My Big Girl

It seems like time is just flying by. The old adage is true that time flies when you're having fun...and we are definitely having the time of our lives with our Plum. My baby is getting so big! I was just looking at *old* pictures...*way* back when she was just in her first month...and I literally sat here at the computer crying just looking at how tiny and fragile she was. It seems like we brought her home just yesterday and yet it seems like she's always been with me.

The pictures above are of her in her new Christmas high chair. The amber teething necklace was also a gift from Mom. I hope it helps; those toofs are definitely trying to make their way into the world. Although we had a gigantic snow and ice storm which prevented us from traveling to Grandma and Grandpa H's for Christmas, we still enjoyed a super-cozy and very special first Christmas snowed in, just our little family. Now that the weather has subsided we'll be celebrating with the grandparents H this coming weekend. It's kinda fun; we get Christmas extended this year! The holidays will continue as grandparents T are coming mid-January. I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy and lucky and blessed right now... so on that note I think I'm going to climb into bed next to my loves and hold this feeling in my heart. Good night, sweet friends.



Celeriac is your Friend

We signed up for an organic, local fruit and vegetable delivery service a couple months ago in an effort to eat healthier and focus on local, in season foods. As you can see, it's encouraged us to try some new things. We're pretty vegalicious here at the HTH household but there are some veggies that we hadn't tried, the above being one of them. As it turns out, the aforementioned is a celery Root, or celeriac and it ended up in a quite delicious potato/celeriac gratin. My favorite thing about this service, provided by Organics to You, it opening up our box and decided what to cook from our surprise bounty. We've also been eating so much healthier, focusing on whole foods and less processed sugars. We are on the waiting list for a CSA starting in the spring but I think this will get us through the winter nicely.

In Plum news, it seems like she is growing and changing every day. What an exciting time this is for us! She's scooting around now, rolling from front to back, grabbing everything in sight and becoming quite the little comedian. She just loves to laugh and loves to make us laugh, which we've been doing a lot of. She also is completely and utterly in love with Rigby, her new BFF. Although he's really great with her, Rigby's not quite sure that it qualifies as love just yet. I think we'll get there though.

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Plum @ 4.5 months:)

I know everyone isn't on our YouTube account so I'm posting this here, too. If you want to be added to our account so you receive our video updates, shoot me an email and I'll send you an invitation. You actually have to go in and create your own account to be able to access our videos. Sort of a pain in the arse, so I apologize in advance. *sorry!*

Another giveaway

I can't get enough of these lately. I am new the the Mama Blogosphere and had no idea how many giveaways were out there for website promotion. Here's another great one, this time for cloth dipes. It's the same as the carrier giveaways; you just need to post a comment to win. Go to Kelly's Closet to enter. Good luck!




I thought this was a really cool idea! How to make a Momsicle.


Will Blog for Baby Carrier

Since having Plum, something I would say that I couldn't live without are my baby carriers. I currently have two that I use regularly, a Yamo SSC (soft structured carrier) and a Babyhawk mei tai. To find out more check out The Baby Wearer, which is a really good resource for learning more about babywearing. They also have an FSOT where I bought my Yamo and got a grrrreat deal on it. This week is National Babywearing Week and several websites are giving away free carriers in honor. To my two prego friends out there, you can register to win on the following blogs by just posting a comment. You can also do other things to increase your odds of winning (like blogging about their contests;) To my not-prego friends and family, feel free to register and give it to us if you win! Lol...couldn't resist:) I haven't tried any of these carriers out, though both the Beco and Ergo have good reviews and are similar to the SSC that I have. I was considering both of them and would still love to have one. One thing that's really cool about the Beco and Ergo is that they have an infant insert (it's built into the Beco) that allows you to put the baby in the carrier before putting her on your back. The Beco even touts that you can pass the carrier back and forth between wearers without removing baby. Some of the many benefits of these types of carriers are being able to carry your LO on both your front and back, walk comfortably with them for extended periods of time, cook or do chores with them on your back. Many, like the Yamo I have, is good until baby reaches 40 lbs. Another nice benefit is discrete breastfeeding, although I will attest that it does take some practice! Many folks say that a ring sling works best for bfing but I have yet to try one out. Here are the following websites to register on.

Thrifty & Chic Mom is giving away a Beco Butterfly 1.0 carrier.
NW Mom Finds is giving away an Ergo.
Rookie Moms is giving away a Scootababy.

Peace & Good luck!


Playing catch up

I haven't posted for awhile but I promise we're all well and happy. I feel like I've been floating in my little Plum world, just us, filling our days with figuring this whole thing out and becoming a family. The weather hear has turned and the rainy season is upon us. We had our first day of Sun today since November began I think, and oh was it lovely! Since Plum turned a couple months old we started back on our walks together and have been walking at least 4 or 5 miles a day. I've been determined to keep it up rain or shine and so far the weather's only kept us home for a couple days. We both enjoy it so much and Plum ends up taking her morning nap during the latter half of our walk in her carrier. I also recently purchased the world's largest (and brightest-green-just-try-to-stop-me-from-walking) umbrella to hopefully keep us dry. I put her in the carrier on my front and then button her up in my sweater or jacket to keep her warm. It's an awesome setup. She gets her nap (and gets to be snuggled up against me) and I get my workout! I just read an awesome article called Urban Hikes in this issue of my new favorite magazine, Mothering, and it reminded me of us; and how I hope we'll keep up this pleasant routine.

In other Plum news, we had our 4-month checkup on Monday. Can you believe it's been 4 months? And now for the statistics for those of you who like that sort of thing;)

Weight: 13 lbs, 10.5 oz (38th %)
Height: 25 3/4 (88th %)
Head Circum. 40 1/4 (22th %)

This week baby girl has become very interested in feeling textures and has discovered her very interesting and amazing feet. She's also picked out a seemingly favorite toy, a hand-knit bunny from her Auntie, which she picked up by herself this week...and of course bunny immediately goes right in the mouth. Bunny tastes sooo good!

We also had some great news today. My parents will be coming to visit us on January 10th of next year. Yay! We're so excited for their visit and happy that we'll get to celebrate a late holiday together. I was feeling pretty bummed out as we'd decided we couldn't make it back for Christmas since we just spent a big $$$ chunk insulating the money pit....errhm..I mean...house..;)

And now for the bad news..Great Grandma D is in the hospital again. She fell today and cracked her pelvis. As awful as it sounds, apparently the doctor felt that it was akin to breaking a rib and that it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been. Please send some good thoughts her way! Knowing this woman, with her strong spirit and optimism, she'll be back in the saddle in no time.


I just found something sweet:)


Brainy Babies

Bebe and I adventured out into the world of library storytime this Wednesday...and with the exception of her being slightly scared and crying off and on, and me sweating from being out in a "social situation' for the first time in months, we had a great time;) Our local library has a Brainy Babies bilingual storytime. Hearing multiple languages in the first year of life is supposed to be good for their brain development, although with her daddy's genes she'll probably being a frickin' genius anyway:) I also thought maybe, what, with my 4 years of Spanish I might be even able to understand the children's stories since I can't understand Telemundo to save my life. Not so much the case but I did relearn the lyrics to the Itsy Bitsy Spider. They incorporated music in between the stories which they sang in both Spanish and English. For a first time mother who's never been exposed to this whole new world, it was kind of a strange experience. Lots of kids (most older than Bebe) crawling and running and motating around. What amazing chaos to be in a room full of little ones. Just a little glimpse into what's in store over the next years.

Good night all and sleep tight. Here's a pic of Plum and Pops:)


And I wax nostalgic

Last weekend was perfect. Every since I got pregnant, I've been thinking back to my childhood with happy thoughts. Even more so now that Plum is here. We went out to a U-pick farm on Saturday to pick tomatoes. The season is almost over and I just wanted a few more 'real' tomatoes in my belly. This farm was so much like where I grew up. It looked the same with a big, beautiful garden and chickens making there clucky-sweet chicken noises. We chatted with the farmers who were really nice people and called each other Mom and Dad. We paid for our produce in a box by a scale where you weighed it yourself and just put in the right amount. Before we left the woman told me to make sure and make lots of memories with our new daughter. We ended up picking 7 pounds of tomatoes and several pounds of grapes. The next day we made and canned salsa and ended up with 12 jars that we felt so proud of.

Salsa Man

The new Mei Tai carrier works great for cooking!

Our only picture from the farm

gratuitous cute baby pic for grandparents;)

sleepless in salem

I can't sleep tonight. Bebe is all snuggled up next to Daddy and I thought I'd might as well get up and write a bit. They were so sweet when I left them, my two beautiful people that look alike. A few hours ago while I was getting ready for bed it seemed like a great idea to chop on my hair. I've been wanting to cut it every since I had Plum but I just haven't been able to find the time or bring myself to spend the money on a haircut I probably will hate anyway. Right after I had her it was all falling out and now she's pulling it out so I just wear it up in an unwashed-for-two-weeks ugly ponytail;) You think I'm joking about the two weeks. I guess I've been letting myself go. Anyway, off came 4 inches. Of course I didn't get it even and it's funny looking. Rem said he cut it straight across in back tomorrow night. What a guy! I just wish I could be more put-together or hip or something. I wish I could look like my friend Megan. She's so cool. I'm just an old mom with dirty hair.


And then there where three...

I'm back! And here she is...our beautiful little girl. What an amazing journey the past 3 months have been. As I'm sure you know, we welcomed our new little Plum into our lives on July 4th. I can't even begin to explain how amazing these last months have been other than to say that this has been the best and most beautiful time of my life. I've learned so much and feel so blessed that this sweet little girl has chosen me and changed my life forever. I am so in love with this tiny person, this sweet pudding dreamgirl firefly pancake...who is only all of my very best parts.

I was induced because of preeclamsia which was a pretty wild start and certainly not how I was expecting it to go down but considering the birth went really smoothly. Poor Plum did get off to a rough start and had trouble eating her mommy snacks for the first 6 weeks but by now everything is going just great. It's late and Daddy and Plum are already asleep on the couch but I just wanted to shoot off a quick hello and post a couple pictures. I'll write more soon.


Plum and Daddy

Plum in her Peanut Shell

The new family:):):)


Going on week 34: 6 weeks to go!

I can't believe we only have six weeks left until my due date!

Time seems to be flying by. I thought I'd better include a neked belly shot this time around so you could see how much the tummy has grown! It's so funny; I was looking back at my 18 and 19 week pictures today and I remember that I thought I looked SO pregnant then and I was just tiny:) Aside from getting to the point of being a wee bit uncomfortable and short of breath, everything's been going really well. We've been working our butts off on the house lately but now that it's June we're planning on changing focus towards getting all the last minute preparations done that we need to for the baby...and hopefully doing a little relaxing before everything gets really crazy around here! I've been in nesting mode big time this last week. I've been washing baby clothes, buying diapers, baby wash, little socks and nursing bras (wee!!!) and other little things we need, doing a lot of reading about birth and breastfeeding...and we just finished our birth preparation class last week. I don't know if we really feel any more prepared or not, but at least we know what the hospitals policies are and we got to talk to some other couples going through the same big life event. Mom is coming to visit mid-June and I'm really looking forward to that. It's going to be nice to have some company and a little change of pace. If I go 2 or 3 weeks early, I might even have the baby while she's here;) I think I'll definitely be ready by then. If she would be healthy, I'd have her today. :)

On another note, our awesome friends Joe and Trace threw an amazing party for us on Memorial Day weekend. It was a blessing for our baby and it was so much fun! They had great food including dark-chocolate covered strawberries and vegan chocolate cake (yum!!!) and the icing on that cake was that my beautiful friend, Megan flew in from D.C. for the weekend. We couldn't have asked for a better party. It made us feel so loved and special. It was basically like a shower but much more casual. Oh, and we had a piñata. How many showers have you been to that were so cool that you had a piñata? That's what I thought. Joe and Tracey sent out invites that included a request for all our friends and family to send back a blessing card with a positive message, blessing, kind words or birth story for us to help support us with our upcoming event, i.e the birth of our child. We're putting all the blessing cards that we get back into a keepsake album that we can take to the hospital for positive encouragement. It has been so wonderful getting all those blessing back in the mail! We are going to treasure our album forever. They also had everyone locally that attended the blessing hand-paint onesies for us and they turned out so cute! Our little girl has a whole wardrobe of these funky-cool handmade onesies from our friends and family. Check our our Picassa album for some pictures from the blessing. Thanks Joe and Tracey and thanks to our all our wonderful friends and family for all your support and encouragement.

Love you all,


The nursery is coming along!

I ordered and assembled the nursery furniture a few weeks ago and it looks great! I'll tell you though, if we hadn't had so much Ikea assembly experience, I NEVER would have gotten the dresser together; the instructions were horrible! I had fun doing it though. Sometimes life's smallest accomplishments make you feel just great. I also bought the bedding last week. I decided to keep it neutral...you know...just in case;)

The J and I are getting ready for "another" work weekend on the house. He's now officially now started man-nesting, which I didn't realize would happen, but it did. More on that later as I think man-nesting might need a whole post dedicated to it. And it just happened as I'm slowing down I think. I'll post some more pictures soon.

Love and Peace,


Quick update

Just wanted to post a few quick pictures since it's been awhile! We've been a little lazy about taking belly pictures. I'll be 31 weeks this Thursday.

We also celebrated Jeremy's 31st birthday April 27th. We had dinner with Grandma Dell and his parents the weekend before and then just he and I celebrated on his b-day. I finally managed to make a purdy b-day cake so I have to include a gratuitous pic of that since my baking skills are hit or miss;)

The cake and some photoshop pop art I made J.

My baby's daddy. Isn't he amazing? I love this beautiful person so much it hurts sometimes.


28 weeks

Not pregnant......

and preeeeeeegnant! A little perspective changes everything. Am I really going to get bigger than this? Is it possible? What did I sign up for???!!! :)
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Our Anniversary Trip

On Easter weekend we drove to Gold Beach, Oregon, near the California/Oregon coast to get away for our 3rd wedding anniversary. It was an awesome, much-needed escape. We did a lot of hiking along the coast line, beach combing and drove down to Jedediah Smith Redwood forest in Northern California. It was so beautiful! Click on the pic below to check out our album.


Coast hike north of Gold Beach

Pictures from Mom's Visit

Mom & I at Oceanside

As I mentioned in my last post, Mom came out to visit for 3 weeks in mid-February. I finally got the pictures posted on our web album if you want to check them out. Some of the pix are of us putting some final touches on the kitchen and dining room. We hung a light fixture above the dining room table (we can finally see to do crossword puzzles!) and put up the toe-kick and a window treatment in the kitchen. It wasn't ALL work though! We played lots of 500 and Rummicube, hosted the Holmans and Hnats for dinner and visited Grandma Dell and the Holmans for dinner in Gresham. We made time for two day trips as well. We went to the coast via Tillamook where we toured the Tillamook Cheese Factory and Blue Heron French Cheese. We drove through Oceanside, Pacific City (where we stopped for lunch) and Neskowin, making several stops on the beautiful beaches. We also visited The Glockenspiel Restaurant where we had breakfast and listened to the glockenspiel play, then drove up to the Queen of Angels Monastery. It was sort of a coincidence that we ended up at the monastery, actually. We started talking to a gentleman at breakfast who recommended it because of the spectacular view point of the valley as it's situated high on a hill. The grounds were almost as beautiful as the view so we have quite a few pictures taken there. Enjoy the pix and talk to you more soon!


Mom and J at Queen of Angels

The rest of the pictures are up on our web album:) http://picasaweb.google.com/stillerholman/2008Feb


February and March

Now that it's almost April I suppose I should talk a little bit about the past couple of months which have just seemed to fly by. We've managed to keep pretty busy as of late. Mom came to visit in mid-February and we had such a great time. We got a lot of stuff done around the house and took time to have some fun, too. Of course I think I gained a few more pounds having Mom here because she spent a lot of time in the kitchen baking lots of goodies that pregnant girl couldn't control herself around but that's okay. Now is a good time to gain a few pounds anyway, right;)? I also have to say how lucky Jeremy and I were because he didn't clean the cat litter the whole time Mom was here and I didn't do the dishes! Talk about spoiling us! It was so nice having her here but lonely now that she's gone:) My friend Tracy and I have talked about how being pregnant and starting a family makes you miss your own family even more and boy is it true. I didn't realize how hard this part would be. Trace went through the same thing as she got pregnant shortly after she moved out here and away from her parents. I suppose it makes you appreciate the time you do spend together though even more...and look forward to it more as well. That's the most positive thing I can say about being afar. As Forrest Gump would say, "and that's all I have to say about that..." **sigh** :)

Here's a pic of me and Baby Girl. This was a couple weeks ago so I'm a little bigger now but haven't taken a recent picture. I'll try to update soon:) I was about 23 weeks in this picture and I'm now 25 weeks. I look angry in the picture but I assure you that I am really quite delighted. I am just trying to be cool. Only three more weeks to go and we'll begin the 3rd trimester. It's hard to believe we'll be meeting our new little Holmanian in just a few months!

I also participated in an art project by a local Portland photographer last month called 'Skeletons in the Closet'. Check it out at http://www.fritzphoto.com/art/ If you go to the website, make sure to click on the introduction to read what it's about before you go through the pictures. My picture and story aren't up yet but I'll keep you posted. It is a grant-funded work featuring men and women who currently (or at one time in their lives) have struggled with eating disorders. As soon as I saw his work I knew I wanted to participate in it but it took me a lot of time to get up the courage to do it. As some of you may know, I used to be anorexic/bulimic. I wanted to participate in this project for a couple of reasons. I wanted to "come out" so to speak and tell my story because I think that hearing about someone's healing process can be extremely healing to others whom are still struggling. I also wanted to revisit my own body issues and I felt like this was a really powerful way to begin this process. Both to praise myself for how far I've come and to remind myself that I still have a lot more work to do when it comes to truly loving my body. I'm hoping to hang one of my pictures up somewhere where I can look at it every day to remind myself to not be so damn critical when I look in the mirror. I think being pregnant has really made me think about the issues surrounding our body images a great deal. And being pregnant while doing the photo shoot was even more meaningful because I am developing a deeper respect for my body each day for everything that it is currently going through. I can't say that I'm not having a hard time with my body changes and gaining weight but I can also say that it's helping me to view my body in a different way. In a "Women are so awesome! We are freaking SUPERHEROS" kind of way! You ladies know what I mean!

I have to run now but I'll post more soon. I have to put all the pictures up from Mom's visit and Jeremy and my 3rd anniversary trip, which I have yet to talk about! Man, was I ever behind on the blogging! I miss you all so much and love you to pieces! Drop me a line, I'm lonely out here in the big woods!



It's a.....

GIRL!!!!!!!!!! Apparently our first ultrasound (and my maternal instincts) were off! We're so excited though and it's great to know more about our sweet, new little person. Mom got to go the ultrasound with us since she's currently visiting which made it even more special. I'm also starting to feel her kick now on a pretty regular basis.


18 weeks

Well, I'm 18 weeks and popping out of my clothes! The fun continues! Maybe that shouldn't have an explanation point after it;) We had our monthly doctor's appointment yesterday and everything looked good. The doctor found the heartbeat with no trouble this time, so no emergency ultrasound:) Yay! I've had a cold for a week and half that I can't seem to knock and although I haven't been feeling horrible the doctor felt it was a sinus infection that might hang on for a long time and prescribed an antibiotic. I'm up with a nasty cough tonight as you can see by the timestamp, so hopefully the drugs will kick in and knock this infection out. There was also a slight mix-up with the ultrasound so we didn't have it yesterday when we went into the doctor. I wanted to mention this since I've been telling everybody that we find out if it's a boy or a girl this week! We'll have to wait a little longer. I guess we were supposed to schedule the ultrasound and we thought that the doctor's office scheduled it, which they did last time because it was an "emergency". Anyway, I'm actually kind of excited that it's postponed because my mom is coming to visit next week and now she'll get to be here for it! Check out my chubby belly pics and take special note of the background, which is our new nursery color. Love you all! Have a great night!


On Faith...

I found this poem and wanted to pass it on. Love you all!


An Ode to Faith
-by Patrick Overter

When you have come to the edge
Of all the light you know,
Into the darkness of the unknown,
Faith is knowing that
One of two things will happen,
There will be something solid to stand on,
Or you will be taught how to fly.


Belly Shot: 17 Weeks!

We've reached 17 weeks! It's been a pretty exciting past couple weeks for us. I will start with the best news first. Last Friday I went into the doctor to have blood drawn for the quad-screen. This is the test where they check your blood for the certain substances and can then determine the chances of your baby having a neural tube defect like spina bifida or anencephaly or a chromosomal defect like Down Syndrome or Edwards Syndrome. My blood screen came back showing that our baby had almost no chance of having any of these problems. Needless to say, we're very relieved.

The other thing that happened this week is that I have started to feel the baby moving. It's just a slight fluttering at this point and I've only felt it a few times, but it was so exciting! I'm also getting my bump so here are some pictures for those of you who won't get to see see my pregnancy in person.

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Iowa Trip and Doctor's Appointment

We got back from a wonderful belated Christmas vacation to Iowa on Tuesday. We had such a great time there; very relaxing which was EXACTLY what we needed. We stayed with my parents and got in lots of card and Rummikub playing, some movies, several nice long walks in the country, Christmas celebrations with both my parents and the Abrams side of the family, and great conversation. Oh and some snow! It snowed 3 times while we were there, which was really fun to see since it's more of a novelty to me after living in places where it doesn't snow much for the past 8 years. I just want to say how really great it was to see my wonderful family while I was back. It was so good to catch up with my cousins and their beautiful kids and my aunt and uncles and all of the Abrams. Thanks to Mom and Janise for putting together a great day and to everyone for coming! It means so much to me to get to see you all when we're back in Iowa. :):):) I wasn't ready to come home by the time our vacation was over but it helps that Mom will be coming out to visit at the end of February, only a month from now:) Yay!

The day after we got back, we had our 2nd Doctor's appointment. I thought I was slated for an ultrasound but as it turned out, I wasn't. During the appointment our doctor was unable to detect the fetal heartbeat so she sent us over to the hospital for an ultrasound anyway. It gave us a little scare, but I really felt like everything was okay and didn't (luckily) have much time to think about it since she sent us over to get the ultrasound the same day. The ultrasound showed a strong heartbeat and everything else to be great. Baby is doing well! It was a really neat ultrasound because the baby was extremely active and moving his arms and legs (2 arms, 2 legs:) around and jumping all over. The sonographer said that at this age, babies end up flailing a lot due to lack of muscle control. It was very exciting to see our baby flail! I couldn't believe that he is moving around so much and I can't feel a thing:) The other big news is....we still don't know for sure if the baby is a boy or a girl. Although, there appears to be a little penis at this point, the sonographer wouldn't give us more than a 51% chance in favor of a boy:) He said he wasn't a betting man and didn't want us to go home and paint our nursery blue if he was wrong. We have another ultrasound in about a month so we'll find out for sure then. Below are some pictures which definitely need descriptions. It's a little hard to tell what's what if you don't have someone telling you what you're looking at.
This is a side profile from the waist up. You can see the baby's left arm, which he is holding up to his head. The bright white areas are the bones so if you look close you can make out the skull and lower down you can see the rib cage.

This is another side profile. The baby's head is at the right of the picture. You can see his forehead and nose in the profile. The bright white line at the bottom of the picture is the baby's spine. The legs aren't showing in this picture so it looks a little odd. They would be at the left of the picture. He does have legs! They just aren't showing.

This one is really cryptic, but it's the baby's face from a front view. It looks really skeletal in this picture but if you look close you can make out two eyes and the nose. You can also see where his arms are protruding, although you can't see the entire arms in this picture.

In this picture the sonographer was trying specifically to zoom in on the baby's boy or girl parts. The baby is lying on his back and the picture shows what "appears" to be a bitty boy part. I asked my friend Susie (mother of a teenage boy) if it was too embarrassing for our baby to post this to which she said. "Embarrassing? Not for a boy! They're so proud of those things - always happy to have an audience!!!" Thanks for putting that into perspective for me:)