Monday, December 26, 2011

My amazing Christmas gift!!

On December 20th (last Tuesday) we were blessed with the best Christmas gift we could possibly get as expecting parents.  We went to our 20.5 week appointment, met with the OB, and had our ultrasound.  I am a paranoid freak when it comes to the *big* ultrasound as I know all the bad things that can happen.  Luckily, I am so, so, so happy to say that our little "Cletus the Fetus" (B's current nn for the baby.  Yes, I am being serious, and yes, it's awful) is as healthy and active as can be!!!  This baby is much more active than Spencer was, and it definitely proved it during the ultrasound by doing all kinds of gymnastics for us while we were watching!

Let me be the first to introduce to you our sweet new bundle of (a little over halfway there)love!!  Adorable, isn't it???  And let me also be the first to tell you that, in May, Spencer will be welcoming a baby...........


Yep, it's another little boy for the T family.  While a small part of me is sad that bows, dresses, and 80% of children's clothing stores will not be a part of my life, I am thrilled that Spence will have playmate, a hockey partner, and a best friend for life.  B is thrilled that I just cut our costs by 90% (because Lord knows I would not be able to resist much in the world of girl's clothes!!).  But, in all seriousness, we are just beyond excited that this baby is healthy and growing as expected.  We realize how amazing a miracle this is and feel incredibly blessed.  Now we just have to be patient for 20 more weeks until we can meet him!

Oh, and let the naming begin!!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas from JD & the Muppets!

My favorite Christmas album and my favorite song.  May your Christmas be as perfect as this song is to me! 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

It's almost here!

It's almost here!!  The music has been playing, the cookies and eggnog pound cake have been baking, the presents are wrapped, the cards have arrived, and now the most important part of the season is here!  Time for the presents!! 

Just kidding, of course.  It's time to celebrate the birth of Mary's son, our savior, Emmanuel.  It's time for the reading of the Christmas story and pondering Mary's incredible bravery, Joseph's incredible faith, and Jesus's immaculate birth.

It's time to cherish our families and spend time breathing, laughing, singing, rejoicing, and loving.

It's time to listen to our hearts. 

It's time to pray for faith, peace, happiness, and health in the New Year.

It's time to remember that the smallest things, like the ringing of a bell, might, just might, help an angel get it's wings.

I pray that your Christmas is full of wonder, hope, love, family, rejoicing, and precious memories.  I pray that the baby we all celebrate will hear the deepest desires of your hearts in the coming year!

Merry Christmas one and all!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Family Fun Saturday

Just woke up from his nap and ready to go to Meijer Gardens (our local botanical garden) to see the Christmas Trees from around the world.

Much to our surprise, and massive delight, there were two reindeer from a local reindeer farm outside at Meijer Gardens.  They were asleep when we first arrived but then woke up once they smelled an apple that some other visitors brought.  These reindeer were 5 and 6 years old, weighed in at 350 lbs, and had huge antlers.  Did you know that reindeer antlers are like our fingerprints?  No two are ever the same, and a father reindeer can look out amongst a herd and spot his own flock. 

This one is Blizzard.  He was closer to us most of the time.  Spencer was so excited to see them!!

Okay, you can't really tell in this pic, but he was happy to see them and be outside!

Our first snow of the year on Spencer's hood.

Spencer with the Swedish tree.  It had horses on it which automatically mean that he loved it. 

The Irish Tree.  It had all of the 12 Days of Christmas ornaments on it plus Irish crosses.  I adored the velvet ribbons with the jingle bells running down them.  How easy would this be to make for next year?

At the outdoor children's play area.  This little door is just too cute and Spence loved it.

All the way through the door.

Daddy and SYT taking a break

The German tree.  It was definitely my favorite of all the trees.

The electric model train that ran above three of the rooms.  You should have seen the number of kids that were mezmerized by this!  Even the adults thought it was fascinating. 

Spencer pointing at the "choo choo". 

I'm so glad we went to see this.  It was well worth the admission cost (goodness, the reindeer and the trains alone were worth even more than we paid!).  We came home afterwards and fed Spencer dinner, got him in his jammies and read a few books before bundling him up and getting back in the car to drive around and look at Christmas lights.  We ended up being gone for almost two hours (Spence fell asleep in the car) and picked up dinner on our way back home.  We had Christmas music on the whole time.  It was seriously a wonderful day with my boys.

Did you have a holly, jolly Saturday too??

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Spencer, 19 months

(The lights are "hot", so he has to blow on them to cool them off!)

Spencer is already 19 months old.  Yowzers.  We've had some good and bad moments this month.

You have learned how to hit.  It's incredibly frustrating.  Luckily it happens mostly at home, not at daycare, but either way it's SO hard to discipline.  When we hold your hands and say "no hit", you just laugh, pull your hands away, and do it again.  Or you look at us, start crying, and immediately hit again.  Often you will hit someone and then immediately follow it with a "gentle" touch, but that doesn't help much when you've hurt someone already.  You had one really aggressive day at daycare, but most of the time, this only happens at home.

You also have typical toddler meltdowns.  Often it's because we won't let you watch "baby" (videos we take of him on the ipad) or "Momo" (elmo videos on you tube).  It also happens when we won't let you into the baking cabinet.  You adore the baking cabinet and want to get out all the pop top containers to play with the lids.  That would be fine if you hadn't also discovered that brown sugar tastes really good- you will try to eat it by the handful if we don't catch you fast enough!!

(My favorite picture this month!)

Your vocabularly continues to grow.  It's definitely not perfect as you miss consanants quite a bit, but most of the time you are able to get your point across.  You still have never said "yes".  Odd, I think, but I'm sure it will happen someday.

You love to "help".  Even if it's not perfect, it's so cute to see.  You're really good at throwing things away, getting your boots/shoes, bringing us what we ask for, and picking up your books/toys (sometimes!).

You adore your bear (a little white bear head lovie) and your Little Giraffe blankie right now.  You want them with you at all times, especially when you are upset.  You haven't been attached to anything before (no pacifier), so it's cute to see this.  We're trying to keep the blanket in the crib only as both of them are white (good thinking, Mom!) and I don't like having to wash them 2 or 3 times weekly.  Sometimes this throws you into a tizzy, but most times you're okay with just having bear.

(Haircute #8!)

Your eating is so typical of a toddler.  You want small portions more frequently, you rarely eat meat right now, and you definitely prefer your favorite foods.  Black beans, bananas, cheese, milk, "uice" (juice though you aren't allowed to have it at home, you do get some occasionally at daycare), crackers, peas, eggs and any kind of fruit tend to be your favorite.  I try to keep everything as balanced as I can.  Loading spaghetti sauce with tons of veggies and ground beef as well as giving you something to dip usually helps!

You are trying to jump now.  You bend down and then stand up really fast.  You haven't yet managed to get your feet off the ground.  You do like to jump off the ottaman when we're there to help.  It's always good for a belly laugh!  Your other new game is to chase us around the kitchen island.  You love, love, love it!! It's hysterical how much you will laugh at this. 

You're still such a doll, buddy, and I love you!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Praying this goes on sale sometime this winter.  The smallest size is a size 5, so we'd have to wait awhile to put SYT in it, but it's NEVER going to go out of style, and it's just fantastic!!  Perfect for chilly summer nights and for all fall and winter in our chilly state.  L-O-V-E!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Joy

I have a horrid head cold and have been wanting to do nothing but sleep for the past 3 days.  I took a nap both Saturday and Sunday and was even in bed by 8:30 on Saturday night (skipped the neighborhood party due to this cold and significant sleepiness).  All the sleep hasn't helped and right now, I feel that I can barely breathe.  A few of the girls in my office have already had this, and the good news is that it hasn't gone to anyone's chest- it's just all been stuffiness, headaches, sneezing, and runny noses.  Even though none of it is fun, it's WAY better than a significant hacking, barking, wheezing cough!!

So, instead of dwelling on yuckiness, let's instead talk about the Christmas joys I've encountered lately instead.

*Today as I walked out of work, one of the local churches bells were going off (it was exactly 5 p.m.) to the tune of Deck the Halls.  I love church bells and to hear them set to a Christmas tune just made my afternoon.

*I made peppermint bark for our JL mtg tomorrow night, and it is good!!!  I hope all the ladies at the meeting like it!  Honestly, if I weren't on the Arrangements Committee (we arrange/set up/decorate for/organize all the meetings), I probably wouldn't go tomorrow just b/c I would prefer to sleep, but I am excited to see my favorite girls!

*When we get home from work/daycare, the first thing Spencer does is come into the family room, point to the tree, and say "ights, ights".  So we'll plug in the Christmas tree lights and then he immediately starts pointing to the mantle saying "ights, ights".  He does that for the two smaller front trees too.  It's super cute!

*I love driving home from work and seeing all the "ights" everywhere decorating the houses.  Even the gaudy, tacky beyond belief ones make me smile.  I can't wait to get in the car in the next week and drive around the neighborhoods I don't see daily! 

*Our mailbox is full of Christmas cards, gifts, and catalogs.  I love it!!  I'm working on getting mine addressed, and I hope our recipients love them as much as I've loved getting theirs!!

*Christmas music.  Manheim Steamroller, Amy Grant, John Denver and the Muppets, George Winston- it all really gets me in the mood and puts a huge smile on my face.  Our Christmas pandora station really has me pegged!! 

*My baking is no where near finished.  The treats I have made so far have been devoured by friends and coworkers, and I have a lot more to go.  As soon as I have a touch more energy, it's back in the kitchen for me.

*I have put Spencer in all but one of his Christmas outfits (the last will get worn next weekend), and he looks adorbs in all of them.  I just love dressing him in cute seasonal clothing!  Thank goodness for ebay, btw.  I got great prices on all of them!

*Okay, I've never posted a video before, but this little guy (and his sweet daddy) are what are bringing me most of my joy this year (and a little special someone tucked away in my tummy kicking like crazy!!).  This is my overexaggerated "mommy" voice, so please don't make fun.  In case you can't tell, he's saying bell, neigh (for horse), bear, star, and bell again.  Easy to understand if you speak "toddler-ease", harder if you don't and you're watching cheesy home videos!

So, tell me, what is bringing you holiday joy this week?  Mail?  Music?  An awesome homily at church?  The baking you are doing (or that your co-workers are bringing in)?  I can't wait to hear!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Holiday Celebrations!!

B and I went to his company's Christmas party tonight, so I made the babysitter take a few pics once we got home.  We rarely get pics of just the two of us anymore, and since we were dressed up, I thought it was a good opportunity.  We had a lot of fun at the party.  He works with really nice people (mostly men), and I definitely enjoyed myself.  He did too.

Tomorrow night is my Christmas party (it's just for our staff, so B is staying home with Spence), and Saturday night is our neighborhood tree toasting, so it's a BUSY weekend.  Fun though, so I can't complain!!  Neither night will be super late, so I'm not too worried about being as tired as I was last weekend.  The neighborhood party could end up being a late night, but it's nice that B will be able to stay if he wants, and I'll be able to be in bed at a decent hour.  It's a really fun evening.  We start at one of our neighbor's homes for chili and cocktails and then go around house to house to look at everyone's tree and then end up back at the first house for the rest of the evening.  We had a blast last year!!

As you can tell in the above pic, I'm obviously sporting a bump now (though that pic makes me look bigger than I actually am- I think it's the angle).  I made the dress from this tutorial and am quite happy with the results.  I'm planning on wearing it to church on Christmas Eve as well.  I have another long sleeved shirt and more fabric and I think I'm going to make another one that is more work appropriate after the holidays are over.

I'm sure you all are just as crazy this weekend and next.  I hope it's all fun stuff, and I hope you are also able to get your lists checked off in the down time!!  I have to round this weekend as well as the above social stuff, but I'm hoping to get a few more baking things done as well as wrapping some gifts and addressing our Christmas cards which arrived this week!!  We've already received two in the mail from truly organized friends of mine :)  Have a great weekend!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Weekend in the kitchen

B and I spent all weekend in the kitchen making amazing food, and I seriously didn't take one photo.  What was I thinking???  I wish I had some for you, but instead, I'm just going to have to write about it all instead.

Saturday our goals were to bake most of the day, pick up one Christmas gift for our niece, and watch the MSU/Wisconsin game.  We definitely accomplished all those things (don't you just LOVE a productive day?).  We made peppermint bark brownies, eggnog poundcake, buckeye bark, and soft ginger cookies with lemon glaze.  We also threw together "nuts and bolts" (our family's version of chex mix) and made apple compote.  We really wanted to have Christmas tins put together for all of our dinner guests, and we wanted a variety of things to put inside.  Between B and I, we were able to sample all of the above, and, I hope our guests will agree, it all tasted delicious!!

Today after church, we started on the meal for our Christmas dinner party (we hosted 3 other couples whom we just adore).  We served the baked brie with apple compote (from Annie's Eats), Smitten Kitchen's short ribs with swiss chard and pearl onions (I cannot rave about these enough.  They're time consuming but worth every single bite!!), mashed potates, and eggnog trifle.  Everyone seemed to leave the table full and happy. 

The best part?  Hanging out with delightful people that we just don't see enough of!!!  It was so, so, so nice.  Spencer was a little shy at the beginning but then loved showing off the "balls" (aka ornaments) to all our guests and climbing the stairs to turn the dining room light off and on.  It was a wonderful evening!!!  Another great part? We have a few cookies, brownies, and pieces of eggnog pound cake left, but most of it went out the door.  Enough for a few bites over the week but definitely not enough to gorge ourselves on.  Unfortunately, we didn't give away enough nuts and bolts, and this lady has been craving nothing but salt lately!! 

Did any of you make anything exciting in the kitchen this weekend?  Any fantastic Christmas cookies I should make next weekend? 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Pregnancy Update

It's been a few weeks since I've talked about this new little one, so I thought an update was in order!

*I'm now 18 weeks and feeling great.  Absolutely no more nausea, no fatigue, eating normally (craving salty more than sweet still), and am definitely showing!! 
*I broke out a bit this week (all around my nose) which I hate (bad skin= feeling ugly), but at least they're not huge craters.  Lots of smaller ones instead. 
*My pregnancy bras from last time are a lot more comfortable than my regular bras are, so I must be getting bigger up top.  I really never experienced soreness or the horrific painful ni*#(#s that I did last time.  That was a true blessing because for a few weeks showering was awful with Spencer.
*I am having some mild pain in the back of my left hip almost daily.  It feels tight and like it needs to be popped or something.  It doesn't stop me from doing anything, it's just slightly annoying at this time.  Hopefully it won't get worse!
*Overall, I would say this pregnancy is even milder than my last.  I wonder if it's because I'm busier and just don't have the time to dwell on all the symptoms?  Or maybe it's just that I am not nearly as emotional, so things are put a little more into perspective.  Whatever it is, I cannot complain one bit (so if I do, refer me back here).
*I have zero idea if it's a boy or girl, no dreams, no feelings, no nothing.  I have occasionally leaned towards boy because my symptoms have been similar to Spencer's pregnancy (besides that complete exhaustion in the first tri), but that's about it.  I never, not once had a dream about Spencer being a boy or girl throughout my entire pregnancy with him.  Apparently I have bad mommy intuition!
*Did I tell you that we are going to find out with this pregnancy?  B wants to know, and since I made the decision last time to not find out, I figure it's his turn this time.  Our apt is December 20th as our office won't let you schedule an ultrasound until you are 21 weeks.  A lot of my friends have known by 18 or 19, and I do wish we had a sooner apt (mostly because I am impatient), but I think it will be interesting to find out with this babe.  We will not be sharing names until the baby is here, but perhaps we can do a fun "name the baby" post in the future!
*The baby is moving and has been for a few weeks.  Around 14ish weeks I was definite about the feeling the movement.  With Spencer, it was around 18-19 weeks.  It's definitely not just flutters, either, this is full on kicks and punches.  Every single one of them makes me giddy.  And slightly (but just slightly) emotional.  I don't think this will be our last pregnancy, but just in case it is, I am treasuring these kicks for sure!!  Plus, the movement helps to connect me to this babe!!
*No nickname for baby#2.  Puddin was great last time, but it hasn't stuck for this peanut.  Maybe because we are going to find out, so we're waiting to know the sex before giving it a name?  Spencer does say baby and point to my stomach which is adorable!!

Tiny SYT update: He was sick all weekend with high fevers (102-103.7), clingy, and miserable.  Monday he went to pediatrician and was diagnosed with tonsillitis.  He's now on an antibiotic for 10 days.  Poor thing!  He has been afebrile since Monday morning and is eating a little better, but he is still pretty crabby and clingy.  I feel so bad for him.  I can't wait until Saturday so I can just spend a whole day loving on him (while he throws fits on the floor when I won't let him watch "Momo" ie Elmo on youtube!).  Seriously, though, even though it was something as minor as tonsillitis, he was just so sick all weekend and I did break down once crying as I thought about how minor this was in comparison to so many sick kids I see all the time.  It, once again, puts into perspective how important our health, and the health of our families, really is. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Holiday dressing

Absolutely gorgeous black dress perfect for pretty much any occasion.  Very Jackie-ish AND under $100!!  If only my every expanding waistline would fit into this number, I would buy it in a heartbeat.  Anyone else need a classic black dress?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


The details aren't complete yet, but it looks like B will be attending a conference in AZ for work in February.  We were going to take a long weekend getaway the next weekend for his birthday and had talked about NYC or Boston (Hi MCW and kHm!!), but now I'm wondering about flying out to meet him in AZ for the rest of the week (Thurs-Sun).  Neither of us has been before, so we don't know if it would be a great trip or a bust. 

Sooooo, tell me....
1.  Is AZ only old people?
2.  The conference is in Pheonix- do we stay there?  Go to Scottsdale?  Sedona?
3.  Besides playing golf in above cities, what is there to do?  Shopping?  Good Food?  I'm assuming, I'd be able to lay by a pool somewhere which would be nice!
4.  Take the babe?  Don't take the babe?  We're leaning towards no, but then B wouldn't see him for a week and that seems like a REALLY long time!
5.  I'll be 29ish weeks preggers- do I want to be in that hot of weather?  Or do I make B fly twice in one month and go out east instead?  I'm used to the cold, but would we appreciate all that Boston and NYC are in the dead of February?

Thoughts?  Ideas?  Help us out, please!!

Thanksgiving Appetizers

We were in charge of appys on Thanksgiving.  I was pretty happy about this as it's truly a way to be so creative on a day when the meal is usually soooo traditional (and I wouldn't have it any other way!).  I scoured pinterest and Annie's Eats (my go to source!) for ideas and here is what we came up with.

pic from Bon Appegeek

Sugared Cranberries.  I don't really like cranberries, but even I thought these were good.  Spencer LOVED them and would have eaten the whole bowl if I let him!  They were easy to make and definitely added some color to the display.  Plus, they were so tiny, everyone could enjoy them without any added guilt!

Baked Brie with apple compote.  I adore baked brie but usually serve it wrapped in crescent rolls with mustard sauce.  This way was awesome and I would definitely make it for any special occasion.  The apple compote is super easy and so delish that you could serve it up alone!  It would also be great just quadrupled and served as a tart- it's that good!

pic from Martha

Cheese straws.  So good, so easy.  I would add cracked pepper to the top prior to baking next time.  It also would be great to experiment with other cheese.  People really liked them.  We doubled the recipe and didn't need to as we had WAY too much to eat!

Roasted garlic.  I wish I had a pic of what we did.  It was everyone's favorite.  We roasted about 7 bulbs of garlic (could've gotten away with 5 for 14 people) for 45 min at 350 after cutting the tops off the bulbs and  drizzling them with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Then we popped them out of the bulbs, mashed them, and served them alongside of roasted cherry tomatoes, toasted bread points, and arugula drizzled with olive oil and balsalmic.  I would call it a wintertime bruschetta.  And I would also call it one of the best things I ate on Thanksgiving!!  We roasted them in muffin tins and covered them with tinfoil while baking.  The muffin tins were perfect as then they weren't rolling around on the tray. 

I would serve all of the above at any fall or wintertime gathering.  No fails this time around.  Yea!  Any of you have fabulous apps that I should consider for our next dinner party?  I've got one coming up this Sunday!! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Silly things I am thankful for


As all of you, I'm incredibly thankful for my family, my friends, the roof over my head, the God I entrust my life to and the health of those I love.  I cannot express my gratitude enough in just a few simple sentences.

I do have other, silly little things that I am so thankful for that definitely make my life just a tiny bit better by them being present.  So, since I'll never be able to do the first paragraph justice, I'm going to share my little things here today.

1.  Maternity pants.  I can't believe I'm already in them (and was at 15 weeks with this baby), but thank goodness they exist.  Regular pants don't even come close to covering this belly unless I'm wearing a bella band over top.  Buttons are just laughing at me, and belts are a thing of the past. 

2.  The Miami Men's Glee Club.  B sang with them in college, and because of that time, he came out with truly amazing friends (some of our best) and, lucky for me, some truly awesome wives and girlfriends.  He was also in a fraternity, and, while he would rave equally about that experience for him, it's the Glee Club friendships that have lived on so strongly for both of us.  I also am slightly (okay, really) obsessed with the recordings we have of them and listen to the cds a lot in the car.  I need them to put another one out for a little variety :)

3.  Warm blankets.  At night when we are winding down from our day, there is nothing like sitting on the couch snuggled up under blankets watching tv, browsing the computer, etc.  I tend to get cold a lot easier than B does, so it's nice to be able to keep the house set to where he likes it and just throw a blankets over top of me. 

4.  Our kitchen island.  Our kitchen definitely needs an update in decor, but the layout was very well designed.  My favorite part of the kitchen is definitely the island.  It's generous in size and can allow both B and I to work comfortably around it without ever having to worry about space.  This is really important this time of year when we are entertaining, baking cookies, or just making fancy dinners for ourselves at home. 

5.  The public library.  I love to read, and if I had to purchase all the books I read, I'd be broke.  Plus, I would hate spending money on a book I know I'll never read again (I'm a definite re-reader).  To me, I really couldn't make it without the library existing.  I get 95% of my books from the library and, even if I have to sit on a waiting list, the cost savings is immense.

6.  Working with children daily.  I've done it now for 12 years as a nurse/nurse practitioner, and for years before that every summer in BV at club.  I love the joy they bring to my life.  I love the hugs I get from the little ones.  I love that I can make a difference (even if it's only for one minute of one day) in their lives. 

7.  Stain stick.  Now that SYT is in the toddler room at daycare, he comes home FILTHY every single day.  Paint, food, whatever it is, it's gross.  I can't do laundry nightly, so being able to put stain stick on his clothes and then wash it two or three days later, really is helpful!! 

8.  My bed.  Because at the end of a long day, there is nothing like it!!!

What's your favorite silly, little thing that you're thankful for?  I'd love to know!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pinterest recipes.....

I made quite a bit of food from my Pinterest board last week.  Some of it was good, some was a bust (I've removed those from my board).  I thought I'd share the hits over here in case anyone was needing some inspiration!

(pic from meal planning 101)

We made this Slow Cooker Tiki Masala for dinner one night.  We also made tumeric basmati rice with peas and naan.  It was delish!!  B enjoyed it numerous days for leftovers (my reflux couldn't handle it, so I had to forgo the leftovers).  There's also a butter chicken recipe on this site that we'll be making in the near future.  It's a little more work and ingredients than your average slow cooker recipe, but 100% worth it.

(pic from Dine and Dish)

(pic from the Craving Chronicles)

(pic from Taste of Home)
On Friday we hosted our neighborhood monthly party, so I made all of the above recipes plus my favorite brownies for everyone to graze on while we chatted, enjoyed cocktails, and played Euchre.  It was a really, really fun night.  These pretzel bites were a huge hit and I made homemade nacho cheese to dip them in.  I had to adjust the recipe a bit b/c I don't have a bread maker, but it was easy to do, and even though they didn't brown as well as the above pic, they were sooooo good.  I ate WAY too many (so did everyone else!).  Definitely something to have on hand for a party evening!  The pumpkin spice donut holes were a perfect fall bite (says B- I didn't end up trying one before they were all gone).  I didn't have mini muffin tins, so I made them in regular muffin tins and then cut them in half prior to the cinnamon sugar step.  The peanut butter chocolate dessert was decadent and so worth every calorie.  If you like chocolate and peanut butter, you MUST try this.  It keeps well for a few days in the fridge too!!

I'm going to post about our Thanksgiving appetizers next week if they're good.  They would be great for a holiday party too! 

Hopefully you all had a wonderful weekend!! 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Upcoming Christmas party??

Work parties, dinner parties, cookie decorating parties, dinners out with friends and family, holiday concerts, and church events are going to be in full force in just two weeks.  Do you know what you are wearing yet?  Here are a few ideas below to help you start thinking about what you already have in your closet and what you need to add to it. 

I could see this with a skinny black turtleneck and a fabulous black taffetta sash (sew it yourself!) tied in a big bow in the back.

This would work for numerous occasions with pants or a skirt.  A pair of sparkly earrings or a great bracelet and a clutch and you're all set!

 Love the berry color (Is anyone with me on how hideously this is styled?  Really, cork wedges and taffetta?  Uggg......)

Pair it as styled above with nudes/ivories or with a black sweater, black tights, and black heels to make the skirt the standout piece

 Classic enough to be used year after year with different tops and accessories.

Definitely worth the price too!!

Any of the above catching your eye?  Are you already awash in holiday invites? 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Quick weeknight fall dinner

I saw this recipe on Pinterest and decided to try it for dinner this week as the picture couldn't be more delicious looking.  I think B would agree, it was awesome!!  For a quick and easy weeknight dinner, it really can't be beat.  We made cheddar biscuits to go with it, though it would be equally good with a great storebought or homemade focacia bread. 

I did tweak the recipe a bit.  I added another can of tomatoes, another can of white beans, a little extra crushed red pepper, and 16 oz of frozen tortellini rather than the dried (it's just what we already had at home).  I wanted it to be a little heartier (8oz of chicken broth is a LOT!).  I also had a ton of spinach on hand so used that as my leafy green. 

Definitely put this on your weeknight rotation.  You'll love it!!!! 

(We're trying another Pinterest recipe tomorrow night- Tiki Masala.  If it's good, I'll let you know!)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday updates

1.  Hosted a baby shower this weekend for B's cousin who lives here.  It was small and lovely with great food and wonderful gifts.  I made the quiches and the muffins, the other hostess made an amazing fruit salad, and her mom brought her favorite couscous salad (I'll try to get the recipe and post it- it was delish!!).  I was surprised at how many people had never made a quiche or a homemade muffin before.  They're both really easy items.  It's moments like that when I know I am my mother's daughter.  Why would you buy store bought muffins when they're so easy to make at home?  Apparently this is not the norm!!

2.  Friday night B went up to hang out with his aunt and grandma who were in town for the shower.  He took Spencer so that they could see and play with him (he was in a good mood- thank you Lord!).  I was able to run two errands on my way home from work, get all the prep work for the quiches done, and make all the muffins before they got home (B had put Spencer down there as he transfers really well).  I had Glee Cast radio on Pandora while I cooked and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the quiet, alone time I had.  It really recharged my batteries to be able to do that!

3.  If you have little kids to buy Christmas presents for, I would definitely check out your TJ Maxx right now.  Our TJs is one of the worst I've ever been in, but the kids' toy section was awesome when I was there this week.  I saw a ton of Melissa and Doug items (puzzles, paint brushes and paints, blocks, musical instruments, etc), all which were priced really well.  In fact, most were priced better than any of the prices I've seen on Zulily or Totsy.  I was very impressed and picked up a few things for Spencer for next summer when the baby comes and he needs something to do!

4.  Thinking about a double stroller is stressing me out!  They're all really big, and I'm just not in love with any that I see.

5.  B wants a new lawnmower for Christmas.  Really, a lawnmower?  And how the heck am I supposed to pick THAT out???  Why can't he want a few new sweaters, a new pair of pants, and some shoes?  That I can manage.  Alas, I'll now spend the next month researching mowers- anyone want to do that legwork for me??

6.  It snowed here last Thursday.  We had mostly a dusting, but about an hour north of here, they had 3 inches!  I suppose this means that I really need to get Spence some boots!

7.  I can't believe I have to wait until May of 2012 to read Veronica Roth's next book (her first, Divergent, is the best book I have read in the last two years, hands down) (If you don't trust my opinion, don't buy it, check it out from the library) (But I promise you'll love it!!).  With Spencer I would always read as I was nursing him, but I'm not sure that will happen this time as I'll have to nurse and keep an eye on SYT.  I'm going to have to have B put Spence down while I do this baby's nighttime feed so that I can get 15 min of reading time per day; otherwise, how else will I know what is happening with Tris and Four????

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are looking forward to the week ahead! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Need help hydrating

My hair, that is!  I have used numerous deep conditioners over my lifetime, but I've never found one I love.  My favorite is the one above- Biolage products smell amazing, and this one did hydrate pretty well.  I tend to deep condtion once to twice a week, and I'd like to only have to do it once a week (and maybe even every 10 days in the summer).

I was just wondering what deep conditioner you all use and what you love about it.  Smell is important to me (ie- I cannot use Aveda products- yick.)  Any suggestions??? 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Things I need to write down because apparently my memory stinks.

I have very limited memories of being pregnant with Spencer.  I mean, I remember the big stuff, the highlights, and a few of the not so fun moments, but I certainly don't remember many of the details.  I feel horrible about this.  It's only been two years, and I can't remember how long I was nauseous in the first trimester, when I needed to start wearing a different bra, when showering was painful, when it was a pain to shave my legs, if I woke up 3-4 times every night in the first trimester, etc, etc. 

Since I blog (well at least partially) to keep a journal of my life, I want to document this current pregnancy so that, if we ever decide to have a third, I'll be able to look back on this and remember if what is happening now is normal or if my symptoms are different.  This may be stuff a lot of you don't care about, but I need to do this!

*Found out we were pregnant about 4 days after I should have gotten my period.  I took a few pregnancy tests prior to that and they were all negative.  At my dating ultrasound, I was a week behind where I should have been based on my last period, but that makes a lot of sense as to why I had so many negative tests without a period.

*Within one week of finding out, I was nauseous.  With Spencer, I was never nauseous in the morning.  It always hit around 11 and lasted the rest of the day.  This time I've felt gross at all hours of the day.  I have an occasional day where I'll feel fine but at least 5/7 days, my stomach is acting hungover.  No vomitting yet!!   It is helpful if I eat something every 2-3 hours.  Drinking water does not help- just makes me feel seasick.
     Week 14- I feel so much better.  No nausea at all!!!  Woo Hoo!!!

*I'm waking up 3-4 times a night from dreams.  I don't have to pee (I obviously don't drink enough); I must wake up due to the dreams only.  The dreams are incredibly vivid and incredibly weird.  I do remember having vivid dreams with Spencer, but I don't remember them being this frequent.  It often takes me 30 min at least to fall back asleep which is killing me for total sleep time.  There have been studies that state that pregnant women don't have different sleep patterns than other women their age, but I completely disagree.  I have always been an awesome sleeper (and I do require a good night's sleep in order to be a pleasant, well-functioning lady), and this is just killing me.  I'm in week 10 now, and it's not getting any better.  Week 11 is a little better (maybe because I have a killer cold and my body knows it needs rest??)
     Week 14- No more weird dreams.  Must be a first tri thing for me.  Still waking up once a night, usually between 3:45-4:20 and usually for no reason.  I am still not waking up at night to pee (thank goodness!!)

*I don't know if it's due to this being my second pregnancy or if it's the fact that I rarely work out, but I just feel gross about my body right now.  I'm still in all my regular clothes at week 10 (okay one pair of my skinniest pants are definitely tight) and am very comfortable in most, but I just "feel" yucky.  Week 11 now and I'm definitely struggling to be comfortable in my pants.  This sucks.
     Week 14- Sooo much more comfy in maternity pants!  I've been wearing a few of my "bigger" pants as well, but now, mostly maternity.  I have definitely popped and look more pregnant than fat (at least to my eyes!). 

*I am EXHAUSTED this time around.  I know that this wasn't this way with SYT.  I did get really, really tired with him in week 24 (my iron was way low at that time), but I wasn't at all tired in the first tri.  I even remember talking about that with friends- they'd mention how tired they were in the first tri and I had no clue what they were talking about.  Friends, they aren't talking about "I stayed up too late and I'm paying for it the next day." They're saying, "I'm bone tired, I want to nap in the middle of work WHILE people are talking to me, and I absolutely must go to bed by 8 o'clock at least two nights a week."  I am not a sleepy girl usually.  I am a great 10 p.m.- 5:30 sleeper, and I do like to go to bed, but I'm never dragging during the day (and I don't drink caffeine regularly), and I am much more Enegergizer bunny than Slowsky turtle.  This tiredness is just beyond anything I've ever known.
     Week 14- I am much less tired than I was in the first tri.  The trip to CA that I took last week for a conference wiped me out with the time change, but I'm no longer bone tired like I was.  This makes me deliriously happy!!
*Dinner?  Half the time it sounds good, half the time it was something I was craving a few days prior and now sounds disgusting.  B says this was totally me last time too.  I take a few bites, realize how awful it is (even though it is normally one of my favorite meals), and then hand it over to B to finish.  Good thing he's been running like crazy :) 

*Reflux is kicking my butt.  I do remember eating tums with SYT more frequently than when I wasn't pregnant, but this time is definitely worse.  I am constantly burping air and acid up all day long.  If this continues for another month or two, I may have to go on a prescription med b/c this is soooo yucky.  I definitely feel very bloated with air in my tummy a lot which doesn't help the reflux either. 
     Week 14- It's still bad!  Anything with tomato sauce and I'm still tasting it the next day- UGGG!!  I'm still trying to decide if I want to do a daily pill or if tums are enough for me.
*I'm not quite the emotional basketcase that I was the last time.  I've had a few very minor breakdowns but nothing like the Thursdays of my first pregnancy.  I would just sit on the couch and cry though an entire episode of Gray's, even when they weren't sad.  And it happened every single Thursday without fail.  I feel much more stabilized this time.
     Week 14- Still feeling happy!  Yea!!
I know this sounds like a lot of complaints.  It's not (well, a little bit)'s just the honest to God truth about the first trimester.  It's usually the worst trimester for most people, and I know it's something I just have to get through.  It's also a very nervewracking time as you're trying to hide everything, worrying about miscarrying, and dealing with all the side effects.  But as B would say, all these side effects are there to remind me that I'm still pregnant AND #it gets better!!!  I also know that weeks 18-40 were fine for me (40-41 was a little rough), and it was so worth it in the end.

21 week ultrasound of SYT
1st day home- I still adore this pic!!

We're so lucky, and I really, really am glad to be pregnant again.  Just 25.5 weeks until this little one makes his or her way into the world!!