Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bump Update!

Here's my girl at 37 weeks!!

Bump-37 weeks

Whoa! I don't remember being that big - of course, she was a mere 5 lbs. 14 oz. at full term.

My little peanut grew to be 5 inches taller than me, though!

Here are current stats (as borrowed from her blog...):

How far along? 37 Weeks 3 Days

Total weight gain: 28 pounds!!! [Mom's note: Even though her belly is so much bigger than I remember mine being, she's only 4 pounds heavier than I was] Back to Kristiina: I had a 2 pound increase this week. It kinda washes with the 1 pound increase I had for the 2 week period last appointment. Yeah, that's it! Actually, I think it's because the boy dropped. Since I've had the extra room, my appetite has been out of control. I never feel full anymore. I made myself a 1.5 lb. steak last night and still went back for a giant bowl of cereal. Yeah, cereal has been another big craving lately. I just can't get enough! I told Nic that I could easily see how some women gain 60 pounds! If I felt like this the whole time, I would be a blimp!

Maternity clothes?: Ha! Barely. I rarely leave the house anymore. There's so much to do here and very few reasons to get me out in this winter weather. I have my favorite jeans, several sweaters and shirts to rotate through but at home I'm in tshirts and pj pants. :-D A girl has to stay comfy!

Sleep: What sleep? I kid, kinda. I'm good until about 3 or 4 AM. Then hips ache, arms/hands tingle, full bladder begs to be emptied and contractions kick in. I think the contraction have something to do with a full bladder and lack of fluids those hours that I'm sleeping. As soon as I relieve myself and quench the desert in my mouth, they go away. I do sleep with a liter of water on my nightstand but I don't wake up until the contractions are starting. I still don't know if that's good or bad. All I know is the end is near!

Best moment this week: Nic telling me about his Daddy bonding time with the boy while I was asleep. Such a sweet moment!

Movement: Yes but much less. Of course this isn't a concern to the doctor. He is clearly running out of space in there. I still feel him several times a day and much more in the evening and when I'm getting ready for bed. It wont be a concern unless I feel him less than 3 times in an hour. This boy far surpasses that!

Gender: Boy! Without a doubt!

Labor Signs: What signs don't I have?! I've lost the plug, have dropped, get regular contractions through the night, you name it, I've had it! The only thing I'm lacking at this point is actual labor!

Belly Button in or out? Out by about 1/4 of an inch. Barely anything.

What I miss: Oh many, many things! Belly sleeping, sleeping at all, sitting on the couch comfortably, sitting at all (I can't rotate my hips since he's dropped. I just perch on the edge of chairs) ribs that don't ache, peeing like a normal person, normal sized ankles, hands that don't tingle, feeling my finger tips, typing without a million type-o's, being able to walk upright without back aches, getting out of the house, being productive, having energy, hmmm....I should probably stop now.

What I am looking forward to: The opposite of everything listed above! ;-) Oh and having a precious little boy in my arms.

Weekly Wisdom: The end is hard no matter what! The outcome is worth it!

Milestones: Dropping! Woo-Hoo! Another step closer!

Fundle height: 37cm

Mama's waist size: 42 1/2 inches! Holy crap!!!! It's amazing what a woman's body can do. I look forward to seeing what happens post partum!

I'll arrive in VT on the 6th, she's due on the 10th... I hope our little boy will wait for grandma to get there!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Snow Play!

They were absolutely elated and revved up by our snow fall.

They ran and leaped like giddy children who just learned it was a snow day!



IMG_3542 C2






My Sweet Things - they were so fun to watch!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

All Grown Up

I just thought you might like to see the mature Sara.

The just-born pup from the previous post is a big girl now...

Sara 2

Told ya she was just as pretty and precious as can be!

Okay... here's one of Mama Zeila playing with her grown up pups.


You can't see much of Sara in this one. Her back and rear end is behind Zeila. The three heads you see are Emma, Blaze and Riley. Emma and Riley are both bringing mama a toy to play with (yes, Emma's empty water bottle is considered a toy at our house).

We have Papa, too, and they all play so well together.

In the next day or two I'll post pics of the snow-day play... they had a blast!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I [Heart] Faces - Pets Only

My blog friends, Angie and Amy, started a photography contest/tutorial blog called I [Heart] Faces almost a year ago (wish I knew how to type a heart symbol in here, that's what it's supposed to be). The blog says that this is Week 49! Whoa, time flies.

When they first announced they were doing it... I thought, "Ooo, that will be fun!" Then I realized I don't do faces. Really. I hardly ever get pictures of people unless it's a special occasion ...and then they're not WOW portraits, they're just memory catchers (which is a good thing, but not what you enter in a contest).

This week I learned that the theme is Pets Only... now, I think I can muster something up in that category {{grin}} ...I have pets!

One of my favorite pet photos was taken before I had a DSLR, and while I surely don't expect it winning any awards, it always makes me smile.

See if it makes you smile...

Mama kisses Sara - E

This is my Zeila girl giving her little Sara (runt of the litter) a sweet mama-doggy lick about an hour after she was born. That darling pup is now 2.5 years old and is pretty and precious as can be!

Whew! And I'm happy to say that a full year didn't pass, and 2009 didn't go out, without my submitting at least one photo to the I [Heart] Faces Blog!


Friday, December 11, 2009

Better Late Than Never...

A summary of my Thanksgiving...

(You'll want to pause the blog music on the right... there are videos below.)

Since I'm away from family and Joe is out of town, I thought it was going to be a quiet holiday. I was hoping to find a place - a soup kitchen or shelter - where I could volunteer, but I couldn't find one. Some of the local churches were preparing a charity meal, but they were well covered and didn't need help. Maybe if I had traveled to a larger city I'd have had better luck.

Instead, I decided to invite my co-worker and his family over to our place. Two other friends; property owners at Wilderness Creek Falls, came, too.

Here's our gang: (Oh, by the way, I can't take credit for these pics. I took about 3 all day and they turned out lousy! Mindy and Chloe took these.)

We had such a nice day. A good 10 hours of food, fun and fellowship! It helped me not miss being away from home and loved ones so much.

Here are our property owners... and now friends; mother and daughter, Mindy and Chloe. Dad, Rory, was in Florida. ...oh, and Kody, of course! He just turned 16 years old.

This is Brittany and Josh. Josh is Rick and Cheryl's son... I work with Rick; he's our Construction Manager.

Here is another Brittany... Rick and Cheryl's daughter... with Cheryl. Rick and Cheryl will soon be first-time grandparents, too. Brittany just found out they're having a girl - due in April!

We're having fun carving the turkey!, Dean, and Rick.

We don't have a big dining table... just our round one that seats six. So, I made a make-shift table that would fit everyone. Just added a folding table, but it worked... we ate together.

Here is Rick and Cheryl's youngest, Jake, with Chloe.

What the heck is with my hair? And my rings, where are my rings? ... I don't like to wear them when I'm in the kitchen, but I always forget to put them back on. (They're in my pocket.)
And... have you noticed that our predecessors put wood paneling in every single room of this house?! Maybe someday we'll paint it or replace it. That would be a worthwhile goal...!

With full bellies, we lingered around the table for awhile. Kody loves Rick.

So, somewhere in the midst of our chatter, we talked Chloe into a giving us a song. It was easy... she loves to sing, and she's terrific! What I didn't tell you, is that she's a star in the making. She's already a TV celebrity; your tweenagers may recognize her from Nickelodeon's Slime Time, but she's now focusing on her singing career with a debut CD soon to be released. I'll be in line for one!

Check it out (there's conversing in the beginning, and a futile attempt to get Kody to sing at the end, but the middle...Wow):

Pretty awesome, huh? She's a performer extraordinaire, and also sang Etta James' At Last for us! She said she wished she knew us back when Kristiina and Nic got married... that she would have loved to sing at their wedding (this is after the "At Last discussion" got started), and I said, "Well, guess what song they danced their first dance to?!" Chloe did a bang-up job with it. A cappella, no less!

What a good day we had!

And just cuz I mentioned it... here's that first dance, again:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Today's Favorite Pic

I change my favorite pic often these days with the many bump and sonogram updates I receive. (For some amazing 3D pics of our little man, check out Kristiina's blog).

This is my new favorite picture.

Baby bump 34 weeks

Doesn't it just scream Vermont?! It was taken the day after Thanksgiving when Kristiina and Nic went to the tree farm to choose their Christmas tree. The one pictured here is the lucky winner. It's now standing in their cozy living room, strung with lights, and awaiting adornment.

This bump update marks 34 weeks. They had a doctor's appointment yesterday and all is well.

I said I'd share some pics from the baby shower... my perspective of it. I'm only posting two because our connection was lousy and they're both very blurry. But I was there, anyway!



There I am in the lower left-hand corner. ;-)

And here's a recent sunrise. See the leafless trees in the foreground... it's beginning to look a lot like winter. Our weathermen say we can expect snow on Saturday!


Ciao-Happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Look Familiar?




How about this? ... it's the ears!

He's our handsome Jake, the O'Brien Family's first dog. We loved him... he was soooo good. He passed away almost 3 years ago. Still miss him.

This little girl, whom we found at the job site across the street, is about 1/5 Jake's size - but those ears immediately made me think of him! (You're right, Kristiina. They're opposite Jake's.)

We're fostering her until we can find the PERFECT home. She deserves a perfect home (where she'll be utterly spoiled and pampered), as she is beyond precious, lovable, loyal, trained, well-behaved, and is a very manageable 15-ish pounds.

Until then, we're calling her Ada (eighta! wink, wink!!)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Major Rock Slide

We had one just up the road from me today!

It's one of my favorite scenic routes along the Ocoee River on Highway 64 (yup, like I said, just up the road from me), and I'm now blocked (for at least three weeks) from gaining access to my beloved Goforth Creek.

It's the route I take to Cleveland, TN, which is where I have to go if I need (want) something other than Walmart... which isn't near me either, actually, but is 25 miles in the opposite direction! Anyway. I don't need anything at the store and I was just at Goforth Creek a little over a week ago, so... I guess three weeks will be okay for me. But not for some! It's a major thoroughfare 'round here!

Check out this video. Someone actually caught the slide on camera! (The latter of the two that occurred in the same location... one at 6 am, and one at 1 pm.)

For those of you that have been to visit me, you'll recognize this spot. It's at dam 2 which is the drop-in for rafters and has that major waterfall over the dam, and just 2 miles from Goforth. I was just there a few days ago taking pictures... walking on that same walkway where you see the TDOT crewman walking.

Here's one I was able to embed, not as informative as the link, but you can see the slide:

Thankfully, no one was hurt.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


I'm thankful for it today.

Though Kristiina is a thousand miles away... I'll participate in her baby shower today via online video. Hooray!

I would prefer to be there in person, but I've chosen to save up my dollars for the arrival of our little man in January! This will be the next best thing to being there...

Do you Skype? You should... when you can't be there in person, it's a pretty nifty substitute. Plus, it's free!

Here's a pretty autumn picture for ya...


I'll let you know how the shower goes... maybe I'll even post pictures!

Caveat: It's a nifty substitute when the computer/internet works properly. I was only "present" for some of the shower and stomping, huffing, and shaking my fists at the computer the rest of the time. Waaa!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Sunday I went on an outing with a photography club out of Blue Ridge, GA. It was a fun day and we saw some beautiful sights!

I took two of the shots (not necessarily the best ones... just random) and played around with textures in Photoshop.

Here's the original photo of the road leading to Bald River Falls (I kept them really big so you can see the textures):
IMG_2755 original

And here it is with the pencil texture added to it:
IMG_2755 colored pencil Texture

This one has the watercolor feature:
IMG_2755 Watercolor Texture

And this one is sponge:
IMG_2755 Sponge Texture

Do you have a favorite?

This is the original photo of Tellico River (near the falls):
IMG_2771 original

And here it is with the watercolor feature added:
Tellico River, North Carolina - Watercolor

For this shot, watercolor is the only one I played with.

What do you think... do we like textures?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Then and Now


Then as in "last August" and

now as in "last week."

Check it out...

Remember this?

It was taken last August when my girl came for a visit.

Here's that same overlook taken last week. I wish my punkin' were standing there rubbing her baby bump.

And there was this.

I was shocked that the leaves were starting to turn in August!

Here's that same row of trees... at the same overlook, taken last week.

Yes, the red really is that red. I did not photoshop enhance these!

And just because I mentioned The Bump... here's an update on that as well!

28 weeks.

Ta-da! Happy Day.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Seven for Sunday

... even though it's Monday.

I took a long drive yesterday after lunch along winding country roads dotted with little white churches. The sun shown intermittently through the trees while the breeze blew spent, though colorful, leaves from the trees. It was kinda dreamy.

Here's some of what I encountered...

We still have a way to go before we reach peak color...

These four horses were happily grazing, though all were interested in what I was up to.

A bit of sunshine and blue sky could have made this a "Wow" shot, in my opinion.

I ended up all the way to Monroe County, TN, traveling the Cherohala Skyway. I believe this is the Tellico River.

This is Bald River Falls. A 100 foot drop.

The bridge where the peepers are located is from where you view the waterfall.

And this is 10-week old Marley with his human, Lucas.
"Aw." I said. "Named after the dog in Marley and Me?"
His response, "No, named after Bob Marley." Oh.

It was a nice day... and now we're back to rain, rain, rain!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Beautiful Skies

I'm drawn to them. I love them. I have dozens... hundreds of pictures of them.

Misty, muted morning skies... bright blue daytime skies... colorful, vivid evening skies...

This is a sunrise from my balcony.

Another sunrise from the same balcony a few weeks later.

Was on a hike and the bright puff of white cloud caught my eye.

IMG_0815 e
A sunset from Lot 51 at Wilderness Creek Falls.

Another sunset from Wilderness Creek Falls... this one is Lot 53.

Driving home from Blue Ridge, GA, this sight kept capturing my attention in the rearview mirror. Finally, I had to just pull over a get a shot of it!

Happy Friday!

About Me

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I'm a wife, mom, and grandma living in rural Vermont. I spend 40 hours of my week working outside my home and away from my garden, but am nevertheless passionate about healthy eating and sustainable living. By sourcing nutrient-dense food from local farms and avoiding processed foods, we are realizing how our over health is being impacted for the better. I’m excited to have you join me as I share what we’re learning and invite you to offer your insights in the comments. “…giving thanks in all circumstances…” 1 Thess 5:16-18