Thursday, January 13, 2011

It's a boy!

Any name suggestions? We're positively stumped.

Monday, January 10, 2011

2 0 1 0

in retrospect

I received a lot of Christmas updates from friends and family this year. They are always fun to read. Some of the friends I heard from I probably haven't personally talked to them in 3 or 4 years yet they include me in their mass email of Christmas wishes and a letter about their year and what they've been up to. I haven't really ever done one of these but I found while reading a friend's the other day that even though I haven't spoken to him in years it was nice to hear that he was in medical school now. It was nice to see pictures of him with his family. It was just nice to know that life was well with long lost friends. Anyhow, I've decided that because I enjoyed the letters I got from others and because of the doozy of a year that 2010 was that I would give it shot and send out an update of our lives into the wild blue yonder for the enjoyment of others...if they care to read it all. So here goes.

2010 started off a little nerve wracking for Monte and I. The previous year had been spent with many health challenges for both of us and Monte had taken a turn for the worse. He was not responding to any medications including the IV treatments he was getting and the doctors had informed us that surgery was just about our only option. They scheduled the surgery for February and didn't want to wait any longer as they said if Monte lost much more weight it would make surgery much more difficult and dangerous. So, mid February Monte had his entire colon / large intestine removed. He was in the hospital for over a week.

Monte in the hospital in February.

Then they sent him home with a illeostomy bag and lots of medication and rules that he could not return to work for 6 to 8 weeks. His digestive system shut down about 5 days after the surgery and he had to go back to hospital, pumped full of fluids, and eventually undergoing a blood transfusion. But after nearly two weeks in the hospital he was back home and recovering well. He recovered faster than the doctors expected and they decided to move the second surgery (to remove the ostomy bag and replace it with a pouch made out of his small intestine) up a whole month cause he recovered so quickly. So, the last week in March he went back to hospital for the second surgery. This one went fine too and recovery was easier for him the second time around.
Monte after coming home from the hospital. He couldn't shave in the hospital and he assures me this is the only time I'll see him with a beard. He hated it.

During his leave from work when he couldn't do much, couldn't lift anything, and was on heavy meds we spent a lot of time touring houses on the internet. Our lease on our condo was ending in June and we were trying to decide what to do about that. We got very lucky and found a place we loved. The family in the home had another house built and wanted to get moving so they didn't haggle too much on price and wanted to close early. So for my birthday in April we closed on our first house.
I had a black and white party for my birthday last year.
All the food was black and white. And everyone came dressed in black and white.
It was the last party we had in our condo.

And by June after a few coats of paint we celebrated our 2nd year anniversary in our very own new home!!!
Monte and I on June 17th our 2 year anniversary!

We got lots of help with the move since Monte wasn't supposed to lift anything heavier than a bread box. And then we spent the remainder of our summer enjoying our very lovely backyard.


and Front Yard

Here we are painting our bedroom.

Master Bedroom before painting.

And then Master Bedroom after we painted, added a light to the ceiling fan, and bought new curtains.

Kid's Bedroom Before.

Then Nursery after we painted...I'm not done with the paisley circles I'm painting on the walls yet. And it doesn't matter if we eventually have a boy or a girl...I wanted a blue nursery.

Dining room

and Living room.

The stairs we left yellow but I added an owl to the wall.

It matches the ceramic owls that I made in college that sit on top of the nook.

The first time we mowed our new backyard! The grass was ridiculously high when we moved in. We put our guinea pigs out in it and they nearly got lost.

Then a picture of kids enjoying our play set during our open house party.

There is no furniture in our living room as we put our couch and our tv upstairs in the loft but those sort of things will come later. It's just so nice to own our own place. Right now the place seems very large to us. The guest room is still full of boxes and art supplies and our guinea pig has the whole living room to himself. The house has three bedrooms so there is plenty of room for expanding our family. And the backyard came with a playset. This is all very good cause in September we found out I was expecting. We didn't tell anyone and surprised my family at Christmas with the news that not only would my parents be becoming grandparents in January with the birth of my Brother's first child but they would be twice blessed as their daughter was due in June.

It's a baby! We'll find out January 12th if it's a boy or girl. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a girl cause we have no idea what to name a boy.

This is an ultrasound from a check up on Dec. 1, 2010

Here is a picture of my brother and I with our spouses over Christmas break at my parent's house. Sara is 8 months pregnant and I'm only 3 1/2 so my baby bump is small.

As you can guess it was a very exciting Christmas and a nice way to end the 2010 year. Now we are in January and are looking forward to many exciting changes to take place this year in our family. We are also praying for good health this year. Some test results lately have not been so good and there is fear that my health issues may be cause by Chronic Lyme Disease so the next step is to verify and possibly get on medication to protect the baby. That's all a little nerve wracking and stressing for me. But overall I'm really excited about the idea of being a mom. And now that the all day every day nausea has let up I can start really enjoying being pregnant. Monte and I find out this coming Wednesday if we're having a boy or girl and baby is due June 16th. (One day shy of our third year anniversary.)

That's the big news around here. Other news is that I'm getting back into my cake decorating. I had to take 3 or 4 months off since the smell of anything made me terribly sick, but the Austin cake show is coming up the end of February and I plan on entering again. I have some new ideas I want to try. I'm not happy just going traditional so we'll see what the judges have to say this time around. For your enjoyment, however, here are some pictures of a few cakes I did before I got pregnant and took my leave of the business for a while.

We'll start off with this. This is not a cake, however. This is Monte's birthday cookie. He really likes cookies and I made him a very big one. Decorated it with icing and served it in slices with ice cream. It was extremely too sweet for my tastes.

I made Calvin and Hobbes using a frozen buttercream transfer. It's one of my new favorite techniques. I pipe the design backwards onto some wax paper and then fill in the background. I put it in the freezer for 45 minutes and then I remove it from the wax paper and flip it over and place it on the cake...or in this case cookie. :)
Here are some birthday cakes using the same technique.

Buzz Lightyear and Woodie cakes for a pair or twin boys who were turning 4.
And a pretty design for my sister-in-law's birthday cake. This one had a delightful raspberry filling. Here is the Chutes and Ladders cake I did for the cake show last year along with my butterfly wedding cake. I used the frozen buttercream transfers to make the game pieces. That was my first time trying out the technique. The ladders and slides and spinner are all made of fondant. And of course baby shower cakes are always popular. Here is a monkey cake for a monkey themed shower. And this is just a cute little sleeping baby boy. And here is duck pond for ducky theme baby shower.
This was a Father's Day cake. Also a duck pond. The father and son are made of gingerbread cookies. The real father and son enjoyed feeding the ducks together hence the theme of the cake. And here's a little boy's Lego birthday cake. That was a fun cake. And next is a little girl's very very pink very large Disney princess castle. The cake is all real with cookies and icecream cones on it but the princesses were toys for the birthday girl. And this was for a first birthday party. They served a large cake to everyone and then had a mini cake with polka dots made for their little one. He devoured it!
And lastly. Here are some fondant pieces. I was just playing around one afternoon. I don't have anything to do with them yet. I just wanted to experiment.