Monday, July 21, 2008

Is baking part of "nesting"?



I've heard of the "nesting" instinct that pregnant women get and I'm wondering if it includes baking. So far, everything I've read describes nesting as a "strong urge to clean" or "prepare for the arrival of the baby". But I'm wondering if I'm experiencing some weird strain of nesting that includes a strong urge to bake. Over the past week I have felt like Betty Crocker or something. It started last week when I wanted something sweet. It was already 9:00 PM so I rummaged in my pantry and whipped up some snickerdoodle cookies. Then last weekend I really wanted to make homemade buttermilk blueberry pancakes for breakfast. So I found a recipe and whipped that up. They were so divine. Melt in your mouth pancakes. Jackson and I both swore we will never make pancakes from a mix again! Then, I got the urge to bake a cake of some sort. So I made a Barefoot Contessa Lemon Cake. It was kind of like a lemon pound cake and it was simply to die for!! So moist and delicious...it required 7 real lemons to make! Soo worth it! After the cookies, pancakes and cake...I really was in the mood for banana bread. So I found a recipe (all my recipe come from foodnetwork.com fyi) and made my first homemade banana bread! It was so yummy! Jackson and I have been eating it for breakfast for the past few days. Amazing.

All of this baking/homemade cooking has gone down in about a week and a half. I'll be sitting around at night and this urge will come over me to be in the kitchen baking. I really can't explain it. Jackson is certainly appreciative and loves it when I bake. He loves all baked goods so I can't go wrong. I've always liked cooking, but I've never been a baker and I certainly don't usually make 3 baked goods a week! I hope it sticks! We are both enjoying the sweet treats around the house.

I'm actually contemplating baking all of our bread. I think it would save money (not that we can't afford to buy bread, but hey...we are in a recession!). Plus I kind of like the idea of baking my family's bread for the week. I'll feel like I'm a Proverbs 31 wife (minus the whole servant girls thing...I wish).

Verse 15:She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.

I'm thinking I'll make one loaf of whole wheat bread, a loaf of a quickbread for breakfast and one desert a week. This will probably last one week :) If you know me well you know I get excited about ideas like this and then move on to something else. I'll photo-document my next day in the kitchen so you can feel a part of my Betty Crocker ways! Bon Appetit!




Don't these pictures make you wish you lived in the 1950s? Sometimes I wish I did.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Transformation: Lucifer to Lucy

As many of you know...about 2 months ago Jackson and I added a new member to our family: Lucy Isabelle Andrews. A 7-lb puggle, daughter of Pugsly Faust Wilson (squire) and Sweet Lil' Rece (dame). She was a a bundle of pure puppy delight. Sweet and cuddly with a face that would melt even the coldest heart. Over the past two months...Lucy has grown. She is now a 15 lb teenager, full of energy and excitement and eager to explore the world. So eager in fact, a couple weeks ago she escaped out our front door before we could catch her and took off down the street. Jackson, barefoot, ran as fast as he could after her. I ran out the door yelling "TREEEAAAT LUCY TREAAAT". Yeah right, this dog didn't even look back she just bolted. Jackson kept running after her and I grabbed the keys to the car. I hopped in and drove after them. Lucy was already about three blocks away. Finally, another man was walking his dog and Lucy, being the social canine that she is, ran up to the dog and wanted to play. Jackson was finally able to scoop her up at that point. To say he was mad is a huge understatement. He was furious and he had cuts on his feet to prove it. Poor, poor Jax. After that incident, we both knew we had to transform LUCIFER back to Lucy.

So we called the local "Dog Whisperer" to help us out. Yesterday, Tara, the dog trainer came to our house for a 2-hour consultation and lesson. We wanted her to equip us to train Lucy in basic polite behavior. The main things we care about are her sitting to greet people instead of jumping up and not biting us when she is playing. We also want to get her ready for the arrival of Parks in November which means she needs to respond to all basic commands and get used to boundaries. Tara was amazing and gave us the tools we need to train Lucy. In minutes she had Lucy responding to "sit" and trading nicely with toys. There is so much dog psychology that I didn't know about but it makes so much sense. We have already been crate-training Lucy but we will also be tether training her so she has a "place" to go to in each room. We are confident that we can turn our little Lucifer into a Lucy again.

Here are some pics of our little Luce prior to meeting Tara











After meeting Tara, please note her new cool harness:







Thursday, July 17, 2008

Long Day

Starting from Tuesday night:

5:15 PM: Begin roadie to Virginia Beach for work

8:30 PM: Arrive in Virginia Beach at Casa de Burke

9:00-11:00 PM: Watch Flipping Out...hilarious.

11:15 PM: Go to bed

6:15 AM: Wake-Up

7:20 AM: Leave Casa de Burke

7:24 AM: Spill grape jelly on my white pants in the car (pain that), make detour to my parents house to "shout it out"

7:35 AM: Leave parents house with grape jelly stain somewhat mended

7:39 AM: Pump gas and cry at the pump

7:45 AM: Drive out to Freedom Lincoln Mercury in Chesapeake for my meetings

8:30 AM: First Managers Meeting at work ever! It went awesome. I loved it.

10:00 AM: Meeting with my boss. Awesome.

10:30 AM: Meeting with HR Manager. Great.

12:30 PM: Leave FLM and drive back to the beach

1:03 PM: Arrive at Casa de Burke, pick up Moto (my sister Lindsey) and head to Plaza Azteca

1:25 PM: Arrive at Plaza, gorge myself on an amazing mexican feast complete with white sauce and received pro bono counseling from Moto--counseling grad student extraordinaire! Bryceleigh also joined us towards the end. Fabu! Talk about a power lunch!

2:15 PM: Arrive back at Casa de Burke and play with Moto's cute nephew Aiden who is 3 years old who calls O.E. a "goat midget".

3:00 PM: Get in car and bust it up 64 to Richmond

5:15 PM: Arrive in the RIC...have 45 minutes to kill...I'm not really that hungry but I know I will be soon soooo.....I hit up Mickey D's and order a "Happy Meal". I always feel so foolish when they ask "Is it for a boy or girl?" I say...."Girl". I wonder if they know its for me?!

5:20 PM: Eat some of the "Happy Meal" in my car while listening to some AM Christian talk radio I found and the topic was "Should Christians be single-issue voters when it comes to abortion?" It definitely kept me entertained to say the least.

5:40 PM: Make my way over to Robbins Insurance Building in RIC for my Dale Carnegie class.

5:50 PM: Enter Robins Insurance Building

6:00 PM: Dale Carnegie Class Begins

9:45 PM: Dale Carnegie Class Ends...I'm beyond exhausted.

9:47 PM: Get in car, head back to Charlottesville, praying the Lord will keep my eyes open and not send any deer across 64.

10:50 PM: Arrive at 1607 Cambridge Circle...and notice that the basement light is on and when I opened the front door, the alarm had not been set. I call Jackson (who is in Virginia Beach with Portico staff on a retreat) and ask him if the alarm had been set. He said yes. SO I start panicking. He tells me to get in my car and lock the door. He tells he will call me back. So I sit in my car for approx. 10 minutes crying like a foolish child, exhausted, scared, helpless and pregnant. I just wanted to see my puggle and go to sleep!!! He calls back and tells me a POLICE OFFICER will meet me at the corner of Wellford and Cambridge and walk through the house. I was relieved but also kind of embarrassed.

11:10 PM: Popo arrive at Cambridge. I, with a tear stained face, pathetically try to explain the situation "My husband is out of town...the alarm seems to have been triggered, but it's not hooked up right now to call our alarm company...." Poor poor officer.

11:13 PM: 2 other police cars arrive, making a grand total of 3 police cars on the street with FIVE officers. They enter the house and I am so embarrassed, knowing deep down it is probably nothing.

11:16 PM: Another undercover car arrives (4 police cars total)...I'm standing outside feeling very foolish. My sweet neighbor across the street comes out and asks if I'm okay. I get emotional again and tell her I'm fine, that Jackson is out of town and I thought someone had been in the house yada yada. So embarrasing.

11:30 PM: Police exit the house and say that everything looks fine and that all the entrances were secure. I thank them and apologize for wasting their time.

11:35 PM: I get back in the house, take poor Lucy out of her crate, take her outside to potty.

11:40 PM: On the phone w/ Jackson, explaining what happened, he tries to walk me through setting up our alarm system with the right phone line so it calls the alarm company. Fail.com. We couldn't get it to contact the company but it would still set and make the right noises so it still functioned.

12:00 PM: I put Lucy to bed, lock the doors, set the alarm and went upstairs. Talked to Jackson some more.

12:15 PM: Started reading Dale Carnegie's "The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking" trying to calm my nerves and just settle me down.

12:30 PM: Crash after my long, long day.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

20 Week Belly Shot

I'm halfway there! Hooray! I'd say I'm definitely growing-no question, but I haven't really "popped out" yet. Nobody asks or can tell that I'm pregnant because I either look totally normal or just like I have a little gut. I'm not in any maternity clothes at all. My jeans all still fit because they are so low-rise. I have gotten the bella bands which are good for my non-jean pants that come up higher on my waist.

Here's the belly at 20 weeks:





P.S. My "innie" belly button is becoming an "outie"!!! It's kind of gross. I really liked my innie but everyday it keeps disappearing...yikes. Also, I am experiencing the joys of pregnancy induced heartburn! That is gross too. Oh well, anything for Parks! I will receive the heartburn and outtie with joy and gladness!

Parks' Nursery

I've finally found what I want for Parks' nursery...I think. I am obsessed with the new line from Restoration Hardware- Baby & Child. It is so gorgeous and chic. It captured exactly what I wanted in a nursery. I wanted something classic and elegant and something that I wouldn't get tired of. I didn't want anything that looked cartoonish. I've settled on bedding from Restoration Hardware and furniture (crib and changing table) from Pottery Barn.

Here is what I've picked for the bedding:



And this is what I've picked for the crib:



Here are some of my favorite accessories that I've picked for the nursery:










I absolutely cannot wait to start putting his room together! I can tell it is going to be my favorite room in the house. I want it to look perfect. I'll post pictures as the nursery comes together.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Pregnancy Update & Baby's Name

Pregnancy is going great! I feel fantastic. I have tons of energy and can stay up until 11 now! I have also felt our little boy moving around! Yay! It feels so cool. Sometimes it feels like a flutter, and sometimes it feels like he just turned around or something. I probably notice a little movement at least once a day, sometimes more. I really do feel like I'm in the "honeymoon" period that people talk about. But I'm still not showing enough for anyone to notice. If I'm wearing a tight shirt, I just look like I have a small beer belly or something which looks gross. So I just completely conceal it with looser shirts and no one would ever suspect I've got a little 10 inch baby inside! It's kind of fun that people don't know...it's like you have a suprise or are carrying a secret around with you.

For those of you who would like to see me with rolls...fat rolls...you should be pleased. The scale is moving up every week and so far I've gained about 3-4 pounds (it fluctuates). So get excited, my appetite is the size of Texas. I get hungry about every 2 hours and I consume way more food than I used to because I'm constantly hungry.

Ok...now the big news. We have FINALLY picked a name for our first child. After careful thought and consideration, our baby's name is:

Parks Chandler Andrews

Jackson and I both loved the name Parks. I had heard of a boy named Park and Jackson knew of some pro-snowboarder or something named Parks. We both loved it and thought it sounded really cool. Chandler is also a name we both love. It is the last name of one of our favorite pastors and we just love the sound of it, especially with Parks.

So you can start calling Parks by name. I've really loved praying for him by name, it's so cool. I was having my quiet time the other day and I was thinking of all the things that I want to do to give Parks the best life I can. I'm taking my prenatal vitamins so his body develops well and putting earphones on my belly so he can hear classical music. I'll read to him and sing to him. I'll breastfeed him to give him the best nutrition I can. We're saving now so hopefully Parks will be able to go to college one day. I realized that all these things are good things, but the most important thing I can do for Parks is what I was doing right then...having my quiet time, connecting with God. I just felt the Lord tell me that the most important thing I can ever give Parks is Him. My most important job will be to point Parks to Christ, everyday in everything. It's a daunting job, one with heavy responsibility and eternal consequences. But praise be to God, He gives us grace sufficient for the need! God is so awesome. I'm so excited I have Him to guide me through this journey called Motherhood.

It's A Hard Knock Life...

Ok...it's not really a hard knock life as I sit here in Panera on my macbook with my coffee and cinnamon crunch bagel listening to some melodious classical music...HOWEVER...the past several days at Casa de Andrews have been anything but peaceful. I felt like I was an orphan straight out of Little Orphan Annie and was singing It's A Hard Knock Life! Jackson and I decided to get our ceilings dry-walled/sheet-rocked or whatever because we had plaster ceilings that were in really bad shape and would startle anyone who came into our house. So, the workers arrived on Friday and worked through Monday. The only rooms we didn't do were the kitchen and our bedroom because those ceilings had already been done. So this meant we had no living room, office, guest room or nursery room. And all of our furniture for those rooms were crammed in the kitchen! We basically had no house at all and it was sooo frustrating. Of course the work was supposed to be Saturday but it lasted until Monday and add Lucy in this mix...it was just not good. The poor thing had to crated almost the entire day because the house wasn't safe for her and she would have been all up in the worker's grills!

I was on the verge of having a breakdown on Sunday night. If any of you have experienced the process of drywalling, you know that it must be sanded before it can be painted and this produces MASS AMOUNTS OF DUST! Dust covers eevvvveeerrryyything in your house! So...I spent monday on my hands and knees scrubbing the floors a la little orphan annie singing it's a hard knock life! It was tragic. My poor knees look beaten and bruised. I am however, pleased to report that our house is getting back to working order and is almost completely put back together. Hallelujah!

This partially can explain my lack of posting as my life has been completely uprooted the past few days.

Just in case you wanted to know what I looked like as I scrubbed and cleaned...