Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Monday, December 31, 2007

home for the holidays (part 3)

Unfortunately, our camera batteries died and we are pictureless for the rest of our trip. We spent Christmas day at Mom's with the Altmillers. It was so fun to see Noah excited about his gifts, especially a tricycle from Grandma and Papa. We also saw my cousin, Mandi, who just got a job as a nanny in Alaska. Later that night, Team Eddy, Joe, my mom, and I played a very entertaining game of Loaded Questions and I laughed so hard, I almost wet my pants!

The day after Christmas, we shopped the sales and I landed a few new maternity pants for less than $9 and a few new tops. At 19 weeks, the belly has grown dramatically and clothes are starting to be a little snug.

On Thursday, we headed up to Palouse, WA, to have dinner with Steve and his roommate, Evan. We enjoyed a great dinner, a good game of Apples to Apples, and the boys had a fierce racecar competition on Steve's wood floors.

Friday, we headed back down to Lewiston and enjoyed dinner at Fazzari's. Joe and the boys headed out to play music at a longtime friend's house and Jeff, Fred, Dori, and I stayed home to play the Farming Game. I caught a cold from Noah and Sydney, so it felt good to get to bed early. I was surprised, though, at how great I feel in spite of my cold. My morning sickness has completely stopped and I have a little more energy...even with the cold. It only took 19 weeks but I feel awesome!

Saturday and Sunday led to a long drive back to Idaho Falls on snowy roads. I was thankful for Joe's good driving skills!

home for the holidays (part 2)

We attended Christmas Eve mass and listened Jeff sing a solo. The liturgy (which was a children's mass) was surprisingly moving and I enjoyed the Mass more than I usually do. I think Christmas is a special time for a pregnant woman; I felt connected in a different way to Jesus' birth.
Then, it was on to the Kaufmans' to open presents. Steve opens a very LARGE present; Jeff gives Joe a "21 and over gift" that he mysteriously acquired; and Dad opens his much awaited shotgun.

Home for the holidays (part 1)

Joe and I were lucky enough to get the week off and head back to Lewiston for the holidays. We started our trip Friday, December 21, with our first stop being Team Eddy's house. It turned into a sisin party, with Lauren flying in, Hails and Syd spending the night, and Tancie stopping by. The next day, we all piled in the van for a trip to Lewiston.

Then, Joe and I headed up to Keuterville for the annual Poxleitner Christmas party. Nicole (who was a flower girl at our wedding), Ellea, and Morgan enjoyed their new "horse", although Joe was pretty worn out after all the wrestling around. On the right, Steve enjoys some preparty snacks.

Sunday, we celebrated Christmas/Uncle Mark's 50th birthday with our usual game of Jeopardy, then we opened presents. Thankfully, my team was pretty understanding that my pregnant brain functions much slower than my pre-pregnant brain did and didn't get too upset that I continually forgot to put the answer in the form of a question. We lost.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

funny patient story

About 2 months ago, I saw a patient who was struggling with weight gain and it turned out he had insulin resistance. So, we talked about regular exercise and dietary stuff and I sent him onto an endocrinologist for management. As he left, I joked, "Now, the next time I see you, MY belly better be bigger than yours!"

Today, I saw him again in the office. He took one look at my belly and said, "Hey, no're just not gaining weight fast enough!"

Monday, December 17, 2007

17 weeks

Last week, we hit 4 months and had our 4month check up. At that time, we were only -3lbs prepregnancy weight, but this week, we hit prepregnancy weight of 127lbs. Guess I have to start exercising now. The morning sickness is okay, but I've had a bout of the stomach flu, which reminds me how much better the morning sickness has been since the first trimester. The baby has been more active. We were at my office's Christmas party and the Puppy went wild when the band started felt like it was doing a back flips. Maybe we'll have a little rockstar on our hands...

The new living room look

While the boys were here, they pitched in and helped put new baseboards and a chair rail into our living room. We've had a gap between the floor and the baseboards ever since we had the floors finished...lots of dog food gets stuck in the cracks!It's a little challenging to do this in an old home with wavy plaster walls, but they did a great job! This week, Joe has been working on filling the gaps and shimming out the waviness. We're planning to paint the bottom half eventually.

Joe's 27th birthday

Joe decided he wanted a rifle scope for his birthday way back in August, so he bought himself one. I decided, though, that he needed a very different birthday I talked to Steve and Phil into taking some time off and secretly flew them down for Idaho Falls for the weekend. It was awesome!

They kicked off the weekend with a pistol match. Steve actually got a blister on his trigger finger!

I put my back into it and actually cooked Joe's traditional birthday dinner of lasgna and chocolate cake.

another joy of pregnancy

Another joy of pregnancy to add to the list of nausea, headaches, backaches, and fatigue...HIVES!! Friday night, I woke up from a nap and was covered head to toe in hives. Hives so bad that you couldn't see the creases in my arms and legs because they were so swollen. Ooohh...and it felt so good to itch them, but that didn't make the hives any better. So, I took some Benadryl and started to rub hydrocortisone ointment on the hives, but the project just became overwhelming.

So, I stripped down naked and Joe rubbed hydrocortisone all over my body. As he was lifting my leg over his shoulder and rubbing ointment all over it, he said, "Hhmmm...rubbing something all over my wife's naked body...this experience would have ended much differently during our first year of marriage."

Friday, December 14, 2007

Joe's Christmas Party's White Elephant Exchange

Wednesday night, we were laying in bed, talking about Joe's Christmas party.

Jen: So, what did you get from the gift exchange?
Joe: Well, I started with a bottle of wine and someone stole it.
Jen: So then what did you get?
Joe: Well, I felt bad for this kid who got a bacon waver, so I stole it from him so he could get a new gift.
Jen: A bacon waver?
Joe: Yeah, a bacon waver.
Jen (sitting up): A bacon waver? Like the bacon waver we brought LAST year to your Christmas party?
Joe: We brought a bacon waver last year?

We got this bacon waver as a gift; you microwave bacon on it, but neither of us likes microwaved bacon, so we've been trying to get rid of it. He brought home the same damn bacon waver. I swear that thing will follow us to the grave.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

So much to post about...

I have so much to post about, but so little time to do it! (It's hard when you have to go to sleep at 7:30pm every night...when am I supposed to get my energy back?).

Here's a few things I want to post about:
1. Joe's birthday last weekend and his "surprise" present
2. My new living room look
3. Christmas decorating
4. Snow, snow, snow (Mandy, I know you miss it, but I'm tired of it!)
5. Our surprisingly active social calendar: Tuesday, the Binghams came over for pizza; Wednesday, Joe had his office Christmas party and LeeAnne and I went to a dinner about GERD; tonight, we are going on a double date with the Madsens.
6. Our four month check up.

So, for now, know a lot of posts are coming, but I want to include pictures and haven't had a chance to download them all yet.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

For Noah

Sunday, December 09, 2007

the "Puppy"

Sorry for the confusion, dear readers. When we found out we were pregnant, we decided to call the baby "the new Puppy" since we weren't planning to tell many people until later in our pregnancy and needed sort of a code name. We decided on "Puppy" since we were adding to our "pack" of Schatzi and Doc. And, we often joke that raising an infant is similar to raising a puppy...crate training (sleeping in a crib...hopefully, through the night), potty training (self-explanatory), positive reinforcement...well, you get the idea. And, since we're not finding out the baby's sex until the baby's actually born, we need a gender-neutral name to get us through the next five months.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Just an update

This week was my first week back to work full time since the morning sickness got bad. I miss my relaxed morning routine of slowly waking up around 8am, eating Golden Grahams in bed, and cuddling with my dogs until I had to arrive at the office around 10am. Now, we are waking up around 7am, rushing like crazy to get ready, and arriving at the office around 8am. But, I am feeling better overall, and it feels good to be more useful at work.

This is also our first week without the dogwalkers and while it feels stressful to add that daily walk back into the routine, I know it's good for me and the new Puppy (as well as Schatzi and Doc). Last night, I took the dogs out for an evening walk (sorry, guys, just can't squeeze it into the morning any more) and it felt really good to walk in the cool night air. When we got back to the house, though, I was too hot (immediately!) and had to close the curtains and strip down to my underwear before I could even unleash the dogs. Joe just shook his he often does at his crazy pregnant wife.

We think we're feeling more baby movements, but still don't know for sure. Joe has tried to feel them, too, but it's so light it's hard to tell if it's an abdominal pulse, gas, or a muscle twitch. Who knows? We like thinking they are kicks, so for now, that's what they are! :) I have gained one more pound (-5lbs prepregnancy weight; Joe +4lbs prepregnancy weight :)) and am starting to wear maternity clothes (although they are still a bit big every place except the belly). This would be an appropriate time to shout out to Deanna for all the cute clothes she is letting me borrow!!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Why we can't have a Christmas tree

Why We Can't Have a Christmas Tree

by Doc Kaufman

Jen says we can't have a Christmas tree this year. It all started last week when she came home and found us trapped in the office. We are not supposed to be in the office at all and she usually closes the door. In fact, she put all of the Christmas presents in the office to keep them safe from our usual games of tug of war and wrestling. She also puts the baby doll in the office because she says "This is where the baby will sleep when it comes". She got the baby doll a few weeks ago so we could practice being good around a baby before we actually get the real baby.

Last week, she came home from work and saw the baby (who was supposed to be in the office) in the hallway...naked. She said, "Oh, no!" and started calling us. We tried to come, but couldn't because somehow, we had gotten trapped in the office. I'm pretty sure one of us (probably Schatzi) had pushed the door open and we'd had some fun in the office, playing tug of war with the Christmas presents, burying toys in the Christmas presents, chewing on the Christmas presents. But then, one of us (probably me) pushed the door shut and we were trapped! We cried and cried for Jen to come find us and when we finally heard her voice, we were so relieved, we wagged our tails and our whole bodies with joy.
She didn't think our fun was a good idea and she wasn't as happy to see us as we were to see her. After she sat on the couch and counted to ten, she called us over and let us make up with her. We were sorry, but the damage had already been done. She told us we couldn't have a Christmas tree this year because she didn't want to worry about us playing with that, too.
So, no Christmas tree at the Kaufmans' this year.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Baby or gas?

Last night, after a bit of exercise, I was laying in bed, waiting for my heartrate to slow down (that seems to take forever these days) when I felt some little flutters right in the middle of my lower abdomen. At first, I was thinking it was just gas (earlier, in the first trimester when my GI system was completely messed up, I had some very palpable gas bubbles in my lower abdomen and I thought, "This must be what the baby will feel like in a month or two.") After all, 15 weeks is pretty early to be feeling the baby, but these flutters felt different. And, my book says it's a possibility. Lighter, smaller. I couldn't feel them on the outside of my abdomen, just barely on the inside. And they were right over the middle of my ever-growing uterus. Try to get YOUR heartrate to slow down after exercise and then after realizing you may have just felt your baby move for the first time!

What do you think? Baby or gas? Post about the first time you felt your baby move...or, if you haven't had a baby, you could just post about a flatulent time in your life, I guess. :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Second Trimester

Well, we've made it into the 2nd trimester, which is supposed to be the golden time of pregnancy. I thought I would take this opportunity to paint a more realistic picture of this "golden time".

1. "You'll have more energy". Well, that's true, but not as much as I expected. I sleep 11 hours a day instead of 20, but you're not going to be seeing me run a marathon any time soon.

2. "The morning sickness is over." Um, well, I'm definitely not throwing up as much and things are better, but I'm still not at that stage where I can be easy going and agreeable about food. (As in, "Joe, I need fajitas...right now!!" In pregnancy-speak, that means "I needed them five minutes ago; why didn't you read my mind and make them already?") And, while I expected pregnancy to be a time to enjoy all of my comfort foods, I sadly have not been able to tolerate ice cream or fried foods at all.

3. "You are starting to show, but aren't so big that you feel the discomforts of late pregnancy". What?? I'm already uncomfortable!! Have you seen this gigantic beer belly I have now? My poor lower back protests daily. And, um, have you noticed the chest? I gained 2 lbs last week and went up 2 cup sizes (guess you know where the weight went) neck and shoulders didn't have time to prepare for the new load they are now supporting. And, don't even get me started about my feet!

All complaining aside, though, things ARE going better and I am so thankful. While I don't feel like the "old Jen", I am definitely much better than "first trimester Jen", which Joe and I are thankful for. Again, a shout-out to my truly wonderful husband who bears with his crazy pregnant wife so patiently. This picture on the bottom is me in my first maternity dress, which Deanna, Amy, and I bought during our girls' of 207 reunion in September.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Look at the bottom

At the suggestion of my good buddy, Rae, I added a ticker to the bottom of the blog page, so scroll all the way down and check it out.

Thanksgiving week

TUESDAY: I was thankful to get off work early and be able to grab some chicken nuggets before we left on our long trek to Spokane. I was extra thankful that Joe had packed up the van so we were ready to go AND he drove the whole way to Spokane.

WEDNESDAY: Thankful to spend the day with Noah and Kevin (and a little with Amy, but she had to go deliver babies). Noah and I took a nap together while Joe and Kevin fixed the sink and toured the new Cabelas store.

THURSDAY: Thankful to be feeling GREAT!! on Turkey Day. We drove up to Keuterville to have dinner with the Poxleitners and then back to Lewiston for dessert with the Altmiller/Cleto clan.

FRIDAY: Feeling sick. Guess I ate too much. Thankful to get a 3 hour nap in.

SATURDAY: Thankful to spend the day shopping with Joe's mom, Dori, and my grandma. The Kaufman boys went bird hunting (which Schatzi was thankful for) and we ended the evening with a great dinner at Zany Graze (thanks, Steve!).

SUNDAY: Thankful to see a few good friends at Mass before Joe and I had to hit the road. My mom surprised us and said she would drive up to Coeur d'Alene with us, so she could enjoy lunch with us, Team Eddy, most of the Jacksons and my Aunt Becca. We were thankful for mostly good roads, my good driver (Joe), and hardly any nausea on Sunday!

Unfortunately, we spent so much time being thankful, we forgot to get our camera out and take pictures. :(

Friday, November 16, 2007

Please excuse my lack of manners

My morning sickness has calmed down quite a bit, which I am SOOO thankful for. I'm only sick in the evenings now, which is manageable. I have gained a few pounds and now am only 6lbs less than my prepregnancy weight. I have a feeling this skinny figure is about to be gone for good, though...because of these intense food cravings.

I remember making fun of my poor pregnant sister when she wanted Kevin to drive her 5 hours to Lewiston so they could eat at Taco Time (he wouldn't, she started crying), but now I totally get it. Once I get a craving...that's it! The world has to stop until the craving is satisfied. The feeling is so intense I feel like a crazy person. Last night, I wanted chicken McNuggets and told Joe to ask for some ketchup. He said, "Oh, we have ketchup at home." I thought I would literally die if I had to wait the 5 minutes to get home to eat the nuggets! So, he got me ketchup.

These intense crazy feelings about food have me a little worried about Thanksgiving next week. How will it all play out? Will I be brandishing a knife, keeping other dinner guests away from that delicious smoked turkey? Scarfing down pies uncontrollably? Crying when the food is put away?

Wish me luck and pray that my food manners return soon!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Don't eat the spiders

Last night, we were watching TV and Schatzi started "hunting" a spider. It was huge! The body itself was probably 2cm. Normally, I just let her hunt them and kill them because it's cheap entertainment, but this one was so big, I was a little creeped out, so Joe stepped on it. Then, Schatzi and Doc took turns flipping this gigantic spider back and forth and Schatzi ultimately ate it.
About 30 minutes later, she sat down by me and started shivering so much that you could hear her teeth clacking. This lasted a few minutes and then she ran outside to throw up. Afterwards, she came back and laid down and slept the rest of the night. She is still kind of sick looking this morning, but she had the energy to bark at a dog out the window, so I think she is on the mend.
Moral of the story? Don't eat spiders. I can't tell the difference between brown recluses and hobo spiders, so I don't know what kind it was, but we are definitely getting more spider traps in our house.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Belly and Brittany shots

Here's a few shots of the belly and the Brittanies through the first trimester. The first shot is me and the dogs in bed...where it felt like we lived for the first 12 weeks. I was tired and sick and the dogs kept me company. Here's the belly with the dogs at about 6 weeks.

Here's Schatzi and the belly at 9 or 10 weeks. Sorry, I guess you can't really see the belly in this one.

Tacoma trip

It's good I started to feel better because Friday, Joe and I hopped a plane for a long-planned trip to Tacoma to visit our Seattle-mom, Mercy. The plane ride went better than I expected (no turbulence, no nausea) and it was great to get to Tacoma, where Mercy, Team Eddy, and my Lola were waiting.

We had a great visit. Joe and Kevin worked on several projects. I mainly laid around, cuddled with Noah, and ate...but was pleasantly surprised my morning sickness has calmed down quite a bit. Noah and I sampled my new diet of cherry Koolaid and cheetos, which were a big hit with both of us, although his dad was less than pleased with our nutritional choices. Saturday, we also got to see the Gemmers and the star of the show...Miss Daisy, who can now roll over!

Sunday, we went to Mass and hung out at home while Amy and Mercy worked on the computer and the boys set up some lights.

Monday, our Triplet, Natalie stopped by for some lunch and then was kind enough to take Joe and me to the airport...not before getting a sticky hug from chocolate eating Noah, though.
It was a great trip and I was blessed to feel well for most of it. I was pretty tired when we got home, though. Joe picked the dogs up from daycare and Doc, Schatzi, and I climbed into bed for a much needed rest.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Six liters later...

...I am alive and kicking. Seriously, I feel so much better. I didn't really start to feel better until about the 4th liter, but after that I felt the best I've felt since I got pregnant. I have gained 3 1/2 lbs in 2 days (which I think is probably mostly fluid) and hope I never get that sick ever again (cross your fingers!).

My new morning-sickness prevention plan:

1. Avoid all bad smells like the plague, even if it means being rude. (As in, "Um, you need a breath mint now.").

2. Drink constantly. All water, pop, juice leaves a nasty taste in my weirdo pregnant mouth, so I've settled for cherry Koolaid. Works like a charm so far.

3. Take Zofran (an antinausea medicine) around the clock (even though I'm not convinced it works) and Phenergan (another medicine) at bedtime to keep the monsters at bay.

4. Eat incredibly small meals, pretty often (like 1/2 a piece of toast). Give the other half to Joe (at least someone in this pregnant couple is gaining weight!).

5. Don't talk about food with anyone...ever.

6. And, the super duper secret...suck on lemons. Lots of them. All the time. For some reason, it helps break the nausea for at least a few minutes when things get bad. Other sour things help (like sweet tarts), but lemons are the best.

A special shout out to my mom, who came and helped take care of me while Joe was on a business trip, and of course, my wonderful hubby, who is a great team mate in all of this challenging journey to have our baby.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Not the diet I hoped for

Sorry for the lack of posts. Earlier on, I joked with coworker that morning sickness was a "great" diet...I kept losing weight, but didn't lose any of my chest. Well, the jokes have stopped...I've been sicker and have been started on IV fluids for the past 2 days. I hope this doesn't last long! Any prayers for a miraculous end to this morning sickness would be much appreciated. Overall, I just feel discouraged and, well, sick. More later...

Saturday, November 03, 2007

An apology...

Let me apologize by first sharing this story with you. When Amy and I were in 5th or 6th grade, we desparately wanted our own phone numbers for Christmas. Our parents, hilarious pair that they are, decided it would be fun to write our phone numbers on a Christmas card and leave it as our last present to open. When we excitedly ripped open the card to read, "Here are your very own phone numbers" and saw 2 phone numbers listed below...we were ecstatic! Much to our disappointment, though, our parents started laughing hysterically and pointed out the fact that we'd asked for our own numbers, but didn't ask for lines or basically, the pranksters just wrote down a couple of random numbers to toy with us.

So, when you asked for a belly picture, I thought I would share one with you...but since you didn't specify MY belly, I just googled an 11 week belly and posted it on there to see if anyone would notice that it wasn't my belly. I thought it would be a funny joke...but sadly, neither my husband nor my twin sister failed to notice it was not my belly. (They did point out some discrepancies, though. Joe said, "It just didn't look right", while Amy said, "What's that black thing on your belly?"). So, I felt it was more than I could expect from most readers to notice the joke at all.

Second, let me finish my apology by posting a real belly picture (face included for authentication). It is not nearly as impressive as the previous picture, but here it is in all its glory. I've stopped losing weight, but still have a ways to go to hit my prepregnancy weight again, so the pre-pregnant pants are still a little big.

Friday, November 02, 2007

for Deanna...

The belly at 11 weeks. Please excuse the mess in the background.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Feeling better...

Feeling better today! Yesterday, I got a B6 shot (ooh...sore butt), which has really helped. Who knew? I really thought it was a bunch of naturopathic mumbo-jumbo, but I am a believer now. Man, it feels so great to feel have food sound good (and stay down) not feel tired all the time.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Here's a lesson...

...if you want to crack your car windows to "air out" your car in October, be prepared to scrape the inside of the windshield as well! (This morning I was scraping and scraping away at the windshield and couldn't figure out why the frost just wasn't coming off!).

In pregnancy news, we are 11 weeks today and counting down the days until we are through with the first trimester. The morning sickness has kicked up into high gear (and I thought it was supposed to be dwindling!), which has been hard. Today, I got a vitamin B6 shot, which is supposedly helpful, but I won't really know until tomorrow.

Monday, October 29, 2007

It's back...

After 7 great days of no morning sickness (which is a misnomer, of course, because it doesn't just happen in the morning), it's back. Of course, I have to remind myself that really, I should be happy I have morning sickness since it's a sign that hormone levels are high and my chances of miscarrying are low, but last night, it started to wear on me a little. So, no belly pictures, cutsie videos, or witty lists. Maybe later this week...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Soccer dogs

Can your dogs play soccer?


This is actually what we have resorted to to keep our dogs busy during the day. We fill these 2 orange balls and 2 blue cubes (not in the video) full of dog food and the dogs knock them around for a good 30-45 minutes and eat the food that falls out. It's quite an ingenious plan, except our dogs are not always smart enough to figure out what to do when the balls roll under a chair. And, sometimes dog food falls out of the balls and gets stuck in the crack between the floor and the baseboard...or falls down the heat vent. Oh, well. It keeps them from chewing up stuff. :)

For the boys...

While you all may be interested in our recent news, I'm putting up this post for my younger audience. Here are 2 doggy videos for the Chase boys and Noah. This is the two of them wrestling...note Doc's fancy WWF leg maneuvers.


Here's Schatzi and Doc, "holding hands". Schatzi was actually trying to chew on Doc's bone while he was chewing on it, but he wasn't really too into that idea.

And, here they are getting a double belly rub. Schatzi has been a long time fan of belly-scratching, while Doc has just recently realized he likes having his belly rubbed.

Top 13 Ways to be a Great Husband to a Pregnant Wife

1. Hand her a Kleenex and kiss her forehead when she cries during an episode of Scrubs. Don’t question exactly what in the sitcom brought her to tears.

2. Detail her car so she doesn’t vomit every morning when she gets in it to drive to work.

3. Rub her legs, back, head. Don’t get frustrated when she yells at you for rubbing too hard, even though you were barely touching her.

4. Bathe the dogs because the smell bothers her, but she still wants them to sleep with you in your bed.

5. Patiently rifle through her clothes to help her find something that fits. When she decides none of her underwear are comfortable enough to sleep in, you give her a pair of yours.

6. Cook whatever food she requests and run to the grocery store whenever she asks you. Don’t get mad when she decides it wasn’t what she wanted after all.

7. Immediately stop telling any story that involves food, poop, vomit, or killing things as soon as she says, “I just can’t talk about that right now.”

8. Decide not to shoot a deer this year, for the sake of your pregnant wife’s morning sickness.

9. Walk the dogs every day. Don’t mention the fact that during the whole year you two were trying to get pregnant, she promised to walk the dogs “even if I throw up the whole time”.

10. Wash the dishes, fold the laundry, and clean the house while she sleeps 15 hours a day.

11. Congratulate her every day for getting up and going to work...even if she is, well, just doing her job.

12. Drop everything to meet her at the restaurant of her choice when she gets a craving. Happily hand over your plate when she decides she likes what you ordered better.

13. Try to be nice to your wife. Bring her home the DVD “Knocked Up”. Apologize when you realize the movie was a lot funnier before, well, she was knocked up.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Anne Konen, super sleuth

Well, apparently, I have been more transparent in my blog entries than I intended. After writing about being sick, hiring a dog walker, and my current salad craving, our friend, Anne, called up Joe and asked, "Um, are you guys pregnant?".

The answer is...yes, we are. We're 10 weeks along, have heard the heartbeat and are in the midst of trying to survive morning sickness. We were waiting to tell people until after the first trimester, but any of you who know us well know that we can't keep a secret for very long. :) It's been a challenge to keep the blog updated since, well, there is nothing else to really write about. My day is focused on just making it to work, getting enough sleep, and eating whatever will agree with my system that day. Joe, on the other hand, has been run ragged with his pregnant wife's demands, but he still has a smile on his face. :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Good salad

I had a craving for salad last night and picked up this yummy concoction last night. It was delicious! You should try it.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Weekend Update

This weekend, I took a breather from the busy work week and just relaxed. A few fun things happened:
1. Opening day of pheasant season: Schatzi and Joe headed out for a 6 mile hike and came home tired, sore, and empty-handed...better luck next time.
2. Doc and I were lazy and watched movies on the couch downstairs.
3. We interviewed and hired a dog walker to come walk our dogs during the work week for the next month or so until life calms down.
4. Our friends, the Binghams, paid us a surprise visit.
5. I read a few books.
6. Joe talked to his brother, Phil, and shared some exciting news.
7. I caught up on Team Eddy's blog (they're back from their recent hiatus!).
8. Joe and I got my car detailed. Oooh! It is SOO clean and no longer smells like a dog.
9. I did ONE load of laundry...didn't get it folded yet.
10. Joe made an excellent roast.
11. Friday, we went out to a great dinner at a Chinese restaurant with Rick, our real estate agent, Kelly, his girlfriend, and the Munoffs, a couple from church.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

An "appeal"ing victory!

Yesterday, I had my first insurance appeal. For you readers outside of healthcare, sometimes a healthcare provider will order a test that she feels necessary and then, the insurance company reviews the request and might deny the test if the company does not feel like the test is necessary. If the provider disagrees, she can appeal. I did and was offered a "peer-to-peer" review, during which I had to present the patient's case to the insurance company's physician and explain why the test was necessary. I was very pleased that I knew enough to argue my case (and pleased that I knew more about this issue than the physician!)...and the test was approved! I won't be so nervous during my next appeal (I'm sure there will be many more).

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Nothin' much going on...

I've been feeling under the weather for the past few days and have nothing very exciting to post. However, being sick has caused me to reflect on being sick and my work ethic. At previous jobs, I remember calling in sick because the day before was too stressful, because I had a headache, or because I felt like sleeping in. However, now I have this overwhelming guilt about calling in sick now...even when I am legitimately sick. Am I older and wiser? Who knows? A part of me wishes I could recapture that old carefree use of sick days, but I'm sure my current employer is happier with my current guilt-ridden use (or, rather, disuse) of those sick days.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Jen & Joe's Amazing Circus Dogs


We've taken a break from obedience classes until after the New Year, but want to keep working on our dogs, so we've been trying to keep up on our daily training (ok...more like a couple of times weekly training). The problem with doing it yourself, is that you have to be creative on your own to keep it interesting for the dogs. So, this is what I came up with in a moment of inspiration.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

The view from my window this morning

This morning, Joe left at 4am to go duck hunting, so I got up to let out the dogs and then went back to bed. When I woke up at 9am, I saw this!

Here's a video of Schatzi...she gets a little nutso in the snow. Doc was smart enough to stay inside the warm house for awhile, but joined her shortly for some wrestling in the snow.

Afterwards, we went inside...good thing, too, because the snow was wet and heavy enough to cause some big branches to fall off our trees in the backyard. Then, our power went out for several hours. Joe and I headed out to by a propane heater and lantern, only to return to our power being back on. Oh, well...we'll be ready next time!

A "bountiful" harvest

As new homeowners, we were excited to put in a garden this year. We got started a little late with the hustle and bustle of moving into a new home, so our plants were a little behind. This is our yield from 6 tomato plants and 2 pepper plants. The frost has already come, so this is it for the year, although I'm hoping some of our green tomatoes will ripen off the vine.
We'll do better next year.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Long live the girls of 207!

I had a great weekend with my two best girls in the world (and their kiddos). I raced out of the office Friday, a little late for my flight, but made it to the airport in time and by that evening, I was in the good company of Amy and Deanna (thanks, Kevin, for picking me up!).
I brought my camera, but forgot my SD card, so the pictures are somewhat limited.

It was great all being together again. I think the last time the 3 of were together was last Christmas! We just hung out, talked, shopped, and played with Noah and Daisy. Friday we stayed up late chatting and eating ce cream. Saturday started early as Daisy and Noah wanted to join in the fun. My mom and the Driver parents came up to baby-sit their grandkids for the weekend, so the three of us headed out for an afternoon of shopping and lunch. Deanna and I mused that a weekend filled with diaper changes and play dates with the highlight being a no-kids-lunch-out was hardly what we would have imagined a fun 207 reunion to be a few years ago; but, it was the perfect weekend. Sunday, we went to Mass, napped, played, and the three of us made a great dinner together (just like the good old days!).
On the left, Noah is "hugging" Daisy. He was pretty enamoured with her...unless his mama wanted to hold her, then he got a little jealous. On the right, Deanna, Noah and Amy...Miss Daisy was napping during the picture.

Monday, Amy started her surgery rotation, but her schedule was pretty lax, so she was able to meet us for lunch at at TacoTime. Here's Noah, stealing the show.

Deanna and I took Daisy for a quick stroll around the neighborhood, visiting the Pop Shoppe and trying some new flavors. Then, we were off to the airport. We all squeezed into one easy feat when you have 2 carseats and 4 adults...and made our way to the airport to drop me off.

Joe picked me up late Monday night and I was so glad to see him! After a weekend of sleeping by myself in a twin bed at Amy's, I was surprised out how used to sleeping with his body next to me. Joe and I were both thankful for a better night's sleep last night. :)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The sweet sound of silence

Up until now, our dogs have worn traditional collars with their tags jingling away. In fact, I can tell which dog is coming around the corner based on the way their tags sound. Both are easy to find because when you call their name and they lift their heads, you can hear the jingling and find them reasonably soon. However, there are downsides, like Schatzi's jingling all night long as she explores the living room, jumps off and on the bed, and settles down her crate, which has led to us removing her collar nightly.

During Schatzi's first hunting trip of the fall, though, her collar got caught up on some brush, which led to Joe order both dogs hunting collars with a flat plate riveted on the collar. No more tags (although, they probably should have their rabies tags attached somehow)...and now, we are enjoying the sweet sound of silence.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

One rainy Saturday...

It may have been rainy yesterday, but that didn't stop our fun. We joined our friend Rich and his dog, Strange, for an afternoon of bird hunting. Rich is starting up a bird range, so we took a test drive out there for some bird hunting. It's ideal for bird training because we planted some farm raised pheasants for the dogs to hunt. Now, it may not sound entirely sporting to plant the birds you are planning to shoot. Let me just say, it's a lot harder to refind the birds, as evidenced by only coming home with 3 of the 7 birds we planted.
Schatzi proved to be the star of the show, tracking and flushing more birds than any other dog. As a dog who hates to pee in the rain, abhors baths, and would rather die than go swimming, I have to say this is the happiest I've ever seen her being so wet.
Afterwards, we shot a few clay pigeons, but, as you can tell from the back of Joe's shirt, we were all pretty soaked, so we opted to warm up in the truck and ride home instead.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Girls of 207

I'm so excited because next weekend, we're having a girls' of 207 reunion! You may be wondering...who are these girls and why are they named 207?

Well, in college, my awesome friend, Deanna, and my awesome sister, Amy, and myself lived in an off-campus apartment, which was #207. We had great times together: we had a "hottest girl in the apartment crown", a quote board, Super Soup Suppers and a wide variety of adventures together.

As you know, life gets busy after marriage, kids (for them) and college, and we have lots of miles between all of us, so we don't get to see each other as often as we'd like (every day??). But, earlier this week, Deanna called and wondered if we could get together at Amy's and soon a plan was in the works.

So...I'm thrilled about this spontaneous reunion and looking forward to a fun girls' (and babies') weekend just eight days from now!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Kids 'n cogs

Ok, I know I've been going crazy on the posts today, but bear with me for one more. Today, my friend Melissa called me to chat and, since I was almost finished with work, we decided to meet at my house for some tea and good conversation.

Melissa has 2 adorable girls, who like to play with the cogs. Here's a picture of Breanne, who is about a week younger than Noah, helping Schatzi and Doc finagle their food out of the food cube. She was a popular baby among the cogs!

Kitchen makeover

As mentioned before, Mom's birthday present to me was to buy the paint for our kitchen (and even help paint the trim!). So, here are a few pictures of our new green dining area. I was pleasantly surprised to find out on our recent trip to the Eddys that it was the same color as their living room!
We like the new color...and Doc approves, too!