Thursday, July 21, 2011

My 30th Birthday and 40 Weeks

Needless to say it has been a very busy few weeks and now I need to play catch-up! I celebrated my 30th birthday on the 8th and just a few days later I was 40 weeks pregnant on the 12th!! Add in Josh and I's 6th wedding anniversary on the 16th and it was quite the eventful week for the Seeley family.

With my birthday being so close to my due date, making a trip to the beach to celebrate (like we did for Josh's 30th birthday last August) was not going to be possible. But, Josh and I managed to escape for the day by ourselves since my mother was in town to watch Ethan. Our mission for the day was to check out tablets so that I could decide what I wanted for my birthday present! After much searching and comparing, I finally settled on what I originally thought that I wanted - an iPad2. :) Yeah, I'm kind of an Apple snob. We managed to find the one in particular that we wanted at just one store (the 32 GB, black one without 3G service) and I came home a happy lady!

Here it is in all of it's glory! :)

Yes, I'll admit that I am quite addicted to it already. There is an unbelievable number of totally cool apps available out there for the iPad and I am just getting started downloading them all! :) My current favorite is Similac's Baby Journal (hmm, I wonder why?). With it, I am able to track every diaper change (charting if it's #1, #2 or both and even the consistency and color!) Sorry, TMI? ;) It also tracks sleep time and nursing time (and also helps this mommy remember which side I need to start on). It charts everything and gives me averages - for example, tiny man is currently averaging exactly 2 hrs between feedings. His longest stretch of sleep so far is 4 hours and 34 minutes and he's averaging 9 diaper changes in a 24 hour period. Wow. So this may not be the coolest app for most people, but for mamas of newborns it is amazing!! :)

I also downloaded some fun apps for Ethan. I found a couple free flash card apps (eFlashEnglish and Parents Flash Cards) so that Ethan can work on words - a really great distraction while waiting for dinner or at a doctor's office! I also discovered that there is an app (OverDrive) that lets me check-out ebooks from our local library. You can only keep a max of 5 books for a 7-day period, but they have a decent selection of books for both Ethan and I to read.

Another one of my favorites is Dropbox. It gives you 2 GB of space (for free, or you can pay to up that amount) to put files, pics, songs, etc and makes them accessible to all of your other computers (when you download the Dropbox on those computers too) via the internet. This allows you to get files off of the iPad and onto your other computers easily, without having to sync to iTunes. Super helpful!

Skype is another essential app for us. We love being able to video chat with our families who live hundreds of miles away and the 2 cameras on the iPad2 make it extra easy to do this.

I like the Photoshop Express app for doing basic photo editing, Evernote for organizing my thoughts and ideas for projects and Dragon Dictation for dictating notes. Kayak also has an app for finding the best deals on flights and hotels. The Weather+ and Weather HD apps are also nice for quick looks at the local weather forecast.

More cool apps include barcode scanners (ShopSavvy and pic2shop). You can scan anything that has a UPC barcode and it will pull up the item and tell you where you can find it and for how much (both in local stores and online). Yay for saving money!

Then there are apps that are just for fun when you're bored...a labyrinth game; Virtuoso, which is a virtual keyboard to play; Shazam, which will listen to songs/music and tell you what the song is; Pandora, for listening to music; and abc and (cbs) have players for streaming their TV shows.

Some good food-related apps include Epicurious, which has lots of great recipes with the ability to search for recipes by ingredient; Foodspotting, for finding and spotting great dishes wherever you are; and Weight Watchers Mobile, which for members, gives you lots of options for tracking your points and also offers recipes too. Whew! So much fun and productivity in a cute, portable package. :)

As for the rest of my birthday, Josh, Ethan, my mom and I had a nice dinner at a local restaurant, Brickhouse Grille & Tavern. For dessert, a lemon meringue pie, of course. I even got some help from Ethan with my candles. ;) It was a nice birthday spent with my favorite people!

As I said earlier, I reached my 40-week due date just days after my birthday. Huge and miserable I went to my OB check-up the next day and we decided to induce the following day! Wow. Coming soon...the birth story! For now, here is a fun picture comparing my baby bumps at 40 weeks with both pregnancies. The bumps are pretty similar (I gained 30 lbs with the first and 28 lbs with the second), but my hair is quite different!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day from the Seeley family!!

Yep, that was one of the big ones Josh set off for us last night! :) The threat of rain kept us away from the local fireworks display at the lake, but Josh had purchased some fireworks of his own to set off, so we celebrated here at the house! At first I was bummed we wouldn't be going to see the show, but it ended up being even more fun having them right here, up close and personal! :) Ethan LOVED them this year and kept saying, "More! More!" for Daddy to set off more! haha! Here he is watching the sky light up. I love the look of pure joy and excitement on his face! :)

He was skeptical at first about playing with the sparklers, but once he saw Mommy and Daddy both with one, he decided he wanted to hold one too. :)

Those were actually leftover sparklers from our wedding almost 6 years ago!! Good to know they still work fine. :)

Time to rewind. We started the day on a patriotic note by making star-shaped pancakes. My original plan was to color them naturally with fruit purees (blueberry and raspberry), but my raspberries had gone bad too quickly, so I scrapped that plan and decided to make a blueberry syrup with the fresh blueberries, some sugar and a little water. I heated it all up on the stovetop, then pureed it in the food processor to get a nice consistency. Topped with a little whipped cream too and they were delicious! :)

I also wanted to make a flag cake for dessert that evening because I make one every year. I kept it to a small round cake this year since it was just the three of us who would be eating it. To make my flag cake, I bake a boxed white cake mix (Betty Crocker Super Moist) according to the package directions, then let it cool. I turn it into a Jell-O cake by poking holes in the cake and pouring the Jell-O mixture (heat 1 cup of water to boiling, add a red or blue 4 oz Jell-O packet and mix until it is dissolved, then add 1/2 cup cold water) over the cake. Then you just refrigerate it for at least four hours to set-up and "frost" it with Cool Whip and garnish with fresh fruit! :) Yum yum!

I found another patriotic treat on a blog that I wanted to test out too for dinner. The recipe was for a patriotic mocktail, suitable for both Ethan and I this year! ;) The recipe called for 3 oz each of fruit punch, blue gatorade and diet Sprite or 7-Up. Going by their guidelines that sugar content would keep the three liquids separated, I bought Hawaiian fruit punch (26 g sugar), Glacier Freeze blue gatorade (5 g sugar) and Sprite Zero (0 g sugar)...

Unfortunately, I was not impressed with the results. :( The gatorade was not showing up at all like the picture posted on the blog! Major disappointment. Oh well, it was a novel idea and worth a shot!

We hope that you and yours had a wonderful day with family and friends! :) Getting close to baby time now...just one more week to go!!!