Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Reveal Party

Yesterday was so exciting for us!  We found out that we are having a sweet baby girl!  Here's how it went down...

We went to the doctor at 8am for our 20 week ultrasound.  It had originally been scheduled that early because we wanted to know the gender of the baby as soon as humanly possible.

After we had scheduled the appointment, Robert's step-mom Sharon suggested that we have a reveal party and have the inside of a cake dyed either pink for a girl, or blue for a boy to find out the gender.

We loved the idea!  But waiting all day to find out the results was TORTURE!

The ultrasound went really well.  Our lil' pumpkin is perfect!  She's measuring in the 75th percentile.  All of her organs, heart, brain, kidneys, etc are in good working order and all of the vital parts are present. 

We were so thankful to learn how healthy she is!  Here are some photos:

They tried to get a 3D photo of her face, but she kept throwing up her little arms to block the camera. 

We told the ultrasound tech about our plan for the reveal party, so she had us look away when she was determining gender.  Then she wrote the gender down, folded the paper a few times and stapled it shut.  She also put the gender-specific ultrasound photos inside a piece of paper and stapled that shut as well.

After we left the doctor's office I took the paper with the gender to Jack's Bakery and dropped it off.

Then I went to work and watched each minute tick by. 

Longest. Day. EVER.

After work I picked up the cake and went home.  The cake was beautiful!  Jack's Bakery did a really great job.

My mom came to town, so the three of us headed over to Robert's parents house for the party. 

As people arrived, we all put on plastic diaper pins to cast our votes.  Pink or purple for a girl, green or blue for a boy.

Sharon made her most glorious tailgating sandwiches, so we ate dinner first, visited with everyone and checked out the ultrasound photos from this morning's appointment.

At 7:30 we cut the cake! We had a good group together for the cake-cutting, 14 family and friends at the house and another 12 tuned in on Skype.

Let me pause here to tell you that Robert and I were absolutely sure that we were having a boy.  I don't know why, exactly, but ever since I learned I was expecting I've referred to the baby as "he"/"him"/"his" and I even registered for all boy stuff. 

Because I was SURE of it!

We were at our next door neighbor's house Sunday night and she asked Robert if he had a preference.  He said, "Not really, as long as it has 10 fingers, 10 toes and a WIENER!" LOL...little did we know...

The strange thing is that I had dreamed of cutting into a pink cake quite a few times after we had decided to have the reveal party.  I never dreamed of a blue cake.  Mother's intuition maybe? 

Robert and I cut the cake together...

As soon as we caught a glimpse of the pink center, Robert jumped back like the cake bit his hand, haha!  We were completely shocked!

I really thought Robert was going to pass out right there in the kitchen.  He had to hold onto the counter to catch his breath.

He recovered nicely! :)

I still can't believe we are going to have a daughter.  We are so freakin' excited to meet our baby girl.  20 more weeks!  See ya then, sweet little baby GIRL!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Cookie Cake

With my birthday approaching, Robert kept asking me what I wanted for a gift.  I didn't have any good ideas, but I did know that I wanted a cookie cake.   And I told him about it over and over again during the two weeks before my birthday.

A few days before my birthday we were talking about the cake and he paused and said, "So you're serious about wanting a cookie cake?  I thought you were kidding!  I was going to get you an ice cream cake."

No, no ice cream cake! COOKIE CAKE, ok??!!!!!

Yes, I'm serious!

Not only that, but I told him that I didn't want the bakery just to scribble "Happy Birthday, Leslie!" in icing, I needed LOTS of icing.  Like, have them cover the entire thing in icing and then write on top of that.

I NEED icing on every single bite of that cookie!

Pregnant much?

I came home from work yesterday and looked around for my cake, but didn't see it.  So I asked Robert, "Where's my cake?"

He tried to tell me that he didn't get me a cake.  Yeah, right!  I said that I knew him better than that and I know that he wouldn't have not gotten me a cake after all the cake discussions we had. 

I was all, "I know you are just trying to upset me, so I'll just wait patiently for my cake" and left it at that.

Later on, some friends show up and after they had been there for a few minutes, Robert and Adam came to me with these long, sad faces and Robert said, "I just want you to know that you were right, I wouldn't have not gotten you the cake.  I ordered it and paid for it.  The problem is that when Adam went to pick it up the bakery had already closed.  I'm really sorry!"

Then he followed up with, "I'll get it for you first thing tomorrow and then you can eat all of it if you want to!"

I was all, "Eat it on my not-birthday??!  That's the only thing I even asked for..."

Robert looked like he felt really bad about it, so I let it go.  I mean, shit happens.  If the bakery is closed there's not much I could do about it!

A little while later, we were well into a card game and Robert disappeared into the kitchen for a drink refill.

He came back carrying MY COOKIE CAKE and singing Happy Birthday! 

I punched him in the arm.

The cookie cake was soooo good, with a ton of icing on it.  They even put a cupcake liner filled with extra icing, then wrote, "Hope you like the icing!" (That was Robert's idea after I made such a big deal about the amount of icing I wanted, hahaha!)

Messing with a pregnant girl's food on her birthday, eh?  Verrrrry dangerous, Robert, very! 

But I do love the cake, in fact I had some for first breakfast this morning. (And yes, "first breakfast" does imply that there is a second breakfast.  Don't judge.  I'm growing a person.)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Happy Birthday to ME

It's my birthday today!  32 is going to be a good year, I can feel it.  I've had a great day so far. 

To start, I woke up next to my best friend.  I get to do that every morning, and it's always a good way to start a day.

When I left for work I saw that my first daffodils had bloomed over night!  The nature gods must be smiling on me on my birthday.
On top of that, the weather today was amazing for February. It was clear, sunny and 70 degrees. Soooo nice out there.

When I got to work I went to toast my English muffin and it had a heart on the back of it.  It's a luuuuuve muffin!

And Laura at work baked me a funfetti cake.  I can totally feel the pastry gods smiling on me as well. 

Ahhh life is good!

My dad got me Adobe Photoshop Elements for my birthday.  I've been going through the tutorials and learned to do this with a photo last night:
I had always wondered how to make photos black and white except for certain parts.  Now I know!  And knowing is half the battle. :)

It's such a cool program.  I can't wait to learn the rest of it.

Tonight we're having a few friends over for pizza and cards. Low key, just the way I like it! Happy Birthday to me!  Haha!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dog Door

The guys have made some really great progress on the dog house!  The siding is on, the roof inside is insulated and covered and the dog door is installed.

Pretty cute house those dogs have!

Robert and Adam had to train the dogs to use the dog door.  I never thought about it before, but I guess going through a flap into the unknown can be quite scary for a dog. 

They practiced with all of the dogs until they were comfortable going in and out of the house.

Everyone did ok with it, except for Fiona.  My honey-girl didn't like that dog door!  They got her to go inside, but she wouldn't come back out. 

Adam lifted up the flap and she just stood inside the door looking really worried.

Then she went back inside and proceeded to lick the window a bunch of times with her massive tongue.  (She probably just thought the window looked dirty and wanted to wash it before she came out.)

Finally, after some more coaxing she decided to come out the dog door.  Yay, Fiona!

Robert has actually worked with the dogs on maneuvering the dog door a few more times since then and they all seem to be comfortable with it now.  Even Fiona will go in and out of it.

I bought some outdoor fabric and covered their huge dog beds with it so their beds will clean easily.  I even installed zippers!  I hadn't done zippers before. 

The first bed went smoothly and I got the zipper in right the first time. However, on the second bed I got the zipper in there backwards on my first attempt, then sewed it on the outside of the bed the second attempt. 

The third time was a charm and I got the zipper in correctly.

Man, that was frustrating!  It was late and I was tired and was all like "screw you, zipper!!"

The dogs are really digging having beds in there.  After all that fear of the dog door, Fiona is in the dog house napping on her bed every time we go outside anymore.

Hopefully we'll get the shingles on soon and the painting completed and this thing will be a done deal!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Week 19 and a visit from the 'rents

At 19 weeks Baby Brown is the size of a mango!

Honestly, I'm not exactly sure how a mango is larger than a sweet potato...it actually looks smaller to me, but that's the word on the street as far as size at 19 weeks.  Surely Baby Brown isn't shrinking!

My dad and step-mom, Joan, came to town this past weekend from Kansas City to meet Robert's family and to see where we live and we had a really good time with them.

On Saturday night Robert's mom came to town to meet Dad and Joan and we had our sweet next door neighbor, Linda, over as well.  We grilled chicken kabobs with pineapple, campari tomatoes and baby portabella mushrooms and had rice with it.  It was all soooo yummy! 

Here's the marinade recipe I used:
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
I marinate the chicken, tomatoes and mushrooms all together in a bowl for a few hours.  Then I lace all of it onto skewers and alternate chunks of pineapple in with it as well.  I also make an extra batch of marinade to baste the kabobs with while they are grilling and I usually throw some extra pineapple on the grill by itself and baste that too, because I love lots of pineapple!

The next morning I was out in the back yard and the grill was still giving off a fantastic aroma!  Kabobs for breakfast, anyone?

On Sunday we went to brunch with Robert's dad and step-mom and his brother Tyler and Tyler's fiancee, Chelsea.  Good food, good company, good times.

We spent a good part of the afternoon at Robert's parent's house visiting.  Later that evening Dad, Joan, Robert and I went to dinner at Crabby's.  I stuffed myself silly on crab legs, which were quite delicious.

I'm really glad that Dad and Joan came for a visit and had such a nice time meeting everyone and visiting Bentonville.  It was super fun to have them here!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Our Valentine Getaway

Robert and I celebrated Valentine's Day in Eureka Springs this past weekend.   We stayed at the Basin Park Hotel and started off our Saturday morning with a much-needed couples massage.  We spent that afternoon going into all of the shops in the downtown area and checking out the amazing local artists. 

This is the Queen Anne Mansion.  We didn't take a tour, but I wanted to snap a photo of it anyway.  When I was little I thought this was the coolest house I'd ever seen.  I called it "my" house and I remember telling my mom that someday I would live here!  It's like a fairy tale princess house, every little girl's dream. 

That was a good little weekend escape for us! 

While we were away, the dogs spent their first night in the dog house and they did really well.  The dog house is insulated heavier than most people-houses are, so they were warm and protected from the elements. 

I can't express how relaxing and awesome it was to be away and not have to worry about when someone was letting them in and out and what they were getting into while they were unattended in the house at night.  Yay for the dog house!  Yay for the weekend!  Yay for Valentine's Day!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Roof!

The roof is on the dog house!  It's now "dry", as Robert puts it, meaning that the ice and water shield are in place so it won't leak if it rains or snows. 

The dog house is looking soooo stinkin' cute!  Robert and Adam are almost done with it and I'm really impressed with their work.  Those dogs sure are lucky to have Robert for a dad!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Baby Update and Dog House Progress

We went back to the doctor today for our monthly checkup.  Baby Brown's heartbeat was 157 today, slightly faster than last month. 

I've been having trouble breathing at random and Robert and I spoke with the doctor about it.  I've been active my entire life, so it's strange for me to feel out of breath.

The doctor said it's fairly common for pregnant women to have shortness of breath, but to be safe she's referring me to a cardiologist to get a workup just to make sure nothing else is going on. 

Yay.  More doctor visits.  Yay.

I bet it's just because my organs are all squished up together.

We made the appointment to find out the gender and we don't have to wait 4 weeks like we thought we would.  We get to find out at our ultrasound on February 27, in just 3 weeks! 

Can't. Freakin'. Wait.

My dear friend Elizabeth saw the 17 week photo from yesterday and is demanding a sweet potato photo to continue the trend of comparing the baby's size to fruits and veggies, so here it is, Elizabeth, just for you!

Robert and Adam made some serious progress on the dog house today!  The window is in, most of the exterior walls are up and insulated and the main ceiling beam is in place.

Geez, our dogs are spoiled!