Friday, February 24, 2012

Early Retirement?

In church the other day the pastor was talking about stages of life, and what people do everyday, their vocations. Ross and I fell into the "do nothing/retired people" category, since the pastor did not include unemployment. After feeling left out and some reflection, I decided it really is like retirement.... we slept in, napped, read the paper, played cribbage at 2 in the afternoon.

At any rate, I guess I'm pulling a Michael Jordon and coming out of retirement... had some interviews, working part-time at the Y, hopefully things will be looking up! 

 But hey, what do you know? A slow-cooker chili recipe? Yummy! 

Slow Cooker Turkey and Bean Chili
1 pound ground turkey
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup dry black beans (or a BPA free can) 
1 cup dry pinto beans (or a BPA free can)
1 can diced tomatoes (BPA free)
1 4oz can green chilis
1-2 cups frozen corn 
32 ounces stock (vegetable, chicken, turkey, homemade) 
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 Tablespoons chili powder 
cheese to top (optional)


The night before or early in the morning, rinse and then add the dried beans to the slow cooker with 6 cups of water. Cook on high for 3 hours, so that they are close to being done but still firm. Drain, store overnight or put back in the slow cooker. Omit this step if using canned. 

First, brown the turkey along with the onions and peppers, then add everything together into the slow cooker. Leave on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-8 hours.

Serve up with cornbread and enjoy! We loved this meal and ate leftovers for days. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012

How We Told the Family

With Coffee mugs. And Christmas ornaments. And pictures. We never actually said the words "We're pregnant!" but we left everyone to their own devices.

The first family member I told was my sister via a text picture of the pregnancy test, and I am still amazed she kept it a secret for 6 long weeks! But thank goodness I had her to talk to, get excited with, and save me with Preggie Pops.

So 6 long weeks later, my Mother-in-law Lynn and my Dad (with his girlfriend Heidi and her son, Coty) came out for my graduation and to help us pack up and move, and since we knew that a) me not enjoying a brewski would be suspicious and b) we were dying to tell them, we made a plan.

First, we ordered these mugs from We wanted them to look exactly like the one that says "World's Greatest Boss" on The Office.

Obviously, my mom knew before we did. Miss her everyday. This is the last picture we took together back in 2008.  I ended up telling my grandma (mom's mom) sooner than I thought I would because I was supposed to gather as much information about her pregnancies as we could remember, but I'm glad I did.   

Lynn flew in first on Thursday. We picked her up from the shuttle with lunch in tow from Avenue Bread and headed back to our place. We set the table, laid out the sandwiches, and Ross asked his mom if she would like anything to drink, intending on serving whatever it was she asked for in the World's Greatest Grandma mug while we had water out of regular glasses. Ross gave it to her, and we sat down to eat. And... SHE DIDN'T NOTICE. Ross and I just kept looking at each other and I started giggling like a school girl, and she noticed that. Kept asking what she was missing, what was going on. 

Grandma-to-Be Lynn, Me and Ross after my Graduation 

Ross finally said "I guess we should have just served her drink in a regular glass." Then, after what seemed like an eternity, it dawned on her. Her response: "What, what, how does that work?" Bahahahaha. Then she gave me a big hug and asked all the usual questions... when are you due, when did you find out, who else have you told. Definitely surprised but definitely excited.  

Since my Step-dad Brad (Or as Ross calls him, my Step-Brad) wasn't able to fly out, we decided to call him Thursday night. We knew the next few days were going to be so hectic, so we took advantage of the lull and texted him a picture from the ultra-sound that said "Hi Papa!" He called back soon and said "What the hell!" in a teasing voice but I could tell he was really excited. Since my niece was born last year, he knew the drill and had already gone through the anticipation and shock phase and was just excited. We ended up calling Ross' sister Lauren that night to tell her as well. He reaction: "I knew it!" How? We don't know. 

Papa-to-be-AGAIN Brad and Me just a couple month before my wedding

Then my Dad came up on Friday, but he didn't make it before Ross had to work, so we changed plans and had to take the mug to dinner. We ate at the Chukanut Brewery and while we were waiting to be seated I "went to the bathroom." I really did, but on the way I tracked down the hostess and had her give the mug to our server, telling them both that whatever my dad ordered to drink had to be served in this mug. They were SO thrilled to be in on part of the scheme, and all so exciting. 

As it came time to order drinks I simply told the server that I wanted to sample everyone's beer first and then decide. My dad ordered a Kolsch, and a few minutes later our drinks came. The server gave it to him, saying that this mug had been especially selected for him. He got it pretty quickly, and was speechless. Then Coty (8 years old) looked at it and stated very loudly "I thought that was what happened after she had a baby." HA ha ha classic. His mom looked at him and said "Think about it Coty." He got it eventually. Such a fun dinner! 
Me, Grandpa-to-Be Don 

Since Rod (my Father-in-law) couldn't fly out either Lynn had to wait an entire 3 days back after arriving back home without saying a word. I have to give her a lot of credit, I don't know if I could have done it. The night we arrived in the moving van we served him up some wine the mug. He took one look at it and said "Are you trying to tell me something?" Hugs all around. Then he asked "When?" And since it was so vague I said "Ross' birthday." Ha ha I had to get that in at least once! 

Lynn, Grandpa-to-be Rod, Ross, Me and Aunt-to-be Lauren 

For Ross' side of the family, we decided to give the grandparents ornaments that looked something like this and have them open it as a gift in front of the extended family. Ross' maternal grandma (Lynn's Mom) just read it and said "How nice" while cousin Kjersten was about to pee her pants. Slowly it dawned on the other 20 people standing around but Kjersten had to whisper in Grandma's ear and explain to her what happened. It was pretty hilarious.

Ross' paternal grandma got it right away but kept really quiet, to which Aunt Julie shouted "Did you even read it?!?!" and was bursting at the seams!

We told other family members on my side while we were driving from WA to MN (the first time) so that they would know before Christmas, and it was a bummer to not get to do anything more fun but with traveling it just didn't work out. I've heard lots of fun stories about framing grandma/pa picture frames with ultrasound pictures and such, but I'm so happy with how we told out family. It was fun and simple, and as it turned out, came with some great stories!!! 

Friday, February 3, 2012

First Trimester Fun

Or perhaps mostly not so fun... but here is a brief recap of the first 3 months of Baby Radtke's life in-utero.

1.When did you find out you were pregnant? 
Right before Halloween. It was a combination of my BBT staying high and my period not showing up, so we figured I should take a test. Around 5:45am one morning I peed on a stick, and sure enough there were two pink lines. There was no way I couldn't tell Ross right away, so I capped it and crawled back into bed with him, hardly believing my eyes. His response: "Well, what did you expect?" Typical Ross. I just kept staring at it, and Ross reminded me that he was the one that got me pregnant, not that stick, and that I should pay more attention to him. Always a Joker. ;-)

2. What early symptoms did you have? 
Physical symptoms included: a sore throat and feeling like I had a mild cold, bloating and mild gastro-intestinal symptoms, headaches, sore nipples, and some blood after intercourse, which was very unusual for me personally.

The non-physical signs included a random text from a dear friend who told me she had a dream I was pregnant. The text came the day I think we conceived! The other odd thing was that I definitely had a fish dream. In my dream we were walking around a town like Leavenworth with our families and in the center of the town there was a fountain. It was sunny and beautiful, and as I walked up to the fountain I looked down and there were many rainbow fish swimming around! Dreaming about swimming fish is thought to be a symbol of conception.

3. What was the best thing about the first trimester? 
For a while it was just Ross and I who knew (and perhaps a few of my girlfriends), but it was so exciting and new and secret. Another thing I really appreciate was that I had my husband by my side to take care of me and help me when I needed it. I honestly don't know how I could have gotten through it without him, and I feel for those mommas without a partner to help out. Pregnancy really isn't meant to be a solo event.

Ross says the best part was not worrying about birth control anymore... although he also said that having sex now that I'm pregnant is overkill. Just kidding!

4. What was the worst? 
The desire to share it with our family and the world yet so many fears. I was constantly worried at first: the fear of miscarriage was always looming in the back of my mind. My grandma had one, my mom didn't, and I'm pretty healthy, but you never know. It was such an incredible relief when we finally got to see the heart beating at a mere 6.5weeks!!!! It is so incredible how early the heart starts beating.

My other greatest fear was losing a job opportunity because I was pregnant, which ended up happening. While I must admit I am not over that completely, I know it isn't the worst thing in the world. I know God must have a plan for us even if we don't see it or understand it.

5. How bad was the morning sickness? 
I was definitely nauseous and stayed in bed a lot. It wasn't fun, I'll be honest, but the most fundamental and vital stages of development happen in the first trimester. Morning sickness if our bodies' way of making sure no poisons or toxins can enter our body and harm the baby. It's a blessing really, as much as it sucks.

A lot of smells really bothered me, especially bacon - ugh! Ross made some one morning in the microwave and I didn't go into the kitchen for a week. I subsisted on macaroni and cheese, string cheese, chocolate, Mexican food and a bunch of junk (so unlike me!) Ross brought me many meals in bed while I chugged away at finishing my masters project, and he was such a dear. My sister also sent me Preggie Pops which were a God-send: I highly recommend them!!!

6. The belly?
Well, it doesn't really exist in the first trimester. I started out being really bloated, and my pants were definitely tight after week 8, and I decided to move into maternity pants around week 10 just to be more comfortable. The hair-tie trick works well, but I just didn't feel great walking around with my pants unzipped. I tried belly-bands too, and though some women love them I am not a fan and wouldn't recommend them. Thrift store maternity pants did the trick!

Just for kicks:

5 weeks 

8 weeks

11 weeks 

14 weeks 

7. How did you tell people? 
This needs a blog post all its own. Coming soon.  

8. What are you most looking forward to in the second trimester? 
Since I'm already a few weeks into it, I'll tell you what I've been loving: a return of appetite and energy, the desire to eat green things again especially, the beginning of my belly, and coming soon: finding out the gender!!!! There's no way we can wait. I mean, if we had to we would, but we don't! 

9. When are you due? Sometime around the 4th of July! I can't wait to meet this little blessing, and we're hoping for firecrackers to celebrate!

10. Advice to other moms in their first trimester? 
This too shall pass. Don't worry so much about your diet, exercising, and so on... as Ross has told me many times, "It is HARD WORK growing a person!" Rest, nap, and enjoy your little miracle!