Friday, December 4, 2009

Trotwood at 4 months

On Monday we had Trotwood's 4-month checkup. Our little boy weighed in at 14.8 lbs (50th percentile) and 25.5 inches long (75th percentile). A few weeks ago, Mr. Rochester and I figured that Trotwood must have been gaining weight because our backs started aching again from holding him. For awhile there, our bodies had gotten used to carrying him around but then we he started growing again. He doesn't really fit into his 3 month size clothes anymore but still fits the 3-6 month category. I still haven't tried him in any of his 6 month size clothes because they just look too big for him around the middle although I think the length would probably fit him.

Trotwood is doing so much better sleeping at night these days although he still fights his daytime naps. I am so glad that we are past those nightmarish first six weeks when nobody at our house really slept and we couldn't figure out how to get him to stop crying. It's amazing how much his sleeping patterns have changed in just a few short months! In fact, the past few days Trotwood has slept almost 10 hours each night without waking up! We are keeping our fingers crossed that this lasts over into the weekend. For some reason, Trotwood will sleep really well during the week, but then on the weekend, when we want to sleep in (according to his weekday schedule), he wakes up at random times or doesn't want to go back to sleep.

It truly has been an absolute delight for us to continue to become acquainted with our little baby boy! It is so neat how much his little personality shows even at such an early age. Here are some things I have noticed about him.

Trotwood:

  • smiles and laughs a lot! He seems to be a happy baby most of the time.
  • loves making noises and "talking" to you through his series of grunts, squeals, coos, and sighs. He equally seems to enjoy it when you respond to him in his own "language".
  • is a social baby. He loves going places, seeing new things, and even seeing new people. I honestly think he gets bored at our house and he doesn't mind it at all when new people hold him as long as they pay attention to him! (Okay, Danielle, you really were the exception and I think it was just because he was so so tired when we got to your house that day.)
  • hates taking daytime naps. I suspect this is because he does not want to miss out on anything. And do you think he can really help feeling that way when he has such a fun daddy who loves to play with him?
  • wants to wiggle and play all the time. Trotwood is not much of a cuddler. He wants you to be actively engaged in playtime with him!
  • enjoys getting his diaper changed. A few months ago, Trotwood hated getting his diaper changed but since then, I think we kind of made it into "playtime on the changing table" and he just loves it now. As soon as we lay him on the changing table for a diaper change, he starts smiling and kicking his legs out. It's so funny too because sometimes his torso is still and his arms are motionless at his side so when he starts kicking his legs out, Trotwood looks like he is Irish dancing on the changing table. When he does this, we like to call him the "Riverdance baby" (for my birthday this year, Mr. Rochester took me to see Riverdance when it was in town so we witnessed the real thing firsthand).
  • loves being naked! {Who doesn't, right?}

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

We start'em young!

Trotwood has taken an interest at a young age in reading.After becoming slightly bored with literature appropriate for his age, he decides to move on to bigger and better thingsTrotwood tries to soak up some good information by Alexis de Tocqueville so he can share it with his daddy.Daddy pays close attention as Trotwood imparts his knowledge on democracy in America. Doesn't Trotwood look so forlorn without the company of a good book?
We sure hope that someday, he will love reading as much as we do.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My Spider-Men

We brought Trotwood home from the hospital in the little Spiderman onesie he is wearing. Of course, at the time we didn't know much about sizes and baby clothes. We thought the onesie was for a newborn but it was actually labeled as a 0-6 month onesie. It was so baggy on him the day we brought him home (unfortunately I don't have any pictures of that day) and now it barely fits him, it's so snug! The onesie came with a hat and some socks. In this picture, we didn't even try to put the hat on his noggin but he was able to keep the socks on for a few hours. Mr. Rochester was a big Spiderman fan when he was a kid. I think he sure looks like he is having a good time reliving parts of his childhood in his big Spiderman T-shirt...and now he has a mini-man that he can share that with.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Roly-poly

Yay! I saw Trotwood roll over this weekend! This is a picture taken by Mr. Rochester of Trotwood's victory pose after a successful "roll". Trotwood has the back-to-front roll down pretty good now and continues to work on trying to get from his tummy to his back. Being on his tummy still frustrates him, but he is just getting stronger and stronger every day. I can't believe how much he has already changed in only three and a half months.

Friday, November 20, 2009

29 years

Last weekend I turned 29 years old. Even though I keep getting older, I don't feel like I am. Whenever I meet new people that look like they are around my age, I usually think they must be older than me. What normally happens is I find out that they are a few years younger than me and Mr. Rochester. I still feel like I am the same age when I got married, so in my head, time just stopped when I was 24 years old. Anyway, I'm going to enjoy my last official year of being in my twenties. Then maybe next year, I can begin my 10 years of being "thirty, flirty, and thriving".

To celebrate my 29 years of life, Mr. Rochester was a trooper and did whatever I wanted to do. We went (together) to a boutqiue show/craft fair and then walked around an outdoor mall. My sole purpose in going to the mall was to visit the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory to get one of these:You can try and convince yourself that these apples must not be as good as they look. But believe me, they taste better than they look. They are absolutely delicious! The first time I ever had one of these caramel apples was during our honeymoon. After that I was hooked. While we were still living out west, Mr. Rochester and I made it a tradition to get caramel apples around our anniversary...and sometimes, if we (usually me) had a craving, we would get them at other occasions during the year. When we moved to the south, I was sad to leave behind our fun tradition. I didn't think a place with the name "Rocky Mountain" in it would be anywhere near us. However, a few months ago, to my delight, I found out that there is a Rocky Mountain Chocolate factory about 25 minutes away from where we live. Getting that apple was the main thing I wanted to do for my birthday. I got one and it was delicious. And guess what...our anniversary is next month so I should get to enjoy another one of these again soon! We have to keep the tradition alive!

The rest of the day we watched football and visited with some of our best friends who recently moved to the area. To top off the day, Mr. Rochester served up pieces of an Oreo Fudge Brownie cake from Cold Stone Creamery (another one of my absolute favorite places). He did a fantastic job choosing the cake. All in all, it was a wonderful day.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

In all things

Well, I've been back to work now for almost a month. I dreaded returning to work after Trotwood was born because I really wanted to stay home with him...I still want to stay home with him. But returning to work hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be. This past week has been the roughest because Trotwood has started going to bed around 7:30 or 8:00 pm and it's 5:30 by the time I get home. So on weekdays, I really only get to spend about 2 hours a day with my son (plus the 30 minutes in the middle of the night when I get up with him) and that really makes me sad. On Tuesday, Mr. Rochester called me at work to tell me that Trotwood rolled over (back to front) for the first time. I was excited for Trotwood's progress, but I also felt sad that I missed it. And now here it is two days later, and I still haven't seen his great accomplishment (although I have come close)! This morning after Trotwood ate around 6 am, I put him back in his crib on his back and then I left his room. A few minutes later, I heard him making angry noises on the baby monitor so I went back in to check on him and there he was on his tummy (he's still learning to enjoy being on his tummy)! I just need to catch him in the act now.

When I started thinking about how little I get to see Trotwood during the week, a domino effect took place in my mind and I started thinking about all of the other things that make me unhappy, which led to me feeling sorry for myself. Shortly after that, I watched the 5 minute Mormon Messages video
In the Spirit of Thanksgiving and realized that even though my life may not be as picture perfect as I would like, I am happy and there are many, many things I am thankful for.

I love this quote by Elder Oaks:

"We should thank God for our adversities and pray for guidance in meeting them. It is all part of the plan. Let us give thanks for what we are and for the circumstances God has given us for our personal journey through mortality. When we understand that God offers us opportunities for blessings and blesses us through our own adversities and the adversities of others, we can understand why He has commanded us again and again to “thank the Lord thy God in all things” (D&C 59:7).

So, let me just name a few things for which I am thankful. I am thankful for a healthy, baby boy whose smiles and laughter light up my life each day. And even though I would like to see my little boy more often, I am thankful that he is going to bed early each night and usually only waking up once in the middle of the night. A few weeks ago, he wouldn't go to sleep until 10 or 11 pm at night and that was really tough so I am grateful that I can go to bed early now if I want. I am so very thankful for a loving husband and a happy marriage -- I don't know what I would do without Mr. Rochester. As Catherine says of Heathcliff so is Mr. Rochester to me: "Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same." I am grateful that we were blessed with a daughter, if only for a short while in mortality, and I am thankful for the knowledge that our family will be together forever. I am grateful to have a job that provides us with health insurance and a small income while my husband continues his journey through graduate school. The more I think about all the things with which the Lord has blessed me, the longer this list gets. Each day, I hope that I can remember to "thank the Lord in all things".

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Are you scared yet? We took some pictures of Trotwood in his Halloween outfits and after the first few this is the face that we got. Actually, we see this face quite often, but we love it. I've decided that photographing a wiggly 3-month old is quite a difficult task. Yes, that's right, our sweet little baby turned 3 months old yesterday and I really cannot fathom how fast time is passing. Mr. Rochester and I just love witnessing all of Trotwood's new accomplishments. Trotwood coos, gurgles, smiles, and even laughs on occasion. Here are some snapshots we took for Halloween.
Here is the entire skeleton outfitTrotwood sporting his giraffe costume in his carseatTrotwood and his bearded father Trotwood's cute little giraffe bumMe and Trotwood (I got my hair cut a week ago)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Great Diaper Experiment

This past week, Mr. Rochester and I have begun what we are referring to as "The Great Diaper Experiment". Since Trotwood was born, we have not purchased any diapers ourselves up until now. Many of our friends, families, and coworkers just gave us diapers at showers or if they had smaller sizes their kids had grown out of. Some of the diapers were loose and out of packaging so other than the diaper size, we weren't sure what type of diaper we were using. Some diapers given to us were older versions of current day brands which are not made anymore while other diapers were types you could only purchase online. So, we aren't really sure which diapers work the best for Trotwood. We are very grateful to everyone for all of the diapers we were given -- to me, a diaper is a diaper. I don't care if someone gave me a bag of diapers that is two years old, we could still use it and it was free!

However, now that Trotwood is in size 2 diapers, we recently purchased all different diaper brands in size 2s to see which diapers we like the best. We have a selection of Huggies, Pampers, Luvs, and Parents' Choice. I've heard that the Sam's Club, Member's Mark diapers are good but I'm hesitant to purchase them because you have to buy them in bulk and...what if we don't like them? So, what types of diapers have you found that you like the most?

I also want to commend my friends who are currently using, or even intending to use, cloth diapers. I applaud and admire you. I too would like to help save the environment, but I am going to have to do it another way since I must opt for the ease of using disposable diapers.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Trotwood's baby blessing

About a month ago (September 20th to be exact), we had Trotwood's baby blessing. I'm late getting these pictures up on our blog but I just wanted to say thank you to our friends and family that were able to make it. We had a great time visiting with everyone. Here is Trotwood in his little white tuxedo he wore for the blessing.
Trotwood and part of his daddy's face...
P.S. My first day back at work went just fine. Mr. Rochester and Trotwood did great, using my breast pump at work went great, and learning my new job has not been overwhelming. So, I think we can do this.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Back to work

Well, tomorrow is the day I have not been looking forward to for the last three months. I have to go back to work. I feel very sad about having to leave Trotwood and go back to work but I understand and have accepted that we need the health insurance. Although I hate the idea of leaving Trotwood during the day, I am just grateful that Mr. Rochester's school schedule is such that he will be able to stay home with Trotwood while I am at work. A friend from church has offered to watch Trotwood a few hours a week while Mr. Rochester is in class.

I keep worrying about how everything will be after tomorrow...how am I going to get enough sleep at night in order to get up for work in the morning? Will I be successful in using a breast pump at work so I can continue to breastfeed Trotwood? Will I have the energy I need to continue to get up in the mornings and exercise before I go to work? How will Mr. Rochester be able to complete all of his schoolwork and finish applying to PhD programs when his time is taken up all day watching our beloved Trotwood? And the list goes on...Whatever happens after I go back to work, I know everything will work out somehow. Worrying doesn't do any good, but unfortunately it is just something that I do.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Dreft: Love or Hate it?

Since Trotwood was born, we've been washing all of his clothes with Dreft laundry detergent. I've heard great things about Dreft and how it is gentle on a baby's skin because it is free of dyes and perfumes. However, I don't love using Dreft on his clothes. They don't smell clean to me when they come out of the wash. In fact, they don't really smell much like anything (probably because there are no perfumes in Dreft) and I like the "clean" smell of laundry. Also, I feel like Dreft really fades Trotwood's new clothes after just the first wash. How do you feel about Dreft? I think I'm going to try washing one of his clothing items with the detergent we use on our clothes to see if his skin will tolerate it.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

No guilt

Trotwood is one of those babies who wants to be held all of the time. Maybe all babies are like this but since this is my first experience I don't know any differently. We have a baby bouncer and a swing and we have tried them both with him. He'll sit in the bouncer for a few minutes as long as someone is in the room paying attention to him and he absolutely detested the swing at first. Slowly, we have been working more "swing time" into his schedule - mainly so we can have short breaks. If he falls asleep on us while we are holding him we can put him in the swing and sometimes he won't wake up for about 20-30 minutes.

He also doesn't like to take naps during the day. Let me rephrase that, he doesn't like to take naps during the day unless you are holding him the entire time. As soon as you think he is asleep and try to put him down, he wakes up. We've tried letting him cry it out for naps but he has cried for an hour straight without taking a nap. We've also tried putting him down for naps and letting him cry for 10, 15, and then 20 minute intervals and that method has not been successful for us either. Despite that, we are very lucky that Trotwood is sleeping well at night in his bassinet. He only wakes up once or twice during the night to eat and then goes right back to sleep. I love holding my baby but every now and then I would like to be able to take a break without him screaming at the top of his lungs. You think after about 10 minutes, he would stop. No, not our little boy - he must be heard.

Last week I really needed to get some things done around the house so I tried putting Trotwood in his bouncer in front of the television and turned on Baby Einstein Van Gogh. Mr. Rochester's mother gave us two Baby Einstein videos and we hadn't tried them out yet. Although I hated the idea of parking my two month old in front of the television, I was willing to try it out so I could do a few things around the house...and it worked! Trotwood sat in his bouncer and "watched" the entire Baby Einstein video (which was only 20 minutes long). I tried putting the video on again for him after the 20 minutes was up but he was done with it. Since then I've had some more success with the video and decided to make the following purchase on Ebay. It's the Baby Einstein DVD Collection and includes 26 Baby Einstein programs. I think this will be good way to preserve my sanity for at least 20 minutes during the day and I don't feel one bit guilty about having Trotwood "watch" 20 minutes of a Baby Einstein video. It's educational.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Two months old

Trotwood is two months old today. I can't believe how fast time is passing but I finally feel like I'm getting used to have another little person around. Our little boy is smiling now and we just love it. It is so much fun to see him respond to us when we try to make him smile.

I took these pictures when Trotwood was still about a month old. I know that when posting about his being two months old, I should post two month old pictures but I will do that on another post. He has so many different expressions -- most of which are serious or mad faces but we love them all!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Just like who?

Mr. Rochester & Young Trotwood
1 day old
People keep saying that our young Trotwood looks just like his dad. I mean, I just don't see it. Do you?
{I'm joking...Trotwood is definitely his daddy's "mini-me"}

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Trotwood at 1 month

I know that our dear Trotwood is almost two months old and I have been remiss in posting pictures of him on our blog. Here are a few of him we took at the beginning of September. He has sure been a handful and Mr. Rochester and I are learning more about him every day. We are so glad to have him. I'll post more soon!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Neglect

Some things have been neglected since Trotwood was born. Despite its likeness to a small jungle, we did harvest some yummy vegetables from our garden (see the cherry tomatoes).

Most of the veggies are in our fridge waiting to be used. I have a really delicious salsa recipe that I'm going to make, I just need to find the time and energy to make it between nursing and nap sessions. See here how nice our garden looked just two months ago when we planted it. Oh well, next year I don't plan on having a C-Section in the middle of the summer so our next garden should do better.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The $76 Sock

Last year when we moved, Mr. Rochester and I purchased our first big appliances together -- a Maytag washing machine and dryer. After living in student housing for two years and apartments without washing machines before that, we were really excited to be the owners of these two very convenient appliances. We purchased these items July 24th of last year (I still have a copy of the receipt) and we had a one year warranty on the machine. Well, last week -- which is beyond the warranty mark of one year by about two weeks -- while a load of clothes was being laundered, our barely year old washing machine started making a horrible noise and would not drain the water in it from the rinse cycle. My mother-in-law was staying with us last week to help out with the baby and she graciously siphoned off the water for us with our garden hose so the washing machine would at least be empty until the Maytag repairman could come and look at it.

The load of laundry had contained a pillow we were washing and we were afraid that somehow the pillow messed up the washing machine's gears or motor. Not so. What had actually happened was that a teeny tiny baby sock had somehow fallen into the space between where the spinner part of the washer meets the lid and got sucked into the water pump. The above pictured sock is the culprit of our washing machine troubles and has been since dubbed the $76 dollar sock for the washing machine repair charges. We were very grateful the bill wasn't more expensive than that and in the future, we will be putting all tiny baby items in a mesh washing bag (a gift from a good friend who was out running errands that day) before washing them in the washing machine. So if you don't have one of those super fancy, front-load-water-saver washers and you might be washing baby socks in the future, I highly recommend getting a mesh washing bag to wash those tiny items so you can avoid acquiring a $76 sock.

And just for fun, here is a picture our our 2 week old sweet, sleeping baby. (He is just so sweet when he is sleeping.) Thank you, Katie, for the blanket -- it is one of our favorites to use.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Introducing


Young Master Trotwood! Trotwood was born on July 30, 2009 at 10:32 am via C-Section, weighed 8 lbs 6 oz and measured 20.5 inches long. We think he is just beautiful and are so happy to have a healthy baby boy. I know this blog post has been two weeks too late in coming but we have still be trying to adjust to Trotwood's eating and sleeping schedule. My mother and my mother-in-law have taken turns staying with us for the past two weeks which has allowed me and Mr. Rochester to at least try and get some sleep.

{For those inquiring minds, I wanted to let you know that our baby's name is not really Trotwood. It is the name that we have given him for the purpose of our blog and it comes from the book David Copperfield. It's actually a nickname for David Copperfield given to him by his aunt in the book. If you'd like to know his name and do not already know it, just send me an email and I'm happy to pass along the information!}

I think my mom took this picture with her camera phone. I'm not sure whose fingers those are...I was kind of out of that day. I'll be sure to post more pictures soon!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

July...

I feel like I should blog something. Mr. Rochester and I have had a busy July so far. Most of it seems like it was spent looking for a new (to us) car after I got off work every day. We literally did this almost every day and it's finally over! Yay! Last week we traded in our old Altima that had almost 195,000 miles on it for a 2003 Subaru Forester with about 75,000 miles on it. I wanted to post pictures of it but to be honest, I've just been too tired to do much in the evenings. So pictures will have to wait until another blog post. We are really happy with the new car and it drives beautifully. Most of all, I don't feel like I have to worry about breaking down or bursting into flames when I drive it. It is such a "family" looking car and I think it will be perfect for our growing family.

Speaking of family, YES, we are having a baby next Thursday! I can hardly believe that a few days after that we will be bringing our little baby boy home from the hospital. We've been having non-stress tests the last few weeks and his heartrate and movements have all been great so there appears to be little cause to worry. Last year our daughter was delivered at 38 weeks. This week I am 38 weeks pregnant and I can tell a difference in the baby's movements between this pregnancy and my last. It is comforting to feel the baby moving so much but sometimes I wistfully think that if I'd only know what it was like to be pregnant before and how much a baby should move towards the end of pregnancy, then maybe things would have been different with our daughter. Despite feelings I have like that, I know the Lord has a plan for each of us and that our family is eternal -- we will be with her again someday.

The past few weeks we have been blessed with baby showers and gifts given by friends and family and I wanted to thank everyone again for all of the baby items we've been given. I truly enjoyed all of the showers and am very grateful to everyone for their kindness. I can't wait to hold our little boy in just a week!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Long lost friends


Last Sunday, I got to visit with my good friend Kristin, who was vacationing in a town about 90 miles away from us. It's been several years since we'd seen each other and I'm so glad I got to visit with her and her family. I met her husband for the first time and her 8-month old son (I should have taken pictures of everyone!). Kristin and I were roommates in college for several years and I'm always glad when I can catch up with my old college friends and roommates.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My first quilt!


I just completed my very first quilt top! In April I attended a class at a local quilt store and learned what little I now know about quilting. Since then my mom and my sister-in-law have been great sources of information and have answered all of my quilting related questions. I still need to put the whole "quilt sandwich" together on my first quilt and I'm hoping my mom, who is a super quilter, will be able to help me with that this weekend when we go visit. Picking out the fabric and putting the quilt top together was so much fun and I think I've actually gotten a little hooked on quilting. I even have my google reader set up to check several different quilt blogs (thanks, Katie!). I tend to lead more toward liking the non-traditional and improvisational styles of quilting. Anyway, here are a few pictures of my first quilt top.

I just love this Mary Engelbreit fabric and I'm excited to get the quilt finished in time for the baby!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Our First Garden


Last weekend, Mr. Rochester's parents came to visit and helped us put in our very first garden! Ever since we moved here last year and were able to rent a house (instead of living in another apartment), we've been talking about how we want to put in a garden for the summer. And we finally did! Although, I will admit that I didn't do much to actually help putting in the garden. Mr. Rochester and his dad did most of the work. We were able to plant all sorts of vegetables like peppers, squash, tomatoes, beans, and cucumbers even though it is a little late in the season to begin--we're just glad to at least try to have a garden. Here are some pictures from the planting event.

Check out the dirt on my gloves--evidence that I helped a little. Oh, and don't mind my mismatched, snug-fitting clothes. Since the garden day, I've started wearing Mr. Rochester's shirts and shorts around the house so mine don't fit so snugly.

Since last weekend, the seeds we planted have actually sprouted little green shoots. I know we'll have to wait awhile for any vegetables but I can't wait to eat them in a few months!

Monday, June 15, 2009

DC Pictures

Okay, here are some pictures from our trip to DC from a few weeks ago. The first two days we were in DC, the weather was really hot and humid and then it rained and cooled everything off for the last two days we were there. We really enjoyed visiting some fun places in DC. Here is Mr. Rochester at the Arlington Cemetery.

The first day we were in DC, we hit three different museums and also visited the National Mall. (And yes, by the end of the day, we were exhausted.) One of the museums we visited was the Museum of Natural History. We really enjoyed seeing all of the exhibits on dinosaurs and sea life. Here is Mr. Rochester being swallowed by a huge shark.

Our second day in DC, we made a trip to Mt. Vernon with a friend of ours. It was so neat to walk on the grounds and see the house where George Washington lived. Here we are all hot and sweaty.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Google Reader

I'm sure all of you probably already know about Google Reader but a friend of mine recently showed it to me and I think it is awesome! It's a great way to keep track of your friends' blogs and when they were last updated. Just click here, log in to your google account, and enter your blog subcriptions and it will tell you when your friends post new blogs. Like I said, I thought it was great and just wanted to share in case any of you might have been behind the times like me. :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The new date

The baby's birthday has been determined! Today we had another doctor's appointment and we scheduled my C-Section. It felt kind of weird to schedule the baby's birthday because I've always felt like babies are just born when they are born. Our doctor wanted to deliver the baby the week before my due date but the C-section date only ended up being four days before my original due date because of our doctor's schedule. So the big day will be on July 30th unless I happen to go into labor before then. After our ultrasound today, our doctor told us that our son's weight and some of his measurements are two weeks ahead of my weeks in pregnancy. I got excited thinking that maybe the baby would be early but then when our doctor said that he would still deliver the baby at 39 weeks, I was a little disappointed. Today's ultrasound looked great and our baby seems healthy so far. So really, I only need to wait it out about 8 more weeks!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Test results...

Thank you for all of your encouragement and support! I did not end up passing my test and only missed the passing score by a few points. Although that is encouraging, I can't help but feel a little discouraged. I was really excited about the possibility of getting a job that my education had prepared me for (especially the job I'd wanted since I was an undergraduate student), the chance to live and work abroad, and to earn an actual salary. Last May is when we knew where we were moving for Mr. Rochester's grad schooling and I started looking and applying for jobs in this area. It has now been a year since that time. I have applied for over 100 jobs and still have not been able to find a job that will help me start a career. I am grateful to have a job right now, especially in this economy, but I am ready to do something other than secretarial work and would like to start earning a real salary so I can start paying off my student loans. Before we left for DC, I told myself that I would be okay with whatever happened and I've really just been trying to accept it. I can start all over with the process and retake the written test in October if I want to but I wouldn't be able to retake the Oral Assessment until this time next year. Mr. Rochester and I really enjoyed our time in DC and I will post pictures of our trip in a few days. Thank you again for all your love and prayers!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Testing time...

Mr. Rochester and I are leaving for DC tomorrow! I'm excited because we're going to stay a couple of days with some friends of mine that I haven't seen in years. We're planning on trying to sightsee as much as possible on Friday and Saturday. Then on Sunday evening we're staying at a hotel in downtown DC that is close to where I will be taking the Foreign Service Oral Assessment on Monday. My assessment lasts from 7 am to possibly 6 pm (if I pass) that day so Mr. Rochester will have to find something to do all day that day. Tuesday, we fly back home.

I'm nervous about the Oral Assessment but I've made up my mind that I'm just going to do the best I can and be okay with whatever the outcome is. Of course, if I fail, I'm sure I'll be disappointed but I can always try again (although I'll have to start all over with the written exam). The percentage of people who pass the Oral Assessment is really low so I'm hopeful but not expectant. Thanks for all of your love and support in this endeavor!

Just a quick pregnancy update--things are going great. I'm 28 weeks this week. I had another ultrasound a few weeks ago and I should be getting a third one around my 32 week mark. The baby kicks and moves around a lot and it's really comforting for us to know he's so active. I just hope his activity level stays high for the next 12 weeks!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Hide and Seek

I love this song by Imogen Heap--it's called Hide and Seek. Mr. Rochester got the CD from the library the other day and we both really enjoyed this song although the whole album was great. I've liked Imogen Heap for awhile now. Not everyone likes this type of music but I think Imogen Heap has a beautiful voice and I love her style of music. Enjoy the link!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Easter King Cake


Last weekend, I got together with an old friend from high school who lives nearby and we made a delicious king cake! This time, we made an actual King Cake (yes out of flour and yeast) and it turned out to be delicious. Instead of using traditional Mardi Gras colors for the frosting, we chose a pastel, Easter type theme. We used a cream cheese filling and thought it needed more than what our recipe called for so we made more filling. The result of our extra filling made parts of the inside of the King Cake a little gooey but I think it was still delicious. Next time, I'll probably just stick to the recipe so the middle cooks better. It took us most of the day to make the cake because it had to rise a few times but it was definitely worth it and we had a great time making it! And in between the cake's rising time, we went to a quilt store, a scrapbook store and just visited. I thought our cake turned out beautifully!

Here we are, the little bakers!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Visits!


A week ago, Mr. Rochester and I made a trip to Texas. We visited my aunt on Thursday night in Dallas and had a nice time visiting them. Then on Friday Mr. Rochester and I spent most of the day at the Dallas Texas temple. I haven't been to the Dallas Temple in years and it was so fun to go back there and remember all the great times I had attending the Dallas Temple on youth temple trips when I was a kid. The funny thing is on one of those youth temple trips, I took a picture of Mr. Rochester and I still have it! I think this must have been around 1995 which would make Mr. Rochester around 14 or 15.

When we were at the temple, we tried to remember exactly where I took the picture and so we took another one of him in 2009 (and with the same expression on his face)!

After Dallas, we went to Killeen to visit my sister-in-law and her kids. My older brother is away in Iraq on another year long tour with the military. Friday night we went with my sister-in-law to a place to eat called Genghis Grill. I thought the food at Genghis Grill was really tasty but I wasn't a huge fan of the way you get your food. You pretty much prepare your own rice bowl and then they cook it for you. Everything you need to put your rice bowl together is all laid out in buffet style--raw meat, vegetables, seasoning, everything--and you just pile it all in your bowl. That said, my distaste for handling raw meat at a restaurant will not keep me from going to Genghis Grill again. And I just found out there is one in Little Rock so I plan on stopping by the next time we are down that way!

We had such a fun time visiting with my sister-in-law and her kids! The day we told her the gender of our baby, she and her mother purchased some adorable outfits for him and I just can't wait for when he is born and big enough to wear them. I wanted to give a big thanks to Danielle and her mom for the baby clothes!

Saturday, Mr. Rochester and I went to Austin so I could attend a review session for the Foreign Service Oral Assessment given by the former U.S. Ambassador to Panama. Before we got to the university, I wasn't worried about getting a parking space or anything because, I thought, "It's a Saturday. Of course, there will be parking available." Boy, was I wrong. I think there were 4-5 different huge events going on at the University and it was impossible to find a place to park. Mr. Rochester ended up sitting in the car in the shade somewhere and studying while I was at my 3-4 hour review session. When I found out, I felt so bad but he didn't seem to mind. The session went well and I'm glad that I got to attend--it gave me more of an idea of what to expect on the test day and how to prepare. Besides that, I'm just glad we got to visit with some family!

Cribs


I absolutely love these cribs by Munire furniture! So far, my favorite one is the above picture (the crib is in the Urban collection) although I haven't shown this one to Mr. Rochester yet. All the cribs are made out of real wood and are a 4 in 1 bed, which means that you can eventually use the crib as a headboard and footboard for a full sized bed. I know there are a lot of cribs out there that are the 4-in-1 beds, but I like these because since they are made of real wood, if they get scratched or messed up throughout their lifetime, we can just sand down the wood and refinish it.

Most of the Munire cribs are out of our price range. This one (below) is more affordable (in the Essex collection) and is the one Mr. Rochester and I talked about purchasing.

Although I do like the Essex crib, I've decided that I like the Urban (very top) and Majestic (below) cribs better.

I haven't gotten Mr. Rochester's opinion on the Majestic or Urban cribs but my guess is he would probably like the Majestic one better. Both of these are definitely out of our price ranges so we will probably end up getting the Essex crib, which is okay. He and I are both agreed that we like the darker wood colors better and we will probably end up getting the crib at a local baby boutique. What do you think of the three cribs?

Anyway, I just thought I would share. I'm having so much fun looking at baby stuff and can't wait for our little guy to get here! Thank you to all of you for sharing in our excitement!