and walking around the house with it.

His birthday was pretty low key. We just had pizza and cake with the three (four if you count the little one in-utero) of us. I had grand plans for his cake but it turned out terrible and was hesitant to post about it because, well it was just so bad! But now some time has passed it seems more funny than painful and his cake for his 2nd B-day will be fabulous!

I found this great idea for a cake:
I wasn't so thrilled about what she had actually on the cake and besides, that was more than I was willing to tackle, but I loved the idea of the leaning cake with the boy climbing up to reach the one on top. It seemed to fit Quinn so well. So I decided I would do that and just keep the decorations on the rest of the cake simple.

I thought of this about 3 months before his birthday so I defintely had time to prepare. I wasn't too worried about making the cake lean but I was worried about the little boy. I am definitely no artist. So I asked my talented friend Rachel to come over and tutor me on this. We played with mixing colors and with making the body shape. Here was my first mistake. I decided to experiment by using marshmallow fondant. This fondant tastes a lot better than regular fondant and would be fabulous for actually covering a cake. But it is very soft and pliable and not good for making cute little baby boys that are supposed to be climbing up a cake. I ended up having to rush to work and so we stuck what we had worked on in the fridge, me planning on working on it again when the fondant had time to harden a little.

Fast forward 3 months and I haven't touched it. Everytime I looked in the fridge I saw it and felt guilty about putting it off but I had other things going on.

And then we got pregnant.

So we get back from Utah, we are both exhausted and somewhat sick and the last thing I want to do is make a cake. So I make a quick backup plan. I'll use store bought cake and icing (mistake #2) and I'll just work on one of the little boys we had in the fridge (mistake #3).

So the fondant had been in the fridge way way too long! Duh, three months liz! So the little boys were rock solid. But I proceed to make the arms and legs. These looked amazing by the way, I was impressed with myself. But then I tried to stick them onto "the rock". And they got smushed. And so I made another set determined to stick them on with some stiff icing, but things never turn out quite as good the second time. Then I made the hair. Not bad but then it cracked and I ended up piping on the hair which I think would have turned out if I knew what I was doing. But the face, oh my... it looked like a sick muppet. Then the nose dropped off. And the arms dropped off too. And then I left it on the table, and Quinn's arms have grown and he gets a hold of it and breaks the torso in I stick it back together and just pretended the little boy had a cool jagged design on his shirt.

So my sweet hubby bakes the cakes and they taste amazing. Instead of using fondant I use regular icing to cover them...ok not great but still looking good. Then I decide to put blue food coloring in the icing and try out my new piping tips.

So in my head I know this icing isn't going to work. But I was being stubborn, and didn't have much energy or patience to make my own icing. So the blue color was not pretty, and the icing of course was way too soft.

I can just see those of you who know how to decorate your cakes shaking your heads and laughing at me. Its ok, I laugh at me too. So I have swalled my pride and posted some pictures of the disaster. But look at the last picture. My little guy was so happy that he got to eat cake. And he didn't know it was ugly. And that was the whole point, I just wanted to put some effort into the cake to show him how much I love him and to make it special for him. But he got pizza and cake all in one day and thats quite a lot of love, especially when his diapers were a little yucky (ok, well maybe a lot yucky) because of it.

I start cake decorating classes on Tuesday. I definitely need them. Wish me luck!

Freaky looking muppet dude.
Can you see how it is oozing?! um, ya gross.

And my amazing 1 year old! Happy birthday buddy!

Today I made my baby do chores

I was feeling tired today and felt it was about time Quinn started to pull his weight around here. So I had him empty the dishwasher, do the laundry and vacuum.

So not really, but I have been trying to include Quinn in more of what I do around the house. Ya know, when I actually do decide to try to do something around here. I am always so tempted to wait until he is asleep to do things. I am one of those people that likes tackling really big jobs all at once. For example when I clean the kitchen I don't like to just wipe down the counters and do the dishes etc. I also like to scrub the stove, including under the rings, clean all the doors, wipe down the tile on the back splash, sweep, mop, clean out the get the picture. And that really isn't practical. I have been trying to find a balance between daily maintaining all the little things and then occasionally tackling something bigger. Plus, he is down to one nap a day and so I don't have a whole lot of time when he is actually sleeping. AND its good to start teaching him how to help out.

Anyways, it has been fun to see how Quinn really watches what I do and how he has been picking up on things. I spilt something on the floor the other day, so I grabbed a rag to wipe it up and there was Quinn right next to me wiping the floor with another towel.

And chores are so much more fun when you are doing them with your little guy. Its fun to teach him how to unload the dishwasher and to coax him into actually putting things into the cupboards instead of pulling them out. Today we had a big bag of laundry and I didn't feel like carrying it so I pulled it along the hallway and Quinn chased after it giggling. When we got back from the putting the laundry in I spilt some of our laundry soap on the floor. Thankfully it was the powdered kind but that stuff is tricky to get up. I tried regularly vacuuming it but that didn't work so well so I pulled out the hose and started stabbing at the carpet. That didn't work so well so I went to get a different attachment. When I got back Quinn was sitting there stabbing at the floor with the hose just like I had been doing. Wow! Didn't know he had been watching me do that. So I stuck on the other attachment and we took turns cleaning up the mess. He's pretty darn good.

Maybe I'll spill something again later just so we can do it again....

Saturday, January 9, 2010


I know I am a little late but I did want to write about some of the highlights of 2009! It was an action packed year as we welcomed our first baby on January 2nd, barely missing New Years. Peter went back to school and was, as usual, busy studying. I decided to abscond to MN with Quinn for a few weeks to visit the fam and got back just in time for us to move up to Hamden. We got settled in our new place and Peter started a new semester. My brother came to stay with us and we all took a trip to England. David stayed until mid August and then headed back for school and we prepared to start yet another semester. We celebrated all the fall holidays and then headed to Utah for the Christmas holidays.

One of things that stood out to me was what a creative year it was and wanted to share some of the things that we made.

We successfully planted some tomato and basil seeds. (Well really how hard is it to plant seeds?) But the best part is that we didn't kill the plants after they started growing. We are looking forward to trying some new veggies and herbs this year.

I finally finished some pillows I had been making that I started the first year we were married. I also altered these curtains I had previously made to fit the windows in this apartment and Peter and I made the window bench. We are planning on making a second one so it runs the length of our window and putting some molding on them to make them more elegant.

I made this quilt for Quinn. I am really happy with how it turned out and with how my sewing skills grew.
I also have been making a quiet book for the moose in attempt to entertain him during church. I have so many ideas for this and am eager to keep at it and make a truely entertaining quiet book.

We have been cooking up a storm trying lots of new recipes as well as old favorites. We have enjoyed lots of homemade bread, granola bars, yummy desserts and a variety of delicious dinners.

And two of the best things we made this year:

Quinn David Bracken
Born Jan 2nd, 2009

Pudling #2
Due August 11th, 2010