Thursday, April 26, 2012

Birthday Story

Warning...if you don't want to read about centimeters and effacement you should probably skip this post!

Everyone always wants to know about the birth day story and I wanted to get this written down before it all becomes a blur between midnight feedings and 3 am diaper changes!

I went in on Thursday, April 19th for my 39 week appointment.  The 2 previous weeks I was only 1 cm and wasn't showing any progress towards labor.  I was pretty sure the baby had dropped but I didn't want to get my hopes up.  I suffered from some pretty intense pelvic pain during this pregnancy and although I felt great otherwise physically I was really ready for some relief!

When the midwife checked me she said I was around 3-4 cm and more than 50% effaced.  I tried not to get too excited but I was happy that things were at least moving along!  She said that she thought I'd have the baby by the weekend but I didn't want to believe her.  I left the appointment feeling encouraged.  I already can't remember what we did on Thursday night.  I remember going to bed early because I wasn't feeling great.

I woke up at 1:13 am because of a painful contraction.  I'd had Braxton Hicks for a couple of months but this felt very different.  I didn't really experience contractions with my first pregnancy because I had to be induced and had my epidural before they really set in so I wasn't sure if I'd know when I was having them.  Ha!  I knew!!  I timed them for an hour and although they were short they came every 10 minutes consistently.  At 2:15 I got in the shower.  I figured it would either stop the contractions or make me feel a little better.  Plus I hate dirty hair and I didn't want to have dirty hair when I had a baby.

During the shower the contractions suddenly started coming every 4 minutes and then every 6 minutes.  And boy did they hurt!  Peter came in and I informed him that we needed to get going.  We quickly packed  couple of last minute things, dropped Little Guy off at our friend's house and proceeded to the hospital.  I was very nervous that we wouldn't make it in time for an epidural and I'm pretty sure I said so between each contraction.

Peter dropped me off at the emergency room and I quickly checked in around 3:45.  They wheeled me upstairs and got me settled in a L & D room.  Our nurse was fabulous and she really helped me breath through 90 or so minutes until I got my epidural.

After I had the epidural she did a quick exam and I was 5cm and almost fully effaced.  I do not see how  people give birth without medicine.  I thought I would DIE and I was only halfway there!  Regardless I settled down and they let me labor for a few hours until it was time to push.

Around 6:45 our nurse came in and told us they would be doing a shift change.  She also mentioned that if my water didn't break they would have to do so.  After she left Peter came over to the bed and said he thought we should pray.  Before he could start we heard a loud pop!  The look on his face was priceless.  My water had broken and I swear it sounded like a gun had gone off!!

After my water broke things moved pretty quickly.  The nurse came to check me around 9 and at 9:25 I started to push.  My contractions stopped as soon as I started pushing but I told them I wanted to push anyway and at 9:56 the Littlest Guy was born!!

Reed weighed 8 pounds 13 ounces and was 21 inches long.  He is long and skinny just like his big brother and has a full head of dark hair.  Now that we are looking back at pictures we are having a hard time telling the difference between the two boys!

We were pleased with our hospital although it was a different experience than the hospital in Charleston.  Regardless all of the nurses and staff were very kind and caring.  We brought him home on Saturday the 21st and settled in as a family of four!

We did bring the Little Guy to the hospital to meet his little brother.  He is still only 20 months and although we tried to talk about the baby a lot he still will grab his own tummy and say "baby".  So clearly we are confused!  He didn't take much notice in the hospital but he did appreciate Reed's thoughtful shopping and loved his new fire truck pajamas, Curious George book and matchbox cars.  He has been great at home though and likes to pat the baby's head and say "gentle" while doing so.  He also gets excited if Reed wears something with a truck, monkey or other fun thing that he recognizes.

I told Peter to snap a picture between contractions.  I'm smiling but clearly uncomfortable.  Much different than with Little Guy.

Our two Little Guy's in their "monk monk" pajamas.  Stafford was giving Reed "muahs"  

We are so thankful and blessed to be home and adjusting well.  Thank you for your prayers and we can't wait to share more of our Littlest Guy with you!!

Our New Guy


August "Reed" Euler

April 20, 2012
9:56 A.M.
8 lb. 13 oz.
21 inches

So thankful for this gift from God!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Miscellany Monday

1. Expansion

So we've done a little expanding since my last post! I haven't even had time to officially blog about it but baby boy is here!! In determined to sit down today and get it all written down so you'll have to check back for the story!

2. Expansion part 2

Could I be much more excited that some of our best friends from Charleston just moved here? We are already fortunate enough to have 3 other couples that we live close by so getting a 4th is an awesome blessing.

3. Practice doesn't make perfect

I don't care what anyone says...contractions and labor are major work and majorly painful.

4. Gentle

The Little Guy is doing well with adjusting to little brother. He loves to pat him on the head and say...gentle. Precious!!

And now for some photos! I'll post lots more when I post my birth experience.

Have a great Monday!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Week 38--Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

1. That Girl

I was "that girl" last night.  We went to the hospital and they sent me home.  To be honest I thought they would.  But for some reason I just felt really off and nervous and felt like I hadn't been getting beat up from the inside quite as much so I called the midwife and she instructed me to come just in case.  I think Peter was glad because now my hospital bag is finally packed.  I'm not sure what I was waiting for but clearly at 38 weeks plus a day or two I need to have a bag!

2. Tantrums

We just entered into the super willful stage of 20 months at our house.  Little Guy really is pretty easy going for the most part but we can definitely tell that he is starting to "speak" his mind.  This is what a tantrum looks like at our house...or yours...or the zoo...

We just sit down.  At home it isn't that big of a deal.  I let him sit in the bathroom or living room or most frequently in front of the front door because he is mad that I made him come inside once we've arrived home. However, I do not enjoy this little game when it is raining, cold or when I have my hands full of groceries and he chooses to sit in the middle of our alleyway.  Grr!  This most often happens when Mama has refused to acknowledge the signs that naptime should be beginning now.

3. Easter

We had a low-key Easter.  Please don't judge too harshly when I tell you that the only thing I made for Easter was egg salad.  You think I'm kidding but I'm not.  Energy has been a little lacking around here lately and we've been tackling so many house projects and trying to get in fun outings for the Little Guy before the Littlest arrives that I just didn't have it in me.  We DID however manage to get a family picture and I'm happy about that!

We are clearly in the "happy to get me facing the camera" stage versus the "great smile" stage. 

4. Father-Son Moments

I look back on our six months apart and am able to see many many blessings throughout.  One of the greatest joys for me was being able to be a stay at home mommy to the Little Guy.  There were definitely some hard days being alone for that long but I am thankful that the Lord gave me so much joy from the little things.  How many Mamas get to spend ALL of their time with their sweet little one with few distractions?  I loved our time together but let me tell you I really love watching my two guys back together again.  They are best buds and it is awesome.  Here are a couple of my favorite photos from the past week...

Reading our Bible

Someone hears an airplane!

Looking for the wild cats at Northwest Trek

Checking out the "monk-monk"s at the zoo

5. Hello Hello

A quick hello to my  new readers!  So excited to have you here!  Not sure what the next couple of weeks will bring for us, other than eventually the Littlest Guy will arrive!  I usually try to post a recipe once or twice a week, stories about our family, friends, faith and the Little Guy!  I'll be visiting your blogs as soon as I can!  My sweet husband goes back to work this week so I have to go back to Mama mode!!  We've enjoyed having him home for the last two weeks.  Now it is another transition.  If you think about it friends, pray for our Little Guy to keep doing well with all the change going on in his life.  Daddy on the way....big things for a Little Guy to process!

Hope you have a FABULOUS Monday!!!

Spinach-Artichoke Casserole

I've been waiting for the Big Guy to get home before we tried this recipe.  It is hard to cook for one person and I just love cooking for him because he will eat almost anything.  The only thing he really doesn't want is rutabaga.  Rutabaga?  Before we were married I didn't even know what that was.  But apparently it is one of his Dad's favorites therefore something he had tried.  So far I've found it pretty easy to avoid but I might have to find some good recipes when the in-laws visit!

This casserole makes a great side dish for a lighter meat like chicken, although we had it with meatloaf tonight and I thought it went well.  Next time I might try adding some breadcrumbs as a binder because it wasn't quite casserolish.  However it's shape didn't effect it's taste!

Spinach-Artichoke Casserole

2 10oz packages chopped spinach, thawed
1 14-oz can artichoke hearts
2 T butter
2 T chopped onion
2 T all purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
3/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Drain the chopped spinach well but reserve 1/2 a cup of the spinach liquid.  It's messy but honestly the best way to do this after you've drained the initial liquid is to pick it up and squeeze it with your freshly washed hands!  Drain the artichoke hearts and quarter them.

Melt the butter over medium high heat.  Saute the onions until they are tender. (I doubled the amount of onions, butter and flour because I love onions!)  Add flour and stir constantly for one minute.  Stir in the spinach liquid and milk and stir for 2 minutes.  The mixture will start the get thick and bubbly.

Add the spinach, artichokes, garlic salt, pepper and Worcestershire and stir.  Spoon into a baking dish (I used an 8x8 pan).  Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

This was SUPER yummy.  It is also a decently healthy way to get some good greens in your diet.  It was flavorful without being too rich and almost resembled a spinach-artichoke dip you would order at a restaurant.  

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Friday, April 13, 2012

The 2012 Ultimate Blog Party

Ultimate Blog Party 2012

We've been doing a lot of partying at our house recently and plan to do a little more!  

To the non-blogging world I'm sure it seems a little strange to share our lives with each other but I know for me it has been such a blessing to have people that are walking through life with me via this blog!  I love the advice I get, the encouragement and especially seeing all of the cute photos of my friend's children!  My blogging friends inspire me to dig deeper into my faith, shop smarter, live healthier and photograph better!!

While you are here I hope you'll follow too!!

Storybook Reality is just a real life storybook.  I love the word picture of life as a book-chapters unwritten, story unfolding.  

So this is my story....

I'm a Christian.  I'm a wife to a wonderful man in the Air Force.  We have a sweet son who I usually refer to as the Little Guy and are expecting another literally any day!  We are slowly making the Seattle/Tacoma area our home after moving here in the Fall.  I worked as Student Affairs professional for 8 years until I started my new job as a stay-at-home mom.  Being at home has it's challenges but they are so rewarding and I am very blessed to be able to do so!  

Things I love-cooking, reading, UK basketball, learning new things, being creative, flowers, jewelry, my dear friends, decorating, and caring for my family!

A couple of my favorite posts are:

Chicken Pot Pie To Die For (Food)

Lighting Little Lamps (Faith)

Two People (Family)

This blog is a place for me to do all of those things and share how things are going!  I love to share recipes, projects, pictures and whatever else is going on at our house!  My life has been TRANSFORMED in the last few years because of one word: thankfulness.  God has blessed me so much and I strive to live in a constant state of thankfulness no matter what the situation!

The last few months have been interesting for me.  I did the single parent thing for 6 months while my husband was on assignment overseas.  He left 4 weeks after we moved into our home here.  A cross-country move, long separation and baby on the way has been challenging.  But we have been so blessed throughout!

Thanks for visiting and I can't wait to share more of our story with you!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easy Enchiladas

I swear this recipe isn't a joke.  This is one of our family favorites!  Whenever I serve these I am always asked for the recipe and then I kind of stutter because I want people to enjoy easy cooking but this seriously is so simple it is almost comical!

Technically these are not enchiladas.  Did you know that true enchiladas are rolled in a corn tortilla?  I didn't know that until someone on Top Chef got kicked off this year for making "enchiladas" in a flour tortilla.  I guess I need to come up with a new name for these huh?

Easy Enchiladas

1 pound of ground turkey (you can use beef but we prefer turkey at our house)
1 bottle of Ortega Taco Sauce (not enchilada sauce)
1/2 pound of grated or shredded cheddar cheese
flour tortillas
sour cream

Brown your turkey.  Add as much of the taco sauce and cheese as you want to get the consistency you prefer for your filling.  I don't like mine to be super runny so depending on how much meat we are using (if I am making more than a pound) I modify how much I put in.  I want the meat-cheese-sauce mixture to be gooey.

Fill your tortillas.  We usually use the large 10-inch tortillas.  A pound will only make 4 of these but they will be large.  Roll the tortillas (I suggest a couple of trips to Chipotle or Qdoba to learn how to do it well...ha ha).  Cover the enchiladas with as much or as little of the leftover Taco sauce and then sprinkle with cheese.  Bake at 350 until the cheese is melted.  Serve warm with sour cream.

Seriously that is it.  No hidden spices or tricks.  Just meat, cheese, sauce and the tortillas.  I mean really it is almost embarrassing!!  We've tried to use the "enchilada" sauce before but have found it is too runny and ruins the consistency of what we're used to.

It is great to have a couple of "go to" recipes like this for your family, especially when things are busy!  I like this one because Peter can easily  make it if it is a night that I am going to be gone or just need a break from cooking!  Yeah, he is awesome like that!  The ingredients are easy to keep on hand and to remember if you just need to run out and get them.  I've also found this warms up well if you are taking someone a meal.  I usually take a double pan of these and a bowl of the famous Allison's Salsa!

I hope you enjoy this easy family favorite of ours!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Guest Posting--Twysted Yarn!

I'm guest posting for Morgan over at Twysted Yarn today!

While you are there please check out her amazing business. She is an incredible wife, mama, craftsman and loves Jesus!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Two People

There are two people in this picture.  You can't really see the second one because he is busy buckling the Little Guy into his carseat.  Do you know how fun that is for me?  I got to take my camera somewhere and I didn't have to chase after this little munchkin the entire time!  I'm looking forward to catching some sweet father-son moments in the next few weeks.  And I'm very thankful!

**Linking up with RachelCourtneyDarcy, and Jennifer

Home Sweet Home

Ah!  We are officially a 1 continent family again and it feels so good!!  We've been enjoying our time together and especially enjoying watching the Little Guy.  He is clearly thrilled that Daddy is home and Mama is happy that he has a new wrestling partner!  Now we are just trying to get last minute things finished in anticipation for Baby 2 (yes, he is still nameless)!

I do have to tell a story about the day we picked up Peter from the airport.  We expected him in around 5:30 pm that evening.  I thought the day would drag but it went very quickly.  By the time I did some last minute cleaning, napping and getting the Little Guy ready it was time to get going.  We had discovered by this time that Peter would have a 3 hour delay (kind of ridiculous that he made it all the way from Africa and then gets stuck in Detroit) so we even had extra time.

I recalled early that morning watching the Little Guy play with my car keys.  So far I've only "lost" my car keys once while Peter was gone and I found them in the toy basket.  I try to be really good about putting them in one place because I am very absent minded and I am always running late.  No time to be searching for car keys.  As we started to load up the car flashbacks from that morning filled my head.  I remembered thinking "you should take those from him because you'll need them later".  But I couldn't remember where in the house this happened, what time or if I ever took them back.  Did I mention they are my ONLY set of keys?

I started frantically looking all over the house and praying.  I thought this would be one of those perfect times for a little miracle because I know they happen.  I prayed and then I looked at the Little Guy and asked him where they keys were.  He very confidently went to the china cabinet (which now stores tupperware since he knows how to open it) and opened the door.  I cheered inwardly just knowing they would be on the shelf.  Alas, no keys.

I did as thorough of a search as I could downstairs and headed upstairs.  I looked everywhere.  We don't have a big house.  And we don't have a lot of nooks and crannies for things to hide.  But I always find stuff in drawers, behind doors, in places I would never guess to look.  I was starting to freak out a little bit.

Little Guy has a little closet under the eaves in his room.  It is perfect for a kid and he loves to get in there and play with his trucks.  I recently moved some of his toys in there to get them out of the way and again I felt confident they keys would be in there.  So I knelt down and crawled in.  I could hear him playing behind me.  Again, no keys.  I prayed again that I would find them.  I turned around and asked again, "Buddy, where are the  keys?"  I looked down and he was holding them.  I swear!  I have no idea where he got them.  And I'm positive he had no idea I was looking for them.  But I guess he had been playing with them upstairs that morning and he left them upstairs.

I found this on Pinterest this week
Def need one of these!!

Clearly I need to make one immediately!

Thankfully the rest of our time picking up Peter was uneventful.  Well, other than the main event!!  Little Guy did great considering it was way past his bedtime.  He was a tiny bit shy at first but on the way home we stopped to Peter could get dinner and while he was in the restaurant Little Guy sat in the backseat asking for Daddy the whole time.  So far he seems to be adjusting well to both Mama and Daddy doing baths, diaper changes, discipline etc without missing a beat!  I am very very thankful!!

Love this shot from our playground visit last weekend...

We are enjoying our downtime, the sunshine (yes the sun has been shining almost every day this week in Western Washington!!) and prepping for this baby.  I've even been cooking so I'll have some new recipes to share in the next couple of weeks!

Thanks to everyone who has prayed for us, called me, sent me a message or a card during this time.  It was a crazy six months but now it seems like a distant memory!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Miscellany Monday

This Miscellaneous Edition will be short and sweet!
Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters
Home Sweet Home

Waiting for Daddy at the airport....way past bedtime

Seeing Daddy come back from his 20 mile run

Daddy walks into the room

Catch the theme here?  This little guy LOVES his Daddy.  He is so happy to have him home and has adjusted so well!!  I am so thankful!

King of the Sidewalk

My husband is a serious athlete.  He'll probably read this a few days from now and be embarrassed but I can't help but brag on him a little bit.  I won't give you a laundry list of all the marathons and ultra marathons he has completed but I will tell you what he did this weekend.  20 miles.  Ok, maybe not such a big deal for a regular weekend.  But he did this the day after he got home from traveling for 50, yes 50 hours in airplanes and airports to get home to us.  Now that is a serious athlete!

Playground Fun

It rained the whole way there and the Little Guy refused to nap yesterday so I thought it would be a disaster but he had a blast!!  I loved watching them play together and it was fun to get to see him get to do some of the big boy slides since no one else was at the park!

Photo Finish

I finished up my photo class this week.  I've really really learned a lot.  I'll be sharing a few pictures later this week!  I want to keep practicing and practicing and thankfully we have a new and slower moving subject on the way!  I'm determined that Baby Boy 2 (yes, he is STILL nameless) will have just as many pictures as the Little Guy!!

Hope your  Monday is fabulous as always!!


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