Thursday, March 31, 2011

Gender Reveal Party

On Saturday we invited a few friends and family members over for a gender reveal party. It's a really great reason to throw a party! I had lots of fun planning the small soirée. Which was planned well before we found out the gender of #2. I decided to go with a green theme for several reasons 1) it's gender neutral 2) we were also celebrating the start of spring and what says spring better than a little green? 3) I really like the color green :)

I must confess I was very bad about taking pictures of the actual event. So there are before and after's of the decor, but I was having too much fun during the event to remember to take pictures. Sorry :(

There are lots ideas on the internet for creative ways to reveal the gender. I wanted to do something creative and I felt like the blue/pink cake or cupcake had been done before. I saw one couple who put together a scavenger hunt for adults. I contemplated putting together a scavenger hunt for the little kids, but the oldest child that could attend was 2 and I wasn't sure if it would work for the age group we had. So, literally 2 days before the party I was perusing blogland for dinner recipes when I came across this recipe on Sugar Derby. The next day I decided to further pursue the cake ball in a chocolate chip recipe and when I visited the site her latest post was a gender reveal cookie. I knew instantly I had to try it, but after a huge sugar cookie fail earlier in the week I was a bit hesitant. However, I'm so glad I tried. This recipe has several steps, but it is not hard and they turned out perfect.

The night of the party we split people up according to their guess for boy or girl. We gave each one a cookie and let them find out the gender. The "winning" team got to eat 1st.

After devouring the food we played a rousing game of Apples to Apples and we sat and chatted for a while while the kids ransacked the house :)

It was a wonderful way to celebrate the start of spring and the start of this little girl's life!
Gender Reveal Cookies
Simple mantle

Chalkboard w/ paper bunting
Food table centerpiece

Mini paper bunting
Some cute little boy :)
Cucumbers and dip
Limeade paired with a vintage ice bucket
Green sugar cookies...remind me never to make sugar cookies again, they tasted good, but they did not look great
The after shot

Party Menu...trying to stay w/ the green theme
Green apples w/ caramel dip
Sugar cookies with green glaze
Cucumbers w/ dip
Chocolate chip cookies w/ cake balls

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It's A...(Take 2)










the size of a banana

has 10 toes

& 10 fingers

likes to wiggle

& is a Girl!
Oh heaven help could get very interesting around here :)

Sorry for the bad ultrasound picture, no disc of pictures this time...just old-fashioned scanning.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

20 weeks

I hate how these pictures always have a shadow...I'm going to have to work on that, no one wants to look larger in a pregnant picture :)

How far along: 20 weeks 5 days
Total weight gain/loss: 13 lbs.
Maternity clothes: pants yes and shirts sometimes
Sleep: only side sleeping with a pillow b/w my legs
Best moment this week: Seeing a healthy baby on the ultrasound
Movement: Yes, especially at morning and night or when Sawyer is sitting on my lap
Food cravings: nothing to speak of lately
What I am missing: ?? I'm feeling good and pretty much back to normal
What I am looking forward to: Changing up the nursery to fit 2 kiddos
Milestones: Finding out the gender

My doctor's appointment went well. First we had the ultrasound. And the baby seems to be perfectly healthy and growing right on schedule. Our ultrasound tech was not nearly as good as the tech we had in Kansas, but he did a thorough job of measuring the baby and checking all the organs. However, he had a difficult time getting any good shots of the baby as it wanted to hide in my pelvis. We got a foot shot and a face shot, but no profile :( We got spoiled in Kansas because we had a 4-D ultrasound every time, which really helps you see the baby. Unfortunately, our pictures this time resemble a skeleton more than a guessing who the baby looks like this time, I guess we'll just be surprised :)

The great news is everything looks healthy with the baby. I'm feeling good, my weight was once again in check, and my blood pressure was also good. The baby's heartbeat was strong and rhythmic at 150 bpm.

And we found out the gender...more to come in the next post.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Spring Cleaning

This past weekend the temperature was brisk, but the sun was shining so we undertook the daunting project of cleaning the garage.

We have lived in this house almost 1 year and thus far the primary job of the garage has been a workshop for all of our DIY projects. Plus some boxes that were put in the garage during the move never got moved to their appropriate spots. The garage has really been annoying me for a couple of reasons 1) I did not feel like we were using the storage space to its potential 2) It was not organized and 3) We could only fit 1 car in the garage.

First we emptied the garage and sorted everything based on its purpose (i.e. lawn care, strollers, car care, woodworking, camping, etc.)

Then Kyle got to work tearing down part of the ugly and unstable shelving system installed by the previous owner. He had the ingenious idea to repurpose the old kitchen counter into a work bench. It's a large L-shaped counter and within 30 minutes he had recycled the old shelving wood and turned it into a work bench that will have plenty of storage for all his woodworking paraphernalia. Plus it will make his work much more efficient.

Sawyer loved being in on all the action. He especially loved taking stuff out of the trash pile and bringing it back into the garage :) Thankfully after helping he took a nice long nap so we could continue to work.

I spent the afternoon organizing all the stuff and giving it a proper home. While the project is not fully complete I'm happy to report that the garage has been cleaned, decluttered, made more efficient, organized, and it now holds 2 vehicles quite nicely. Pretty rewarding for 1 afternoon of work!

The fruits of our labor: the trash pile

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

12 month toys

For memories sake and to help those who may soon have a 1 year old to buy for here are some of Sawyer's favorite toys @ 12 months. These toys are not necessarily the exact toys Sawyer has, but they are very similar. If you click on the name of toy beneath the picture you will be directed to the source site.

1. Golf Clubs: My parents have a golf club set and when we were in Colorado for Thanksgiving Sawyer was constantly swinging the clubs and running after the balls. When I spotted half a set of similar golf clubs at the Salvation army for $1 I quickly snagged it. S and G play with the clubs daily. Maybe someday they will actually help with his hand/eye coordination.

2. Stacking cups: these have been a favorite toy since he was about 6 months and they continue to entertain. This is our go-to toy for outings. They are so compact yet you can do numerous activities with them making them perfect for hours of entertaining. We even use them in the bathtub because there are holes in the bottom of each cup.

3. Leap Frog birthday cake: Sawyer received this for his 1st birthday and he loved it instantly. He dances to the music and it teaches counting skills.

4. Riding toy: Sawyer received a riding toy for Christmas and developmentally he has grown leaps and bounds since getting this toy. He learned to climb on, use his feet, and of course he loves to press all the buttons. He especially loves to be pushed around, but I can see this toy being a favorite for some time as he can start using his own leg power to zoom around the room.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A few smiles

I don't know about where you live, but it's been dreary around here. But these smiles always brighten my day!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I just can't help myself

Making girly baby gifts is too fun.

Ruffle butt onesie paired with argyle babylegs

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Let's Talk Food

This pregnancy I've had some interesting cravings...

First, before I even knew I was pregnant all I wanted was jello and apple sauce.
Picture source: Recipe Papa-I'm going to have to try this recipe

Then there was the whole must-have-red-meat-all-the-time, but no white meat phase. Bring on the cheeseburgers!
Picture source: Dad Cooks

I've also been craving fruity sweets over chocolate, which is unheard of around these parts.
Picture source: MySnackShop

And now I'm in this place where I crave what I see other people eating on television or hear them talking about. For instance my SIL mentioned donuts once and then I couldn't stop thinking about donuts until I had one. I don't think I've ever asked for a donut before, so this is semi-strange. Then I made the mistake of watching a season of the Gilmore Girls on DVD. Lets just say the two main characters do not have the best eating habits so I was craving things like marshmallows, hot dogs, pizza, candy, etc. Maybe I need to start watching healthy eating shows and I would have more nutritious cravings? Well alas we don't have cable so that won't be possible, but I do think I'm on a Gilmore Girls strike until after the pregnancy.
Picture Source: BlissTree

By the way as I searched for a picture of cheeseburgers I ran across this image...I think my craving of hamburgers and donuts has finally ceased. This looks so gross.

Krispy Kreme Bacon Cheeseburger

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

14 Months

Dear Sawyer,

You astonish us daily with your cuteness and silliness. Here's what you have been up to the past month.

Learning words like crazy. Things we haven't even tried to teach you! Don't know where you picked them up, but we're glad you did.

  • All Done
  • Daddy
  • Momma
  • Uh-Oh
  • Bye-Bye
  • Hello
  • Please (Pah)
  • Okay (otay)
And you can communicate quite well without really using words as you are very good at pointing and grunting or shaking your head no.

You are getting a set of molars on top and your canines on top, but still only 2 teeth on the bottom. Your teeth total is 10.

You kiss and hug on command now. Mommy may or may not take advantage of this new skill.

Just a few days ago you started to stick out your bottom lip when you wanted something and we said no. It's very hard not to smile when you do this.

If you see your shoes you want to put them on.

When you're not sick and eating well you sleep through the night consistently.

You had your 1st diaper rash this month. It looked pretty painful, but you never complained.

Your newest favorite toys are your mega blocks and throwing the couch pillows.

You LOVE to be tickled. You even laugh just knowing you're going to be tickled. Every night the 1st part of the bedtime routine is tickle time. Usually daddy will chase you around the playroom tickling you until you are laughing so hard you can barely breath. This really wears you out because you are great about going to sleep immediately after we lay you down.

You've acquired a new climbing habit. I've seen you climb up the slide and then proceed to climb onto the craft table, which is a big no-no. You also love to climb into the toy box and then throw out all of the toys.

This month your personality is really starting to shine as you can easily entertain yourself. And one skill you must have learned from daddy, you make yourself laugh multiple times a day.

This morning before the craziness of the day began I held you in my lap while you fiddled with a toy. Miracle of all miracles you sat in my lap for about 10 minutes. Thank you for indulging momma in some snuggle time.

You have your moments of naughtiness, but for the most part you are a joy to be around.

Your daddy and I love you and feel so blessed that God has entrusted us with your life.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

#2 Announcement

I don't think I ever posted how we told our family about the upcoming arrival of baby #2. The 1st time around announcement stories can be found here. For the 2nd baby we had to tell many family members over the phone or Skype due to distance. However, we were able to tell some family in person. In fact we did it on Sawyer's birthday. Here's the moment captured on video.

Untitled from Kristen Schenk on Vimeo.

Sorry about the bad morning lighting, but I think you get the picture :)

We subsequently wrapped that shirt up several times during the day, so Sawyer could open it for the family members on Skype.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A New Bathroom for Under $15

The goal for this bathroom was to make it functional and pretty while using very little money (as we'll have to invest mucho money in the other 2 bathrooms :)

This room is our downstairs powder room. It's approximately 18 square feet. I've actually questioned whether some of Kyle's football players will be able to fit in this bathroom, but I'm very excited for it to be functional. I spend most of my time with the kids downstairs, so it's not very convenient to go up 2 flights of stairs to use the restroom. I either have to leave them and pray they will behave themselves while I'm gone, carry them both upstairs, or let them slowly climb themselves. And with another baby on the way having a bathroom so close to the playroom will be very handy. Ya know, so I can make sure they are not strangling the new born.


Lots of ugly wallpaper that was poorly applied, peel & stick tile that did not fit together, and no tp holder, towel rod or mirror.

We actually demolished this bathroom in May 2010. The same weekend we demolished the kitchen. Obviously not my brightest idea. The bathroom literally sat in a destroyed state for over 9 months. Finally, when my dad was visiting I got the gumption to clean it out. Then my dad fixed the bad dry wall spots and made a support for the sink. Then I got busy painting the room. Kyle put in the flooring, trim, and toilet.

The bathroom during the renovation process w/ all of our helpers.

And for the big (or shall I say small) reveal

Price Breakdown
Paint: free using a gallon we already had
Flooring: free using leftover wood floor from upstairs
Trim: free using leftover trim from upstairs
Sink: kept the existing one
Toilet kept the existing one
Light: kept the existing one (only light fixture in the entire house that was bearable when we moved in)
Mirror: $2.50 from Restore
TP Holder: $1.50 from Restore
Towel Ring: $1.50 from Restore
Rug: would have been free if I could use the hand-woven silk rug I purchased in Morocco, but considering this bathroom will be oft used by potty training toddlers I decided to buy a cheap rug for the time being, $5 from Gabriel Brothers
Decor: purchased from our travels around the world
Grand Total: $10.50

The walls are looking pretty bare, but I've got something up my sleeve. The inspiration for this bathroom is travel. Long ago (okay 5 years ago in college) when I traveled to fun places like Europe and South America I decided I didn't want to buy petty little souvenirs. So, I came up with the idea that each new place I traveled I would buy a piece for a future bathroom. Now that time has come. I have a rug from Morocco, a vase from Greece, pictures from France, Mexico, and London; a fan from China, etc. And I'm so excited to finally be able to display everything! I'll report back once everything gets on the walls.

Linking up to the Friday Remodelaholic Party:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


He may look silly when he wakes up, but at least he's in a happy mood.

Monday, March 7, 2011

I've been told I'm hyper...

Picture Source: WebMD

We now interrupt regularly scheduled programming for an update on Kristen's thyroid. I'm sure you're all riveted, but I need to write this down so I remember for future reference.

I purposely did not Google anything before the appointment, while the internet can be a great resource it can also be a source of unnecessary worry. So I went to the appointment with very little knowledge. On Thursday I went to the endocrinologist. I felt much more informed after the appointment. Quick recap of the positives:

1) I have hyperthyroidism, not hypo (I assumed I had hypothyroidism).
2) There is a good chance my thyroid levels will return to normal following my pregnancy.
3) The doctor's 1st option is not medication due to being pregnant. Hyper is treated different than hypo.
4) I am demonstrating none of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
5) While the baby may be experiencing hyperthyroid symptoms now(but hopefully not, if my levels are well controlled) once the baby is born it will not be a factor as their own thyroid will take over.

The negatives:
1) I can't blame my recent increase in weight on my thyroid. Hyperthyroidism actually causes most people to lose weight.
2) I can't blame my fatigue on my thyroid as this is not a symptom of a hyper thyroid. Though my fatigue has greatly improved in the last few weeks and my energy levels are back to normal.
3) I must have blood drawn every 4 weeks for the rest of the pregnancy :( to monitor the thyroid levels. Oh how I loathe having blood drawn.

Now for a more detailed account. The PA thoroughly explained that in both lab reports (1/10/11 and 2/18/11) my TSH (a hormone that is generated in the pituitary gland and interacts with the thyroid) was less than .01. Normal range is a TSH of 5 to .05. Because my TSH is abnormally low she believed my thyroid hormones (Free T4 and Free T3) would be abnormally high causing hyperthyroidism. I had my blood drawn to do a full thyroid panel.

Hyperthyroidism develops when the body is exposed to excessive amounts of thyroid hormone. This disorder occurs in 1% of the American population. During pregnancy this condition is most common in women with morning sickness, but I experienced no morning sickness. The opposite of a hyper thyroid is, hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone production). It is found in 1 out of 40 pregnant women, is less likely to resolve itself after pregnancy, and requires prescription medication.

Signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism include: fast heart rate, anxiety, weight loss, trembling hands, intolerance of warm temperatures, leg swelling, vision disturbances, muscle weakness. I have experienced no symptoms. Severe and untreated hyperthyroidism in the mother can cause preeclampsia and adverse effects on the baby including rapid heart rate, low birth weight, and birth defects.

On Friday I received some results from my blood work. My TSH remains at zero, however my thyroid hormones (Free T3 and Free T4) are within an acceptable range (not sure of the exact number). Therefore at this time the Dr. wants to continue to monitor my levels, but no prescription drugs are recommended. I will hear the rest of the results next week.

I will return in 5 weeks to once again check my hormone levels.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

It's A...

Well we don't know yet, but we'd love to hear your opinion. Vote whether you think #2 is a boy or a girl. I know there are a lot of you out there that read and don't comment, but it's really easy to vote so just do it (you don't need a google account).

And in case you subscribe to old wive's tales here's where we stand with this pregnancy.

Heart Beat
140+ beats per minute = a girl, below 140 bpm = a boy
At 16 weeks the heart beat was 142. Girl
However, Sawyer's heartbeat was always significantly over 140.

Breaking Out
Breaking out during pregnancy=girl, smooth skin=boy
During Sawyer's pregnancy I had baby soft skin, but this time I've been breaking out like crazy though it has improved since the 1st trimester. Girl

Sweet & Sour
Craving ice cream or citrus = girl while craving salty or sour foods =boy.
Truth be told I always crave sweets whether pregnant or not. This time around I have been wanting more fruity sweets than chocolate, which is a little unusual for me. Maybe that's just because Starbursts came out with Fave"Reds" or maybe it's a Girl
Sidenote: if you haven't tried the Starburst Fave"reds" run don't walk to your nearest convenience store. It's the greatest concept ever a package of Starbursts with only the red and pink flavors!

Sick = girl, little or no sickness = boy
I was never sick with Sawyer, however during the 1st trimester of this pregnancy the nauseous feeling was there all the time though I am feeling completely better now. Girl

Even or Odd
Determine the mother's age at conception and the year of conception. If both are even or odd it's a girl. If one's even and one's odd, it's a boy.
27 and 2010 Boy

We find out the gender March 25th (hopefully)! I'll let you all know then. In fact for those of you living in Canton we may do a gender reveal party because I think it might be fun and it will be close to spring so we might have the 1st BBQ of the season.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Who knew

balloons could be such a great source of entertainment?

For Sawyer's birthday we blew up a package of white balloons so the kids could have a "snowball fight." Well, after over a month most of the balloons are still around providing hours of entertainment for both young and old.

Untitled from Kristen Schenk on Vimeo.

Untitled from Kristen Schenk on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Snow Ice Cream

So, I've been seeing tons of snow ice cream recipes around blog land and I was intrigued for several reasons 1) the recipes seemed simple and 2) I love ice cream.

Last week the weather was so warm and all the snow melted. I could sense spring, but then the other day it started snowing A LOT. While I am disappointed that we will not see the grass for at least another month I decided to seize the opportunity. Plus I knew we didn't have any sweets in the house and this would be a fantastic dessert.

I set a very large bowl outside to collect the snow as it fell. Then I used this recipe from Back to Her Roots found on Spearmint Baby to concoct our snow ice cream.
Ingredients: 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup milk (if you have dry snow like us you will need more), 1 tsp. vanilla (or other flavoring of your choice), food coloring (optional), and a whole lotta snow (approximately 13 cups)

I measured out approximately half the snow I collected and stirred in the sugar, milk, and vanilla. Once it was thoroughly mixed I added the other half of the snow plus a few drops of food coloring and then stirred it all together.

You can serve it immediately or put it in the freezer to enjoy later. Of course when it comes to sweets I don't wait until later, so Kyle and I devoured it quickly.