Bode’s Birth Story

Being a parent is the most exhausting yet rewarding job in the world.

Bode is now three weeks and we are all getting pretty used to each other. I think he’s going through a bit of a growth spurt over the last couple of days though because he has been extra hungry and fussy. Those poor little joints are probably achy!

Anyway…lots to catch you up on. First, I want to tell you that I plan on keeping the little guy pretty private for now, so I won’t be posting photos or talking baby too often on the blog. This isn’t to say that this won’t change over time, but for now that is what I have decided to do.

I do however, want to share his birth story because I know personally I love to read other’s birth stories and I really enjoy sharing it.

First of all, a photo that was taken at our annual Halloween party the day before I went into labor…

halloween melanie and dana

And my final pregnancy photo…

pregnancy week 38

Bode’s Birth Story

Water breaks…

Very early Monday morning (October 27th) at 12:40 I woke up with a contraction. I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions for months but this one felt a bit stronger. I tried falling back asleep but kept thinking to myself, “could this be it?” and then talking myself down from that possibility. As I lay in bed with my brain in a whirl, I felt a little trickle. I ran to the bathroom and sure enough my water broke. This was 1:00 am.

Contractions…

Immediately we called the midwife on call as well as our doula. We started timing contractions and at this point they were about 11-12 minutes apart and mild but my back was really starting to hurt. They both told me to rest if possible and even try to go back to bed but because my back was hurting so much, I couldn’t get comfortable enough to go back to sleep. So, I got up and showered as we continued to time contractions.

The only way to get through the contractions and the back labor was for me to be on my hands and knees. When my contractions were about 6 minutes apart, we called the midwife again. She talked to me and told me to try to stay at home and labor at home as long as safely possible (this is what I had wanted too) but at this point my body was telling me I had to go to the hospital. I had such excruciating back pain and needed to go in. So, Dana (bless his heart) packed up our stuff into the car, let the dog out, managed to comfort me through contractions and drove me to the hospital. The car ride was one of the worst parts as I was going through the transition phase of labor. He got us there fairly quickly (one of the benefits of going into labor in the middle of the night is no traffic) and our doula met us at the hospital.

Immediately I ran out of the car and hit my hands and knees in the grass to get through a contraction. Eventually we made it through the ER doors and lo and behold another family walked in right next to us and so kindly went in front of us to check in. How sweet right? So, I got down on my hands and knees right inside the ER doors and really stirred up the security guards. Haha! They got me a wheel chair to wheel me to labor and delivery but I couldn’t sit because of my back. So we ran down two long hallways, stopping frequently for contractions.

Dilated…

By the time we got into triage, and they checked my dilation, I was completely dilated! I couldn’t believe it.

Push…

I finally got into the water birth room about 20 minutes later. They hooked me up to the heart monitor and told me they had to get a good reading and listen for 20 minutes before I was allowed to deliver in the tub.

I tried pushing in the tub for over an hour with little progress, and was wearing out so dramatically that the midwife told me it was time to get out and change positions. So, we moved to the bed.

Mind you, my back is still screaming through this whole thing.

On to the bed I went. I’ll spare you all of the details but I pushed for another hour or so and Dana caught our little baby boy. He was put on my tummy immediately and stayed there for the next two hours. He screamed after about 20 seconds and it was the best sound ever.

Bode Gregory

Our little Bode was born at 6:13 am on October 27th (2 weeks early), weighing 7 lbs 8 ounces and 20 1/4 inches.

We texted our parents who didn’t even know I was in labor, “happy birthday, Bode.” It was the best Monday treat they could have asked for and they were totally shocked.

He is everything we dreamt about and more. I still look at him in awe as I realize he is ours. Everyone tells you that the love that you have for your children is completely indescribable and they are so right. He is our sunshine and our bundle of love and my heart explodes with love for him.

He’s Here!

Bode Gregory, our precious little bundle is here! He was born on October 27th, bright and early. We are all doing well; healthy and happy. I will more than likely be away from the blog for a while.

I hope all is well with you all!

Love from my family to yours!

 

Cinnamon Roll Waffles and Blueberry Pie

Happy FRIDAY! My favorite day of the week has arrived! Ahhhhh….

I am definitely linking up with Katie and Clare for Friday Favorites because I have lots of goodies to share from the week (as if you couldn’t tell from the post title)!

1. Moose definitely got in on the Friday favorites this week when he got to clean up an empty jar of peanut butter. Lucky pup!

Moose peanut butter

2. The beauty of fall makes me so insanely happy I can hardly explain. I love fall.

 

 

 

 

fall

3. Blueberry pie while celebrating my mom’s birthday. I can’t tell you the last time I had blueberry pie but I can tell you I wish it would have been sooner because this stuff rocked.

 

 

blueberry pie

4. Mind you the sweet tooth is in full force….this cinnamon roll waffle. OMG this thing was no joke. Cinnamon waffle with cream cheese icing. Um okay!

 

 

cinnamon roll waffle

5. Going through old bins and finding gems like this one. The fabulous four roomies from college at Mankato!

 

 

 

melanie angela heidi katie college

6. Weeknight dates with Dana. We kept putting it off because we have been so busy remodeling our upstairs bathroom and would really like to finish it before baby arrives, but we decided this is something we really wanted to do. We went to Ciao Bella in Bloomington and I got spaghetti and meatballs. I cashed the whole plate except for a couple of bites. I loved it.

 

 

spaghetti and meatballs caio bella

7. Crock pot meals. These were simple chicken tacos made with chicken breast, salsa, chili powder, garlic powder and onion powder. They were set in the crock pot for a little while and were ready for us when dinner came around.

 

 

crockpot tacos

8. New Larabar flavors. When we were in La Crosse we went to this ginormous grocery store called Woodman’s. We stumbled upon the Larabars and loaded up on some seasonal flavors like snickerdoodle and gingerbread! YUM!

 

 

larabar

 

I told ya–lots of goodies in today’s Friday Favs!

 

No updates on the baby front; I am definitely still very pregnant. It is so exciting to know it could be any day now that we meet our precious guy!

 

I hope you all have a great weekend!

 

What were some of your Friday favorites?

What’s your favorite kind of pie? 

I usually go for French silk pie but this blueberry pie opened my eyes to fruit pies again!

Quick Black Bean Burgers

Happy Monday to you all! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend. Mine was great! We got a lot done around the house and finished up some last details in preparing for baby’s arrival.

We had our last prenatal meeting with our doula over the weekend which means the next time we see her I will be in labor. Yay! We are getting so close!

So this weekend I was a rollercoaster of energy; pretty typical at this phase in the game. I would go nuts in the kitchen, go through old bins I haven’t touched in literally 10 years, clean, organize, and then all of a sudden, whoa, I need to sit down and have a snack because I am wiped! By the time dinner time rolled around, I was hanging on to only a few last bits of energy, but I still wanted to make something healthy for dinner.

One of my kitchen tasks completed earlier was making black beans (from dried). They were still out and needing to be put into zip-loc baggies and then into the freezer, so I thought I would incorporate some of those into dinner somehow.

I decided on black bean burgers. Here is what I came up with! My apologies for the photos in advance, I was too hungry to really get any good ones.

black bean burgers black bean burgers black bean burgers black bean burgers black bean burgers

I literally whipped these up in a little over 15 minutes. This recipe is incredibly easy! (recipe inspiration from The Pioneer Woman).

Black Bean Burgers
Print
Serves: 4 patties
Ingredients
  • 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained (I used fresh from dried and measured 1 and ⅞ cups to equal about 15 ounces---it's not exact, it's okay!)
  • ½ c. oats processed in food processor into smaller crumbs (bread crumbs would work great too)
  • a few sprinkles of garlic powder
  • a few sprinkles of onion powder
  • a sprinkle of chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp. salsa
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, smash beans using a fork. Some bigger pieces are ok. You don't want it to be a complete mush.
  2. Add remaining products to bowl. Mix well.
  3. Warm a skillet over low-medium, to medium heat. Spray heavily with olive oil. Let pan warm.
  4. Form four fairly flat patties with hands. Place onto skillet.
  5. Cook for 6-7 minutes on the first side, and 5 minutes on the second (or until both sides have darkened slightly).
  6. Serve warm on a bun or with a salad. Add cheese, onion, tomato, and whatever other toppings you would like!

**To make this dairy-free and gluten-free:

  • replace egg with 1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed and 3 Tbsp. water
  • make sure to use gluten-free oats
  • serve on a salad with a side of quinoa and eliminate cheese

And then I crashed…:smile: It was a very nice productive weekend!

What is your favorite way to use black beans?

I love tossing them into salads, into soups, and into tacos or nachos! Num.

Slow Cooker Beef Pot Roast

Following along with my beef cravings, I made one seriously delicious and SUPER easy meal last night.

I was inspired by this recipe for Slow Cooker Beef Pot Roast!

crock pot beef pot roast

I let the crock pot do the majority of the work. All I had to do was brown each side of the beef roast, and cut up garlic, onions and potatoes. I used baby carrots so no need to chop there. To season I used worcestershire sauce, thyme, paprika, salt and pepper.

crock pot beef pot roast

Eight hours in the crock pot on low. crock pot beef pot roastcrock pot beef pot roast

Top with gravy if you so desire!

crock pot beef pot roast

Botta-bing, botta-boom. An insanely delicious, satisfying and comforting meal!

Slow Cooker Beef Pot Roast
Print
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2 potatoes, chopped in large pieces
  • 1-2 cups baby carrots
  • 2 small onions, chopped in large pieces
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp worcestershire
  • 2 lb chuck roast
  • 1 beef bouillon cube in one cup hot water
  • sprinkle of thyme
  • sprinkle of paprika
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. In a large crockpot, toss in potatoes, carrots, and onions. Set aside.
  2. In a medium pan, sauté garlic in olive oil for about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add worcestershire to pan. Turn up the heat to medium/medium high.
  4. Add roast to pan and brown each side of roast; about 1-2 minutes per side.
  5. Add beef and sauce from the pan to the slow cooker on top of the veggies.
  6. Add bouillon water, thyme, paprika, salt and pepper to the slow cooker.
  7. Set slow cooker on low for 8-10 hours.
  8. Serve hot with gravy if you wish!

ENJOY!

36 Weeks Pregnant!

It’s that time again. Time for a lil’ bump update!

I am now 36 weeks pregnant. Next week, at 37 weeks, baby is no longer considered pre-term. It’s amazing to think that he could present himself to the world at any moment. He could on the other hand, choose to wait another 4 weeks. We will see won’t we?!

36 weeks pregnant

At 36 weeks, baby’s average weight is about 6 lbs and length is 20 inches long. Most of his systems are fully developed, and he is continuing to plump up and build up his baby fat. Bring on the baby rolls. There’s nothing better!

Watching how the body changes and grows during pregnancy is one of the weirdest, most miraculous things. To actually think that there is a little human growing inside of me right now is beyond me. I am supporting a life. With every bit of food that goes into my mouth I think of the baby. It’s been strange seeing the changes happening: seeing my bump grow, my legs get thicker, and seeing my weight go up. It’s strange, but it’s lovely. Do I miss my non-maternity clothes? Of course I do, I’m only human, but I know that some day I will be wearing them again. For now, I am trying to embrace the bump.

So how am I feeling, you might be wondering?

Mentally…

It’s hard to focus on anything but the baby at this point. Mentally I feel my brain is a bit scrambled. I am still able to work just fine but notice myself making lots of little mistakes that I’m not used to making. This could be due to some serious lack of sleep also.

Mentally I feel I have prepared myself for birth as much as possible. I am fully aware that labor and delivery in regards to your own “birth preferences” can alter in an instant and that has to absolutely be okay. What is important is that baby and mom are both healthy in the end. I have heard horror stories, I have heard incredible stories also, and I choose to remember the good stories and focus on those rather than letting fear get the best of me.

Physically…

You know what? I really can’t complain a whole lot. I feel very lucky to have felt this good throughout pregnancy. I’m slowing down a little bit but still going pretty strong. I walk nearly every day and continue to do my yoga stretches daily. I am getting stronger Braxton Hicks contractions that feel like menstrual cramps and that sometimes radiate to my back. This is perfectly normal and it’s my body practicing for the real deal. At night I am waking 6-8 times either to go to the bathroom or just to switch sides due to discomfort. So yes, lots of broken-up sleep. Again, my body is preparing me for what’s to come. :smile:

Other pregnancy symptoms I’ve noticed: clumsiness, forgetfulness, increased hunger (and yet some days I feel my appetite is completely normal), some mild swelling, dramatic mood swings, hot flashes, super hot hands, and nesting.

 Eats

What’s been tickling my fancy these days?

  • I am still drinking my chocolate peanut butter smoothie EVERYDAY. I still can’t believe it.
  • I’m still really into burgers but am also branching out a lot!
  • I have been wanting more fresh veggies and salads lately, so that’s good!

veggies and almond butter with craisins

  • My sweet tooth is pretty much insane. Chocolate and ice cream are dear friends of mine right now and I am okay with that.

Pearl Street Brewery Ice Cream

  • I’m eating three meals a day (usually smaller meals) and 2-3 snacks. My favorite bedtime snack is still Greek yogurt with honey.

Greek Yogurt

Let’s see, what else?

We have our last shower on Saturday! After that we will do some shopping and get anything else we feel we will need. Overall though we are feeling very ready.

I’ve left my wedding rings off because they were getting too snug for comfort and I know too many people who have had to have their bands cut off. Yikes.

How about I stop there? I could go on all day about all of the excitement I’m feeling. There is just so much anticipation!

Check in with you all later gators!

Babymoon/Anniversary Getaway

Oh, HEY!

So last weekend Dana and I took a mini getaway babymoon/anniversary celebration to La Crosse, Wisconsin. Yea, we got real fancy this time around. My travel distance is limited at this time, so we made do as best as we could and we had a great time in doing so!

If you all recall, I completed my dietetic internship in La Crosse. It is truly a beautiful city and while I was there I tried to enjoy it, but I was pretty sad about being away from home especially after just being away for five years for my undergrad program so I didn’t soak up the beauty as much as I could have.

I wanted to go back because La Crosse truly is a beautiful city. It’d been three years since I had been there! Geez how time flies!

On our way out there, we stopped in Maiden Rock, WI to take in the views and we stopped at an adorable bakery along the way. We split a cardamom roll which was insanely good! Who would have thought, right?

We took in the gorgeous bluff and river views along the way…maiden rock wisconsin

After 3.5 plus hours in the car, I was one swollen girl. I haven’t experienced much pregnancy swelling until this point, and my feet, ankles, and hands were all pretty beefy. Once we got to La Crosse and shoved some food in our faces, I made sure to put my feet up.

Shredded pork wrap…

lunch at waterfront

We drove by my old apartment and I reminisced along the way.

We made sure to stop by the famous Pearl Street Ice Cream Parlor. Ice cream with homemade waffle cones on one side, and this candy goodness on the other. Willy Wonka anyone? Can I buy a Wonka bar?

Pearl Street Brewery Pearl Street Brewery Ice Cream

Night one was fairly quiet. The whole thought around the weekend was that it was meant to be relaxing, and that it didn’t really matter what we did. So, I made sure to bring my cozy socks and wrapped myself in one of their over-sized white robes, and Dana and I watched some shows and played some games.

Saturday

Saturday was much more productive. We started the day by going to the farmer’s market which was right outside of our hotel along the river. It was super-duper chilly but we still managed to buy an acorn squash (baking as I type actually) and wax beans (yellow beans).

For lunch we went to Dublin Square and I had one of the best veggie burgers I have ever eaten in my entire life. It had walnuts in it and that’s all I know. I ordered mine with green olives, cheese, and tomatoes on top. So GOOD!

walnut burger La Crosse

We made our way to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe which was stunning. We went to a mass and walked around the area. It was so calming and peaceful. Plus, I got my “hike” in from my fall bucket list! We had to hike up a hill for about 15 minutes to reach the shrine. It’s amazing that a 15 minute hike is now such a huge accomplishment. I can’t wait to get my cardio stamina back!

shrine of our lady of Guadalupe

We made sure to make a stop at Viterbo University where I completed my internship, and also drove by the hospitals and clinics where I did my rotations. It was fun to see it all again, but I am so happy that it is over with!

On Saturday night we celebrated our three-year wedding anniversary with a fancy French dinner at Le Chateau. This restaurant is in an old home that is quaint and romantic. Not to mention the food is dynamite. We cheers’ed to three years with my sparkling apple cider and his wine.

fancy anniversary dinner at Le Chateau

For starters I ordered butternut squash soup and Dana got escargot. All I could think of was Pretty Woman while Dana was eating the escargot. He said it was really good!

For our main dishes, we ordered gnocchi with edamame and roasted tomatoes in a brown butter sauce. Dana got the same thing except he also had scallops on top. On the side we ordered brussels sprouts with prosciutto.

dinner at le cheateau

We had WAY too much food! It was so good but my stomach is pretty pinched right now so I can’t fit too much in there at one time! This main dish was so delicious. That brown butter sauce was a major winner.

Sunday

We relaxed for a long while in the morning then made our way home. On the way home we stopped in Lake City at an apple orchard (another one of my fall bucket list items!) and although it wasn’t an orchard where we could pick our own apples, we were still able to purchase fresh apples directly from their on-site orchard. I still need to find an apple cider doughnut though!

apple orchard

 

We grabbed lunch and ice cream on the way home.

It was quite the weekend and the perfect getaway for us! I loved every second of it—even the swelling. :wink:

I meant to post this post yesterday and was planning to link up with Becky’s Treat Yourself Tuesday because there were a whole lotta treats this weekend, and even though it’s Wednesday I’m still going to!

Have you taken any weekend getaways lately? Where did you go?

What’s your favorite way to use orchard apples? I’m planning on making apple crisp but I’m pretty sure I’m going to have leftovers still!

Baby Showers

First of all, I want to wish my incredible husband a HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! Three years of pure bliss, right babe? :smile:

wedding

•••••••••••••••••••••

I am crazy nesting lady over here but I quickly wanted to share with you some of my shower photos from this weekend. I had two showers and both were fabulous!

Cutting to the chase…

baby showerbaby showerbaby showerbaby showerbaby showerbaby showerbaby showerIMG_2245 baby shower

So much love from family and friends, so much delicious food, and so many generous gifts! I am overwhelmed with gratitude. This little one has no idea how good he is going to have it!

We are getting closer!!

Mini Fall Bucket List

My favorite season growing up was always summer, but as I’ve gotten older I have grown to have a new favorite season; FALL. Now that it is officially fall, it’s time for us to all get excited about it.

There is just so much to love about the season: the red and orange leaves changing on the trees, the crisp air, juicy apples, pumpkin everything, sweatshirts, football (although it’s rare that I watch it I still like to know it’s on), my birthday, lots of family and friends birthdays, Thanksgiving (probably my favorite meal ever), and this year we will be celebrating out little baby boy’s birthday in the fall too! Obviously the arrival of baby boy tops the charts for what I’m most excited about! I could probably go on for this entire page about all of the reasons I love fall.

There is so much goodness squeezed into three quick months.

Because it does fly by so fast, I have decided to make myself a mini fall bucket list. With the baby coming in just six weeks or so, the next six weeks are going to be pretty darn busy, so I’m not going to be too hard on myself if I don’t complete everything on the list, but you bet I am going to try!

Mini Fall Bucket List

1. Go to an apple orchard and pick apples. This is something I literally say every.single.year and then it never happens. I have a good feeling it is going to happen this year!

apple picking

2. Make apple crisp with the above mentioned apples!

apple crisp

 

3. Decorate or carve a pumpkin. (photo circa 2010?)

halloween

 

4. Go on a nature hike and admire the changing colors and inhale the crisp air–albeit short hike because my bladder can’t make it too long these days!

fall walk

 

5. Go on at least one more date with Dana before baby arrives, preferably out to dinner.

dana melanie como conservatory

 

6. These ones are secondary but eat an apple cider doughnut and eat a caramel apple. If I don’t get to these ones I will be okay with it but if I do…YUM!

 

Okay, that’s it. I told ya it was just a mini list. I am pretty excited about it though!

Happy Fall to you all!

What would be on your fall bucket list? I just may add more items to my list after I see all of your ideas!

Favs: Family, Baby Shower, & Fall

It’s Friday, oh yeaa oh yeaa. Yea. Woo! It’s Friday favorites time, so let’s get to it.

1. This was a week ago now, but packing up the car and heading up north for my brother’s wedding. I loved being able to pack as much stuff as I wanted, listen to music, chat with Dana, and take as many stops as needed on the way up. I was SO excited to get up north and relax.

packed car

 

2. The cool weather of northern MN, hot bonfires, sweatshirts, pontoon rides, and the view of Lake Vermillion.

 

blankets up north

 

3. Being with my family all weekend and welcoming my new sister-in-law to the family.

 

 

siblings scott and nicole wedding

 

4. Dancing…

 

dancing scott and nicoles wedding

 

5. My first baby shower thrown by my work ladies. This little guy is going to be so spoiled and so well-dressed!

 

mom and melanie baby shower

 

vest  baby shower

6. Fall decorations. They are all up and I am ready for the cool weather again. Fall is my FAVORITE! It officially starts next week! BTW Fall is one of those words that if you look at for too long it starts to look like it’s spelled wrong and just looks goofy.

 

fall decorations

 

Happy Friday to you all! I’m linking up with Katie and Clare today for Friday Favs! Thanks ladies!