To Blog or Not to Blog?

As far back as I can remember, I have always had a passion for writing. In my late elementary and early high school years, it was mostly writing fictions stories based on my reality.  At one point, I had written multiple versions of stories about my dream, living in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  Thank goodness that dream came true, because that is where I had my amazing little girl and met the man of my dreams (but that is a whole different blog).  I continued to write throughout high school, switching more to reality and working on my school newspaper and yearbook.  Every story, even in reality, had my emotion all through it.  This love of writing carried on into college where I worked occasionally for our school newspaper and served as editor of our yearbook.  During this time, I met one of my great friends who continued to write with me on a political blog that we eventually just grew out of.  My personal blogging was off and on (probably a side effect of the fact that I had moved from Pittsburgh to Myrtle Beach and was not exactly sure who I was) and not consistent.  There was no purpose, it was like scrapbooking when you don’t have a kid.  It is meaningful to you, but to who else?  (Now I’ve learned that my kids will appreciate the silly scrapbooks I made of myself in my college and SC years because they will know more of who Mom is, but at the time? I had no clue.) Once I had my daughter, I had so much material and I wanted a place to put it all down, a place to remember the moments beyond the scrapbookable ones.  I am a workaholic who is married to a stay-at-home dad, so blogging doesn’t always happen in a timely or consistent manner, but it happens when I need it to.  In October 2010, I attended Pod Camp Pittsburgh 5 where I listened to Burgh Baby talk about finding the fodder to blog 365 days a year. She makes it a point to blog every single day, and it is with a purpose–writing for her daughter. So today, I have decided that I have a purpose with my personal blog–writing for my daughter and my son. But there is another part of me that I would like to share with the world, and that is talking about one of my hobbies–cooking. In order to maintain my kids’ privacy and not bore my readers, I needed to seperate the two blogs and see what came forth. Hence, today I gave birth to “Lil Burgher Delights”.

What will you find on this page? As I try to maintain a balance between personal blogging for my family, working a full time + job, spending time with my kids, scrapbooking, and enjoying living back in the city of Pittsburgh, there is little time for high quality cooking around our house. Well, perhaps through this blog I will break out of my rut and start to get a little more creative and less predictable with my cooking. So, what you are going to find here are my food adventures. Some may be silly and easy, others may leaving me crying on the kichen floor; however, you are going to hear about them. And I would love for my husband to take some pictures to include in the recipes and stories. Let’s see what comes forth!

Latent Labor, Adoption, and Making it to December

Stressful cannot even begin to describe the T’s and D’s we’ve overcome as a family this past week. After Thanksgiving, sure enough, the turkey gave me contractions. Two trips to Magee in one weekend showed I am not progressing, so it is contraction city until my water breaks. On top of that, all three of us caught a nasty cold. Thank goodness Ari bounced back pretty quick. Tomorrow is the first hearing in the adoption process (to make Greg legally her father even though we all know he has been since day one). Just a tad stressful when you are 37 weeks along, contracting, and can barely breathe (thank you to no medicines but tussin). Regardless, our love for each other, family support, and faith (prayer is powerful my friends) have got us through and we are just under three hours from holding off for a December baby. Continued thoughts are appreciated, and we will continue to give thanks for our blessings. Cannot wait to post the “this time it’s real!!!!!” post and status updates!

Four weeks Five days….

Tomorrow I will be thirty four weeks. So glad to make it this far, but everyday I feel more and more tired and more and more ready to have baby boy! This past week, we scheduled the c section for December 17 at noon. That means just over four weeks to go for sure! Hopefully if I am to last that long it will not be so rough on my body. The good news is that he hasn’t been moving nearly as much so room is running out! We have got to be close! There just might be a Thanksgiving baby on the way!!!

Another trip to the hospital!

Yesterday I had a bit of a scare and ended up on an overnight stay at the hospital. My heart was pounding and rising irregularly. Turned out to be a case of sinus tachycardia. Thanking God that the baby is fine, that I have a great force of prayer warriors behind me, that my dad and mom watched Ari for us, and that my husband is simply an amazing caregiver. Also, Ari got to go to sibling class while I was in. She diapered and “fed”her baby…just an amazing sight. Definitely the best little student and proof she is excited to be a big sister. Even the sight of me with an iv cath, icu linked heart monitor, and dressed in a robe didn’t scare her. Even tho it was scary and a busy day/night of tests, I am so glad we have the care of Magee!

Our little girl turns two…

Entering the “Terrible Twos” had been slowly but surely creeping up on us…but we were not prepared for the morning of her birthday when she woke up saying, “I’m two!”.  And she MEANT it. Every single letter of that sentence, she meant. And she knew it meant that she had grown up and hit a new milestone.  We now must brace ourselves for the next few years of attitudes.  And the night of her birthday, we sure felt the start of it! Our tradition with her is to take photos then head to dinner.  Well, she had other ideas.  All she wanted to do was get presents and eat cake. The photographer had lots of balloons and cake and gifts for her to pose with, but she just wouldn’t look at the camera.  Regardless, we got some gems, and then turned the session into a maternity shoot, too. In the end, worth every second of our time!

October is here!

It is so hard for me to believe that just about six months ago we found out baby #2 was on the way…and now here it is three days into October and we are getting so much closer to his arrival!  October and November both promise to be very busy months for our household, but they truly are two of my favorite months to have.  First and foremost, October is Arianna’s birth month!  It also helps that with October comes cooler weather, falling leaves, and the awesome feel of fall.  Unlike South Carolina, Pittsburgh experiences some of the most drastic season changes anywhere and it is absolutely beautiful.  I have to admit, I loved life in SC but fall makes living in Pittsburgh VERY worthwhile.  (Oh…and DQ’s pumpkin blizzards help ALOT too!)

With the theme of keeping busy, let me share some of my favorite moments of the past few weeks before time starts to fly by…

We went to Kennywood for my company picnic in September.  This sealed the deal that our plan to attend HallowBoo at Idlewild was out of the question:

We are really not sure why she had such a bad time on the rides, but figured that adding one more trip to our jam packed fall was just not worth it this time around. Maybe next year.  But, at least she had a good time playing Bingo with Grammie, duck pond with Mommy, fish pond with Pappy, and riding the carousel with Daddy (I got nausea standing in line…wow to that).

As for me, Mama of the Lil Burghers, I have kept very busy beyond our weekend fun.  I volunteered at and attended PodCamp Pittsburgh 5, attended an Etiquette Dinner at my college alma mater, and spent a day in the hospital with apparent bad heartburn or a reaction to a virus. Growing a baby is exhausting but worthwhile!

And yesterday we went out to Blairsville for my dad’s family reunion.  It is at the gorgeous Pine Ridge Park (Pine Lodge) with a pond and beautiful woodsy setting.  Greg got to take some neat pictures around the lodge and Arianna had a good time hanging out with her Unca Ja (who she has missed very much!).  She gets her artistic side from him and my mom…and she chose 4 packs of crayons for her gifts during the kids’ games.  Here are some awesome shots Greg captured of her and Jack:

And last but not least, we have really enjoyed spending the last four Sundays watching Steeler games (ok, today was a rough ending…).  Arianna wakes up and says “Steelers!” which is just awesome.  She is the biggest little fan I’ve ever seen.  Next Sunday is a bye week (which works oh so perfectly for her birthday party!) so we are not sure how she’ll take that.

Arianna’s birthday is Tuesday and she is fully aware that she is turning two (and thus gets every right to be “terrible”!) .  Good thing she’ll have a little playmate soon! 🙂

Shout out to my husband

It has come to my attention over the last few days how much my husband is loved by myself and my family.  Without asking for it, multiple people in my family have given kudos to how much they enjoy him and recognize him as an amazing addition to us.  The man amazes me and Arianna on a daily basis, but to hear it multiple times within in a week feels really special.  So, today I praise my husband for being ever loving, always fun, laid back, and the best member of “Team Awesome”.  Let me just tell you some amazing things about him in a nutshell (and hopefully I won’t make you *gag* too much!)…

*  Greg has always been a good friend first and foremost.  The night I met him, he wowed me with his sense of humor and laid back attitude.  Always one to lend a hand, he was there when I needed moved from my apartment to townhouse (even if he lost my washer hose and we didn’t find it until we moved to this house, lol).  He was the only one who offered to come to the rescue of my roommate and I when it was 95 degrees and her car radiator burst, leaving me preggers and hot at a shady car shop (ok, I have to say, he looked AMAZING in his security uniform…shh!).  He went car shopping with me (that is not an easy task because I am picky).  But the greatest thing he ever did as a “friend” was wake up at the butt crack of dawn, get in my car, and accompany Mallory and I to the hospital when my water broke.  He stayed with us all day, met my parents, and was the 2nd man to touch Arianna after we’d waited 15 hours for her to arrive.  Let’s forget that he taunted me with orange soda and remember how much he made me laugh and kept me sane during a stressful time. 

* From the moment he heard Arianna’s first screams at 9:53, he was the best dad I’ve ever seen.  Although only my mom and dad could stay with me, Greg was back at the hospital early the next morning to spend time with me and Arianna.  He held her so lovingly and although she was never really fussy, he was the one that could calm her.  Never afraid to change her diaper or give her a bottle, he always stepped up to the plate.  I am not surprised that Arianna’s first repeated word was “daddy” because she has always loved him to peices (and he loved her back just as much if not more).  If you have ever had the pleasure of seeing the two of them together, you know what I am talking about.  She is so lucky to have him as part of her life, and our baby boy is so lucky to get to share his awesomeness too. 

*  He has always shows love and care for others, even if they are strangers (as long as they aren’t performing jagoff moves on the road).  I could write volumes about the times he has reached out and helped someone, but I’ll just tell you about a recent time.  We were at a rest stop on our way to OBX and a woman fell on the sidewalk.  Greg ran off the bus to make sure she was ok and stayed with her until he knew she was able to get up.  The fact that he goes above and beyond means a lot to me. 

*  He is a good son and brother.  Yes, every family has had their moments, but when I look at the relationship Greg has with his parents and sisters (and now my parents and brother), I fall deeper in love with him.  A real man knows a balance of loving his “first family” and loving the family he creates.  Greg really loves his family and it shows. Such an amazing feeling.  I am just so lucky he has been able to extend that love to my family and extended family. 

*  He is an amazing partner and soul mate.  For that, I am incredibly lucky.  You aren’t going to get details outta me, but Greg shows me day in and day out what true love is all about. We may have fallen in love and gotten married extremely quickly, but it was true and meant to be.  Every day I wake up and see that he is here with me is a testament that true love really, truly “just knows”. 

*  Ok, it helps that he is a Steeler fan, too. 🙂

Thank you, Greg, for being my support.  Although you may not realize it, you bring so much to our family.  Arianna is truly lucky to have you raise her.  What a blessing it is to be in love with you! 🙂

Cherished Moments

Tonight I cuddled our so soon to be two lil miss independent on a recliner at my grandma’s. She had been running between the fish pond, sand box, and grassy field all day without the desire to nap, and it was clearly THAT time.  My clues were her begging for a beekt (blanket) and book, so the husband gets right on finding her brand new Ellie book while I find pull the blanket around her. Not ten seconds after the book closes, she slides to put her head up against my belly, kisses the mass that is her little brother, and is OUT. I am thrilled to have this chance because the kid is rarely a cuddlebug.  Even through her daddy and my uncle cheering on Clemson, she stayed out for one hour minus her adjustment when the baby kicked her in the head. 

This little special moment topped off my day and affirmed my blessing of being a super balancer. It had been a long day at my family reunion and one of my older relatives had been taken to the hospital. While we waited for the ambulance, Ari wanted to stay outside and make sure all was ok (but yes, I took her away). She looked at me and said, “Mama, this is serious”. I had no clue why I gave up podcamp afternoon, but this was why. Even though the emergency wasn’t an immediate family member, it could have been. Our time together is serious, and we have to make every moment great.  Such a blessing to witness the love of a little girl and know that her daddy and I are teaching her that love.  What a great way she has of showing it!

Week 22 and Potty Training

The past week was a nice one at work-not crazy busy and I had a Friday vacation day I used for mental health and kidney ultrasounds (more on that below). But the best part of the week was that Baby Girl made huge potty training strides! Not yet 23 months and she knows when it is pee and number two time! She went in the potty so many times Thursday and Friday. I am a very proud mama if you can’t tell. Two kids in diapers is to much for me and Greg. Hopefully she told her grands when she needed to go the past day!

Friday I took a day just to take a day. I accomplished a lot, fixed old scrapbooks so that I can actually look at them without hating myself for my choices and got the room organized some more. The best part was pulling ari’s pics for her 2009 and 2010 album and making sure I had enough pages for her and the baby. When my dad asked to take her for the weekend (their neighbor is at end stage cancer and wanted to see her baby girl), I was glad to get another full day doing my passion.  Friday also was kidney ultrasound day but I won’t know more til my appt Tuesday with the specialist. We met up with parents and Grandma for Never Ending pasta bowl at Olive Garden too. All in all a good, relaxing week.

I also got my Droid 2 which means on days like today I can blog in the car! Very exciting. Secretly I am certain greg is jealous but most of the time he’s home with the net so hopefully he won’t get too cranky. 😉 in to getgo for coffee bah it’s a kiosk! (I hate allergies!) Then continuing to saegertown for my cousin’s bridal shower.