Sunday, November 4, 2012

Success with Shots

I have been taking a shot, once a week, full of a Synthetic Hormone - Progesterone. I was skeptical and never wanted to take it because it is completely synthetic, but after being sent to the hospital to stop my contractions when I was only 20 weeks (exactly half way through the pregnancy and far too early to be contracting) Nik and I decided it was what we needed to do to keep this baby baking inside as long as possible.

Let me tell you...these shots are amazing! Before I started taking them, I was not able to go grocery shopping without the scooter or even clean my house. I was not able to get off the couch or walk down the hallway without having contractions. Life was pretty boring and difficult and scary...but now that I have been on them for a month, my life has been AMAZING! I can do all those things without issues. Last week I walked a mile without any issues, other than minor hip pain. Yesterday I went grocery shopping with Nik, for over an hour, and didn't have one single contraction. I am so glad I am taking them! Yes, the one bad side effect I have had, so far, is the injection site becomes very itchy...but that is totally worth the confidence and calmness I feel. Let's all hope and pray this baby stays in full term so I don't have to leave her in the NICU like I did with Tatum.

I wish I would have known about this with Tatum, but I had no idea what contractions felt like until my water broke and I was in labor at the hospital...I just chalked it all up to pregnancy discomfort. I hope no other pregnant woman has to go through the trouble. The shot is saving my sanity and probably even my unborn child's life. I will definitely be getting the shots with future doubt.

Before I started the shot, I had asked on Facebook if anyone had gotten them or heard of someone who got them. There were a few that knew someone or did it personally...but the one friend that really made it clear was Catharine. She said "It is too scary to not take them." I realized she was right. Yes, the hormone in the shot is synthetic, and I am not the biggest fan of that, but am I willing to lose my baby or have to deal with the NICU again? No, I don't want to do that! I want a nice, healthy, full term baby girl in February....and I want to not have to get there on bed rest. Apparently my body needs a little more Progesterone and I am so thankful for modern medicine that allows me to get what I need.

Baby Girl Berry...I can't wait to meet you!
And I will try to lay off the Caffeine.
You were acting a bit crazy last night from the soda.
I love you!

Uterine Math

Let me start this off with a conversation Nik and I had back in March (I posted it on Rebecca's Facebook so we could forever remember it)...
Rebecca was pregnant with our soon-to-be-Niece at the time and he wanted to know how far along she was....
So here you go...

Nik: "How far along is Rebecca?"
Me: "I think she is 24 Weeks."
Nik: <death stare> (he HATES how we count in weeks) "So she is 6 months along?"
Me: <laughs> "Actually, she is only 5 months."
Nik: <steam coming out ears> "HOW?! HOW does THAT make ANY SENSE?! You count in Weeks and then take one month away when we ask how many months?!?!"
I then explained it to him and laughed. He hates counting in Weeks but us women, especially those that have been pregnant, know how each week counts. Lol.
Just had to share this story with you. 
 This is pretty much the jist of it. We were talking about this just the other day, but about me and our baby, and he was getting so frustrated that it made me laugh. Here are a few things he said during that conversation...

"So, no matter what kind of calculation I do with the number of weeks you give me, I will always be wrong? This is what I call Uterine Math. There should be a course just on this! You pregnant women and your calculations never make any sense."

He said some other pretty funny things but with this Pregnancy Brain (it IS real!) I have forgotten most of them. It just cracks me up...I never count in months but I can tell you any day, in the blink of an eye, how far along I am in weeks. I CAN tell you in months but it will take me some time to think it through.

I guess I just needed to make this post to remember this funny moments. I'm sure both sides can relate...those that are/have been pregnant and those that have not/never will be (i.e. men). 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I Can't Craft...But I Can Cook

Sometimes I get down on myself. I look at all these other stay-at-home mom's who make cute things for their kids and their home and to sell on their little websites...and I get down. I am not a creative thinker. I don't have that side of the brain in full use. I am a logical thinker. I think in numbers. Ask anyone close to me...I am a Numbers Girl.

The other day at the gas station,
I pulled up to a pump that had the amount of $30.20 paid from the previous car.
I thought that was kinda cool
but thought taking a picture would be silly.
Little did I know that my own total would come out to be $40.30
and that taking a picture would have been AWESOME!
I didn't pump extra to get it there,
it just landed there,
and it was cool.
I told Nik about this and he chuckled
because he knows how I am with numbers.

The other (a different) day
I was telling Nik
how I only had to go make such-and-such bill payment 3,
maybe 4,
more times before the baby gets here..
depending on if she comes early like Tatum,
or on time like a good girl.
He laughed about how I count down to a big event with
Fast Sundays (The first Sunday of each month)
or how I count Paychecks
or weekends
or many other things
and how that makes me happy.
He just loves me
and laughs FOR me.
But that is how I am.
That is how I do things.

When out driving...
I point out cool license plates
that have cool number sequences,
like, 366 ZMM (for example. just made that up). 

I just like numbers.
I am a logical person,
not a crafty person.
I liked Math more than Art class.
I like to balance our checkbook.
It makes me feel good
when the numbers add up right.

WOAAHHH.... long sidenotes there. But you get the picture.

I have longed to be a person that loves sewing. I do it and SOMETIMES have fun with it. Most times I am fretting over making it perfect and the line not going crooked. That is why I love numbers. Numbers are perfect (except for Uterine Math - and I will make another post about that for it. Nik is the one that made this Math up) . They make sense to me. I can make them work. Sewing is very stressful for me. Maybe I just need to do it more and learn to be better and learn to let go and like it.

Anywho....what I am getting at, is I like to cook (when I have a recipe that has numbers I can follow. haha). I am not a cook that can "throw stuff together" and have it be good. No. Not me. I don't guesstimate on how much 1/5 Cup Milk is and 1 Cup Flour. I measure. When I have those numbers, I like to cook.

I have been doing Freezer meals for almost a whole year now (although not consistently) and I LOVE THEM! I guess I should clarify one thing....I don't like to cook dinner when it is time for dinner. It is too stressful for me. Either I start too late and then we have a late late dinner, or Tatum won't leave the kitchen and begs to be picked up when I am working on the hot stove, or the meal will have to cook in the oven and I didn't read that far down the recipe to plan accordingly. I do not like to cook at dinner time. If I have to, it is usually spaghetti or sandwiches. haha. All my other nice meals are freezer meals.

Over the last 4 days Nik and I have:
-cubed/cut/packaged 60lbs of chicken breast that we ordered from Zaycon Foods
-completed a 3 hour shopping trip to multiple stores
-prepared over 10 Freezer Meals (and have more to do over the next few days)

I have had to take things extra slow this time around because this pregnancy has already been rough and I am only 22 weeks along, just over the halfway mark.

But I love this. I have enjoyed putting these meals together, knowing that dinners will be ready when I need them and that all I will have to do is throw them in the oven to heat up or in the crockpot to cook. With the weather getting colder, it will be nice to use my oven as a heat source.

I have a blog that is just for the recipes I have tried and loved...Dawna Dinners...and I will be posting up the latest recipes as soon as I try them. But for now, I will list the recipes so you can check them out for yourself. If you try them before I do and you find that a change needs to be made, let me know. I am open to suggestions.

All in all...I feel accomplished with making these Freezer Meals. I am not the best at being creative...but I can follow a recipe. Nik constantly reminds me that all women are different and do different things better than others and that I just need to look at what I CAN do and LOVE to do instead of what I lack in...or feel I lack in.

When I was researching how to do all this last year, it just made sense. When making these meals I dirty everything in my kitchen at once. I don't dirty all the utensils each and every night to have to wash them again and repeat the next night. I dirty them once and then I am done. It made sense.
I hate meal planning...but if I can plan my meals ONCE and be done...I'm happy.
Now, I can spend more time with Tatum each day instead of spending my afternoon/evenings in the kitchen.
It just made sense for me to do it this way. It definitely isn't for everyone, but it works for our family.
If ever anyone wants to make meals with me, let me know. I take it nice and slow. It is at least a 3 day process, for me, but you can do it faster if you would like. I HAVE done it ALL in one day but that was rough.
Day One: Shop
Day Two: Prepare Meats
Day Three+: Put it all together.


This first one is the only one that does not tell you how to freeze it. I just undercooked the pasta and made it like they said and then froze it with a lid. I have added chicken, asparagus, and spinach. yuuummmm!

These shells are my mom's favorite. I am not the fondest of them....but try them out and you might love them or need to tweak the recipe. I want to continue to make them, I just need to figure out what I need to fix, first.

This is yummy! We eat it with rice and steamed veggies. Again, with every recipe, make sure to watch how your food cooks. With this one, I do not have to cook it as long. And with this one I freeze it and thaw it in a bag and then when I am ready to bake it, I place it in a spare baking dish. Less freezer space and then it doesn't use up all my dishes.

One of my favorites. It is soooo juicy!

Another one of my favorites. LOVE IT!

I made these and they were good. For some reason my tortillas came out soggy. Maybe because I didn't freeze mine immediately. Not sure. I just need to keep trying it and perfecting my skills.

So yummy. I doubled the meat and just did 1.5 on the noodles because the first time I made it, the ratio was a little off for me. I wanted it more filling and less on just eating carbs.

I make a couple of these as my back ups. It only takes about 3 hours or less on high in the crockpot. We eat this over rice.

NEW RECIPES (i have yet to try)

I have been putting these together but haven't tasted them for myself, so if you do try them and have a suggestion on something else to add to them or to cook them for less time or anything else, let me know, please. I would love any help I can get.

Casseroles/Oven required meals:

Crockpot Meals:
(did make this on Sunday...DELICIOUS when served just over rice or with rice in tortilla)



Monday, October 8, 2012

Family of Four

I can't believe I haven't been on here to update since February. 

This is what Tatum looked like back in February.

And here is what she looks like 8 months later.

It blows my mind how much our family has changed over 16.5 months (since Tatum was born), let alone the last 8 months. So, here is a little update on our family of Four.

He works Full Time with
He loves it there! The owner sure does know how to treat his employees right.
Nik is also Full Time at ASU.
I believe he is taking 13 credit hours.
Nik loves his daughter and is so cute with her. I love watching them play together.
He has been learning how to build websites and is having lots of fun.
I don't see him all that much because he really just comes home to sleep and do work/school all over again the next day.
Oh, and to top it off,  Nik's calling in our ward is to be the Ward Missionary's Assistant.

I am 20.4 weeks pregnant with another little girl.
I am so blessed to be able to stay home with Tatum and I love it!
I have a calling in the ward - Activity Days Leader.
I have started baking more, which is good and bad.
Good because it is yummy.
Bad because standing too long in one spot makes my hips hurt real bad
Because the baby is already making me gain weight, I don't need the unhealthy calories to do that too.
My body has reached that awkward stage where my shirts are too small, so I like to wear Nik's shirts, but then that is weird if I leave the house in I have like 2 shirts I feel comfortable enough to wear outside of the house. If you often see me in those two shirts...don't worry, I wash them daily.
I ride the scooters at Walmart and anywhere else we go...Nik's orders.
I have really bad hip problems (yes, I am pregnant, but they are really bad...but I am not going to sit here and complain) so that is why I ride the scooters. This pain didn't start until much later while pregnant with Tatum, but this time around the hormone/chemical/whatever-you-want-to-call-it Relaxin released itself far too early for comfort.
I have already had to go to the Triage to have them stop my contractions.
Honestly, I am so happy to be pregnant and to be bringing another sweet child into our family...and all this pain and trouble is completely worth it! I cannot wait to meet her in February.

16.5 months old
24lbs (79%tile)
33inches (97%tile)
She has been walking for 2 months.
She was the Flower Girl at Caren and John's wedding back in August.
She signs "please" and sometimes will sign "more"
She waves, blows kisses, gives kisses, claps, and plays Peek-A-Boo (sometimes by herself). 
She says Yes, Dada, Mama, Gamma, Papa, Nana, Hi, Hello, and Diddy (Mickey).
She shakes and nods her head to communicate.
She is a Parrot...mimicking everything we do.
She loves brushing her teeth.
She tries to run and it makes us laugh everytime...because it is like a Hopping Run. 
She can feed herself with a fork and spoon...not all that well, but she understands how it works.
She drinks out of a cup and has been bottle-free since she turned 1, back in May
And she has been sippy cup-free for almost 3 months.
She has been pacifier-free for over 3 months.
She has 12 teeth and 2 more are coming in as we speak.
It is so crazy that she understands what we when I tell her "It is time to change your diaper" or "Time to brush your teeth/hair" or "Let's go read a book" or "Time for bed" "Would you like some water/milk?"...she knows where to go for these things. 
She knows that she is not allowed to touch the working TV remotes and that those are Mommy's and Daddy's and that Tatum has her own non-working remote. Well, sometimes she finds Mommy's remote and will play with it when I am not looking/in the other room...but as soon as I see her with it, she hands it right over, without question. Same with our phones, most of the time.
She is now tall enough to climb on the she does that most of the day. Climb on. Slide off. Climb on. Slide off. 
When she wants me to have something she is holding, she will grab my hand, turn it so it's palm-up, and put the object in my hand. It will be a book, a toy, the TV remote, a Pop Tart, Fruit snack, her shoes, and sometimes my watch. That has been it so far.

Baby Girl Berry:
She has been moving around a lot and I love it!
She doesn't like Red Salsa, just like how Tatum didn't like it either, but loves Green Salsa.
She doesn't like Dr Pepper. More of a Coke girl.
I love her so much already!
Our next appointment is this coming Thursday and I can't wait to see her on the screen and take some pictures home with us.

Hopefully this wasn't too scattered for you to follow. This Pregnancy Brain thing is real and it makes it really hard for me to put logical sentences together. 
We have been in our house for 3.5 months and I just barely got around to completely unpacking our room and Tatum's room last month. Yes, I had a good excuse, but am much happier now that it is done.
We love our home and our neighborhood. There are so many good people on our street, and we know almost all of the neighbors that surround us.
Our ward is so so so nice and we finally feel like we are a part of a ward that accepts us and welcomes us with open arms.
We have two Tortoises, Slice and Hugo Jr, and we hope to add a dog to our family sometime next year...but we will see how things go with a newborn before adding a puppy to the mix. 
That is all for now. 


Monday, February 13, 2012

Updates - Cloth Diapers, Freezer Cooking, and Life

Let me share some of the new things in my life that bring a smile to my face. I love cloth diapers and freezer cooking. I love couponing and I love being a mom.

Cloth Diapers
After much research I discovered Cloth Diapers and all the benefits that come along with such an old technique. I always pictured Cloth Diapers (CD) as those white towel-thingy's that you fold with a safety pin and then cover with some plastic bloomers...but that is not what they are anymore. They are these adorable fabric prints with snaps or Velcro. Even though they look so cute and accentuate the bummie...I was still very hesitant to try them. A friend of mine made this post Going With Cloth and she made me think "maybe this isn't such a difficult and gross thing after all" and that was really the beginning. I searched for good deals because Cloth Diapers are quite the investment. I found this company - Just Simply Baby - and decided it was time to give it a try. They have the best prices around and their prints are so much cuter than the boring basic colors that some big name companies are doing and they are very similar to the brand BumGenius that I was looking into getting. This company also gives you a 30day Money Back Guarantee JUST IN CASE the CD stuff is not for everyone...although, from what I have read and who I know that uses CD's, if you have tried them, you love them and it then becomes really hard to go back to Disposable Diapers.

For our little family, it isn't much work and doesn't take much time. I will say that I was having a rough time a couple weeks ago with not being able to get all the smell out, but after switching up the Laundry Day Routine I have finally found what works and they no longer stink!! YAY!!!! I was about ready to give up but just the thought of having to go buy disposables at Walmart or Target, or wherever, and spending that extra money made me sick to my stomach. I am NOT doing CD's as a "way to go green" or any of that stuff...I am doing it because of the money saver.

I feel like I just dumped all my thoughts on you about Cloth if you have any questions...message me on FB or at

Freezer Cooking
Back in December I found a Pin on Pinterest that gave some recipes to make up and put in your freezer for later use. I talked my cousin, Arianna, into doing this with me and we had fun. The recipes were a flop but the concept was something we both loved. So, I hunted down some websites and found two awesome places...Once a Month Mom and What's Cooking, Chicago?

They have some amazing recipes and they are so simple. Arianna and I have been doing this for just over a month now and we see the benefits. Go check out my other blog DawnaDinners and you can read the full story and get some of the recipes that I have tried and loved.

Over the weekend Nik bought me my Valentines Gift/Tax Return Celebration/Smart Chest Freezer. We got it at Costco because that was the best deal in town. I am so excited to fill it with frugal finds....i.e. Milk when it is on sale, bread when on sale, Home Cooked Freezer Dinners, Tatum's home made baby food, and so much more. It just made sense to get it and savet that money in the long run.

Nik got a new job with GoDaddy and was able to quit his old job at QBE/BofA and Domino's. GoDaddy is a company he has wanted to work with for a while. He got the job 4 weeks ago and it is so nice to have him come home happy instead of grumpy. Nik does so much for our family because he loves us and he has always wanted me to be able to stay home with our children. He was working 3 jobs at one point for a few weeks and then dropped down to 2 jobs until last week and now just has 1 job and school.

I have picked up the new hobby/talent of Freezer Cooking. It sure is a lot of work for one day buy definitely pays off in the days that follow. I enjoy staying home with Tatum and I have many friends that come visit us. I have picked back up Couponing and love the savings! Arianna comes over and coupons with me and then we shop together and find the best deals. We are such a good team!

Tatum is 8.5 months old and has 6 pearly whites. She just barely started Army Crawling this last week and I'm sure she will be up on her knees in no time. She loves all her Veggies and her Fruits. She loves to play with other babies but sometimes she scares them because she gets so excited and shrieks. hahaha. She gives kisses on command and we are trying to teach her how to wave. She definitely lights up our world. I can't believe where I was 1 year ago and where I am now. Nik and I are so happy with our little family.