Thursday, February 28, 2013

Big decisions.

   When I started looking into cloth diapering, I had NO IDEA how overwhelming it could be. The community is huge, and there are TONS of options. I thought I knew what I wanted, but then I found more and more, and they just kept looking like great options, so I've had a tough time deciding. I think I know what I want to try out first, and based on reviews and recommendations from moms who cloth diaper, I am really excited, but I am not prepared to shell out the $400 to get a good stash until I've tried them.
   I've found a site that has the diapers I want in package deals for really great prices, so I have been thinking about buying 3-6 of them to try out, and if I don't like them I can resell them for almost what I paid for them. If I DO like them, they have another package that comes with accessories and 18 diapers, which will complete my stash. I want at least 24 diapers in my stash since I only get to do the laundry every other day.
   At first I thought I wanted pocket diapers, but the more I thought about it, the more they seemed like a lot more hassle than I could handle with a toddler and a new baby, considering I was just getting into cloth diapering and I'll be back in school, so time is a factor. It also seemed like it would be harder to go out with them, and stuffing them is time consuming, and unstuffing before washing seemed really gross and time consuming. Most of the all-in-ones I looked at I was not impressed by, until I looked at the bumGenius Freestyle OS AIOs. I'm really excited about them. I posted on the cloth diapering forum I'm part of looking for reviews and advice, so hopefully I'll hear the good, the bad, and the ugly about these diapers and can make a decision about whether or not to order trial diapers. I have a lot of time, but I just feel like I should have a good idea of what we want to try BEFORE baby gets here, and I am the type to over-research everything, so I have been. Plus it gives me something to think about other than, "Holycrapwe'rehavinganotherbabywhatwasIthinkinggoingthroughwiththis?!" I'm a little freaked out about having a newborn and a toddler. I know women do it all the time and have done it for ages, but it's scary.
   I've been planning a lot of stuff. This time I'm throwing a baby shower for myself. Morgan is going to help me. This way I can invite everyone. Last time my step-mom threw one for me, and it caused some issues with my mom's side of the family that I didn't invite them. This time I'm inviting everyone, my family, Brandon's family, Inez and Charlie... anyone that isn't adult enough to get along can decline the invitation and then it's their problem for choosing not to be involved in it. I'm sick to death of juggling families. These people are adults and can be courteous to each other. Damn it. Hahaha.
   Anyway, I've been thinking about what to do at the baby shower, and when to do it. I'm thinking the end of May or start of June would be best. No MAJOR holidays in May or June, but I'm due on July 13th, so I want to be big enough that it looks like I just ate too much Taco Bell, but not so big and uncomfortable that it's not fun. Cooper was born right after the holiday season, and the shower was right before, so people were already stressed about money and bills and the holidays, and it was just another THING to worry about. This time I'm stressing on the invite that gifts are appreciated, but not expected or anything. We're going to do a picnic at the park so Cooper and my younger cousins can run and play and I can take Raymond and not have him stuck home alone all day. Music, maybe water balloons, fried chicken, watermelon, lemonade, I might grab an ice cream cake right before we get there and pop it in a cooler in hopes it holds up. Nothing major. Just a fun get together to celebrate Baby. We might have a betting calendar, where you guess the date the baby will be born and the gender, and the winner splits the pot with us. A friend of mine did that at her shower and everyone seemed to like it.
   I've got the registry done, just in case. I've figured out what cloth diapers we want to try out. I've picked the nursery furniture, which I'm getting around my birthday as my gift. I'm hoping we can move back to Boise in the fall, since it will be extremely hard to move in the summer. Brandon thinks we can do it. He's been working so hard to make everything perfect. With Cooper we weren't prepared, we took on too much having a friend and my sister both live with us for a time while I was pregnant in our tiny apartment, then there was job loss after we were stolen from and it just all fell down. This time we're moving more slowly, and setting goals, but not over-extending our resources to reach them. We've got this. If we have to live here another year, that's ok. We'll make it work.
   Cooper is so funny about the new baby. He's trying to process it all sometimes, but it's got him stumped, I think. He's a good kid. I'm getting heartburn. Time for some toast or something.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Mateys in coconut milk.

   The first bite was weird and off-putting. The next bite was a little less so. By the fourth bite I didn't even notice that it wasn't normal milk. It was much easier for me to adapt to than almond milk. It also has a lot more vitamins and minerals per serving then the almond milk. I'm actually beginning to enjoy it, and the best part? It doesn't make me feel sick. At all. I ate an entire bowl of cereal without feeling sick. I was able to enjoy a bowl of cereal with my kiddo this morning, and feel great. It happened to be Marshmallow Mateys, which is kind of funny. Pirates and coconuts. Haha.
   Cooper and I are making banana cake, and banana bread today. We'll make one cake, and 2 loaves of bread. One loaf to eat at breakfast this week, and the other to freeze and pull out later. I don't like banana bread. Bananas aren't my favorite, but I like them plain if they are just barely ripe, still a little green on the stem. My boys LOVE bananas, so when we have them, if they don't get eaten, I make something special out of them. Even if it's just banana bread.
   My Cooper is a weirdo. He loves Flaming Hot Cheetos. His favorite are the jalapeno cheddar. Yuck. He and Brandon eat bags of them together. He eats a bunch of them, and then says, "Oh no! Spicy!" and chugs some milk. It's adorable.
   I know, I know. A two-year-old eating that garbage. I'm the world's worst mother. Ha! We also give him a little caffeine free soda when we get happy meals. We eat really well, we focus on healthy food at home. It's all about moderation. Healthy most of the time, junk from time to time as a special treat. It's working for us. Cooper is super healthy, now that he's over the flu. He's the right weight for his height, he's got strong bones and muscles, he's on track for his cognitive development, and most importantly he's happy. He's a happy kid. Sometimes I think we give him a little too much, because every now and then he acts like the boss, and we have to remind him that he doesn't get everything he wants. I'm pretty stinking proud of my little boy though.
   I'm officially halfway through the pregnancy. It feels good to be over the hump. It's like now I can see the end. I've made it this far, I know the rest won't take as long as it felt like before. Here's to 20 weeks! I need to get through this week and next week, and I'll finally be able to stop worrying constantly. I wish this baby would move more. I get a few small movements every day, but nothing like Cooper. It makes me nervous that something is wrong. I need to stop fretting. I've chewed my lips into hamburger and my nails are starting to get soft from me tapping on my teeth all the time. My next midwife appointment is next Thursday. I'm pretty excited. It's at 3. I've been gaining weight slowly but steadily, which kind of bums me out some days, but is exciting anyway because it means I'm healthy. I'm getting round and feel great. Still tired a lot, but that's winter for me.
   This week is going to be good. I can tell.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

It's been WEEKS...

...and the dairy thing is still getting me down. I'm so bummed out. Last night we ordered in since Brandon got paid. The place we ordered from is one of my favorites. The deliver literally everything on the menu, including drinks and dessert, and it's all so yummy. It's a little bit pricey, but it's seriously delicious. I got my usual dish, which I can eat for every meal, I swear, but I have to be careful not to eat too much of it. It has a very light drizzle of white wine cream sauce, and if I eat too much I'll get sick. So I nibble slowly. Meanwhile Cooper got cheese-stuffed tortellini and Brandon got egg plant parmigiana with tons of cheese and a milk shake. I want a chocolate shake so bad.
   See, here's the problem I'm having: Every dessert on the menu had dairy in it. My diet contained a LOT of dairy. This last time I did the grocery shopping I realized just how much dairy we consume. My monthly shopping list has 5 types of cheese on it. 5. We drink milk at every meal. Most of our favorite foods involve cheese, sour cream, milk, cream, or yogurt. It's been really difficult. My midwives said it's not unheard of that if the baby is lactose intolerant or allergic to the protein in dairy, that my body would start to reject it to keep it from getting through to the baby. Great. Our child might not be able to have dairy? Poor baby! Just in case I'm trying to find lots of non-dairy alternatives, so Baby doesn't have to miss out on anything. I'm getting used to almond milk, which the boys both love. It doesn't work quite right in my tea, but I'm sure I'll figure something out. I've found coconut milk ice cream that tastes pretty good, too. I might even be able to make decent milkshakes with it and some vanilla almond milk.
   Some days it's just so frustrating. Some days I just want to eat a couple cookies with milk, or have a big old biscuit with tons of gravy, or mashed potatoes with butter and sour cream and milk in them. I think that's what I miss the most. I make some AWESOME mashed potatoes, if I do say so myself. I want cottage cheese, lasagna...

Friday, February 22, 2013

I'm actually starting to feel a little guilty about all of it.

   My husband is easily the best man I've ever met. He has such a big heart and loves doing sweet things for the people he cares about when he can. He always goes out of his way to make my birthday special, as well as every holiday. He is always bringing home little treats and toys for Cooper. Almost every night Coop gets a little something, and spends special play time with his daddy. He is constantly showing affection and being sweet, even when he's being a jackass. Which he is more than capable of being.
   Lately he's been extremely giving. I think it's because he's doing well at his job and can finally afford to spoil Coop and I. And spoil us he has been. Yesterday I got back home from my short stay in Emmett with Cooper, and he took me to the kitchen and gave me the new "surprise" he got me. It was the hardback Good Eats: The Early Years cookbook. It came with a poster. I nearly cried. It was so sweet and so perfect. He also got me a couple little things for the kitchen, like new frying tongs to go with it. He was so nervous I wasn't going to like it, which is funny, because I've never disliked a single gift he's gotten me, but he just wants Cooper and I to have things we love so he over thinks it. I LOVE it. Alton Brown is one of my favorite TV personalities of all time. Good Eats is my favorite show. I've seen every episode. It's what inspired me to learn food science and start playing with my own recipes and to try things I never would have had the guts to try before. I seriously love it. He did so well.
   Last night I got an email notification that the tea set that I've wanted for over a year and that was on my wedding wishlist was on clearance and nearly sold out. I got on the site and they had one left. I started talking to a friend of mine about what a bummer it was and how I'd just have to wait and find another one to get this summer. We were in team chat and my friend asked for a link to see it, so I sent the link. A few minutes later the last one sold. Sad. Brandon then sent me a new link with order information. He had bought it for me. He bought the very last one as a belated wedding present. I feel really bad. I was kind of in shock, and he mistook that for me not wanting it and it hurt his feelings, but I love it and I am happy. I just feel sort of guilty that he keeps buying me gifts. He's just so sweet and I know I've been grouchy lately, and hormonal, and whiny about not being able to eat dairy.
   The tea set is beautiful. It's glazed white porcelain set for two, with a little red faun standing for the first time, with a red leaf border. It has scalloped edges and squared handles. It's a set for two, with dainty little cups on saucers, a classic, squat, rounded teapot, a short little sugar dish and a milk pitcher. The milk pitcher is my favorite thing about it. I love the way the spout curves and the different sized scalloped rim. It's so lovely. I have a picture. Brandon and I drink tea and have breakfast together on quite mornings on his days off, and we haven't had a tea pot. Mine finally kicked the bucket a couple months ago. Now I just need an infuser for the pot, and a kettle for the water. We're going to order some good tea, since lately the bagged tea we've bought has been sub par. My favorite is Irish Breakfast, and I'm thinking of ordering some from The Mighty Leaf, as well as some other flavors I'm itching to try. Then again, I might just wander around downtown Boise after my next midwife appointment and check out some of the little shops down there and see what I can find. I love tea. I've loved tea since I was little. While everyone else in my family was developing a taste for coffee, I was drinking tea with Morgan and Pete a few towns over. Now I've managed to get Brandon, A.K.A Mr.-I-Only-Like-Iced-Tea to love it too. Then again, he thought he hated most cheeses too. Wrong! He now has money in our food budget just for gourmet cheeses. Ha. I win. XD
   Here's a picture of the new tea service I'll have by the end of next week:
   I'm SO EXCITED! My husband is a sweet heart. He is so getting a massage tonight.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Today *Updated*

   Has not been a good day. Time to try out that new lemon chicken recipe I've been saving for a mucky day. Maybe get some baking done. I've been listening to a lot of music today, especially stuff that makes me feel. It always helps me feel better to listen to music, even stuff that makes me cry. In fact, especially stuff that moves me like that. I've been really into Macklemore (who hasn't?) lately. He has a lot of music I like, but Same Love is my current favorite song. I listen to it a lot. The video is so beautiful.
   Cooper has been terribly ill, but he seems to be doing better. He's been eating like a horse today. I was awful worried about him for a while there. He had a crazy high fever and was puking everywhere. His fever was so high he was shaking. We went to the doctor and he had the flu and some other viral gunk, so we just had to keep the fever down and hope for the best. Turns out the best was ok, but it was frightening. I'm glad he's getting better.
   The weather has been wretched today. Spring was teasing me and I loved it. I wish it would come back. We had rain and snow today. Hopefully tomorrow is better. Who am I kidding, OF COURSE it will be better. :)

   I didn't end up baking, but that's ok. I DID end up making lemon chicken. It's one of Brandon's favorite things, and sadly there isn't a good Chinese place around here, and it's not on most of the decent menus, so he doesn't get it. That's not going to be an issue anymore. I found a really simple recipe for lemon chicken, changed a few things here and there to add flavor other than lemon and sugar. I added ginger, and a little garlic, some soy sauce, and I think next time I'll dice some green onion for the top. It was SO YUMMY, super easy and fast to make, and tasted as good as the restaurant I used to get it from. Brandon says it's as good as his favorite place, too, just a little different. He's asked me to start making it more often. It took all of 40 minutes to make between the steamed rice, chicken, lemon sauce, and with frequent Cooper and phone interruptions, so on a good day I'd say I could whip it up in 25-30 minutes. It was seriously delicious. Next time I want to make fried rice to eat with it, and steamed veggies.
   Brandon and Cooper built a little wooden race car toy together tonight. It was super cute to watch them, and Cooper LOVES his special new toy. He named it Cesco, pronounced Ches-Ko, after Francesco Bernoulli from Cars 2. He took it to bed with him tonight. It made me feel good to see them doing something special like that together. Brandon is an incredible dad. I'm so lucky and so proud.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My husband is a genius.

   He found a ride, so he can be home! YAY! He also bought me truffles for V-day from my favorite chocolate shop in Boise. He brought Cooper a cupcake. I love him so much. He's so thoughtful sometimes. We've missed him. Last night Cooper was able to go to sleep at a semi-reasonable time in his own room.
   Our shower is broken, so I'm deep cleaning the house so the landlord can come in and fix it. I love our landlord, but I hate having him indoors. It makes me nervous. I can't wait to be able to start saving to buy a house. No more landlords. I'll get to paint the kids' rooms and decorate how I like, and fix stuff that needs it instead of having to worry about going through the landlord.
   That's a long way off, I know. I think we're going to start saving our tax returns every year after this for a few years to have a decent down payment. I don't want anything particularly fancy. We can always get something modest and make it perfect over time. I just want it to be OURS. With a big yard where we can plant a small garden and let the kids and dog run around.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Body... Beautiful? Bloated? BIG?

   I'm feeling pretty body conscious today. I am getting round a LOT faster than I did with Cooper, and it's both physically uncomfortable and emotionally a little overwhelming. I'm very petite. I eat all the time, and have a great metabolism, so I don't really gain weight. When I do, I get bigger in my breasts and butt. I LOVE my body. It's been a shock and an adjustment to see it get big so fast. I mean, I know I don't look fat. It's very clearly a pregnant belly. It's ROUND and pokes out like a ball under my shirt, and with Cooper I felt a little body conscious, but I also felt cute and feminine. Now I just feel like a whale. None of my pants fit, my shirts all fit funny, I'm stuck wearing leggings EVERY DAY until I can afford some maternity clothes. I went from being a lovely size 4 to being a size sphere. I guess I need to buck up though. It means I'm healthy and baby is growing, and that really is beautiful.
   According to my midwives, my growth is on track. With Cooper I was always behind until the very end, and that's part of why he was breaking my insides, I think. He was cramped and just needed to stretch out, but had nowhere to go. This baby has plenty of room and doesn't kick nearly as much. I feel movement once or twice a day for short periods and that's it. I know from my last appointment that I'm healthier now than I was with Cooper. No iron level concerns, great growth, and now that I'm not puking all the time I'm hydrated and gaining weight on track. I'm eating right and doing stretches and exercises to prepare for birth every day. It's still bugging me to have a tummy today. I wish Brandon was home to kiss my forehead and tell me I've never been prettier. He's awful good at getting me to feel good about myself. :)
   I went to the eye doctor today, and got a prescription for my glasses. They'll be here by next week. I'm hoping to get them sooner so I can go get my license and Brandon can come home. Cooper's been sick and we both miss him so much and need him home. Soon.
   I'm pretty stoked to finally have glasses again. It's going to help with my headaches so much. Something about being able to see makes life a little easier. I've been functioning without them for over 2 years now and it's been tough, so getting them is going to be awesome. The eye doctor was really nice, too. I got super cute frames and the insurance covered most of it, and the total cost of the frames. I only liked two pairs of frames, and they were both super cheap, so that helped. The ones I got are simple black thick plastic frames that slightly sweep up at the outer corner, somewhat like really subtle cat-eye frames, but square. I LOVE them. I usually get colored frames, but none of them were cute. The other pair I liked were rainbow, and were SUPER bright, but when I tried them on they made my head hurt because the colors distorted my peripheral vision and I saw the colors reflected on stuff, so I got the other ones. Go figure my second choice would be really bright. Ha.
   Cooper had fun in the vision center. He tried on sunglasses and opened all the little eyeglass cases on the shelves and sniffed inside them, and then made me smell. It was pretty funny. When I get my glasses I want to get a pink case for them so that when I take them off they will be safe and not get broken like my last pair. That would suck.
   I'm hungry. Snack time. I'm thinking a mango and some blueberries, since I've already eaten 5 oranges today. I have been going through a 4 pound bag every 2 days or so. I crave them constantly. It's going to suck when they aren't in season anymore. Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron, so I'm using that as my excuse to replace every other snack with a couple of oranges. Cooper and I will sit on the couch and peel them together and watch cartoons at night so I can eat them all night long. I don't think any soap will get rid of the smell the peel leaves on my hands at this point, and I don't want it to. They are all I want to eat. All the time. All. The. Time. I have to remind myself to eat enough carbs and proteins and veggies during the day. It's gotten so bad that before I peel one I have to think, "Ok, wait. How many have you eaten in the last 2 hours? More than 3, have a different snack. How much protein have you ingested? Never enough to match the little chart? Go scramble an egg with some ham, stat! Put that shiz on toast woman! The baby needs more than oranges!" It's that bad. I guess replacing them with more fruit probably isn't wise, but I'm craving sweets and fruit will curb that craving without me pigging out on cupcakes or candy, so I'm going for it. I'm having chicken in dinner tonight and ate eggs for breakfast. It's enough. Right? Say yes. Good.
   I've been trying to convince myself that eating Nutella on everything, including my oranges, counts as protein. I mean, it IS 1 gram per tablespoon. And it's chocolate. Freaking Nutella has become my new crack. I don't get to have a lot of breakfast foods because I have to skip the dairy, and almond milk doesn't taste right anymore, in fact, almonds taste like poop lately. Very bitter. Then in comes Nutella to save the day with it's vague promise of being quasi-healthy to ingest regularly... you bet I'm all over that nonsense. I might invest in the company! Can't make cream of wheat with milk? Make it with water, mix in some Nutella, it's suddenly rich and creamy and nutty and chocolaty and perfect! I don't even add sugar. Just a handful of berries and I'm good to go. Can't have a PBJ because peanut butter makes you vomit? Try a sandwich with Nutella and any jam or preserves your heart desires! Oh man! No ice cream? Throw Nutella and a banana in the food processor until it's smooth, then freeze it. Seriously. Food of the gods.
   I just went on a tirade about Nutella. I think I need a life. Ha. Or a nap...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Well, yes. I think I will.

   Cooper was miserable last night. He kept me up. He couldn't sleep without his dad being part of the nightly routine. Normally I change diaper and get Coop in jammies and into the bedroom while Brandon washes his cup and gets him milk. Then we lay down in Cooper's bed and he tells us all about his day while we tuck him in and get his pillows. Next come hugs and kisses, and then we close the door and he goes to bed. It didn't happen without Brandon last night. I tried. Cooper was upset. We ended up cuddled on the couch watching movies last night talking about how Daddy will be home soon. Even the movie was different. Usually Cooper is wedged between us or sitting on Brandon's lap. Cooper is only a Momma's boy when he's upset.
   We finally fell asleep on the couch and I woke up with horribly sore hips a couple hours later from having a toddler sprawled out on top of me in our sinky couch. I got up and moved us into my bed and tried to get some sleep while I could, but it's just no right without Brandon in bed. I know I'm being whiny, and he's only been gone one night, but it's bumming me out.
   This morning Cooper was MAD. He was demanding to know where his dad was. I made him some waffles that he normally shares with Brandon, and we sat on the couch talking about how Daddy has to stay away for just a little while so that he can get to work, but that soon we're going to have a car and then Daddy will be home all the time and Cooper and I will go do lots of fun stuff during the day. That seemed to calm him down. Maybe I'm putting too much stock in his cognitive abilities, but it seems like when I explain things to him, he functions better. There is no, "Because I said so!" in this house. He's only two, so who knows. Maybe I'm just doing the whole parenting thing all wrong at this point, and expecting him to understand too much. He's just so smart. I worry I get ahead of him though.
   I've been thinking about good summer activities for him, and I was looking into swimming lessons at the YMCA once a week with me, and a toddler Spanish class two days a week for a couple hours without me. The swimming lessons would be free if I got a family membership to the Y, and I could take a prenatal water aerobics class there as well, and we could go swimming with Morgan and Allison all the time. I just don't know if he's old enough to coordinate his body for actual swimming? The Spanish class is a couple hours, and it's not really a class as much as an immersion program for toddlers in his age group. They play games and have music and story time all in Spanish. It's a pretty popular program, but I don't want to stick him in something he's not ready for. There are a couple other programs I've looked at, like a tot soccer team, and guitar lessons, because he's OBSESSED with music and his little guitar. He wants to do karate, but there are no under 4 classes, so we'll wait and see if he's still interested when the time comes. I wrote off guitar lessons for now because that just seems so advanced, but if he's still so completely invested in music when he's a little older, I'll get him in the kindergarten after school classes for sure. There's a local school that does them.
   He has an abundance of energy, and I want to make sure he can explore things he's interested in, and have positive outlets starting at a young age so he knows how to direct his focus and can find things he loves to do. As a kid, especially in high school, there were a lot of my classmates that got into trouble or did stupid things because they were so apathetic to everything. I mean, I got in my share of trouble, but I had my baking and public speaking, and that's where I directed the majority of my energy when I was in my hometown. When I was little I played T-ball, soccer, softball, and took dance, and it was really good for me. I want to give Cooper those opportunities to experience stuff like that as well. It's so much harder to dive into new things when you're older and have established patterns of  behavior. It's scary to try new things some times. I want him to know that it's better to cannon ball in and do the best you can and have fun.
   I feel like I sound like a nut. I don't care. I'm not trying to prime him for fame or make him perfect or anything. I'm not going to be a nutso stage mom. I'm trying to give him good childhood experiences that support as much positive development as possible, and foster his interests so that he always know that what he cares about matters and is relevant and valid in our lives. While he's little it's harder because I have to find things for him, but once he's bigger I want him to know he can come to me and say, "Hey mom, I think I want to try ______." I'll do what I can and make it happen.
   Rant over, I guess. I need food.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Hey monkey, could you toss me that wrench? I could really use ANOTHER ONE.

   My husband just left for work. No big deal, right? Welcome to Monday morning. Except this Monday is the start of at least a week that Cooper and I have to be without Brandon. We're on our own, we two. I miss him already, because I know he won't be walking in with a little snack or toy for Cooper and a huge, fuzzy man-hug for me at the end of the day. We won't sit down and have dinner together and talk about our day. We won't be able to cuddle up on the couch and watch a movie with Cooper until it's his bedtime, and then LoL until ours. I know it's only for a week and maybe a few days next week, but it sucks a lot.

   Every night Cooper checks the clock on the microwave and when it reads 6:30 and I start dinner, he goes to the couch and sits so he can see out the window and wait for his dad. Every single night. It's the one solid hour in the day he sits still. Sometimes he's been running around so much all day, he falls asleep waiting for his daddy to come home. Brandon gets home around 7:30 or 8 normally. I honestly think Coop would stay there all night waiting for him, so I'm not sure what I'm going to do. Maybe we'll do a special baking project or something to divert his attention as long as possible until bed time. Brandon and Cooper have a really special relationship, and Brandon is an absolutely amazing dad. It's going to be tough not having his help.

   It's just so frustrating, because we're so very close to everything being ok. We're buying a car as soon as we get our tax return. I get my glasses ordered Wednesday, and as soon as they arrive I can get my license and go pick up the van we've picked out at the dealership. Our return is due in on the 18th. We just needed to make it until the morning of the 19th and everything would have been great. We'd have a car, our bills are paid, Brandon would have a reliable ride to work every day. But no. He was getting a ride from a woman that works his schedule at his job and lives in Nampa, but she can't give him a ride anymore because of her child care situation, and he has no one else out here. So now he's gone for a week minimum.

   It's going to be ok. I know it is. We're going to get through it and be ok. I'm just a little emotional right now, and feeling pretty isolated, and the one person I have out here is now gone for a while and that scares me. I love Brandon. We've had our problems, but he's always, ALWAYS, tried to do the best he could. He's never given up on me or us, and he kept me fighting sometimes, and being pregnant and hormonal I feel really vulnerable and I don't really have anyone else I talk to when something's bugging me. Morgan is always so busy now, and I'm a talker. I tend to want to cleanse everything I'm feeling by talking about it, getting it all out so I can focus on a solution. I've never needed anyone before Brandon, because I had my sister and my best friend, but I haven't talked to my sister in about 7 months.

   I'm making cupcakes tonight. Big, fluffy, moist white cupcakes. I might go buy a couple vanilla beans and make them extra special. With airy whipped vanilla frosting and berries. Cooper and I are going to eat cupcakes with every meal this week. We're going to bake something every day. Today it's cupcakes. Tomorrow, Nutella no-bake cookies, and the day after, miniature lemon meringue pies or maybe lemon bars. Something lemon. Thursday we'll make honey oat cake with berries and cream, and Friday we'll make Japanese cheesecake, since Brandon loves cheesecake and he's coming home for the weekend on Friday night.

   Something about baking just makes stress melt away. Some people come up with all of their best ideas and solutions in the shower or while they sleep, I do it while elbow deep in flour and butter and sugar. I've decided I AM going to change my major and switch to the culinary program. I'm going to own my dessert truck and bake for people all the time. Brandon will be home in a little more than a week, and life will be good.