Wednesday, August 31, 2011

By the Numbers : 23 week appt

stats from my last prenatal visit a couple weeks ago.

112/60 - blood pressure

10 lbs - weight gain so far this pregnancy. Never fear, I gained 5 more last week alone. I'll be a tubbo by the end and happy for it. This also isn't taking into account the 5 or so I lost early in pregnancy. I'm pretty much on target for my last pregnancy stats and I gained a respectable 35lbs total.

154 - baby girl's bpm

21 - weeks my belly is measuring. Hope she hits a growth spurt soon!

We're over half way there!

Monday, August 29, 2011

19 1/2 months

So not quite the milestone that 18 months is, but hey, we're running tad behind.

Some snapshots from our 1 1/2 year old's life

New Events -

We took Eli to his first high school football game - He held onto his Atlanta Falcons football for dear life (our high school team is the Fulton Falcons!) He was very unsure of where we'd taken him until half-time. Then he loved it and now sleeps with his football.

Elijah had his first hair cut! I barely trimmed his hair in the bath tub last week and almost boohoo-ed. I was the one pleading with Rob that it was time to cut it, but when it came down to trimming his locks, I was a wuss. The plus side is, Eli can see again and doesn't look quite as unkempt.

New weird/funny behaviors -

He'll stand on a small square (book, flyer, mail) lift both arms above his head and roar with all his might. I'd love to know what he's imitating and where he saw it.

He likes to wave at cars.

He'll cover his ears with his hands or plug them with his fingers. (best we can tell he likes to not hear us talk!)

He can jump! It began after a storytime where one of the sing-a-long songs had the kids jumping in the middle. He came home and practiced. It started off solely as an arm movement and deep knee bend, but by the next day his little feet (or foot at a time) made it off the ground. Super cute!

Elijah LOVES to sing. He'll sing along with us, with the radio, or by himself. Recently, we were over at a friends house and Eli ended up with a keyboard. Our discussion quieted down and we overheard Eli "singing", we looked over and he was Stevie Wonder-ing his heart out. Eyes closed, swaying and singing. Oh, man I wish I knew where he saw this stuff!

Daily Life

we keep a count of spied dogs and cats on our morning walks. (Dogs in fences do not count). We also point to EVERY mailbox, tree, and big rocks along the way.

Talking- ehh, we're getting there. "NO" is proudly announced at any given occasion. "Eli, did you sleep well?" "NO!" or, when we sit him down to dinner "NO" before he gobbles it up. As for other words, I give in way to easily and give him what he grunts for. "Bad Mommy"

Eating - He's a grazer, which I feed into being a pregger. We have breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, second lunch, etc. He takes a few bites at each unless he LOVES it. Homemade frozen yogurt is his favorite. He did all of the sudden demand to be given a spoon to eat with. We never taught him and he's ALWAYS fed himself with his hands. But he caught on really quickly. Awesome, something else I didn't have to do!

FINALLY! I have a great sleeper. I think our biggest issue earlier was lack of schedule and multiple transitions, but now I know the joy of sleep again! Eli goes down like a champ at night. Our schedule, around 8:30p I change his diaper, get his pjs on, and a fresh sippy. Rob then reads to him. And then, silence. No fuss, no crying, no drama. It's like he doesn't even know he could pitch a fit. Sometimes, I get him out of his crib at night just to hold him. It's not 5 minutes and he's flopping around or squirming out of my arms. He likes his crib! Good thing I've got a new little one to hold on the way.

Eli takes one afternoon nap- right after lunch for about 2 hours. Sometimes, it's 3 if I'm LUCKY. It used to be 3... oh, well.

Sundays used to be really stressful. Eli couldn't stay still or quiet during church and had melt downs in the nursery. But, lately he will flat out run into his Sunday school class. I think he's figured out that he's (usually) the oldest kid in there. He enjoys playing baby dictator- taking all the other babies' toys from them and making them cry, running around like a crazy man and sitting in every chair, stroller, bumbo seat, and rocker that he can find

Potty Training - we never started and we're not going to. I decided that more stressful than having 2 in diapers is asking a not-ready-to-be-potty-trained boy, "Do you have to potty?" every 30 minutes. We'll wait until he's ready. I can't believe he'll be out of diapers in such a short time anyway. His potty is currently used as a stepping stool while he brushes his teeth.

18 month appt

27 lbs
30 in
2 shots (We're almost up to date on all our shots that we're choosing to get)
and a finger prick - Eli is a champ with shots, but the finger prick - you would have thought they'd cut his finger off. To make it worse he looked at me as I was holding his bleeding, pulsing little finger, like, "why did you bring me here." It was awful.

Rob and I spend part of every evening yammering on and on about how cool he is, how in love we are with him, how he couldn't possibly be any cuter - we think he's amazing!

The pictures are the aftermath of a recent Chick-fil-a Kid's Night. We had an awesome dinner, Eli enjoyed a free kids' meal and then... Eli and Rob built a tool box, Elijah got a balloon and gave the Chick-fil-a Cow a high five after chasing him down. We were impressed Eli wasn't afraid of the huge cow!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Colvin Family Farm CSA

One of my favorite things about living in Lancaster County was the abundance of farms, markets, and the variety of produce at our finger tips. Just a few miles outside of town, big family farms began to dominate the landscape. It was a beautiful and oh so tasty place to live.

Fast forward to our move to Knoxville, TN. When we first arrived, I was hopeful to find a similar setting what with this being East Tennessee and all. But it took some searching. I found a co-op market, Three Rivers, a local dairy that doesn't use hormones and learned about a grass-fed beef farm outside Knoxville. (It's my dream to one day buy a half-cow with a friend. I would also like to own 5 chickens please Rob Hartley.) And then, I saw a flier for a CSA (community supported agriculture).

After doing a little online searching, we joined the Colvin Family Farm CSA and have been happy members ever since. Every week we get a half-bushel of whatever is ripe from our local farm. We love it and have loved trying new veggies and experimenting with how to cook them (our favorite has been Patty Pan Squash!). Sometimes there is even a loaf of fresh bread or jam in our share. The only downside was when veggies were first coming in I was super early pregnant and on a strict diet of fast food and potatoes. Seriously, nothing green could touch my lips. But since the early days of kale, spinach, and broccoli have passed and I'm farther along, we have a couple veggie side dishes every night. Lately, tomatoes, snap beans, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, potatoes, onions, herbs and more fill our bags.

I'm looking forward to the members' Farm Day where we can all take a trip to the farm to see where our veggies are grown. I think Elijah will love it!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Vacation 2011

Mid July we took our first family vacation with Elijah (out of the womb). We had a couple vacations with Eli in utero. We spent a long weekend in Philly on our way home from Africa. We took an anniversary trip to New York - where I was sure everyone was being nice to me out of the kindness of their hearts. They couldn't possibly tell I was pregnant in my heavy overcoat (I was 32 weeks! - denial!)

But, this was our first real vacation as a family. And, not just our little family, but we join Rob's parents and brother's family as well. It was a special vacation place too. Pensacola Beach, where we were married 4.5 years ago.

Pensacola here we come! We flew from Knoxville, TN to Gulf Breeze, FL direct! I had nightmares about flying with Elijah (and stuff) for weeks ahead of time. How are we going to carry everything and keep tabs on Eli AND manage boarding passes and IDs. I contemplated buying one of those kid leashes (and, you're welcome Eli - I did not.) However, both the Knoxville and Gulf Breeze airports were super tiny (duh) and really friendly. They even had amazingly clean bathrooms! (two thumbs up from this pregger.) We made it on board with no issues. Even while carrying all that you see below. Can you believe ALL THIS we carried on for free? Even the sleeping kid. 2 carry-ons, 2 personal items, 1 carseat, 1 jogging stroller, 1 child and a hat....and a monkey...and a sippy cup.

Eli did amazing all through the flight. Mostly because we brought the Wonder Pets DVD along with us. A few cookies, a little TV who wouldn't be happy?

Eli LOVED the beach and reverted to crawling. He loved to "splash" up the sand and must have liked the way it felt. The little crab crawled backward, forward and sideways in it. He wallowed in it like a little pig.

We tried our hand at sand castles and wading pools under the big umbrella. I think he liked the sand more than the water.

We took some walks on the beach. And, a couple days we even went out on the bikes - though it was really too hot to go too far or for too long. (note Rumble's pudge in the bike picture!)

Me and my babies. At this stage of pregnancy, I think most people gave me a double take wondering if the belly was old or new baby weight. I did have a good cover to indulge in more eating - too bad it couldn't be more seafood.

We spent more time on the Sound than the Gulf. The waves were fairly non-existent (great for Eli) and there were activities! Rob and his family spent a lot of time out on the water in Jet Skis, paddle boats, the obstacle course, and more. Preggo's aren't allowed on Jet Skis (according to Rob) so he took me out on a consolation Sailing trip. It was really cool and our first activity with only Rumble. We even saw a dolphin. We also took a Blue Angels' Cruise. I've always wanted to see them (well, always as in since we've been going to Pensacola) And I finally did! We went out on a pontoon boat early one morning and watched them practice. They were too fast for my camera!

Well, that was pretty much it, besides a lot of eating, some board game playing, a night of fireworks and daily naps.

All that fun gets you One Happy Hartley Family!

Kangaroo Pouch

Today is one of those days where I wish I were more marsupial-like. I would reach down in my pouch, pull out my growing baby girl, kiss her face all over and put her back to cook for awhile longer.

Me and Rumble after church (22 weeks)

Friday, August 5, 2011


I love it when friends share any of the following:

1. psychotic fears
2. family holiday mishaps
3. major parenting snafus


Because they are usually hilarious and always make me feel more normal and more easily able to enjoy my own of the above.

Months ago, Rob and I were talking to some new parent friends and it came up that earlier that summer (last year), we'd tried to take Eli out for what we thought was a 10 minute shaded walk to a lake's edge. After taking the wrong trail, it turned into a 35 minute hike in 100+ degree south GA sun and heat with a 6 month old. I still don't know if Eli passed out from the heat or just took a nap, but by the trail's end Eli was stripped down to nothing with me fanning him and yelling at Rob to run him out to the car, Save him! I also considered having Rob pee on him until I remembered that was for jellyfish stings, not heat stroke.

That unleashed a ton of our peers 'Parenting Oops'.

We'll, it's my turn again. Below is a list of crazy fears I had about having a girl. When we were expecting Elijah, I wanted a boy so badly. I think I willed him to be a boy. That or it was all the African women who blessed me with a firstborn boy. This time around, instead of wanting one or the other - I just wanted a healthy baby, but was scared of a girl. I'm a bit of a chicken and am revealing my list to the world only after I worked through my irrational fears. That's just how I roll.

1. Elijah won't have a super close-in-age brother

I think I did mention this one before and I was sure he'd think I'd ruined his life. He may still feel this way when I bring a baby who's either crying or hungry 24/7 into his life, but perhaps this will pass. Now, I'm thinking he'll feel less threatened by a girl-child who has no chance of replacing our precious baby boy. And, I guess, he'll have a 50/50 chance next time when he's old enough to appreciate it, perhaps. I've also had lots of people tell me how they're actually closer to their siblings of the opposite sex than the same. There's hope!

2. What if she does everything in life better than me?

or does cooler stuff than me? or etc.... Won't I be jealous? It took me awhile to own up to this one. I hadn't felt this way about a boy. Who cares if he plays major league baseball - that was never an option for me. How could I ever even wish that I had done that? Finally, I told Rob one night just before going to sleep and he rolled over and said, "all our kids are going to be better than us." Just that. And went to sleep. I laid there for about a minute and thought, "I hope so, too" and that was the end of that. Of course!

3. What if she's nothing like me?

Or, worse, what if she hates everything I like and we have nothing in common? I got to thinking about it and I don't think I was much like my mom when I was little, either. But, she related to me just fine and now, it turns out we're more alike that not. resolved.

4. Will she make me feel old?

No idea why I thought about this more with having a little girl than with a little boy. Perhaps , because I'll see her playing games I did and think, man, I used to do that... 20 years ago! I guess it will happen. Maybe I'll join in her games and show her how it's done.

5. And the kicker, I'll have more responsibility this time around

- is it wrong? right now, I feel as though 98% of my job with Eli is loving him, feeding him, and trying to keep him clean. Rob has so much more on his shoulders. He'll have to teach him how to throw a football, not let him become a pony league drop-out, teach him how to treat women and be A Man. I was on easy street. Now, I'm going to have to do the girl version of all of these! Pressure! There's no way around it.

There you have it friends, Enjoy!

I'm now 110% super elated about Rumble Roo.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I Can Can*

Mid-July, we decided to make our own Blueberry Jam after my mom brought some back with her to us from our trip to North Carolina. It was the most amazing jam I'd ever tasted. I'd been wanting to learn how to can this summer anyway, so I thought the promise of 12 half pint jars of heaven was just the motivation I needed to tackle CANNING!

I grew up watching my mom can summer fruits and veggies - but I think the only leg up that gave me was that I knew it could be done.

The process began with getting Rob out to help me in the blueberry patch. We spent a little over an hour picking almost two gallons of blueberries. It was hard, hot, chigger-ful work.

Then we brought our bounty home. Washed them and dried them.

After they were good and dry, I dyed my hands blue mashing enough to make 9 cups of blue goop and added 6 cups of sugar stirring until it was dissolved and boiled until it reached the gelling point. Whew, gotta love that ratio of fruit:sugar!

Then I worked quickly to get the hot jam funneled into hot sterilized jars. Put the tops on and placed 6 at a time into a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Then, I gingerly lifted them out and listened to the sweet popping sound of each and every lid. The popping lids means that the lids have seal and your canning mission was a success. I was incredibly proud.

So far this summer, I've helped my mom and aunt can garlic dill pickles (oh yum! They are great!) and our small group had a tomato canning party. Before the season's over, I'd love to can some fig preserves from our fig tree in the back yard and make some muscadine jelly.

*Don't credit me with the fun blog post title - I think it's Ball's official Canning tag line this year to revive interest in canning!

Also, I can Can only subpar-ly. I'm still learning. I give myself a B-. The jam is oh so tasty, but may not quite just right in consistency and there is a rougue whole blueberry every now and then. But, on the bright side, it won't give us botulism and worst case scenario we have home made blueberry syrup!