I am a mom

It’s been SO long since I’ve made a blog post, don’t know why that is, but ever since I got pregnant I lost my luster for blogging. Maybe it’s going to come back, maybe not. Stay tuned. I did heart+love+soup again this year and blogged for a month, it was exhausting.

We had a baby!! Henry Irmiter Jardine was born on February 7th, 2013 and he weighed 7lbs 13 oz and was 20.5 inches tall. He has since doubled in size, not in length, but in weight.
He is a hunk of burning love.

Today is my first mothers day. I am a mom. Funny how it feels so normal.
This time last year I was just a person walking around in a normal body, then I morphed into a person that was making another person (from scratch) in my body, I did this for 40 weeks…then like magic I had a baby in my arms.

The past few weeks I’ve had something on my mind. From time to time I see friends or friends of friends post their beautiful birth photos on Facebook. You know the ones, the teeny tiny baby is swaddled up all tight, still red in the face, probably just hours old. Mom and or Dad in the background looking slightly disheveled and tired but glowing with joy. When I saw a photo like this a month ago I thought (no joke) ‘where is my photo like that, did I misplace it?’ but then I remembered we didn’t get this photo. Our little guy had some complications at birth and was rushed into the NICU for extra support. We didn’t post any pictures on Facebook or share photos until we were home and he was well in the clear. We weren’t ready to share his newborn photo when he was in the hospital and hooked up to all the machines. At the time we wanted only positive thoughts and love sent in our direction and were afraid that people would see his photo and go to the dark side.

henry day 1


So, we didn’t have one of those precious hospital photos, but now looking back I realize our hospital photos are just as precious because he is our Henry. Our handsome boy who is so strong. He had a tough time for a bit there but he rallied and came through the experience without any complications. Henry is calm and has been from day one. He doesn’t over react, and when he was having trouble in the beginning I think this is one of the reasons he survived so well. He stayed calm and let everyone help him. He leaned into the assistance until he could do it on his own. Henry is bright and curious and funny. Amazing that we already know so much of this little persons character at only 3 months.

I didn’t hold Henry until the day after he was born, neither of us did. Like I said, I have a few things on my mind, a little bit of sadness that is in my heart that I want to let go, that will be my next blog post. I am going to share his birth story.

For today I just want to say how much I love my Henry, I love being his mom. It feels so surprisingly normal. Everyday is mothers day, that sounds cliche, but I am really beginning to believe it. I also think this is the hardest job I have ever had, and my new boss can be very demanding. I am on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is motherhood. He peed on me yesterday and I didn’t change my shirt for about 4 hours. I am a mom now. A little pee shirt never made me so happy.

Now that I see Jake and how he is with our son, I love him even more than I did before. I look forward to Fathers day so we can celebrate him. Although I celebrate Jake all the time and tell people what a great dad he is. We were in the trenches together and it made us stronger. I love my husband.

We made this boy. From scratch. Magic.


who you calling a shrimp?

Guess who’s having a baby?? WE ARE!

That baby growing in my belly is about the size of a medium shrimp, per the growth chart on babycenter.

I am just coming out of the 1st trimester, about 13 weeks along now. I thought it would be hard to keep this a secret, but since I haven’t felt good for the past 6 or 7 weeks it was easy to not shout it from the rooftops.

Who decided it was called ‘morning sickness’? It can last all day, and for me it can be at it’s worst in the evening. I did have 3 or 4 really great days last week, then on Friday it snuck back up on me,  but I just know I am on the tail end of this now. This explains why the blog has been so silent, I am hoping to pick it back up again in the coming weeks…

We had an ultrasound last week and little baby Jardine is thriving!

This is what a lot of my days and nights have been looking like, Sunny isn’t normally allowed on the bed, but when you are feeling punk, he is a great pal.

My other great pal has been my sweet husband, he takes such good care of me, whether it is running to the store for random must haves like canned peaches or reminding me to take Tums. He doesn’t bat an eye when I am in bed at 7:00, and the guy can hardly cook anything in the house due to my smell aversions. I don’t cook anymore either, but he is happily surviving on cold cereal and the occasional take out…last week he did come home to a Greek salad I made and it was cause for celebration!
This week I have loved a little ice cream at night, this makes him very happy!
I love Jake so much, and I feel more connected to him than ever.
We are both very excited about this new chapter in our lives.

low sugar strawberry jam

Jam has SO MUCH SUGAR. It drives me crazy, why would something that starts with such a sweet ingredient need copious amounts of sugar added?? I guess it has something to do with chemistry…and how the pectin does something with the sugar and the something else to make it jam like. Get it? I don’t either. Even the pectin you buy to make jam and jellies are filled with sugar, only it is disguised as dextrose or other tricky names.

I searched the internet far and wide for a low sugar jam recipe, I ended up with a recipe from Knox using unflavored gelatin and cutting the sugar in half. I like it!
It’s on the tart side, but I like it!!
I don’t know how to do proper canning, so this is freezer jam.

Here is my adapted recipe:
4 cups strawberries (chopped and smushed a fork)
2 packages Knox unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
1 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar

Sprinkle gelatin over water in large pot and let stand for 1 minute, then stir over medium heat until fully dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in all remaining ingredients and return to heat, bringing to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature and then transfer to jars, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours to set. This will keep up to 4 weeks in the fridge and 1 year in the freezer.
 Serve with buttered toast, yummy.

surprise monica, you are 40!

{I’m still catching up on some fun things that happened in May}

One of my dearest friends turned 40 on May 15th and to ring in this big day her sister organized a SURPRISE mani/pedi party at Julep in Bellevue.

The unsuspecting birthday girl was having a quick dinner with her mom, thinking that after dinner they were to meet Michelle for a little ‘mother/daughters‘ spa treat.
Little did she know a bunch of her girlfriends were hiding in the back room, waiting to jump out and yell SURPRISE when she walked in. I think it worked and she was totally surprised, great work Michelle!!

{hiding in the back room, surprise should be any second now}

{now for some pampering}
{moms and daughters that go back 35 years}

It was a great night with good friends, tasty treats, wine and pretty painted toes.
Monica, I cherish our long lasting friendship and I look forward to celebrating many, many more birthdays with you.


{I’m catching up on some fun things that happened in May}

“A genuine anteater”
The pet man told my dad.
Turned out, it was an aunt eater,
And now my uncle’s mad!
…Shel Silverstein, A Light in the Attic

I know what you’re thinking,
‘Aunt Cheryl? Who is this young lady and how can she be your AUNT?’
Let me break it down.
My darling husband comes from a couple of BIG families.
His dad is the oldest of 8 kids, his Uncle Joe is the youngest of those 8 kids, making Uncle Joe only about 10 years older than Jake.
Joe is married to Cheryl, one of the many {sooo many} beloved aunts & uncles.
Since I married Jake, all of his aunts and uncles (and cousins, sisters, grandmothers) are now mine too!

Cheryl and Joe were in town for our wedding back in October, but besides from actual wedding functions, we didn’t really see them.
That weekend was a blur and then we took off for our mini-moon.

So, it was a real treat when we learned that Cheryl would be in town attending the Geriatric Medicine Conference, she extended her stay for the weekend and this time around we had 2 days to show Aunt Cheryl a good time. Unfortunately, Uncle JJ wasn’t able to come with…and he was missed.

A proper trip to Seattle should always start with flying fish, am I right?

{click to see the details of this photo}
Cheryl was a pro catching and tossing the fish! I was not a pro trying to capture it, those fish fly fast, and unless you have the camera set up just right…the camera won’t catch it. The fish guys were awesome and let us do a 2nd catch so I could try again with the camera. My best photos turned out of Cheryl tossing the fish back OUT to the crowd. The whole thing was fun and if Cheryl is ever looking for a career change, she would make a great fishmonger!
Cheryl and I hung out at Pike Place Market, shopping and walking and gabbing while waiting for Jake to finish up. We then had a wonderful dinner at Seatown in the market. One of Tom Douglas’s more casual spots, which is perfect for a fishmonger after a long Saturday shift…cold beer, oysters, clams and crab!
We all relaxed into that booth very easily.
The next morning we packed a small picnic lunch, and took Cheryl on one of our favorite hikes. The weather was perfect, warm dry air, and clear blue skies.
And the hike was done, phew! Great time, but we worked up an appetite…
we went home for a NW backyard BBQ and feast!

And this is just about where the story ends, we were outside until the darkness and chill moved us in and then stayed up probably a little too late, talking and soaking in the last of the weekend. Jake took Cheryl to the airport the next morning and she was winging her way back to Chicago.
We love you Aunt Cheryl, thank you so much for visiting, thank you for everything!
We missed Uncle Joe in everything we did, and hopefully next time you can both make the trip.

We love visitors…who’s next??

a babies shower

Our dear friend Ellen is having not just one baby, but two babies. Twins, and it is doubly exciting. On Saturday her mother in law and sister in law threw a beautiful shower full of love, laughter, good food, great friends and a very creative project.

All of the guests decorated personalized onesies for the babies, aren’t they cute??

Two great friends and 3 babies on board.

Sara won the shower game prize!
It’s always a treat to be with the ladies. LOVE.


Jake works most Saturdays, but lucky for ME, he had today off.
To make the most of the sunny day, we got an early start towards Rattlesnake Lake and hiked up to the ledge. I needed to be at a baby shower (and showered) by 12:30, so it was a quick trip but we did it!

{we didn’t fall, thanks for the tip}

{my husband has a beautiful aura}
 {view from the top}

{this little guy wanted our snacks}
{happy to be done}

{a few friday favs}

There’s a Wheedle On the Needle
I know just what you’re thinking
But if you look up late at night
You’ll see his red nose blinking.
…Stephen Cosgrove

Today’s favorites are about my dear friend Ellen,
in town this weekend for her Seattle baby shower.

Just look at how darling she is…she has TWO BABIES in there.

{baby clothes}
1 cute outfit for a girl, 1 cute outfit for a boy.
I mean, purple elephants and captain adorable…I’m in love.

{Wheedle on the Needle}
I loved all the Stephen Cosgrove books growing up, especially this one.
Ellen and Sean have moved to LA,
I wanted them to take a little piece of Seattle history with them.
Baby shower is tomorrow, keep these presents a secret. {wink}