14 weeks

Total weight gain/loss: Not sure. 

Size of baby: The size of a lemon. Is that super huge to anyone else or is it just me? 

Pregnancy highlights: The fact that my uterus has made it this far. Really outstanding work there, pal. 

Sleep: Sleep has been surprisingly normal lately. 

Exercise: I’m an exercise failure. Someone help me.

Maternity Clothes: I’m wearing some maternity clothes and some fatski clothes.

Best moment this week: I don’t really know. Any moment where I just get to lay down on my side and forget about life for a while is my favorite moment.

Movement: I barely move. 

Symptoms: The nausea is making me crazy. It’s actually not a bad gig, it is helpful to me to always feel pregnant. When people ask me how I’m feeling, my typical response is, “Miserable. Yay!” I keep wondering if I’ll be able to keep it up. But I think I will – I am super happy to be pregnant right now.

Food cravings: I sometimes think I’m over cravings, and then sometimes I have to have 10 french dip sandwiches in my face within 5 seconds or I will kill someone. Beef is a big deal right now, as well as lo mein. I ate at Panda Express. :( 

Food aversions: Mostly vegetables. I am pretty sure if I eat a vegetable I will die. And I can’t even think about seafood without gagging. There we go. Thanks for that.

Gender: I would love another little girl but would honestly be happy either way. But seriously, I want a girl.

Names: We only like Daphne now. I guess we’d better have a girl.

Labor Signs: Not yet.

What I miss: I occasionally think fondly about salmon and feel sad… after I’m done dry heaving from thinking about salmon. 

What I am looking forward to: The past week or so, and this could be because I just finished watching both available seasons of “Call the Midwife” on Netflix, I’ve been so excited about actually giving birth. The coolest moment of my life so far was hearing Ophelia’s first scream and holding that little slimy, messy baby. And the 19 hours of anticipation before that… really… it was just a super cool experience. Oh, I am dying to go through it again. Really, so excited.

Weekly Wisdom: I don’t really have any. I just want this little baby to keep growing! And be born! 

Milestones: I’m in the second trimester. Woot!

13 weeks and change (since we skipped a few days somehow)

How far along? 13 weeks and change. I’m just catching up since for my last one, I had somehow skipped ahead some. 

Total weight gain/loss: Not sure. 

Size of baby: The length of a pea pod. 

Pregnancy highlights: I’m still just happy to have made it this far. Real good job, uterus. 

Sleep: I sleep really well until about 5 am.  :)

Exercise: I’m an exercise failure. Someone help me.

Maternity Clothes: It’s true. I’m wearing some. My maternity stretchy pants, specifically. Heaven.

Best moment this week: Hard to say. Since it hasn’t been a week since my last post. Again, catching up. 

Movement: I barely move. 

Symptoms: This is where things have gotten interesting the last few days. Heart burn has begun to rear its ugly head. Still nauseated but now I actually have the ever-present feeling that I’m going to throw up to go along with it. 

Food cravings: I might be over cravings and just moved on to things that sound good pretty much all the time. I can always eat cold cereal. I have found that I only lose my appetite for cooked things as long as I see them before they’re cooked. I’ve stayed out of the kitchen except to pop a Stauffers lasagna in the oven this week. 

Food aversions: Everything that is not cold cereal, basically. 

Gender: I’m still thinking girl, but Steve is holding strong to his boy vibes. Ophelia can’t be trusted anymore. Anytime I ask her, she says, “I have a baby in my tummy too!” Thunder stealer.

Names: We only like Daphne now. I guess we’d better have a girl.

Labor Signs: Not yet.

What I miss: I don’t miss anything except being in the third trimester. Whenever I think about feeling and seeing the baby move, my uterus starts aching pretty fierce.

What I am looking forward to: Finding out the gender. 

Weekly Wisdom: I still get nervous sometimes, but I hold strong to some words of wisdom Meridith shared with me (and I apologize if this is way off but it’s how I interpreted it). Stop worrying so much about things going wrong and just ask God to help you know if there is something that you can do and should do. Whatever is going to happen will happen and I can’t do anything to control it, so I just need to put this situation in His hands and let him guide me when there is something I can do.

Milestones: I’m in the second trimester. Woot!

12 weeks (and 5 days) – Good work, uterus!


I have officially beaten my PR for pregnancy (other than, you know, the first one). I feel like having a dance party.

How far along? I’m 12 weeks and 5 days today… I know, talk about inconsistent. But we can’t calculate my due date the regular way so we’re just letting the baby’s measurements dictate how pregnant I am. It grew a week and a half in the last week. The due date keeps moving around, but I think for the most part, I’m due January 21st.

Total weight gain/loss: I have lost a few pounds. This is probably because I can’t find a dang thing to eat that is good for more than five seconds. Except carrots. I’ve been eating a buttload of carrots. Now they’re all gone and I’m starving.

Size of baby: The ultrasound today said 2 oz. What a chunker.

Pregnancy highlights: I MADE IT TO TWELVE WEEKS. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? I have only ever gotten this far with a super healthy baby once before, and that baby was BORN. Woohoo!

Sleep: I sleep really well until about 5 am.  :)

Exercise: I’m an exercise failure. Someone help me.

Maternity Clothes: The pants still fit but I’m moving to maternity shirts and dresses this week since my dresses and shirts are all clinging to my chub for dear life.

Best moment this week: Definitely going to the ultrasound today and seeing a baby wriggle around. Best thing ever. Also, I could swear I feel it moving. I know everyone tells me that’s not possible but my uterus is like, right right underneath my skin and I swear when I lay on my left side, I can feel it sometimes. I know it’s barely the size of anything, and I could be way wrong, but that’s what it felt like.

Movement: Yes! It was moving! I saw it!

Symptoms: Nausea, dry heaving at every possible moment, the feeling you get at the back of your throat when you’re about to throw up (but never do), my body enters starvation mode at a moment’s notice. It really is great. (Not being sarcastic.) I really love it a lot. (Really.)

Food cravings: I might be over cravings and just moved on to things that sound good pretty much all the time. Jalapeno poppers and chicken sandwiches are what my life revolves around at the moment. And I would kill someone for a french dip sandwich from Kneaders right now. Any volunteers for a beef run?

Food aversions: Chicken (not breaded, just chicken cooked all other ways), lettuce, most things that are generally recognized as healthy.

Gender: I’m still thinking girl, but Steve suggested that because I have felt sicker with this one than I did with Ophelia, that it must be a boy.

Names: We only like Daphne now. I guess we’d better have a girl.

Labor Signs: Not yet.

What I miss: I don’t miss anything except being in the third trimester. Whenever I think about feeling and seeing the baby move, my uterus starts aching pretty fierce.

What I am looking forward to: Being 13 weeks. I have an appointment in two weeks and I’ll be second trimester at that point. Exciting!

Weekly Wisdom: I tested positive for Group B Strep, and my doctor reassured me that it will not cause a miscarriage. So there you have it, that is the wisdom I collected this week.

Milestones: 12 weeks and 5 days. I will be in the second trimester on Wednesday! Woot!

The Introvert’s Baby

photo1 photo2

On Sunday, there was a girl visiting our ward who had a little baby (8-9 months old) who reminded me SO MUCH of Ophelia when she was that age. This baby was being loud and talkative and smiling and laughing at everyone sitting nearby.

The lesson was about joy. And I felt joy in that moment, watching that little baby. It was just so strange how much it reminded me of Ophelia. About how freaked out I was that I was bugging everyone and disrupting the lesson. I made sure to tell the mom after church how much I appreciated having her daughter there, showing off for everyone, and how much it reminded me of my own little girl who was once exactly the same.

I know every mom must feel this way but since Ophelia was that age, I have never met another little baby with half as much personality as Ophelia had when she was that little until yesterday. I admit that it made me cry to realize just how much I miss holding that disruptive, sassy little stinker. She still shows off and she’s still talkative, and she still has a personality too big for her body, but it’s really not the same.

Anyway, I hope that little spitfire makes it back to church because I will likely need the reminder again that my little extrovert has just always been a little extrovert, and no matter how I struggle with frustration over it now, it really does not have to be a “thing.” It’s part of who she is and it’s up to me to approach it differently. Because in two years, I might meet another little girl who is too outgoing, too social, too friendly, and I’ll probably miss all those times I just could not keep my happy little daughter from talking nonstop.



11 weeks and feeling nervous

  • How far along? 11 weeks. 
  • Total weight gain/loss: Still the same so far. Hope to stay the same throughout this whole thang too. Need… exercise… ugh.
  • Size of baby: The size of a fig. Mmm… fig newtons…
  • Pregnancy highlights: I’m still grateful for the round the clock morning sickness. 
  • Sleep: I sleep really well until about 5 am. :)
  • Exercise: I’m an exercise failure. Someone help me. 
  • Maternity Clothes: Again, it all still fits. It all is trying to kill me.
  • Best moment this week: I was feeling pretty sick earlier today after lunch and so I ate three limes in rapid succession. That was pretty good.
  • Movement: It probably moved.
  • Symptoms: Nausea, and that’s it. Feeling nervous that I’m feeling sick but I don’t feel like I’m getting bigger, not gaining any weight. Pregnancy anxiety. How to deal. 
  • Food cravings: Chicken sandwiches, chicken strips, breaded chicken in general. Also, I’m always thirsty. Does that count? 
  • Food aversions: A few things, off and on. Bread, lettuce, meat.
  • Gender: No clue yet.
  • Names: We only like Daphne now. I guess we’d better have a girl.
  • Labor Signs: Not yet.
  • What I miss: I don’t really miss anything. I’m starting to miss feeling really sick… I’m pretty worried about that. 
  • What I am looking forward to: I’m looking forward to my next appointment (not until next week)… I’m just feeling pretty nervous!
  • Weekly Wisdom: None for this week.
  • Milestones: 11 weeks, nothing significant. Sorry.

My Garage Sale Frame of Mind

So this related video is worth a watch: Homestar Runner – Garage Sale

If you happened to watch that… wow. If not, you might as well know that the topic of this blog is one that has recently become very near and dear to my heart. A phenomenon has taken over Saturday mornings in the Stoker household: garage sales. 

We have lived here for almost four months now and my house is finally getting some liveliness. I now have pictures up on the wall, little kitschy things that I’ve collected here and there from different driveways throughout Utah County, and I’m feeling pretty pleased.

In Ogden, yard sales were confusing. We drove around some Saturday mornings looking at all the people who had apparently just thrown the contents of their grungy houses out onto the lawn and were asking people to pay to throw this stuff away for them. I know people who have had a lot of success with garage sales in Weber County, I just don’t know what the trick is.

At any rate, the previous paragraph is laid out just to illustrate that before moving here, I didn’t really “get” yard sales. They were kind of grungy and stuff smelled. But I repent. I get it now. I have something to do on Saturday mornings. It’s my alone time. And it’s caused me to notice some things. There are personalities. And then there are yard sale personalities. I’ll explain.

The Kicking and Screaming Yard Sale. Some people have yard sales and you wonder whether someone dragged them outside at the crack of dawn to sell their stuff. These people usually are asking $75 for a wooden coat rack, although I paid 75 cents for one identical to it last week. I wonder if these people were forced at gun point to sell their trinkets, because it’s clear they really don’t want to part with anything. 

The People Who Get It Yard Sale. And these are my favorite kind. These people get it. They will sell me two good sturdy chairs, a pack of super cute trays, and a pretty glass vase (who knows what I’ll ever use it for?) for $5 just because I asked. They know what’s going down. They know they’re having a garage sale, they aren’t trying to hide it. And they want to sell you their stuff. You want to give them a quarter for an adorable magazine rack that they bought at Pier One last week for $40? Sounds good!

The Brand New 80-Year-Old Stuff Yard Sale. You will find that at many garage sales, people will justify what they’re asking for something because “That retails for $50 bucks at the store!” or some such nonsense. Right. But I’m not buying it at the store. I’m buying it off your lawn–the same lawn that your dog poops on. And I feel like that might say something about its actual value.

This Stuff Will Stay Outside All Day if It Has to Yard Sale. These yard sales never actually end, because people are asking exorbitant amounts for what is essentially their garbage. There is never good stuff at these sales. Usually tables full of clothes, a box of VHS tapes, maybe a basket or a collection of cups that you can get for free when you buy stuff from the kids menu at restaurants. 

These are a few of the different types of yard sales that you can go to. Now you need to be armed with some kind of strategy when you go out. Here are some of the things that I do that I have found to be immensely helpful. 

Have a plan ahead of time. I use Driving Route Planner to outline my plan of attack. I go out at 8 and eliminate any 7 am starters, because I like to sleep and if you’re an hour late to a yard sale, most of the good stuff is gone. 

No drive-bys. I don’t do drive-bys. This is pretty unsafe anyway, since people going to yard sales are usually in a rush to get to the next lawn and don’t drive very carefully. This is truth. I have seen many people get rear ended or have their doors torn off by passing drivers who just weren’t paying attention because they were doing a drive-by. Take an extra two seconds to get out of your car and take a look at the Olive Garden cups, the recorded-from-TV Lifetime movies, and the clothes that haven’t seen daylight in 10 years. You might be surprised. 

Know how much stuff costs. You should not pay more than $1 per article of clothing, $2 per DVD, 50 cents per book, I would say pay no more than 75 cents per home decor item (such as signs, baskets, picture frames, etc.) $5 per kids toy, $10 per furniture item, or more than $0 and that’s super disgusting for anything that has touched another person’s hair or privates. This has made the process a lot smoother for me as I have gone out looking for treasures. If someone is selling a picture frame and they’re asking $10, there usually is no way you’re going to get them to haggle with you down to 75 cents, and you can be on your merry way.

Be just a little dishonest. My experience has been that most yard sale hosts (see how glamorous I made it sound there?) don’t actually put prices on those items that they actually do want to sell. If someone has the prices of their stuff listed online ahead of time, or has stickers on their items, I can promise you that those stickers are going to be demanding $10 for a Dora the Explorer Vanity with most of the stickers missing (don’t get me started). I look around, and I tell the host or hostess, “Dang, I have just enough cash to pay $4 for this.” (Don’t open your wallet or be carrying an expensive designer wallet or fancy smart phone if you’re going to claim poverty drove you to your offer!) If they are sticker salers, they usually won’t do it. But if they’re make an offer salers, you might have better chances. 

Try to steal something. I like to combine my purchases to equal $5 increments. I’ll ask about a $5 item that I want to get for $2, get them to agree to take $2 for it, and then find one or two more things to sweeten the deal. “Okay, you’ll take $2 for this worthless vase? So will you take $5 for this worthless vase and these other two items that should sell for $5 a piece?” Once again, if people want to sell their stuff, they’ll usually do it. And then sometimes you’ll get a really nice framed print of the temple for $3 and ask her to thrown in a kiddie pool that is riddled with holes and earwigs for $5, and she’ll demand $15. So you might want to figure out the yard sale’s personality (above) before doing this. 

Look poor. This is easy to do on Saturday mornings when you would rather be sleeping. But one effective approach I have taken to yard saling is to go in my pajama bottoms (leave the nice Level II yoga pants at home!), sans makeup, hair disheveled in a crap ponytail, and I never carry my phone with me to the sale itself. It sounds ridiculous (and it is) but I feel like people are more prone to believe me when I say I don’t have more than $10 to spend on the sofa table that I really, really want if it’s clear that I have no money to brush some makeup on over my face in the morning. 

So there you go. If you got this far, please tell me what some of your favorite yard sale tips are and maybe we can go be cheap, poor, disgusting retched individuals together next week!

crap my two-year-old says

Eating Sonic pebble ice with a spoon:

“Mommy, why are these rocks so cold?”

This morning at the splash pad, she went and sat right over one of the streams and just stood there while it shot up her bum:

“Mom! Watch me put my bum on this!”

She farted in the car:

“Oh oops! I burped out of my… (grabs her bum) My bum b… I burped out of my… I just farted.”

A million times a day when she gets on my computer: (I feel kind of bad about this one.)

“I’m busy. I have to work. In a minute okay? Just give me one second!”

She was pretending to be on the phone one day and I told her she had to put the phone down so we can go:

“Not now Mom, I’m on a call with Bev!” (my boss)

After a particularly long morning for me:

“I need to go take a nap. I’m frustrating you.”

Ophelia was SO tired when she went upstairs for a nap and was screaming unintelligibly:

“I can’t hear you talk when you’re crying, Ophelia.”

(after calming right down) “I just want a donut, Mom.”

I was going around the house in the morning, opening all the blinds and curtains like I do every morning:

“Wake up! Wake up, Wen-en! It’s coronation day!”

This conversation happened:

“Mommy, you have underwear!”

“Yes, I do. So do you, but you wear a diaper right now because you don’t poop on the potty.”

“I’ll poop on the potty when I go to school. It’s fine. I’ll just wait.”