Pregnant! Feed

He's Here ... We're Home!


My friends,

We are filled with joy to announce the birth of our new little one ...

Owen Paul

was born on Sunday, May 26th, 2013

3:17 a.m.

He weighed 8 lbs. 8 oz. and measured 21.5 inches long

Both mother and son are doing just fine!


More details (and photos) to come ... but I wanted to pop in and announce our happy news just as soon as I could. Thank you so much for all your prayers and love!


Nearly there now ...

Lilacs 1

Good Friday afternoon, my friends! 

Another quick check in (my last till after the big day) to let you all know that all is well, things are still status quo ... I have about one more week to go.


Had my 38 week check-in with the midwife today, followed by an ultrasound to check on the wee babe - WHO, I'm so pleased to report, is doing quite nicely. He's active and strong, his head is down, and he weighs about 7 1/2 lbs!

Thank you so much to all who are praying for us and thinking good thoughts for us ... we appreciate it more than you know.

By the way, while I'm here, I had to share a picture of our beautiful lilacs which are in full bloom right now ... and they smell absolutely amazing!

Well I do hope you are enjoying these glorious spring weeks ... take care of yourselves and your loved ones, and I'll be back here again just as soon as I can!


Happy (Early) Mother's Day!

Bc mom 1
Well, hello, my friends!

I'm popping in very quickly to say hello and wish you all a Happy Mother's Day! I hope you're enjoying your May, and that you all have a wonderful weekend, however you celebrate it. :)

Now, last we chatted, Bookworm was in the midst of his college decision ...

Well, the sticker above (now on the back of my van) reveals his final choice. ;) Yes, he is now officially a "BC Eagle"! I can hardly believe it ... some of you may remember back when I first started blogging, just how little he was. (For instance, see this post!) He was just turning 11 then, which at the time seemed so big, especially compared to his two younger brothers ... but here we are now, a month shy of his 18th birthday, helping him prepare for his first year in college ... and expecting his third little brother ... it's all quite surreal ...

But so blessed!

As for that third little brother - well, we're still hanging tight here - with only 2 1/2 weeks to go! I'm feeling well - slow and awkward of course, but that's to be expected! I will be back here again once we've had the baby ... so please stay tuned!

And thank you for all your prayers and kind words of encouragement. I may be quiet here these days, but please know I carry you all in my heart ... and when I return we'll have LOTS to talk about!!


A Baby Shower for our Baby O!

Baby shower 5

Hello, my friends! I'm a bit behind on posting because it's been a busy (and somber) few days, but I wanted to tell you all about the lovely weekend I had. Because thanks to these two amazing ladies ...

Baby shower 1

*Mum on the left and Aunt Marcia on the right*

... Baby-O and I were treated to an absolutely beautiful baby shower! It was a spring afternoon shower, and there was a delicious array of fruit, finger foods and assorted savories ...

Baby shower 12

As well as a wonderfully refreshing BLUE punch:

Baby shower 10
 (Non-alcoholic of course, even if Crackerjack does look a little droopy-eyed in this pic!)

All this was followed (after presents) by coffee and tea ...

Baby shower 11

Blue was the theme of the day, natch. ;)

And for dessert - fruit & cream pastries, pecan turtle cookies, fruit salad (with a vanilla-orange zest syrup) and THE most adorable cupcakes!

Shower 11

My aunt ordered these beauties - chocolate, vanilla, red velvet and carrot - from a local bakery. All of them topped with soft, whipped frosting made up like little booties!

The day was just perfect for April ~ a mixture of clouds and sun, a bit cool in the high 50s. And inside everything looked so cozy and cute!

Shower 15

 How adorable are these window stickers?!

Baby shower 13

Balloons, banners, etc.

Shower 12

Shower favors: blue Hershey kisses and "It's a Boy!" pencils. :)

And there were, of course, presents!

Baby shower 14

I love wrapping paper and pretty bags, don't you? Every gift was so beautifully wrapped and so thoughtfully chosen ... Bill and I felt so treated! We joked that waiting 12 years to have another baby really paid off, lol!

And look at this gorgeous package ...

Shower 13

This was hand-painted by our dear friend Vicki ... and I only wish I had snapped the other sides of the box - they were just as pretty!

Here I am with Vicki's two daughters, Kristel and Tiffany ...

Showe 19

Dear childhood friends ... it honestly doesn't seem that long ago we were running around in bathing suits, making crafts and riding bikes ... with our moms close by, keeping watch. And here we are now, all mothers ourselves, doing the same thing with our own kids!

And though I was certainly surrounded by presents, more importantly I was surrounded by many loved ones ... what a happy day.

Shower 19

The main event was held in my parents' family room.

Baby shower 9

Mum, me, Marcia and my Aunt Pat in pink.

Shower 22

While Marcia kept a record of gifts, Mum kept the cards organized.

Shower 21

Bill's mom (aka Grandma Barbara) and Aunt Anne, as well as his sister Ami.

Shower 17

My godmother, Kathy, with her daughter Barbara and granddaughter Allison.

Shower 18

Ami and Eric - such a cute couple!

Baby shower 17

My cousin Kate (who will be Baby O's godmother) and her boyfriend, Paul, alongside my cousin Kara (Earlybird's godmother) and my Uncle Karl. In front is my cousin Mark's daughter, Anna.

My older boys were there, too ...

Baby shower 15

As well as our Earlybird ...

Baby shower 2

And let's not forget the little "man" of the hour ... Baby O himself!

Baby bump 34 weeks

34 Weeks ~ just a few more to go!

(By the way, I would like to say thank you to my Bill and Bill's Dad (aka Grandpa Bill) for the pictures they took - very few of these photos were taken by me.)

And oh my, we received so many cute things for Baby O!

Shower 23

Baby shower 16

Baby shower 18

 Shower 20

Shower 24

And many necessities, too! Such as wipes (seen above), diapers, onesies, washcloths and receiving blankets ... as well as a baby tub, changing pad, bouncer seat, car seat/stroller system and a play-pen equipped with a bassinette and changing top ...

This is one lucky laddie, I tell you!

(We're the lucky ones, though - lucky, blessed, and so very, very grateful.)


Well, my friends, I thank you ~ for indulging me in this very long post and sharing in our joy. While I'm here today, I would also like to express my very best wishes to my friend Nissa, who delivered a beautiful baby boy of her own this very morning! So happy for Nissa and her whole family ... Welcome, little George Christophe!

So I'll wrap up for now, but I also wanted to mention that though I have not had a chance to watch the most recent episode of Call the Midwife, I'm hoping to do so tonight. So my Masterpiece Monday is looking more like a Masterpiece Thursday this week. ;)

I hope to have the post up early tomorrow morning ...

Have yourselves a good evening, everyone ... see you here again sometime soon!


Baby Days Ahead ...


Well, it may be hard to believe (I know it is for me!) but, as of this posting, I am 32 weeks pregnant ...

Time sure is a-tickin' away!

And it's been nearly 12 years since we last had a baby in this house, so needless to say we're a bit out of practice! So I'm trying to formulate a "plan" for those first weeks home with our little one ... what he'll need as a newborn, what I'll need as a "new" mom, and what we'll need as a family (re)adjusting to life with a baby in the house.

So far I've written out a layette list and I'm working on streamlining our household since I'll probably be out of commission for a little while. But I'd love your suggestions ...

What helped you most in those first postpartum weeks?

What did you do to prepare your nest (feathers and family) for a new baby?

Here are my notes so far ...

The Layette List:

diapers • onesies (ls/ss) • newborn caps • sun hat • wee socks • receiving blankets/swaddling blankets • light sleepers • bunting/sleepsack • undershirts • light cotton pants • burp cloths • bassinet & bedding • nursing pillow • washable nursing pads •  nursing bras/pajamas • breast pump & accessories • nursing shawl • changing pad & cover • diaper wipes • small washcloths • baby bathtub • natural baby wash & lotion • hooded towel • natural diaper cream • baby nail clippers • pacifiers • thermometer • infant acetaminophen & anti-gas medicine • rocking chair • play mat/floor blankets • board books • soothing music • baby announcements & stamps • baby sling/wrap • infant car seat • stroller

(Some things we have already, some things we're borrowing, and some things we still need to pick up.)

Other "Babymoon" Ideas:

household "how to" binder for helpers • posted family schedule with rides arranged • lesson plans through June • list of easy meal ideas • meals prepared ahead • a well-stocked pantry • favorite plants in before end of May • spring/summer clothes sorted • comfy/easy spring bedding

I'd love to hear your thoughts, advice - brand name suggestons? - on this subject. If you have a moment, please drop me a note below.

And have a great Thursday, my friends!


Tons of Easter Pictures & a 32-Week Bump Shot!

Happy Easter, everyone! I hope you all had a lovely holiday ... our weekend was wonderful, and the weather was perfect. Just like early spring in New England should be ... sunny and 50 degrees. I have about a bajillion pictures to share with you, so I'd best get on with it!


Easter crocus

Bookworm took the picture of the crocus above. A beautiful sign of life on this most blessed day.

Easter 1

On the Easter Vigil, a plate of hard-boiled eggs ready to color ...

Easter 3

Bill helping Earlybird with egg-dipping. I had really hoped to do "natural" egg dyes this year (all the rage right now, but more importantly, a great idea for chemical-sensitive kids like EB) but I just couldn't pull it together. A project for next year perhaps? I'm sure things will quiet down once we have an infant in the house. ;)

Easter 2

Easter eggs always remind me a bit of Christmas lights ... two bright ends of the same circle. :)

Easter 5

Eggs drying ...

Easter 4

And baskets ready to fill ...

A few hours later, veeerrry early Easter morning ...

Easter 6

(Some of us were more awake than others.)

Easter 7

The boys and their baskets ~ time to start the day!

Easter 9

Four baskets this year, including one for Baby-O on the far right.

Easter 31

We've had this silk forsythia wreath for a few years now, and to me it has become such a symbol of spring. I love hanging it where it can catch the sun.

Easter 30

Cut flowers soaking up the morning sun, waiting to be arranged into vases.

Easter 8

My mum made 20 of these beautiful felt napkin rings ... in addition to the colors above, she also made white, lavender and deep purple flowers.

Easter 11

A sunny bay window filled with Easter treats for our guests ...

Easter 14

Earlybird receiving a special Easter gift from his Nana and Papa ...

Easter 13

A gorgeous wooden tree house handmade in Vermont!

Easter 15

The dessert station filling up ...

(Penny, these next two photos are especially for you. :))

Easter 16

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake made by my Uncle Karl.

Easter 17

A sweetly sprinkled and frosted chocolate cake made by my Mum.

Easter 18

Mixed candies ...

Easter 34

I love using old family dishes for parties like this ...

The above "asparagus" dish belonged to my grandmother - perfect for Easter or any spring gathering.

Easter 32

The dining room table set for eight with blue dishes (some mine, some mum's).

Easter 33

And the family room tables set for 12 with old family linens and our wedding china.

Easter 22

Just before dinner ~ it was time to look for those eggs! 

Easter 23

This is Connor, one of our cousins from New York. He worked so hard helping EB find all those eggs!

Easter 24

My dad and my brother, Matt.

Easter 25

My lovely Aunt Marcia with my one of my cousin's dogs ~ this is either Sophie or Lily, I'm not sure. 

Easter 35

A bit of a fuzzy shot, but this is my cousin Kara and her boyfriend, Manuel.

Connor's little brother, Finn ~ just two years old and the sweetest little boy.

Easter 27

Bookworm and my cousin Kate who kindly agreed to be Baby-O's godparents!

And speaking of Baby-O ...

Easter 28

32 Weeks today! (I felt like a giant Easter egg, lol.)


Whew, that was a whole lot of pictures! If you're still with me, I thank you for your patience, and for sharing in our day ... one of the things I love most about blogging is having this convenient place to store family pictures and memories. It's fun to look back at how we did things, who was with us, and how things have changed (or not) through the years.


Have yourselves a good night, my friends ... see you here again sometime soon!

Good Friday & Baby News

Some hot cross buns for afternoon tea ...

Hot cross buns

Actually, these are easy-peasy blueberry scones, with some homemade frosting piped on top in the traditional cross shape. Note the odd one in the back - the one with the O, rather than the ? That was Bill being frisky, an attempt to play tic-tac-toe while I prepared the buns.


Well, I hope your Easter weekend is off to a nice start! Bill's home today and we're having a quiet afternoon, preparing for our family gathering on Sunday. This morning I had a midwife appointment and there we talked about lots of things - including my weekly appointment schedule from here on out (every Friday till the end of May) and a possible induction date (considering my super-fast deliveries of both Crackerjack and Earlybird). I have a feeling I will go sometime before my due date anyway, but we'll know more as the weeks go by. What was really neat at today's visit ~ my mum came with me so she not only got to meet my midwife, but she also got to hear our little Baby-O's* heartbeat. He's always so scrappy when they use that doppler wand ... flipping around and giving a little show!

So all is going well ... I'm going to start on a magnesium supplement and daily protein shakes ... we'll wait on the thyroid testing to see how things go and/or if any other symptoms arise. And I had the echocardiogram last night and it went well ... that is, the test was smooth and the technician was lovely (an old high school classmate as it turned out!) but I'm waiting to hear what the cardiologist made of things. My midwife assured me that palps and an obvious heartbeat are very common in pregnancy and that all this testing is just to be extra cautious. That made me feel better!

*Now, for the time being, here at the blog we'll be calling the little guy "Baby-O," and yes, the "O" refers to his real name, which we chose some time ago. I don't mean to be so secretive, but we've always kept our boys "real names" private. Well, as you know, there aren't many "O" boy names out there, and I can tell you we're especially fond of Gaelic (Irish) names ... so maybe that will give you a little clue? If you'd like to guess, leave a comment below and I'll let you know if you're right. ;)

Enjoy the rest of your Friday, my friends ... and a happy holiday weekend to all!


One Test Down, Two More to Go ...

Hello, my friends ~ I hope this Tuesday's been kind to you. :)

Just checking in to let you all know that I had my ekg this morning, and although it looked fine, the doctor is running a few more tests - the first being a heart monitor which I'm wearing at this very minute (and for 24 hours in total) and the second being an echocardiogram later next week. I'm sure all will be well, but naturally, it's a bit of a concern. The reason I'm having these tests is because last week I started having palpitations and at times, a racing heartbeat. (Or what feels like a racing heartbeat - apparently my puse rate is a bit high but not unusual for a pregnant woman.) The episodes are fairly random and not all that bothersome just off-putting, you know? I hated to mention them to my midwife, but wanted to err on the side of caution. And oddly enough they started up while we were watching "Oz" last Tuesday and they've continued ever since. I'm told that palpitations are not all that uncommon during pregnancy because our blood flow increases by something like 75% - wow! - and I've had palpitations before, but never when pregnant. Has anyone else experienced anything like this? 

So I wanted to post an update, since several of you very kindly offered your prayers and encouragement yesterday. I will certainly let you all know how it goes and "what's what" ... once I find out just what that is! (And of course, I always appreciate your prayers!)

Now on a happier note, before I go, how about a couple of cute kitty pics?

Archie tv 2

This is Archie, who for the first time ever has become aware of the tv! Earlybird loves a dvd called Kitten Party, and we noticed Archie paying rapt attention to the screen yesterday while KP was playing ... and next thing we know, he's got himself right up right in front of the tv, batting at the cats on the screen!

Archie tv 1

Archie tv 3

Archie tv 4

My cute, clever (sometimes crazy) cat. :)


So I'm off for now, but I hope you all have a good week. Take care of yourselves and your loved ones ... I'll see you here again sometime soon!


Menu Monday ~ updated with recipe links!

Good Morning, everyone! I hope you all had a nice weekend ...


A bit pressed for time this morning, so without further ado, here are my dinner menus for the week ahead: 

Monday, March 18th

parmesan turkey cutlets, rice pilaf, sauteed spinach

leftover shamrock cookies

Tuesday, March 19th (St. Joseph's Day, Papal Inauguration)

sloppy joe empanadas, corn, salad

brownies w/dulce de leche ice cream

Wednesday, March 20th (Vernal Equinox)

pasta primavera, popovers

lemon souffle w/strawberry sauce

Thursday, March 21st

homemade pizzas, simple salads

fruit compote w/gingersnaps

Friday, March 22nd

spicy shrimp wraps

tropical fruit smoothies

Saturday, March 23rd


Sunday, March 24th (Palm Sunday)

roast, potatoes, asparagus, herb bread

Palm Sunday Cake


Before I go, a quick "programming" note ~ posting might be slow for a bit because I'm feeling very slow myself these days! I am 30 weeks pregnant today ... though honestly, it feels more like 30 months! Lol. Not so much in time - which seems to be flying - more in physicality! Goodness, I forgot what 7 months pregnant feels like! Also, may I ask for your prayers? I'm having an ekg tomorrow and although I am sure (as is my midwife) that all is well, I'm still a bit nervous. Just hoping the rest of the pregnancy is smooth sailing for the wee babe and me!

Have a wonderful week, my friends ... see you here again sometime soon.


Saturday Sweetness

Good morning, my friends! Just popping in quickly before I get my day going ...

I wanted to say hello, and wish you a great weekend!

Also, I meant to mention these yesterday (or really, well before yesterday) because they're a very cute craft/snack for the first of March ...

Lion & Lamb Cupcakes

Lion lamb cupcakes

Though I suppose they'd be just as clever on the last day of the month!

Now, if you're familiar with Martha Stewart publications, then you know these have been around for many years ... and yet, I've never made them. So I've printed the directions out and slipped them into my March-April (Early Spring) folder. I think it will be such fun to make these next year with EB's help and baby "O" watching on. :) You know, part of my great joy in having another child is that we get to revisit so many lovely things - activities, outings, books, crafts, etc. - that we did with our older boys when they were little. So many fond memories and traditions to revisit. How truly blessed I feel to be given the chance to nurture another sweet soul ...

Speaking of (mothering and pregnancy) - 28 weeks on Monday! And I'm off to run a few errands with mum this morning - a stop at the maternity store for a few essentials, and a pop into the container store to spend my birthday gift card. And finally, a visit to the baby "superstore" to look at bassinets ... yes, it's that time, my friends. Three months to go and my nesting urges have really kicked in!

Have yourselves a wonderful weekend ... I'll see you here again very soon!


Wednesday Q & A: Due Dates, Desserts & Diet

Pink-blue butterfly

Good morning, my friends! I thought I'd do a little Q&A catch-up today ...

Now and again I am asked when I'm due, and I can tell you my "official" due date is May 27th (Memorial Day) - and that's (wow) three months from today! I tend to deliver close to my dd - Bookworm was born one day late (the day after the summer solstice), Crackerjack came two days early (two days before the Assumption) and Earlybird arrived a whole week early (just in time for his Papa's birthday!). But we'll have to wait and see what this baby has planned ... ;)

Yesterday, Michelle asked:

Can you share the recipe for the potato and leek soup? I think you have mentioned it before but I couldn't find the recipe. I bought leeks at the store today in hopes of making it Friday.

I'm trying this one, Michelle: Martha Stewart Potato Leek Soup. It sounds earthy and delicious - a perfect supper for the first of March. :)

Why leeks you might wonder, dear readers? Well March 1st is The Feast of St. David, who is the patron of Wales, and leeks are a national symbol (alongside the daffodil). Traditionally they are worn on a lapel, but I prefer the idea of serving them in a meal ...

Are we Welsh? No. But we're Catholic, and I enjoy working simple faith traditions into our everyday family life. Over the years they bring us a familiar, fun comfort - and happy memories, as well. :)

Now, Jen asked:

I wondered if you make a dessert almost every night? I think I would weigh 300 pounds if I ate all the yummy desserts you serve! :-) Which brings me to another question, I have noticed that there are always (or usually!) seem to be delicious sweets in your home? How do you keep your girlish figure, Dawn? Do you squeeze exercise into your already-busy schedule? I would love to hear your thoughts on this!

Ok, lots of points to touch on, Jen!

I do serve dessert at every dinner, but I don't always make it myself - and it's not always something big or special. I usually have simple cookies (vanilla wafers, gingersnaps, oatmeal raisin) or plain ice cream/frozen yogurt on hand. My family really enjoys a little something sweet after a meal and I feel as long as we keep it proportionate and nobody has issues tied to sweets, we're ok. I also try to keep our desserts as natural (homemade) and fruit-based (seasonal) as possible.

Honestly, I'm a big believer of "all things in moderation," so we don't forbid sweets, but we do monitor them. Earlybird is the only one of us who has a weight issue, and that is tied tightly into his autism: eating is an addiction for him - he literally wants to eat all the time. But it's not so much sweets he wants, but rather, carbs and dairy. And actually he rarely eats the family dessert - he's usually pretty happy with a couple of low fat "Fig Newmans" or a few graham crackers after a meal. Currently we're working with him on portion control and making healthier choices ... and this would be a great topic for a future post! I'll start a draft now. :)

But I do enjoy desserts, I'll admit! And I also love to bake. In fact, Bill, looking over my shoulder at this draft just said, "You love to bake stuff but you never eat it!" Which is not entirely true - I do allow myself to have a small sweet a day - but I don't eat it at night after supper, because that gives me heartburn. So I usually save my "sweet" for midday. I don't know if that makes a big difference, but I've heard it said it's wise to limit calories late in the day. And if I'm having a cupcake with lunch I'll only eat half a sandwich instead of a whole. I have to keep my meals small because I tend to have slow digestion - if I eat too much in one sitting my stomach can't deal.

Now, do I exercise?

Well, um ... no. 


I know I should - I really should - and I am always meaning to start! But the truth of it is, I just can't find the time ... or energy ... or motivation. Generally speaking, my weight stays about the same even without "formal" exercise ... but I know exercise is about way more than staying trim - it's about heart health and flexibility, etc. I have this conversation with my doctor at each annual physical!

Ideally, I'd be walking/using the eliptical a few times a week and doing some yoga or stretching every day. It's in the back of my mind that once I've recovered from this baby's birth I will get serious about doing something "formally" physical, a few times a week. I'm sure it won't be as easy to shed baby weight in my 40s as it was in my 20's and 30s!

As for watching my figure, well I try to stay aware of how my clothes are fitting - and if things feel snug I know I need to be a little more careful with my food choices for a week or two. All that said, I could definitely stand to eat healthier - I don't eat nearly as much produce as I should and I tend to shy away from whole grains. Our family food goals this year include eating less processed food, and eating a more varied (seasonal/local) diet - more food for a future post!

But Jen, I too would love to hear opinions on this subject ...

How do we moms fit exercise into an already busy schedule? Better yet - how do we find the energy to do said exercise if and when we have the time?


Well friends, I'll wrap things up here since this post is getting long and my time is getting short. Time to rattle my older boys' cages and get on with my day. I do hope your Wednesday's a good one, and if you have questions or comments, please leave me a note below!

See you here again sometime soon ...


Bump Shot!

(26 weeks on Monday!)

Bump shot 26 weeks


Well, I had a lovely time today, joining several dear housemates from college to celebrate our friend Nancy's birthday. We met at The Cheesecake Factory for lunch - and delicious cheesecake, of course! When I got home, I had Bookworm take this picture for me since I was somewhat "gussied up," lol.

I feel like my "bump" is much bigger than it actually is! But I'm feeling well and baby's doing great - he continues to be very active at all hours of the day - and particularly the night. He and I have just about three months to go ...

(I should mention, those fancy-shmancy bracelets are actually "seabands" which I've been wearing for morning sickness. The nausea has thankfully passed, but I still wear them - I'm not taking any chances!)

Hope you're all enjoying your weekend! Are we all quite excited (perhaps nervous?) for Downton tomorrow night?


A Few Weekend Photos ...

Happy Sunday, my friends! I hope you've all had a nice weekend.

Mine has been just lovely - it was my birthday weekend! And my loved ones made sure it was fun, relaxing and filled with my favorite things. Here are just a few photos ...

First off, the "bump shot" as promised ...

Bump january

Twenty weeks ~ taken at my Mum and Dad's house earlier today.

On Saturday Mum took me out to a local yarn store where I picked up this yummy yarn for a baby blanket ...

Baby yarn 1

I am especially fond of that soft spring green (I have one more skein on order), and I'm thinking it will be this baby's "signature" shade. :)

On Saturday night, Bill took me out to dinner at our favorite restaurant where I very happily took advantage of eating for two ...

Birthday dinner

Birthday dinner 2

The lighting is very dark because it's a mostly candlelit restaurant. Lovely for atmosphere, awful for photos!

Before dinner we stopped in at a local baby store where we had tons of fun looking around and remembering all the little (and not so little) things the baby would need. We fell a little in love with this bedding:

Baby bedding

We probably won't go with this exact set - I wasn't crazy about the texture - but we are definitely thinking of a "woodland" nursery theme with lots of soft green and brown. Much more to come on that in the spring. :)

And today, after a busy morning of Mass and CCD, we headed over to Mum and Dad's for a delicious lunch, including a luscious fudge-topped birthday cake ...

My birthday 5

Fyi, I'm not worrying about calories at all this weekend. Not a one. I don't think birthday calories count, anyways. ;)

And then there were presents!

My birthday 3

A lovely sweater from a dear family friend.

My birthday 4

A sweet board book for the baby. 

And a little something my dad picked out for me ...

My birthday 1

The new Downton Abbey book! Such fun!

And speaking of DA, I'm going to try very hard to stay up to watch tonight but it's been a very busy weekend and I feel like I'm running on fumes. If I end up watching the episode, I will post "Masterpiece Monday" as early as I can tomorrow. If I end up konking out, the post will be up Tuesday for sure! That will give us one more day to digest. :)

Well my friends, thank you so much for stopping by and sharing in our fun! Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, and I will see you all again very soon!



Thursday's This & That

Well my friends, I've got a nasty cold this week, so posting will be light for a bit, but very quickly I thought I'd mention a few things this morning ...

I'm posting from my perch on the family room couch, aka my "nest" these past few days. Been watching lots of cooking shows with Earlybird ... and as much as we love Jamie and Ina, our new favorite is The Pioneer Woman. So fun! And she homeschools! Why haven't we watched this before?


Speaking of cooking, here are a couple of neat recipes I'm hoping to try when I feel up to it:

Sweet Potato Souffle

(I made my first souffle last May - ready to try again!)

Maple Apple Tartlets

Maple apple tartlets

(I've actually made these before, but the boys have requested I make them again - they are much easier than they look!)

Lemon Custard Cakes

(I have several Meyer lemons to use up - I just love citrus in the winter!)


While resting, I've been enjoying a book I received in the mail the other day, The Life and Times of Call the Midwife: The Official Companion to Seasons One and Two.

Call the midwife book

It's a fantastic and gorgeous look into the world of CtM - fashion & beauty, homes & food, nurses & nuns, faith & health - as well as a peek behind the scenes. I'm just loving it! And if you're a fan of this show, you will love this book, too. (Remember to mark your calendars for 3/31 ~ Easter Sunday night I believe~ that's when season 2 premieres in the US!)


Very exited about the weekend ... lots of fun planned, so I'm really hoping I've kicked this bug by then. For one thing, Mum and I are planning a trip to a local yarn shop on Saturday. I've been itching to knit for some time, but wanted to wait until we knew if this baby was a boy or a girl. Now that we know, I am hoping to pick up some lovely yarn with which to begin a simple project of some kind. Perhaps a blanket to start?


Now, a new "bump" shot has been requested ... so I'll see what I can do about that. ;) I feel like I'm HUGE for 20 weeks, but I think most pregnant women feel like that, lol. The baby's very active and according to my pregnancy book he's about the length of a banana, crown to toes. At 20 weeks - I'm halfway there! (As you can see from my little baby ticker parked at the top of my blog.)

And yes, we do have a name picked out out ... but we're keeping it under wraps till his birth. ❤ As for cravings? Pineapple salsa, barbecue, cheeseburgers and steak sauce! Yep, it's definitely a boy. :)


Also, I know I promised a look at the learning room and that post IS coming soon ... I'm just a bit behind on my new year "spruce up!" Also, I have been asked where we got my corner desk (the one shown in this post) and I can tell you Bill ordered it online from HomeElement. It arrived in a few big pieces and he and the boys put it together for me. :)

Desk 1


Ok, time to wrap up and return to my roost! I hope your week's going well ... the flu is on a rampage this winter, so please take care of yourselves and your loved ones ... stay healthy and safe!

I'll see you here again very soon ...


A New Year, A New Love ...

Ultrasound 1

 A new little BOY in our family! 

On New Year's eve, via level 2 ultrasound, Bill and I were able to "meet" our fourth child, growing so beautifully inside me. And the doctor declared him a healthy and handsome little fella

We are absolutely thrilled and feel so very blessed. And this great news comes as such relief after a screening test done last month had come back with concerns. I got the call the day after Christmas, that there was a flag on my test, and though I tried hard not to be anxious - how could I not? Nothing is more important than our children and all we want is for them to be healthy and safe.

I took comfort in the fact that my level 2 ultrasound was scheduled for the next morning - we'd find out what was what and could go on from there. So you can imagine our great dismay when we showed up at the hospital bright and early the next morning, only to be told the test had mysteriously been rescheduled for a whole week later!!

Needless to say I was upset - but Bill marched us right over to the OB office so we could find out what the delay was about. Thankfully my OB office was able to finagle us an appt. at a specialist's office in town - on New Year's Eve of all times! This meant we only had a few more days to wait.

{All this, by the way, coincided with my need for a blog break!}

So off to Boston Bill and I went late Monday afternoon. I had really been trying so hard to not worry ... and between some wonderful advice from a very dear friend (not to mention some fervent praying) I did feel a peace in the days leading up to the ultrasound. I was still nervous about that screeening, but I also felt that "what would be would be" and that God would grant us the strength and grace to accept it. He has always done this and I had to believe this time would not be any different.

So anyhoo ... come 5 p.m. New Year's Eve, it was finally time to "meet" our little one and see how "he or she" was doing!

Well, the technician who performed the initial ultrasound was SO wonderful - very soothing and upbeat. She talked things over with us, and assured us she would narrate the whole procedure, which is just what she did. What followed was an amazing tour of our baby's environment and the baby himself - we got to see him moving around, sucking his thumb, his little beating heart ... and of course once she saw his little you-know-what the tech told us we were having a son!

Now, we'd heard that once, twice or THREE times before, lol! But it was music to our ears. Especially the news, at the end of the exam, that everything looked great - the tech saw no abnormalities at all. She told us she would confer with the doctor who would do his own exam and then we could go forward from there.

And this doctor was - plainly put - possibly the nicest doctor I've ever met. Just so kind and warm and supportive. He knew our concerns and he addressed them immediately, telling us we had a very healthy and handsome little boy! 

So Bill and I drove home - honestly, it seemed more like floating - and delivered the BLESSED news to our family. The boys were so cute, I wish we had videotaped it! Earlybird especially, who, up till now, had not been directly told I was expecting a baby. (Though at times he would comment on the size of my belly, lol.) Well, EB walked right up to me and put his hands on my belly and said:

"Wow, there's a baby boy in there?!"

Since then he's been exclaiming, "A baby's in mama's belly and he's coming out soon!"* And he loves the ultrasound pictures - so much so, Bill made him photocopies - and he holds them and says, "He looks just like me!"

So cute. :)

*Of course, "soon" is a rather abstract concept for an autistic child, so the five month wait will be a long one for EB. We've tried to explain that the baby will come "after the green leaves are back on the trees." Which in New England is usually mid-May. Hopefully this will give EB some perspective ... and patience!

I think the time will fly by for us ...

Well my friends, there's our little (big!) "New Year" news ... and I am now officially back from my holiday break. I have a few posts percolating ... a learning room update, planners & planning, baby lists and some winter television posts. Did you all watch the Call the Midwife Holiday Special? We waited till last night to watch it - it was wonderful! And I simply CANNOT WAIT for Downton to begin this Sunday night! I will certainly have a chat post up next Monday morning. :)

So Happy New Year, everyone! I hope 2013 will be a great one for you!

See you all again sometime soon ...


And Speaking of Giveaways ...

My friend Charlotte alerted me to this absolutely adorable giveaway just now and I wanted to share it with you all here. And not just because it will enter my name in the giveaway (wink!), but because these things are so darn cute you really all must take a peek ...

Hosted by Jessica Thornton @ HousewifespiceA Diaper Cake $25 Gift Card Giveaway!

These cute little confections are created by ediapercakes, a home-based business, and how brillant! I've never seen these before, but of course, I've been out of the baby loop for some time. ;)

Which cake is your favorite?

Sunshine cake

I'm quite partial to the "You are My Sunshine Cake" myself. :)

The winner of the giveaway will be announced at Jessica's site next Friday, December 14th. Which happens to be my Earlybird's birthday, so I consider that a very lucky day.

* Whoever wins the $25 gift certificate will be lucky indeed! *

And you know, this makes me wonder ... I've been chatting up my pregnancy here for a few months now, but I'd love to know how many of my readers are pregnant as well, and if so, when are you due? It seems from the buzz I hear, here and there around the internet, there are plenty of us pregnant this year!


Well, my friends, I must be off. Apparently there are hungry mouths to feed and that means I'd best get off this couch! But I hope you all have a nice weekend, and thanks so much for stopping by ...

I'll see you here again very soon!


Weekly Bits of Domestic Bliss

VH nest 1
Of Note

Mum's birthday (26th), Cyber Monday (26th), A Charlie Brown Christmas on ABC (28th), Full Beaver Moon (28th), Feast of St. Andrew, Patron of Scotland (30th), B&N Educator Discount Day (1st), First Sunday in Advent (2nd)


Quite chilly, in the 40s - mostly sunny. Flurries on Tuesday.

Beautiful bittersweet vines growing alongside the river out back.

Make plans (themes/practical considertations) for winter nature walks.

Watch for the full moon Wednesday night.


Put up Christmas decorations.

Do outdoor lights/decorations.

Begin online Christmas orders.

Organize boys' holiday outfits, haircuts.

Dinner Menus:

M - pesto pasta, crescent rolls (boys' fave), leftover meatballs

T - meatball/tortellini soup, garlic rolls

W - pulled chicken salad wraps, leftover soup

T - taco potatoes (ground turkey), fiesta salads

F - homemade pizza night, raw veggies/dip

S - *takeout*

S - pork roast, potatoes & squash, apple-cheddar muffins

Desserts: Scottish shortbread, oatmeal-fruit cookies, peppermint-brownie sundaes (Sunday Sundaes)

Dear Baby ...

(14 Weeks)

I felt you move for the first time on Thanksgiving morning! Oh my, what a wonderful feeling!

Feeling much less nausea these days! Just a little when I take my prenatal vitamin and sometimes around suppertime.

Keeping to home as much as possible - a quiet schedule helps my energy level!

Earlybird has noticed Mama's belly, but when he asked "What's wrong with your belly?" and I answered, "Well, it's getting kind of big, isn't it?" he simply shrugged and said, "Yeah, wow!" Nothing else, lol.

Learning Themes:

Waiting for Winter

"Animals of Christmas"

Work on using nice language - how we speak matters.

Christmas "food shopping" lists with EB.

Excited About ~ Working On:

A simple, peaceful Advent ~ reducing noise and clutter, both visual and auditory.

Bill set up "Classical Christmas" music for me on my phone - I park it on the kitchen counter with little speakers ... soothing background music for this time of year.


Bring home the tree this weekend!

Address/stamp Christmas cards.

Watch Take Peace: A Corgi Cottage Christmas (on loan from library).

Brainstorm "teacher gifts" with the boys.


Happy Tuesday, my friends! I hope your week is off to a great start! I apologize I am so behind on comment replies ... I will be catching up over the next few days. (I always seem to think I have much more time (and energy) than I actually do!) I truly appreciate the time and thought you put into your messages. :)

Well, have yourselves a good day ... I will see you here again very soon!