31 December 2010

happy nye

18 weeks.

Bumkins and I visit the fam, while the Engineer travels the world for grad school. 

In the news of my little world, this week we had a Merry Puke/Poop-mas, followed by flight delays lasting over a 100 hours (forreals).  Brother seems to be a little shy to talk or hang out with me these days.  I think my "situation" totally creeps him out and apparently his conflict style is avoidance.  Or maybe he doesn't like the fact that someone is stealing his place as the "baby" of the family.  Either way, I figure publicly airing out our issue might bring some resolution? 

Happy New Year's Eve, friends!  Have a glass of champagne for me, and a New Year's kiss for that matter.

25 December 2010

merry christmas

Christmas morn at the in-laws. 

The Engineer got a stocking full of pharmaceuticals for an upcoming trip to UAE and India (totally jealous).  He looks happy to stay healthy.

MIL's place setting...something new and exciting for each of our three meals today.  Isn't she something else?

Important news: We've decided Bumkins is going to be a girl. 

(And I've decided the baby's new name is Bumkins and/or Babycakes.  The Engineer finds my name choices to be a little iffy and has decided to stick with "Baby".  How original of him, eh?)

Reasons for our switch from XY to XX:

  1. Our friend, Kate, has said from the beginning it would be a girl based on date of positive ovulation test and conception.  Weird, I know, but these were the first questions she asked me before exclaiming "It's going to be a girl!"
  2. MIL says the consistently higher heartbeat equals girl, according to a study she read.
  3. A pregnancy magazine article I read this morning stated severe morning sickness is a risk factor for girls or multiples...(we'll totally take the former). 
All solid evidence, obviously.

With less than a month away until we find out the gender, we're starting to second guess our hunch that it's a boy.  Not that we wouldn't be psyched about a girl, but you know you have these feelings, and really one should stick by their feelings. 

Either way he or she will still be our Little Engineer-Baby-Bumkins! 

22 December 2010

we got color

 When you've got this much color going on, it's hard to add much more for Christmas other than a tree.  The Engineer and I are festive all year round...as hard as that may be to imagine.

 It began with our dishes, which provided us with inspiration for the rest of our condo.  Fiestaware, if I do say so, are the best dishes ever.  Who doesn't want a "fiesta" at every meal?  We have a green kitchen...I call it a mix between sage and lime.

 Next, is our red couch.  We love our red couch dearly.  And it's in a cheery yellow living/dining room.

Our room is orange and yellow.  (Art is homemade, just go to your local craft store and pick up blank canvases and voila).

 Bright, good morning, blue bathroom.

More green and yellow throughout the guestroom/bath.  All our guests seem happy...I'm positive it's the fiesta going on here.

It's Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday, Happy Easter or 4th of July.  You name it and our shoebox condo is ready for it!

19 December 2010


Or as the Engineer prefers to call it, fakecation.

Our 24 hours in Dupont Circle...

Gorgeous hotel room.  As big as our condo, I might add.

 Krispy Kreme, a must in Dupont for a mid-westerner.

Holiday party
(should of got a better angle of my uterus...) 

17 December 2010

and i thought wedding stuff was bad

Baby minimalism.  That's what I keep telling them.  If you're home is a shoebox condo your answer to this question "What's your nursery theme?" quickly becomes "BABY MINIMALISM!" 

"Is that allowed?" you may ask.  The answer is "Yes" it is, very much indeed.  It just happens to be that I'm the one incubating this baby, therefore, I get to make the rules.  That's the way it works, you see.

(This is when the Engineer reminds me "pregnant women are smug".  Referring to this song, but don't worry, Kristen**...he showed this to me WAY before I was pregnant, so it's just a joke.) 

(**My friend, Kristen, doesn't like it if people are mean to me, even if they're married to me.)

Moving on...
But there are opinions, oh man are there opinions.  The most difficult thing is probably to convince others you don't need all the gadgets and whatnots.  Heck, we don't even think our baby needs a crib.  A pack 'n' play will suffice nicely.  Or maybe we'll be tragically wrong, which is ok too.  Craigslist, Ikea, grandparents, etc. will come to the rescue...I'm pretty sure of it.

 More clutter is my fear.  I'm already a piler.  Don't even mention the piles to the Engineer...it's a weak spot for us.  How do we then add a baby to the mix and not add clutter? 

It's not going to happen, is it?...

My current fav fabric to make baby stuff with...once we find out the gender, that is. Gray for boy and yellow for girl.  I must admit they are etsy inspired.  Isn't etsy a dangerous place when you enter into the baby world?


16 December 2010

that i am, i am, i am the luckiest

16 weeks.  But, this post isn't about me...

I overheard the Engineer say this on the phone to one of his friends...
Just being a dad.  Yeah, I'm awesome at it.
Isn't that cute? 

And the truth is, he is going to be awesome at it.  We've been together for over 6 years.  And well...when you meet someone when they're 19 there's some growing up...maturing, what have you...to be done.  He continues to amaze me as he grows into an even better husband (and now dad).  I was happy to stick by the man he was then, but the man he is today is just plain frosting on the cupcake (with sprinkles).

I love you, homes.

14 December 2010

being too cute...

We met SIL, BIL, and niece Ada for an afternoon together.  Part of the afternoon included a matinee, which was Ada's very first movie theatre experience.  Her only request was a "princess movie" and I must admit I've been wanting to see this particular one myself.

It was so sweet to watch her be amazed by the experience.  She whispered to her mom throughout the movie:
"This is great!"  ...  "I'm having fun, mommy!" 

According to the Engineer "Ada is just plain too cute."  And he's right.

We wonder two things...  Does this mean we have good genes and stand a chance at creating something equally as cute?  Or does our poor Little Engineer not stand a chance up against his/her overload of cute cousin Ada?  If nothing else, I'm sure big cousin Ada will teach her new cousin how to be extra cute, as I'm sure she'll teach her new sister, too. 

Have I told you all that Ada is getting a little sister right before she gets a little cousin?  It's going to be a big year for the Oberholzer family!    I'm loving being preggers with SIL...nothing like having double the reason to talk about babies!  Although, I continue to have to be jealous of her bump that has 2 months on mine...

07 December 2010

finally, the laggards discover webcam

Wait..what's this?
 No way!
 Do the heart thing!
 Okay, now the heart thing with both of us...
 Look, it's our Christmas card.
And then we Skyped!  Oh the joys of the Engineer and myself getting a new computer... (thanks, Mom and Dad!!) 

06 December 2010

the shoebox is an icebox

Since being HEATless and TVless for over a week, we've spent much of our time in bed.  The TV you know the dillio, but the heat...let's just say 2 repair men, 7 hours of work later, and it's even more broke than when we called them.  We have a good eye for the bad guy...if you know what I mean. 

Last night we gathered all the essentials for a cozy Sunday in bed:
computer and dvds, games, pizza, beer (for the mister), ice cream (I know counter intuitive to our situation, but mmmmm...), space heater, extra blankets, and books...  

I pretty much didn't leave my side of the bed for the rest of the day once we settled in.  The Engineer served me and took my dishes away, so I didn't have to touch the cold "wing" of our shoebox...and we joked that I was on bed rest (and immediately agreed that'd be HOoooRRIFIC, so we won't joke ever again, forreals.).

03 December 2010

barefoot pregnant and in the kitchen: orange, cranberry, walnut cookies

My mom and I got into holiday mode last weekend and began baking...peanut butter kiss cookies, chocolate mint brownies, and these new treats...

Orange, Cranberry, Walnut Cookies from All Recipes


1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon grated orange zest 
(or if you're me and can't read you add 2 Tablespoons orange zest, which was still quite lovely)
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest 3 tablespoons orange juice
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg until well blended. Mix in 1 teaspoon orange zest and 2 tablespoons orange juice. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the orange mixture. Mix in cranberries and if using, walnuts, until evenly distributed. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Cookies should be spaced at least 2 inches apart.

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes in the preheated oven, until the edges are golden. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.

In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 teaspoon orange zest, 3 tablespoons orange juice and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spread over the tops of cooled cookies. Let stand until set.

I immediately realized baking isn't such a great idea, because baking leads to eating, specifically, eating more than one's fair share in my case.  And this was ok when it was just me and the only worry was a little extra tummy or thigh pudge, but the guilt of feeding my baby 10 cookies in one setting...oh dear.  I'm sorry Little Engineer.  Lesson: Only bake when you can (will) share.

14 weeks. 
And I'm quite grateful for "low rise" jeans (and of course, SCRUBS...best job ever). 

01 December 2010

my pregnancy reading list

I started out reading everything and then I realized it was time to switch gears.  I rid the shelves of everything negative.

I am very aware of what can go wrong during birth and all the medical interventions.  Working in the Mommy Baby section of a hospital will do that to you.  My dreams are filled with having a c-section or a baby in the NICU or breastfeeding issues.  So, I decided enough was enough - I'm only going to read positive books that focus on birth as a normal process.  Not that the other books are bad for everyone (because you should seriously educate yourselves on all the interventions, etc.), but just that I need to clear my mind of the negative.

My *we're going to have a baby* readings include:

(1) "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" by Ina May Gaskin
This book is by far my favorite.  I've been so inspired and encouraged by it's words of wisdom.

(2) "The Birth Partner" by Penny Simkin
I read this book a while back when I was attending the delivery of a good friend.  It's great for dads!  And therefore is on the Engineers list of readings...(not that all these books aren't on his list.  Hint, hint, mister).

(3) "The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know about Your Baby from Birth to Age Two" by William Sears and Martha Sears
This book is for after birth.  Every now and then the Engineer and I have this realization that we should probably read up on what to do after we're done incubating and birthing this baby.  I enjoy Dr. Sears' phillosphy on parenting, which is along the lines of attachment parenting...breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing.

(4) "Hypnobirthing: The Mongan Method" by Marie Mongan
Hypnobirthing is one of the techniques we are learning for Little Engineer's arrival.  Our classes won't be for a few months, but we're reading the book and practicing the relaxation techniques.  We've been told over and over to 'practice, practice, practice, no matter what method you choose!'

(5) "Husband-Coached Childbirth" by Robert Bradley
Lastly, we also plan to learn the Bradley technqiues and positions for the big day.  The Bradley method has been highly recommended by our midwives and several friends.

**A quick lactation plug: For anyone looking for a good read on breastfeeding, I'd like to recommend "Breastfeeding Made Simple" by Nancy Mohrbacher and Kathleen Kendal-Tackett  or La Leche League's "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding".
Happy Reading!

29 November 2010

hot potatoe tvs

Last year over Black Friday I said to the Engineer...
If you really want a new TV and think we just have to have one (even though ours works just fine), then you can buy one next year on Black Friday.  To which he replied "Ok, deal!" 

And do you know what?  My homes didn't forget my insane delayed gratification promise. 

He talked about getting a TV on Black Friday all stinkin year long...

Maybe it's because our TV looked like this...

And it was a hand-me-down.  And the Engineer thought to himself "Why am I the only chump in town with a box tv?" 

So, if he had to get a TV that would mess up my whole armoire situation (a slice is pictured above), then I was getting a stand that would not only pleasing to the eye, but toy storage friendly (my freak out lately is where will we put all this baby stuff THEY say we need in our shoebox condo?  And saying "no" to clutter...is that even possible with a baby?).  Anyway, luckily craiglist provided me with the following at a well discounted price...

I provided craigslist with the old box tv and the rest was up to the Engineer and Brother to figure out on Black Friday.

Did you know it was 28 degree, snow/raining/windy in Ohio on Thursday night?  Well I gathered all the warm supplies the boys would need and sent them out at 11pm to line up at Target for our new 1/2 priced 42" FLAT SCREEN TV.  And do you know that people start lining up a whole 24 hours in advance for these deals? 

**(Meaning the Engineer and brother came home defeated before even having a chance to line up, on account that we calculated each store probably had no more than 10 tvs, therefore a line of 20 or more was pointless to wait in).

Then we all smartened up and realized on-line deals are good enough (and warmer to wait in line for too!) and purchased online instead.

For now we're left with an empty tv stand until Best Buy decides to ship the Engineer's new baby...

Would you believe that we are incredibly bored after just 1 evening sans tv?  No Kelly and Reg, no Office, no 16 and Pregnant, or Kendra, or football (ok that's actually AWESOME). 

On a happier note, I walked by Pier One the other day and was adoring a white Christmas tree through the window.  I thought to myself 'I want a white tree someday!'  AND then I magically realized, WAIT A QUICK SECOND we ALREADY HAVE one of those. 

And that, my friends, was a good day.

22 November 2010

i know it's messy, we'll put down a drop cloth or something

We've gotten some funny looks...good looks, bad looks, confused looks, but the decision was made about 3 years ago that we'd have a home birth. 

It began with my lactation training.  The more I learned about birthing practices the more I knew a home birth or birthing center birth with a midwife was for me.  It's not to make a statement or to prove anything to anyone.  It's purely because we believe it's the best decision for our baby and it makes me feel the most comfortable.

Isn't that what we're all doing here?  Trying to make the best decisions for our babies...from birth to car seats to what we eat... 
The Engineer wasn't always on board for this relatively uncommon birthing choice.  One day in 2008 I gave him an ultimatum, not in a mean way, but in a "to be fair" way.  We were engaged.  I was interning at a local hospital and the more I experienced hospital births the more I knew I couldn't do it.  We had watched the documentary "The Business of Being Born" and I had been sharing the reasons for my desire to birth at home, but the Engineer was still on the fence.  One day I came home from interning and provided my fiance with the following information: If you really don't want a home birth you shouldn't marry me, because I feel really strongly about having our babies this way.  And he just said "ok, we'll home birth."  And that was that, we never debated the topic again.  I guess he was quite keen on marrying me. 

Since then he's had the opportunity to quiz the midwives at our practice and review their statistics and research findings, pushing him way over the fence.  Numbers speak loudly to the Engineer. 

Now I'm looking into cloth diapering - definitely on the fence about this one (of course, the Engineer even more so than me).  Let's just face it, it's hard to go all in with breastfeeding and not come out a little granola. 

The Engineer and I have been quite lucky and would like to thank our family and close friends for having our back and supporting all our (Julie influenced) granola decisions!

18 November 2010

uterine growth

12 weeks and my uterus is starting to do that "is she fat or is she...?" thing.  (Of course it probably doesn't help that I insist on wearing tight stretchy clothes all the time.)  I'm loving it!  I thought it'd feel awkward to be in this stage, but all that matters is I know it's my babycakes.  It also helps that my bra keeps getting tighter and tighter on me. 

The other day we were going to the UPS store and in a wee bit of a rush and like every other DC day there was no parking.  So, we drive around for second and realize the spot by the handicap section is for "expectant mothers and mothers with small children". 

EXPECTANT MOTHERS, well by golly that's me. 

We ended up not taking it because right then someone pulled out of a regular spot and we didn't want to have to deal with the rolling of eyes when we got out of the car.  Although my plan was to hold up my hand and say "It's alright, I'm 12 weeks here!"  You know to assure the rolling eyes bystanders.

16 November 2010

i am forgetful

I have this reoccurring dream.  I'm back in high school, not as teenage Julie, but as 27 year old Julie.  For some reason or another I have to complete high school.  And for the life of me I can't make it to my classes...specifically Math courses and sometimes Spanish.  It'll be the end of the semester and I realize "crap, I forgot to go to Geometry all year...they're going to fail me."  Then I get all high and mighty and remind them "I have a Masters degree for heaven sakes, can't you just give me a high school diploma!" 

I don't know what the deal is with this dream and why I have to keep going back to high school.  The Engineer figures I have unfinished business.  To which I reply "I graduated with honors...how could I finish my business any better?"

In my dreams I can never be ready on time or get my crap together.  ...I'm late to the airport and without my passport...I can't find my Geometry class that I some how failed to attend all year...I forget to breastfeed my new baby for hours at a time...

(poor unborn baby)

Sometimes sleep is just plain stressful.

10 November 2010

pregnant, barefoot, and in the kitchen

Welcome to a new series, titled "Pregnant, Barefoot, and in the Kitchen".  We can thank the Engineer for kicking off this series, with his "We're pregnant" post.  I know this phrase may seem degrading to some, but I love being 1/2 woman of the world and 1/2 director of the home/gestating wife.  Thank you loving husband for supporting me with a foot in each world (and soon both feet in mostly one world, but we won't go there yet...Little Engineer has quite some time before he makes his big debut).

Ok, so I'm barely pregnant and this series will be 1,000 times cuter when I get a stinkin bump!  But until then let's move forward, nausea and all...

Apple & Pear Crisp

Bake your favorite pears and apples topped with butter, honey, brown sugar, oats, milled flax seed, and your favorite nuts - oh yeah, and don't do what I did and leave out the CINNAMON!

Ingredients (approximately):
2 Bartlet Pears
1 Gala Apple
1 Granny Smith Apple
4 TBS Butter
3 TBS Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Oatmeal
1/4 cup Flax Seed
1 handful of both Almonds and Pecans
2-3 tsp Cinnamon
2 TBS Honey

Slice apples and pears and place in baking dish.  Mix remaining ingredients (except honey) and crumble mixture over fruit.  Drizzle with honey.  Bake covered for 15 min at 375 degrees, uncovered for another 15, and on broil for 2 min, if needed, for extra crispy toppings.  Serve warm with a scope of Vanilla Ice Cream!

Fall treats are the best - so warm, comforting, and spicey.  It's time to start working on that extra Winter layer, friends. 

04 November 2010

the shrinking and the growing

In our house we have one individual who is getting a little bit rounder and whose clothes are just a wee bit snug.  Then we have the other individual who looks as though they could be swimming in their clothes. 

The scenario goes...
Me: I almost have these skinny jeans buttoned.  Hey, can you give me a hand?   
Engineer: Look at how much weight I lost!  (pulling his pants out, mocking those silly weight loss commercials where the person wears pants 5,000 sizes too big for them)

And you may think I would be the more expensive one to dress, but you'd be wrong.  All I'm going to need is a fresh set of $5 leggings from Walmart and maybe a larger $10 scrub top or two; while the mister needs $500-gazillion suites.   It's quite the dilemma we have on our hands.  And our goodwill pile has become a mountain (I had to get rid of my 13-year-old and under clothing...I figured I'm going to be a mom after all, so it's probably time).

If you happen to be in the market for 13-year-old girl clothing or Marcus' 2 sizes too big clothes, then we are your one stop shop! 

This was a couple of weeks ago, but that's pretty much what it looks like.  "Rounded" or pudgy or bloaty...whatever you prefer.  Of course if you're the Engineer, you find it to be ADORABLE.

02 November 2010

hormone regulation, please

I've been a little, well let's just say less than pleasant lately.  I've hated all my usuals...salad, eggs, oatmeal, yoga, cuddling or for that matter the Engineer's face too close to mine.  I've repeatedly told the Engineer that I'm definitely dying, to which he always disagrees.  BUT something is switching over - I guess the body does eventually adjust to all these hormones - and I'm starting to feel like a human again. 

Thank goodness.  I was starting to freak out about the Little Engineer taking over my body and making every inch of me miserable.  The Engineer keeps patting my belly and telling the baby "It's ok.  Mommy is crazy, but daddy loves you." 

Now the warm fuzzies are coming back and I'm remembering why I wanted this so badly.  So, go on Little Engineer...take over! 

21 October 2010

the empty box

I've been thinking about posting like every day, but just can't seem to get myself on here these days.  Mostly because I have nothing nice, funny, or happy to say...well besides the obvious, I'm pregnant, but you know that already.

This shirt pretty much sums it up. (Thanks Katie and Phillip!) I like to wear it to remind the Engineer why I've become a helpless whiner and why he must be the helpless whiner's servant. Don't you wish you could be lucky enough to be married to me?

Ginger is pretty much my new best friend. 

Moving on...I don't find the following story funny, but the Engineer sure did, so it's the best thing I've got for you all right now. 
I'm not really digging sweets so much these days, but I do LOVE a good Snickers Ice Cream bar...MMMmmm. The other day I decided to buy a pack instead of over paying for individual ones all the time. 6 in a pack. This means
1 for me + 1 for the Engineer = 2
2 X 3 evenings in a row = 6
All 6 Snickers bars are accounted for.
On day 3 I ate my LAST snickers bar and went to the gym (I know very well thought out of me) figuring the Engineer would eat his while I was gone. However to my surprise on Day 4 I looked in the freezer and saw the Snickers box still sitting there. Wow, did he really forget to eat his Day 3 Snickers Ice Cream?!? So, I go over to the couch where the Engineer was located and put on my cutest 'I'm queasy and pregnant with your baby' face. And I ask the Engineer, Is there any chance I can pretty please have your last Snickers Ice Cream?  "Yeah, I guess."  Really!!???!!! Wow, you're so awesome!

And would you believe it?  The dang box was empty. 

OH MY GOSH!  I can't believe you just did that.  That was so mean.  (And he just laughs.  He's cracking himself up.)  You're going to McDonalds right now and getting me a Fish Fillet sandwich with tomatoes and lettuce (it's weird, but this is currently my favorite sandwich) and a hot fudge sundae!  No, it's not funny.  I'm serious go right now!

Oh Engineer, you think you're so funny...