Fall Snow

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We got a little pre-winter treat of some snow flurries this week! I took Little Bit out to see her first snow. (She has this adorable, super fuzzy teddy bear coat thing that we joke she looks like an Ewok in.) She wasn’t terribly impressed by the wet, white, falling things.

I, on the other hand, was so excited!

For someone who didn’t Christmas for nearly a decade, I’ve been getting more and more into the holidays the last few years, and this year I’m SO excited for Christmas!

I want to do all of the Christmas things with Little Bit, although I know she won’t remember it.

I can’t wait to watch Christmas movies, hang her stocking, take her to see Santa, wrap her presents, and enjoy our first snowy day snuggled up.

You know how you wake up to the peaceful quiet of the world on a snow day? You pull back the curtain to see everything clean and clear.

I’m a bit like Lorelie Gilmore when it comes to snow, and I can’t wait to share those magical moments with Little Bit!

What about you? Love snow or hate it? Let me know!


Pumpkin Dessert

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It’s the height of pumpkin spice season, and I’m loving it. All things pumpkin at this time of year makes me happy.

When I was in elementary school, we always had a Thanksgiving feast celebration in November. We would bring in ingredients and make our dishes at school together. When I was in fourth grade, we had a delicious pumpkin dessert. It was such a hit that I brought the recipe home, and it’s been in my mother’s recipe box every since.

Recently, my parents were invited to a pumpkin-carving party. She decided to pull out the old recipe one more time. Again, it was a hit with a new crowd.

If you’re looking for a quick, easy, and yummy recipe for upcoming harvest parties, here it is . . .

There are 3 layers.

Bottom layer –

1 package dry yellow cake mix (reserve 1 cup for later) 1/2 cup softened butter or margarine 1 egg

Mix together and spread on the bottom of a 13 x 9 lightly greased/sprayed cake pan.

Middle layer

1 can Libby pumpkin pie mix 2 eggs 2/3 cups milk

Mix together and spoon on top of bottom layer.

Top layer

1 cup reserved cake mix 1/4 cup sugar 1/4 cup softened butter or margarine 1 tsp. cinnamon

Mix until crumbly and sprinkle over middle layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 or until toothpick comes out clean.


Little Bit Update

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It’s been a whirlwind of a month. I can’t believe that October is over!

Since we brought Little Bit home, things have been more than a little bit stressful. They want babies to be back to their birth weight by the two-week mark, and we just couldn’t get Little Bit back there.

She was jaundiced which we knew was contributing to the weight issue, but both the midwives and the pediatrician didn’t think it looked that severe until we got her bilirubin levels tested

We made an urgent trip to the hospital (on my birthday) for an overnight stay where she had phototherapy and got her levels more where they should be.

Finally, her weight started to increase and the doc said she’s on the right track. We’re so relieved!

I wanted to thank everyone who has reached out and offered their good wishes and support in regards to Little Bit’s arrival. We appreciate you all!

What I’m Listening to Wednesday: The Music Man

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You know how you just get a song stuck in your head and wind up listening to it on repeat?

I’ve had Marian the Librarian from the original 1962 movie, The Music Man, stuck in my head for two weeks now.

As much as I love Kristen Chenowith, her Marian in the 2003 version doesn’t make up for Matthew Broderick’s Harold Hill. Nothing compares to Robert Preston. His inflection and mannerisms absolutely make the character.

If you’ve never seen it, you really should. This movie musical is a classic! I love the entire thing although Marian the Librarian is the song that typically gets stuck in my head.

Harold Hill:

What can I say, my dear, to catch your ear I love you madly, madly
Madam Librarian…Marian

Heaven help us if the library caught on fire
And the Volunteer Hose Brigademen. Had to whisper the news to Marian…Madam Librarian

What can I say, my dear, to make it clear I need you badly, badly,
Madam Librarian…Marian

If I stumbled and I busted my what-you-may-call-it
I could lie on your floor unnoticed’
Till my body had turned to carrion…Madam Librarian.

Now in the moonlight, a man could sing it
In the moonlight
And a fellow would know that his darling
Had heard ev’ry word of his song
With the moonlight helping along.

But when I try in here to tell you, dear
I love you madly, madly,
Madam Librarian…Marian!

It’s a long lost cause I can never win
For the civilized world accepts as unforgivable sin
Any talking out loud with any librarian
Such as Marian…Madam Librarian.

Burnett Restoration

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I wanted to take today’s post to showcase Burnett Restoration in Winchester, Virginia. If you remember from my last post, I received my Granny’s rocking chair for Little Bit’s nursery.

When we unloaded it, we noticed that the ends of the rockers were chipped a bit, the one arm was a bit wobbly, and some of the finish came off the arm when we went to wipe it down.

The baby was due to arrive in a week, and I reallllly wanted the chair done and in the nursery before her arrival, so I called Burnett Restoration and explained the situation.

Mr. Burnett was SO sweet and understanding.

He asked me for pictures of the chair and said that he could probably get it done before my due date and even offered to drop it off to me if I went into labor before the work could be completed!

I had The Fellow load it into LIttle J’s car that evening (We had finally gotten the car seat into my Jeep and there was NO way I was removing it.), and I took it over the next day.

The following day I got a call back from Mr. Burnett saying that the chair was done! He had worked on it first thing to make absolutely sure that I had it for Little Bit’s arrival!

You can’t even tell that the arms were refinished. The rockers look amazing, and the arm is super sturdy.

I am so incredibly impressed with the level of quality and service that I wanted to share my awesome experience with you all. If you’re in the Shenandoah Valley and need restoration work done, I highly recommend Burnett Restoration

What I’m Listening to Wednesday: My Love Will Never Die

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As you can imagine, I’ve spent quite a bit of time watching Netflix while Little Bit nurses or sleeps and I’ve been on bed rest the last two weeks. Most of that has been spent binge-watching the Netflix original series Lucifer.

It’s a campy crime show that follows the devil as he tries to reform his devilish ways.

It’s really cute, and the soundtrack is amaaaazing!

On song in particular caught my ear – “My Love Will Never Die” by Claire Wyndham.

It’s hauntingly beautiful and reminds me of “Skye Song” which a college roomate sang during voice lessons.

You should check both the song and the show out if you need something to watch now that the evenings are getting darker earlier.

My love, My love
My fearless love
I will not say goodbye..
Sea may rise
Sky may fall
My love will never die.

Go on, Go on
Go bravely on
Into the blackest night..

(Ooh, Ooh, Ooh…)

My heart, My heart
My drowning heart
Oh all the tears I’ve cried
Oh I may weep forevermore
My love will never die..

My love, My love
My fearless love
I will not say goodbye..
Sea may rise
Sky may fall
My love will never die.

Nursery Reveal

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Like I said in my last post, things got a little bit out of order with the early arrival of Little Bit, and I never got to share our nursery reveal with you!

You may remember that The Fellow and I were pretty adamant about limiting the amount of pink when we started discussing nursery colors, and we settled on a woodland gnome theme.

After painting the walls lavender, I found the curtains next. I loved the crisp blue and overside poppy print. I think they tone down the purple walls and are adorable and whimsical.

We were blessed that people gave us most of the things from our registry, so I have adorable gnome sheets and mushroom fan pulls and a pillow to keep the theme going. I kept the flower drape from a baby shower which my mother draped over the mirror which I think looks perfect.

I felt like I needed to make something for the nursery, so I painted a triptych for the wall. Keeping to the theme, it’s of a Mr. & Mrs. Gnome and their mushroom house. We literally got them hung on the wall the night before she arrived. The Fellow was arguing that they didn’t need to be done -that- night, and I told him that they certainly did. Turns out I was very right!

I had been looking for a good rocking chair for the nursery, and my mother and I bought one that needed refinished on our girls’ weekend in Gettysburg, but the entire time we were looking I kept comparing each rocker we tried to the comfortable old rocker at my Granny’s house.

I haven’t mentioned it here because it takes me some time to process things, and I don’t always want to share events with the Internet as they are occurring in my life; however, both of my grandparents on my father’s side passed away recently.

As you can imagine, there was a great deal of sadness and stress on top of prepping for Little Bit. We were all dealing with a lot, and none of us were really ready to tackle refinishing the Gettysburg rocking chair.

I’d pretty much abandoned any thought of having a rocking chair in the nursery when my parents brought me Granny’s rocking chair.

It’s still as comfortable as I remember and is the best spot to sit and rock Little Bit. It arrived the week before Little Bit and was exactly the final touch we needed for the nursery to be all ready for her.

Little Bit

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Sorry for the radio silence. We had a bit of a big week. I had a plan for how the next few blog posts were going to go, but Little Bit decided to shake things up, so we’re going out of order.

Remember how I said that I thought LIttle Bit was going to be late and hoped she had no intention of arriving before my due date? Well, I was wrong, and she was early!

She was so early, in fact, that she was barely an October baby at all. I’d like to share our birth story and experience with using a Birth Center instead of having a hospital birth with you. I’ll try to keep it fairly concise, and I’ll skip anything too messy.

Last Tuesday about 2:30 in the morning, I woke up completely annoyed with The Fellow. I felt like he was taking up more than his share of the bed. I’d been sleeping at a weird angle causing my back to ache, so I grumblingly decided to go sleep on the couch.

I soon realized it wasn’t a backache when my water broke. Now, both the birth class we had taken and the midwives had said that if you go into labor in the middle of the night, call and let them know, but just relax and try to get some sleep because it’s usually a long process and you’ll need the extra sleep.

There was no additional sleep.

About an hour later, after realizing that I was definitely not getting any more sleep, I called the midwife on call and let her know. She said if things didn’t progress she would call and check-in around the 6-hour mark. (I’ll save you my thoughts about that statement.)

At that point, I was ready to go to the center, but she told me we should wait, so wait we did. Twenty or so minutes later, I finally woke The Fellow up and bless his heart he tried to help, but if I’m in pain, I’m very much a hands-off person. As he kept trying to comfort me, I kept telling him not to touch me, so he just went back to bed and lay there while I whimpered or occasionally yelled at him.

Another hour passed. I started to feel really crummy and was sick, so he called the midwife again and told her that I was more or less insisting we go in, and she said that she’d head in . . . it was an hour drive for her and a 9-minute drive for us . . . so we waited. Again.

Finally, it was time to go. We loaded into the car . . . only for The Fellow to say he’d forgotten to take his allergy medicine and ran back inside. (I know. I almost murdered him.) Finally, we were ready to go. Unfortunately for me, the delay to allow for the midwife’s drive time meant that the “worst” part of labor, the Transitional Stage, happened at home . . . and in the car. Not going to lie, I snapped at The Fellow a few times during the drive.

We made it to the Birth Center, up the ramp, and then to the worst part – the stairs. And at the top of the stairs was a midwife whom I had never met. There are two main midwives at that location, and one was out on her own maternity leave, so the owner who usually works at the other location was covering clients while she was out. Thankfully, she was super sweet. She greeted me, gave me a hug, and said that we were going to have a wonderful birth.

Now, this was one of the things I had wanted to avoid by going to a Birth Center instead of a hospital – having strangers around who I didn’t know and who I didn’t trust, so I may have had a mini panic moment, but she was wonderful and everything was fine once we got into the swing of things.

It was now 6:30 or so in the morning, and the midwife was insistent that she check how far along I was, and I was insistent that I get into the tub. Pretty sure that the first thing I really said to her was “What can we do for the pain?” Knowing full well, the only real thing was getting in the tub. She made the check and just went, “Oh, we’re going to have a baby . . . soon.”

Since I was a first-time mama, she was expecting this to be more of a lengthy process. The tub wasn’t even fully filled before we were full-on pushing.

The tub was amazing. Seriously, amazing. I don’t have anything to compare it to in way with medicated births, but it felt great for me.

She was born less than an hour later at 7:34, even before the nurse and trainee midwife arrived!

One thing that I hadn’t planned on doing was catching Little Bit myself. I had fully intended to let the midwife handle that part because trying to scoop a newborn baby out of a pool of water sounded absolutely terrifying, but when it happened I just instinctively reached for her to pull her to me. It was a beautiful and terrifying moment.

My mother arrived shortly after the baby was born and was there for all of the post-delivery things, and we headed home with Little Bit around 12:30.

Nothing can really prepare you for childbirth. Everybody has their own experience. Thankfully, it wasn’t as terrible as I was expecting it to be. I’m glad that Little Bit is finally here. We love her so much. They’re right when they say you don’t realize you can love someone you’ve just met that much, but you do, you really, really do

I’m so glad that I went through the Birth Center. I felt in control, looked after, and there was 0 judgement. It was such an amazing experience. I can’t imagine doing it any other way.

We’re still trying to adjust to Little Bit and get everything figured out, but we’re loving every minute of it!

Fall Feeling

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First things first, I know I promised you pictures of the nursery this week, but we had a last-second addition that I’m still working on, so next week I swear!

Can you believe that it’s finally fall ?! Even if it doesn’t quite feel like it yet.

I managed to do a little bit of fall decorating to get in the mood, but it’s still so hot out! Hopefully, it will cool off some soon so we can all break out our sweaters and boots (Well, once my feet will fit in them again . . . ) and enjoy crisp fall days and changing leaves.

In the meantime, I’ve been enjoying my favorite parts of fall – the flavors and scents. I’ve broken out the Pumpkin Spice creamer, bought apple cider, and started looking for a great fall wax warmer scent, but a friend came visiting earlier in the month and brought with him apple butter doughnuts and that’s all I can think about! I’ve got to find a good local source or a recipe for them!

Typically around this time of the year, we head to the Maryland Renaissance Festival, but we’re skipping that this year as we’re so close to baby’s arrival. I don’t think traveling a few hours away is quite a good plan. I still do want to find something fun and fall-y to do this weekend (Maybe a hay ride or a pumpkin patch? I’m not sure.), since I probably won’t be leaving the house much after early October. I’m keeping my eyes open for something that fits the bill in my immediate area.

I’m also thinking we’re close enough to October to start watching my favorite spooky movies – Hocus Pocus, Sleepy Hollow, Corpse Bride to name a few. (Can you tell I’m not big on super scary movies?)

What fall traditions, activities, or foods are you looking forward to the most this year?

Raggedy Ann

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Recently, a teacher friend of mine posted on Facebook asking for book suggestions to read to her class, and I recommended that she check out the Raggedy Ann books.

Raggedy Ann has been an iconic character for many years. You’re probably familiar with her and her companion Raggedy Andy.

Their merchandise has become collectable, and their features are on just about everything – glasses, curtains, trays, clothes. I think everyone has dressed as a rag doll for Halloween at some point, and it’s typically a version of Raggedy Ann.

Unfortunately, while many may know who she is, not many people these days have actually read the Raggedy Ann books. That’s partially because they’re a bit difficult to find, rather pricey, and some may say outdated. Luckily for me, my mother has most if not all of the books from her childhood. I loved reading them, and I’m due for a re-read. I’m sure when we visit my parents with Little Bit, I’ll get to refresh my memory some.

If you’ve never had the chance to read them, they are early chapter books chronicling the adventures of the two rag dolls. Raggedy Ann and Andy go on the wildest adventures in the most magical lands. They meet hobby horses who talk, cookie people, witches, and magicians. Or sometimes they just venture downstairs to the kitchen with the other toys. Whatever their location there is always a moral to each story.

Raggedy Ann has a candy heart which makes her sweet and kind-hearted. Children can learn so much through her stories, and I wish they were more popular now! 

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a collector’s set of the same hardback books my mother has. Although you can find the majority of them in individuals, they don’t have the same cover art that I grew up with.

What books from your childhood do you wish everyone could read? Let me know in the comments!