December 2, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

We were on our own for Thanksgiving this year, celebrating with our family of 5. It had been a few crazy weeks leading up to the end of November, so it was nice to have a relaxing day at home with the fam (and long weekend with Jason home). I made a small turkey breast, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes, and green beans. It wasn't quite the same as having a whole roasted turkey and all the yumminess that comes with my mom helping me make the meal, but it was good and fun. The apple pie is always a highlight at the end, but we had quite an adventure with that as you can see from this picture:
I was taking it out of the oven and the oven mitt wasn't completely covering my hand, so I burned my finger and let go of the pan and all the insides of the pie slid right out of the crust and onto the stove, into the oven, on the oven door, on the cabinet, into the oven drawer and on the floor....it was a mess! But fortunately I had just scrubbed the inside of my oven door (I got some new cleanser I was excited to try that is food safe, so that was good timing!), and so I was able to scoop a lot of the insides back into the pie pan. I was just so glad I wasn't taking it anywhere or having people over to enjoy it with us, I think I would have cried then. But I just stood there speechless and then laughed and took a picture. :-)

Didn't get many other pictures from the day, but we had a nice relaxing time, and the kids enjoyed collecting leaves that morning and decorating the table.

Spencer's gearing up for his sweet potatoes!

Making placemats

Livi's turkey centerpiece

We have SO much to be thankful for!!

December 1, 2010

Spencer 6 months




I can't believe our little boy is 6 months old already!!!

He's sitting up now and eating solid foods and crawling! He's such a joy.
He had his check-up this week and measured 26 1/2 inches (50%) and weighed 17lbs 12oz. (50%). He got 3 shots and has been feeling pretty miserable the past few days since he's battling a cold on top of that.
What a little love, every day I'm so thankful he's ours.

October 5, 2010

4 month Hughesies

Spencer turned 4 months a couple weeks ago! He's growing so fast and I'm just trying to soak up every minute with him. I love the way he smells, his smile absolutely melts me, he's so happy and easy and fun. He's becoming so aware of his surroundings and wanting to explore. His hands are usually in his mouth, I wonder if he might be working on some teeth. He's still waking up at least twice a night to nurse and is ready to begin his day just after 6 (when we usually pull him into bed with us and try to eek out a few more minutes of rest, especially now that it's so dark later into the morning as we get deeper into fall.)

Last week at the doctor visit he weighed 16 lbs 1 oz and had grown 5 inches since birth. That's really quite amazing, isn't it??
Spencer's signature feature is his little button nose. Each of our children has had something that everyone always commented on....for Carson it was his massive cheeks, for Livi it was her beautiful bright eyes, and Spencer...it's his nose. It's really cute.

I though it would be fun to compare the three Hughes kids' pictures at 4 months old:

I sure love my family!








September 17, 2010

Rolling Over

Spencer is rolling over now, a little earlier than the other 2 kids did. It's pretty cute, but I have to be much more careful now, if I leave him on a blanket on the floor he scoots and spins all around! What a love.
video

September 10, 2010

Wild Baby Hair and an Anniversary

I just love the way Spencer's hair stands straight up all the time!

And I love that we got to celebrate 11 years of marriage this August. On our last anniversary, we had no idea that God would be blessing us in the coming year with wild hair baby, and we sure are grateful He did.

Spencer 3 months




I could just eat up this little guy, he's so precious!!

Olivia's birthday

Our sweet girl turned 5 a few weeks ago, and we had a great celebration! She really wanted to have a tea party with her friend Sarah, so we made a reservation at a tea house nearby, and the girls got all dolled up and had a great time enjoying tea and pastries! It was really cute and she was definitely in her element.









We love who you are, sweet Livi, and we're so thankful for you!!

July 29, 2010

Chocolate Kahlua Cake

This chocolate cake recipe is so delicious....

Get a Devil's Food chocolate cake mix, and to that add:

1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding
2 cups sour cream
4 eggs
3/4 cup oil
1/3 cup Kahlua
6 oz chocolate chips (regular or mini)

Mix all ingredients together and pour into a Bundt pan and bake at 350* for 1 hour.

Enjoy!!

P.S. it gets better with time....each day it seems to get more and more moist and yummy, so if you plan to bring it somewhere, maybe you could make it a day or two in advance. It also freezes really well, just wrap in plastic wrap and then in foil to keep it fresh.

July 23, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper Crostini: This one's a keeper

I tried out this recipe last night when a bunch of girlfriends and I got together for a craft night. I had seen it in my Real Simple magazine and it looked good, so I was happy to have an opportunity to try it out, and I can't wait to make it again. It was delicious! So if you are looking for a yummy appetizer, this is it. Enjoy!

Greg Brown’s Roasted Red Pepper Crostini

Serves 8 (makes 24 crostini) Hands-On Time: 20m Total Time: 1hr 20m

Ingredients

  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 heads garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 24 baguette slices
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Feta (2 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or basil

Directions

  1. Heat broiler. On a broilerproof baking sheet, broil the peppers, turning occasionally, until charred, 8 to 12 minutes. Wrap each pepper in a paper towel; let cool for 10 minutes. Use the paper towels to slide off the skins. Remove the seeds and cut the peppers into strips.
  2. Heat oven to 400° F. Slice ½ inch off the top of each head of garlic and place the garlic on a sheet of foil. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil and season with 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper; wrap tightly. Roast until tender, 45 to 55 minutes. Squeeze the cloves from their skins.
  3. Meanwhile, place the baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Bake until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese and Feta. Top the baguette slices with the cheese mixture, garlic cloves, peppers, and parsley/basil.

July 2, 2010


The country ahead is as wild a spread
As ever we're likely to see

The horses are dancing to start the advance--
Won't you ride on with me?

-from Peace Like a River


I love doing life with this man!

June 22, 2010

June 16, 2010

Spencer's Birth Story

3 weeks ago today....
Spencer Scott Hughes entered the world, and our lives will never be the same. What a sweet addition to our family, we are so glad God gave him to us.

I was due on Monday, May 26, and we had Jason's mom come come out a few days before that so she could be here when we had to go to the hospital and then get to meet him in his earliest days. She could only stay till Thursday, so we were sure hoping she'd get to meet him. I was 4 days early with Olivia and 2 days early with Carson so I was expecting this little boy to be a couple days early as well...and both C & O were born on Sundays, so we thought that would be kind of cool if he was too....but he was nice and cozy in my belly and decided to come 2 days after his due date. :-)

Tuesday night, Jason and I decided we'd take advantage of having his mom here to stay with the kids while we went out to a 9pm showing of Shrek 4 in 3D. We hadn't been out to a movie in a long time, so it was a fun little date. I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions for a few weeks on and off, and nothing unusual or more that day, but during the movie, I did notice some funny pains at the top of my groin, kind of a burning pain, different than I'd felt before, but nothing to really make me think that I'd be having a baby in a few hours.

We came home from the movie about 10:45, and I was really tired, so I got ready for bed right away, but started having some bigger contractions that did make me think that we might be heading to the hospital soon. At 11pm I was going to crawl into bed, but couldn't because the contractions came on so fast and furious, that we knew this was the night he'd be born. I was trying to get my things together, and breathe through my contractions.

Olivia came 4 hours after my labor started, so I knew I needed not to linger around home for very long. Time went by so fast while we got ourselves organized and ready to go, and we got to the hospital around 1am. I was so thankful that Patti was there and that the kids were asleep and we didn't have to worry about calling anyone to come over to help us with them. We had to go through the emergency room when we got there because they lock the front doors after hours, so they wheeled me down a long hall to Labor and Delivery (so grateful I didn't have to walk, I think Spencer would have been born in the hallway.)

My contractions were coming every couple minutes and were really strong, but when they checked me, I had only dilated to 3 or 4 cm, which made me feel discouraged because when I got to the hospital with Olivia, I was at 6 or 7. I knew I didn't want to have any pain medicine, but I was feeling a little discouraged that I was only at 4 cm, and wasn't sure if I could do this for a really long time......but only a half hour later I was dilated at 8 cm, and the urge to bear down and push was so great, it made it SO hard. I never had that feeling with the other kids. I was most comfortable in the bed, but I thought it might help to change positions, so I tried standing up by the side of my bed with my head down resting on the pillows....that was hard....then I tried sitting on the birthing ball, which I actually sort of liked because I could slowly bounce and rock and it was a nice change of position, and felt like when I had that huge urge to push that the ball would keep the baby in till it was time to really push. Having to resist that urge was so hard and crazy intense. Jason was a wonderful support to me....giving me back rubs, constantly giving me water or juice and chapstick, encouragement and words to keep me calm and slow down, and just his quiet presence was so good.

My sweet doctor had written all over my chart to call her, even if she wasn't the doctor on call because she wanted to be there to deliver my baby. I really liked her and I'm so glad she was able to come. They called her in right away when they saw I was at 8 cm, so I just had to wait for her to get there, and when she did, she broke my water and instantly I was dilated to 9 cm and a minute or 2 later I was just about at 10, with just a small lip of my cervix still there, but I had to push so bad, that she just held it back a little bit while I pushed and it went away. I remember the nurse calling the team in over the intercom saying, "Okay, we are going to start pushing at 2:23" which was in about 4 minutes. I guess this correlated with the timing of my contractions.

So at 2:23 I started pushing. It was really hard work, and I feel like I had to focus really hard on where to push. It's hard to explain, but I had to really concentrate on doing it right. So his head came out and he made a little cry, but his shoulder got stuck in there, so Jason and the nurses had to pull my legs way back and I had to push really hard while the nurse tried to turn him a little bit. And then at 2:35 his whole body slipped out....what a relief! I didn't see it, but they said the umbilical cord was all wrapped around him, under his arm, around his waist, between his legs, etc. Not tight or constricting, but he was definitely all tangled up. And the nurse said he was kicking the whole way out, which I did feel. It was kind of funny.

They put him right up on my belly/chest, which I just love. love. love. It feels so good to feel that warm wet body and see the sweet baby I'd carried all those days. Jason cut his cord and they continued to deliver the placenta and sew me up with a couple stitches. It was a nice distraction from the pain of that to have Spencer up on my chest where I could focus on adoring him. :-) What a wonder...what a miracle, it's all such an amazing thing and I'm so glad things went the way they did.

Spencer weighed in at 8lbs. 13oz and 20 1/4 inches long!!! Our biggest babe yet. :-) And his wonderful head of blonde hair and his adorable little tiny nose, woah, what a cutie!

Seeing the joy on Carson and Olivia's faces the next day when they came to visit was priceless. It felt so right and good to all sit on the bed as a new family of 5. Thank you Lord!!




May 22, 2010

The Belly

38 weeks

almost 40 weeks

When I look at these pictures, I can see now why I've gotten so many comments in the past few weeks about my belly.
Here are some that I've heard:
Woah, are you growing a linebacker in there?
Have you been thieving watermelons?
Did you swallow a bowling ball?
Wow, I haven't seen a profile like that in a long time!
Are you sure you're not having twins?
And then from 3 different 2 year olds, as they look up at me they have all pointed and said said..."Ball?"

I am feeling quite large at this point, and quite ready to meet this little guy and kiss these feet that keep poking out my left side. I am feeling really well though. Having lots of Braxton Hicks, and just waiting for them to turn into real labor. I have high hopes that this labor will go as well and fast as Livi's, but I'm trying to keep an open mind for the way it turns out.

Hopefully in the next couple of days we'll be able to post some news about our boy. :-)

"The Lord gives strength to his people, the Lord blesses his people with peace." Psalm 29:11

May 20, 2010

Dancing

Livi did an 8-week dance class that just ended this week. It was perfect timing, as it finished up right before this baby is due to come. She LOVED it, and looked so precious learning different moves and twirling around. At the end of each lesson, they got to pick out a costume and fairy wings and get sprinkled with fairy body glitter, which was the highlight of the class for Liv. She definitely was in her element.





video

May 13, 2010

Baby Shower

A few weeks ago some dear friends threw me a baby shower, and it was so fun. It was a gorgeous day and we were able to do it out in my friend, Sarah's, meadow, which she turned into a lovely spot for the occasion. We ate delicious food, had fun chatting, and they even had 3 craft tables set up....one for watercolor painting, one for a scrapbooking project, and one with a sewing machine where we created a quilt for our little guy, right there on the spot...in the woods...it was SO cool. :-)
I'm so thankful for these special friends and the opportunity to celebrate the life of this boy growing inside me.


Isn't this a cool diaper cake Bethany made?
And here she is painting a picture of the scenery:

Sarah cutting the fabric, Emily working on the scrapbook, Robyn (below) sewing the quilt.

Thank you for such a special day!!