Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Different Christmas

This year was a little different for Christmas. 
Being 8 months pregnant, I am restricted to traveling very far. Which means, we had Christmas in West Des Moines this year.  Cara and Jay's parents came over around noon and we started cooking.  We took a break to open presents from both sets of parents and got many wonderful and useful gifts. Dinner was amazing and we all stuffed ourselves too full; Jay is one spectacular turkey chef. We relaxed the rest of the night and made a game plan for the next morning.  
Cara arrived at about 6:45am and we were all off to breakfast at the Drake Diner and a morning of Christmas sale shopping.  Our goal was to get a Christmas tree for next year, but we were unaware that Christmas trees go on sale the week before. I guess we will just have to wait until next year. We did get some great sales on wrapping paper, candy,
and even a cute outfit for baby Udey :) 
The rest of the day we spent napping and relaxing. 
Overall, it was a very different Christmas. It was strange not to see my family on a main holiday and for Jay it was strange not to enjoy opening his stocking at his parent's house.  We both have traditions that we weren't able to do yet we enjoyed Christmas very much.  It even made me step back and take a moment to think about what Christmas is all about.  If it was about the presents, eating certain things, and seeing certain people, I'm sure I would be disappointed quite often. But to think, a King was born on this day and came for each and every one of us is amazing.  He loves each of us so much.

We even took a moment to snap a beautiful Christmas picture.
Lovely :)

Jay's parents stayed in town a few extra days and helped do some repairs around the house. Here is the most visible one. 

They spent time cleaning the rest of the carpet in the living room and the family room and it looks spectacular.

Darlynn and I spent an entire day running errands all over town. We went to 2 different Wal-Marts, 2 Targets, the mall, and many other locations.  Our goal was to get as many things for the baby's room, as the time for her to arrive is getting closer and closer.  Here was one of our projects for the day. 

Our beautiful lamp!
Many things were accomplished in the past week. It's hard for me to believe that in about 25 days, give or take, she will be here. Time keeps flying by and I'm sure it will when she is born too. Hope you all had a safe Christmas and New Year!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Another busy weekend!

Last weekend, we got to enjoy the wedding of our good friends Tim and Jenna Greeno. The weekend was full of fun with the rehearsal Friday night and pictures and the wedding on Saturday.  Saturday was also filled with another exciting event: We started having church at our new location!  It's in a great spot and is just the right size for us.
I got a picture of Jay and I at the wedding but it didn't look too hot, so I had us take another one after church. Cara and I got a few pictures in too.
Try #1

Here's the good one :) 

Auntie Cara, for the 2nd time, and me! 

Had to have a fun one! 

Update on the baby and I: Things are going well. Our appointments are still in and out which they say are the best ones. This is week 34, so after the next appointment we start going every week. That makes it a little more real that the big day is coming! I met with a pediatrician yesterday and am going to meet with another next Tuesday. Who knew there was so much to get done before she is even here! We're on the uphill here. Sleeping is starting to get more and more uncomfortable and I'm a little bit more tired during the day. Other than that, I think the Lord has blessed me with a very easy pregnancy. And am I thankful for that!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Entering the Cooking World

I’m attempting to get better at being in the kitchen. It’s a humbling experience for me at times, but Jay really does make it fun for me. I looked up recipes that include either sweet potatoes or any form of beans, as we’ve heard they are healthy for you.  This week the recipe proved itself and tastes amazing! Here it is:

Chicken & Sweet Potato

2 Stalks of Celery, chopped
1 Onion, chopped
2 Tsp Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1-2 Sweet Potatoes, diced
2 Chicken Breast, cooked and shredded
2 Cups Chicken Stock
1 Can (15 oz) of diced tomatoes, keep juice
1 Cup Water
Salt & Pepper to taste

Cook chicken ahead of time and shred it up into small chunks or pieces.  Sauté the celery and onion in the olive oil in large skillet.  Add the garlic after a few minutes. Put in chicken, sweet potatoes, chicken stock, water, and the can of tomatoes, including the juices from the can.  Turn heat to low-medium.  Let cook for about 40 minutes. Stir occasionally and add salt and pepper to taste. 
Serve over rice. (I made 3 cups (dry) of rice to go with this; I’m not sure how much that makes after it’s cooked)  Depending if you serve with a salad or another side, you could serve 5-6 people easily.

Things on the home front are going well. We are getting ready for another wedding this weekend.  Our good friends Tim and Jenna will be getting married on Saturday and hopefully we'll snag a pictures to put up here. Another exciting thing this Saturday is, our church, West Town Church, has a winter location! It's located above Pegasus Gallery in Valley Junction on 5th Street.  It starts at 5pm; come check it out if you can!

Other than that, we continue to learn more and more about the birthing process at our classes.  It's beyond amazing to me that our little girl is being knit together even as I type this blog.  Reminds me of this verse: 
Psalm 139:13 For you created my inmost being;  
you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 
 I just continue to be amazed with ever kick and punch she gives me, even if some of them hurt a little.  We almost have her room all put together which makes it quite a bit more real to know that we will have a precious little girl living in there in less than 50 days.  Until then.... :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lots of Pictures on This Post!

I was uploading pictures from my camera and found some from our Bible study’s RAISH.  They were so wonderful to help rake our yard while I cooked up some fish from them.  Here are a few of the helpers; I wasn’t able to get them all.

Stasos taking a break to rock out on the raketar.
The man of the house :) 
Tough girls
Jay was one of the three men who were brave enough in our birthing class to wear the sympathy belly.  Here are a few pictures from my phone. 

He's just a little bit bigger

This past weekend we were able to travel to each of our parent’s house for Thanksgiving.  It was one of the most relaxing trips we've taken I would have to say.  Jay did a few unique things while we were up there too.  
My dad and Jay made homemade rolls for Thanksgiving dinner.  My mom and I were able to sit in the recliners with our feet up and enjoy the show.  

It was entertaining to say the least and the rolls were amazing!

Next on the unique things done list was stuffing and smoking deer bologna.  The process starts with mixing deer meat with hamburger and the right amount of seasoning. Then you put it into a casing and smoke it for about 8 hours.  I got the tail end of the process.

Last but not least, knitting.  Cara brings her friend Ky home for the holidays and we have a blast. This year Ky wanted to learn now to knit…. Which started a knitting party.  Jay took part and we even learned that my dad knew how to knit at one point in time. He had knit a scarf that all of us kids used to wear when we went sledding.

So intense!!!
While at home, we were able to see my older sister Nina, her husband Joel, and their son Wyatt.  Since he is about one and half, it’s a little harder for them to travel so it is always a treat when we get to see them.  Here’s a picture of the ‘little’ guy.  He’s not so little anymore. He’s growing up so fast! 

What a stud!
That was the first two days of Thanksgiving. The second two were spent with Jay’s parents.  We were able to relax and watch some college football and cheer on both Ohio State and Wisconsin.  Darlynn put together a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner.  
We even got to watch a movie later that night as a family. 
The next day I was able to get a few new items to decorate our home for the Christmas season from Darlynn.  Here is the final product.
Looks amazing!

Before we headed south on Sunday, we tried out the new Buffalo Wild Wings in Owatonna and watched some of the Packer game. 
Then the short, yet seems super long when you’re pregnant, trip started. 

An update from home: 
I took some time off work to get things a little more ready around the house. We have a few things left to purchase for our little girl’s room, but overall things are pretty set and ready for her.  I’m working on cleaning up the rest of the house, because I know I will soon lack a lot of motivation to do any of the regular household chores.  
I’m right on track according to the doctor and things are looking great. I forgot that I haven’t put up a picture for a long time. Here we are at 32 weeks! 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

First ER Trip: Big Event, Little Results (a good thing!)

First of all, the baby and I are okay. Here’s how the last 48ish hours of my life unfolded. Thursday at work, I started reading while on my lunch break and was seeing small dots or white splotches but only with my right eye. I thought this was somewhat strange but thought maybe I had been looking at a computer for too long. I decided to go get some fresh air and called my OBGYN to see if I should take any action or if this was just normal. I had left a message and decided to wait for the return call while sitting in my car. I tried to read again to see if the dots were still there. They were; so I made myself try to read out loud. I could see all the words, even the simplest words, but not read them out loud. I would get two words into a sentence and get stuck on the word ‘the’. So I shut the book, tried again in another 10 minutes, same results. Now feeling a little uneasy, I went back into work, in case something would happen to me. During this time, the dots in my eye went away and I developed a headache.
I went back to working on the things on my desk when the portion from my fingertips to my elbow on my right arm went numb. Thinking maybe I hit my funny bone or something I could shake if off. The numbness feeling got worse and more powerful. I called my doctor again and explained the situation. While on the phone, the right side of my face and tongue went numb. Talk about not knowing what was going on or what to do. Through many phone calls, my friend Colleen ended up driving me downtown to the Mercy ER because along with my symptoms, I am 30 weeks pregnant. After being admitted, they did an EKG and CT scan and told me I would need to spend the night in order to see a neurologist in the morning. Jay had switched spots with Colleen at this point and we just sat and waited for a room to open up. They explained to me they have seen this before in pregnant women. Sometimes it is a migraine, but I had never really had one of those, a thyroid problem, or a TIA (a mini stroke) but they thought I was too young for that.
We waited…got to our room and then they needed to check on our baby. We had an ultrasound and girl has she grown! They guessed that she weighs about 3 lbs 10 ozs. So growing strong. It was amazing to see her bow structure from the first time we had seen her to now.
After that, we went back and tried to get some rest. Jay slept on the cot next to me which was so comforting to know he was right there if I needed something. He got up early the next morning and headed to work because all they were going to do was cart me around and do testing all day. I saw the neurologist first and did an ultrasound of my neck. Then I was sent to the heart floor where they did an ultrasound of my heart. Finally I was going back to the room. We waited most of the day to hear the results. The neurologist came in at about 2:30 and told me that everything looked good. What he believes happened is that my brain was over stimulated and couldn't process the many things that were going on. With that the process of a migraine comes in. But this was an abnormal migraine that can impair vision, numb parts of your body even to the state of being paralyzed for a brief time, and allow you not to focus. He said this happens to some pregnant women and if it happens again to allow myself to lie down, relax, and try not to let myself become over stimulated.
As scary of an event this was, it was mind blowing to remember how much of life you don’t have control over. I was so thankful for each set of hands that helped me while I was there. From Colleen getting me there, the former pastor, newly expecting mother, grandmother with strangely named grandchildren, a women just getting back from serving in Iraq, proud grandmother of 10, Harry Potter fan, medical students, the cleaning lady who says “God bless” to each patient, to my husband, I was thankful to come home and be able to say it was just a migraine and not something like a mini stroke.

Friday, November 5, 2010

One Shower Down, Another Tomorrow

Two weekends ago we made the trip to Minnesota, a trip we hadn't made since my older sister Nina got married in June! Nina and my Aunt Pat put on a shower for us and our growing baby, in which we were blessed with many gifts from family and very close friends. It was a bit chillier being farther north but it gave us a taste of what we'll have soon down here. We acquired many new items including: super cute outfits for our little girl, a tree swing, an inflatable bathtub, a baby book, many toys, and even our high chair! I know I'm missing things, but we are so thankful for each and every gift. We also got to see the dresser for the first time that will be in her room! I sent my mom on a hunt one day and she ended up making a great deal with the guy. All that has to be done is a little sanding and some paint and it will be ready for her room!

I found it a little ironic that we both chose to wear blue that day.
I promise we are having a girl :)

We're getting ready for the winter season. Tonight our Bible study is coming over to help rake leaves. It will be an adventure but one well worth it. I'm planning on frying up some Minnesota caught sunfish and crappies for dinner. I know I'm looking forward to munching on a few as the chef must try the food before hand :) I'm hoping to get some pictures up from this event as we are so blessed to have extra bodies to help us tackle our large yard.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Less than 100 days to go!

This week we started putting our house back together from the big painting weekend. It looks so different. I am still amazed at what a coat of paint can do for a room.
We had a big event on Friday for church called Java Jazz. It was a very relaxed art show, with live jazz music, some spoken words, and a few other things. We enjoyed that very much!
We are getting ready for our first baby shower within a 3 week time frame. It gets a little more real that I am having the baby when the shower is for me and I'm not just attending. We'll be excited to get some essential things for her but also the cute little things too. :) That's all for now.... starting to feel a little more tired here and there and am about ready for a nap and it's only noon! I think I'll take advantage of the wonderful weather and go for a walk instead!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Some more changes!!

This was a weekend of work. We had quite a bit of help though. Our friend Rubin came over and helped paint our main living room. His help was much appreciated!!! Also, Jay's parents and aunt and uncle came into town.
Here's a few pictures of the hard workers :)

Uncle Chaim vacuuming the doors before they get painted.

Rubin, Jay, and Dad Udey painting the living room.

There's always a moment to refuel!

Mom Udey and Aunt Laurie starting the trim or "cutting"
as we learned to call it in the family room.

Aunt Laurie and Dad Udey vacuuming the ceiling
in the living room to get rid of the last remnants
of fireplace sandblasting days.

The family room did an entire 180, maybe a few times. It went from a flowery wallpaper pattern on the top and eggshell on the bottom to this! This room looks beyond amazing, sharp, elegant, and exceeds the expectations I had for it. There's a little cleaning left to do but we have to wait a while before putting things back in place.

We will soon get things up on the walls when the paint is dry enough but we also got rid of the china hutch which opens up the living room quite a bit!

On a different note:
We also got the privilege of catching another chipmunk. As you can see, we have at least one more to catch. He had a visitor while he was trapped...
I found it quite entertaining to watch.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A lot has happened!!!

The big day came, September 13th....
We found out we are having a baby GIRL!!!!! She's growing like a weed in there lately. I started to feel her kick a little and the doctor said she is healthy as can be. We were even told she has some big biceps :) Here's a picture as of today:

My parents came down to finish the fireplace. It used to be 100% painted brick, and it was a thick coat of white paint. Through many groups of friends and family coming over to do the hard scrubbing of paint removal we got the majority off. My parents came down Monday and Tuesday and finished it off by sandblasting the whole thing. Here are the pictures!

Before and after!!!!!

Here's what it looked like if you were standing in the kitchen. Then of course I had to snap a picture of the hard workers :)

Finally, we set up the changing table and crib between the last post and this one. It made it a little more surreal that in 120ish days she'll be here. But, here's what her room looks like and a few early gifts we've been given :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

20 weeks down, 20 to go

Well, we are half way there! I feel like it's been a pretty easy half of the pregnancy with no morning sickness and only a little bit of nausea. We find out in a week what we are having. It seems crazy that so much time has already passed. Here's an update my size:

This weekend, we enjoyed the company of Jay's parents and his aunt and uncle for a relaxing Labor Day weekend. We once again have TV, this time for more that 4 days thanks to Dad Udey. Mom Udey printed off pictures from the wedding they attending in New York and also their tourist pictures. We got some refreshing ideas of ways to help give our house a face lift from Aunt Laurie and got some help returning a 'non-returnable' item from Uncle Chaim. We enjoy the time we get to spend with them and the time we were able to refresh ourselves over the weekend.

A few weekends ago, a group of our friends had a nerd party we took part in. Here is a picture of the large group. We sure do look great.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Lots of changes!

We found this huge mushroom in our backyard.... Intense.

Last but not least, we continue to decrease the animal count in our yard. This chipmunk has been eating my pepper plants and many other plants right off to the ground. We caught him and did the loving thing and let him go. Stasos got the privilege to release this fella back into the wild.

Overall, it was a crazy weekend. We found some time to rest and relax but got a LOT done!!!

Update on the baby world: we had an appointment last week and things are still going well. The heartbeat is steady and healthy. I'll have pictures hopefully next week of how I'm looking; I haven't gained a pound yet so that's a little strange for my body to change so much but not gain any weight.
Off for now...

Lots of changes!

Around the back patio.
There was
done before
hand but weeds had
overgrown this
area. Not anymore!!!

Lots of changes!

What we look at when we sit in our chairs on the patio....