Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Stork Cometh

Emerson Paul Gutshall was born almost a week ago on his due date, March 24th.  He was born at 9:36 AM at a whopping 7 lbs. 10 oz, measuring 19.5"!   He has stolen our hearts and been all we could have ever hoped for.  He has been feeding very well and sleeping at night for almost as long as we'll let him.  In all, he has made a very smooth transition into the outside world!  I will give a more detailed birth story soon, but for now here are some pics to tide you over; see Figures 1 through 4.

A sidenote:  Now that Caleb and I are finished arguing about whether it is "tie you over" or "tide you over" we will continue the post.  FYI, its "tide"... Caleb -- 1,  Amber -- nil  

PS.  Caleb is transcribing this post.

Figure 1. Just after birth

Figure 2. In hat Mom made
Figure 3. Proud parents
Figure 4. Brody likes the Boppy, too
We are also pleased to share that Brody has taken on the "protective big brother" role, as opposed to the "jealous big brother"  role.  And a video, too!

That's all for now, but there will be more to come soon!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hum Jeopardy Tune Here

You guessed it, we are still waiting Emerson's arrival.. I really am trying to wait so patiently.  Calm, cool, collected.  That's me.  Our due date is on Thursday, but I read that 50% of babies are due after their due date (which makes sense).  So there is really no rush and we trust that he will be born the exact moment God plans for him to be born :) 

However, I have had some progress.  At my last appointment the doc said that I am dilated to 1 cm and 75% effaced.  He also said that Emerson has dropped low... like super low.  He said that women who have dropped their babies this low usually have shorter labors (fingers crossed)!  He didn't seem to think I would be overdue, but who knows.  The doctors have predicted that he will be in the 7 lb range.  Another piece of progress is that I lost my cork (aka- mucous plug- yuck!).  However, it could still be days before we see Emerson's face. 

We also experienced some false labor last night.  I was having consistent contractions for three hours before I went to bed.  They wouldn't go away even when I changed positions or got more active.  They were more intense than Braxton-Hicks, but they were too irregular and weren't increasing in intensity, so I figured it wasn't real labor.  We were still pretty excited though!  Even though it wasn't real labor, it is still nice to see some action going on.  It makes me feel like my body knows how to go into labor and is getting closer to that point. 

I have been trying to enjoy our last few weeks without a baby.  Caleb and I went on a date to a U of A baseball game and dinner.  I got to spend some time with my friends Din and Ashley.  And Ariel and Alyssa came down with their adorable puppies for the weekend!  We got to have some fun shopping, eating, and enjoying the town of Fayetteville.  I've been walking a few miles every day and have tried about every trick in the book to induce my own labor.  My conclusion is that the baby is just born when it's ready to be born!  So we will wait :)  But it's getting close, people!  So many times I catch myself thinking, Will this be my last night without a baby?  Will this be my last shower before Emerson comes?  Is this my last blog post before Emerson's arrival?  Please, Lord, don't let me be asking the same questions in 10 days!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Pizza Pies

One of my and Caleb's favorite homemade meals is pizza.  Since we've been married, we've experimented with a variety of crust recipes and a vast assortment of toppings :)  Tonight we tried a new one and it was delicious.  I thought I would share it with you!

Crust Ingredients
2 3/4 C flour
1 package of active dry yeast
1 C warm water
2 T olive oil

In a mixing bowl, combine 1 1/4 C flour, yeast, and 1/4 t. salt.  Add the warm water and oil.  Beat with a mixer on low for 30 seconds.  Scrape sides of bowl.  Beat on high for 3 minutes.  Using a wooden spoon, stir in remaining flour. 

On a lightly floured surface, knead in enough of remaining flour to make a stiff, elastic dough.  Divide dough in half and let rest for 10 minutes.

Grease two baking sheets and sprinkle with corn meal.  On the floured surface, roll each ball of dough into a 13 inch circle.  Move onto pans and bake at 425 degrees for 12 minutes.

Topping Ingredients
2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
A jar of pesto
1 (2 C) bag of mozzarella cheese
Small tub of ricotta cheese
3/4 C of sliced small tomatoes
Black pepper
Fresh basil leaves
Crushed red pepper

After crusts are baked, spread pesto onto crust, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge.  Sprinkle chicken evenly on pesto.  Then coat the pizzas with the mozzarella cheese.  Finally, drop dollops of the ricotta cheese over the pizzas.  Broil in oven a few minutes until cheese is melted.  Spread ricotta dollops.  Place tomatoes and basil leaves on top.  Sprinkle with peppers and serve!

You can also do a variety of other toppings (pepperoni, sausage, veggies, etc.) and use a variety of bases (pesto, red sauce, alfredo sauce).  Do any combination that you think you'll enjoy!  I hope you have as much fun making homemade pizza as we do :)  It's also fun for kids to get involved by helping with the toppings.  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


You know how people say that when you pray for patience, God will simply give you opportunities to be patient? Well, I've stopped praying for patience so Emerson can hurry up and get here!  Just kidding... kind of.  We are now 38 weeks along and I had a doctor's appointment today only to find that there is still no dilation :(  But that's okay.  I was a little sad at first, but I think it's because I started letting myself think Emerson would be here like... tonight.  I thought for sure there would be some progress.  But Emerson is taking his sweet little time!  Well, I am just going to try to enjoy the next last few weeks I have childless... spend time with friends, enjoy the beautiful weather, and spend some quality time with my hubby.  Here is a pic of the current condition of my belly.

I have something else to tell you.  Caleb and I are going to try to have Emerson naturally (without an epidural).  After doing research, this just seems like something we would like to try.  Part of it is also just that I want to see if I can do it.  Women have been having babies naturally for centuries and they survived (well, most of them)!  God designed women's bodies with the ability to give birth and I want to experience it as He designed it.  However, if at some point in the labor we stop progressing, or feel that an epidural is needed for some reason or another, we are open to getting one.  All this to say, I don't really want to be induced.  When given Pitocin (the inducing drug) you have closer, stronger contractions and supposedly it makes for a tougher labor.  I just keep praying that we go into labor naturally, so we don't have to be induced.  If you think about it, please pray this with us (just make sure you don't mention the word patience).  I am excited to meet Emerson (clearly), but we are willing to wait an extra week if needed to go into labor naturally.  I will let you know how it goes after we have him.

I finished Emerson's hat that I have been knitting.  It is so tiny!  He will look adorable in it. NOW we are ready :)

On the gardening front, I am pleased to announce that I have not killed my little seedlings yet!  In fact, they are thriving!  I have many sprouts coming up!  Soon, after the chance of a frost, I will transplant them outside into our little flower bed :)

I believe that is all I have to update you on at this point in time.  I am now going to take my loyal companion, Brody, to Wilson Park to go on a loooong walk.  We are going to do all we can to work this baby outta me.  Only two more weeks of driving around with an empty car seat!  So long, friends!

ps- the blog is currently undergoing some renovations.  the makeover is not yet complete.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Do I have a green thumb?

I'm not sure if it's the move into our new home or if it's my nesting instincts, but I've decided to start a flower garden!  Actually, I've wanted to have a beautiful flower garden for awhile now and can envision a colorful oasis in my secluded backyard of my dream home.  However, I'm not in my dream home yet.  But no worries; you have to start somewhere right?  This is a great place for me to learn the basics of gardening!  On a recent trip to Lowe's, Caleb and I were halted at the entrance to the store by the flower seed display.  After a long bit of pondering which flowers we wanted, we left with seed packets for 

Shasta Daisies:

Red Zinnias:

And the Cypress Vine:

We honestly had no idea what we were looking for (other than beauty), but as I researched today, I found that these are good beginning gardener plants.  So, today is the day.. I began my journey as a gardener!  I planted my seeds in an egg carton and some pots I recently got from Target.  

I will attempt to get them some sunlight by storing them on window sills of our home.  Once the seeds sprout (or germinate... I'm learning gardening lingo!) and we are not at risk for a frost anymore, I will transport the sprouts outside to the appropriate spots for the amount of sunlight needed.  I am going to attempt to document my experiences as a gardener on this blog.  Oh, we also have a rose plant in our front yard which was here when we moved in, so we'll see how that one goes too.  

Now, I have some familial competition on the green thumb issue.  My brother-in-law, Reid, has a giant green thumb.  He has a great vegetable garden each year.  Beyond that, he can even grow things unintentionally!  Last October, Reid threw out their Halloween pumpkin behind his garden.  What did he find next year, but a nice crop of pumpkins!!  That never happens!  I remember trying to plant apple seeds as a kid, never to see the fruit of my labor.  Anyway, time for me to sign off as I should be knocking out other items on my to-do list (like clean up the soil mess I made downstairs; next time I will do that job outside.  See I'm already learning new things!).  See you soon, the lady with the potential green thumb.