Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Have A Bite Of...

Taco Stuffed Peppers

Nothing like the stuffed peppers of the 80's, I swear!

Easy, healthy, and flavorful. Did I mention E-A-S-Y? 
These babies are a dream come true on hectic weeknights!

3 peppers, any color
1 tbs avocado oil
1/2 lb lean ground turkey (or beef)
2 tbs diced onion
1/2 cup water
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 tbs taco seasoning (more or less to preference)
Optional: Cheese

Corn, fresh or frozen
Fresh tomatoes, diced
Black olives, sliced
Green onions, sliced
Sour cream

1) Wash peppers, slice in half, and remove stem/seeds. Place in baking dish, cut side up, and bake at 400 for 8 minutes*.

2) While the peppers are cooking, heat the avocado oil in a medium skillet and brown the meat. Add diced onion, sauté for an additional 2 minutes. Stir in water, cooked quinoa, and taco seasoning and simmer until liquid has reduced. 

3) Spoon the meat and quinoa mixture into the peppers, top with cheese if desired, and place back in the oven for another 10 minutes.

4) Serve warm with any combination of toppings. My favorites are corn, tomatoes, olives, green onions, and Cafe Yumm sauce. 

*This dish will reheat beautifully if the peppers are not overcooked. 8 minutes of pre-baking will result in al dente peppers. Add another 2 minutes to the pre-baking time if you like softer peppers or are not planning for leftovers.

Life Update:
We've stumbled our way into a functioning routine, which is a huge relief after the chaos of the newborn months. I've actually done grocery shopping and Costco with both kids (and no backup), Little Miss is tolerating car rides, and Jr is handling sharing Mama a little better. Sleep is still a precious commodity - naps are short, two night feedings qualifies as a great night, and sometimes the kids sleep in until 7am. 

Little Miss is growing (mostly) steadily and her personality is really starting to show. We're still fighting reflux at times, but things are getting better on the whole. She has learned to roll from back to tummy, started on solid foods, is starting to enjoy bath time, and loves playing peekaboo.

Grumpy snuggles.


Houston, we have a roller.

Jr is a talking, dancing, singing machine. He's constantly picking up new words and parroting everything which, after months of focusing on his language skills, is an absolute delight. He knows all of his letters, is always looking for ways to be a helper, and has been determined to start doing things on his own/in his own way. Watching him gleefully run towards big kid independence is equal parts exhausting and amazing.

My grocery assistant was pretty thrilled with our cucumber selection.

I. Love. Christmas.

Finally making progress on the nursery artwork!

"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures."
Thornton Wilder

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Life at Seven Weeks

So much has changed in so little time - quite honestly it kinda feels like we've been to hell and back. Little Miss was diagnosed with reflux, which is just now starting to get under control with medication. It was a couple weeks of an unhappy, screaming, vomiting baby who only napped for 15 minutes at a time and also had a severe diaper rash thanks to the fact that there was a new dirty diaper pretty much every time she blinked, and a toddler who stopped sleeping through the night and couldn't understand why Mommy's hands were always full with the baby.

Two landfills and countless loads of laundry later, it seems like we're finally making progress on those issues. The best diaper rash treatment we've patched together (with pediatrician approval) is a rag and water cleaning, Mylanta applied topically, followed by a layer of Triple Paste, and topped with a layer of extra strength Boudreaux's Butt Paste. Plus a daily application of hydrocortisone cream. At its worst, that entire production was redone every 20 - 30 minutes, but we've graduated to three (or six) diaper changes per waking period. I'll admit right now that Jr watched way more TV than I ever intended during the worst of that transition. #honestparenting #realitycheck

For now, we still don't have a "typical" day. I'm working my basic daily and weekly routines, but sometimes even that doesn't happen. And that's ok, even though it frustrates me. Some days are good, some days I have to call for reinforcements, and every day requires flexibility. Such is life with an infant and a two year old!

It's a good thing he likes to help!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Life At Three Weeks...

Our little miss arrived safe and sound... three weeks ago! And I'm already wondering just how it went by so quickly.

So far, birth and recovery could not have been more different from the first time around. Aside from an initial delay of one day, which to be honest didn't phase me, everything has gone extremely well. My recovery is progressing nicely, little miss has stabilized her weight, and we've avoided nearly all of the major issues that were experienced after Jr's birth. *knocks on wood*

As far as settling into a new routine, we're still working on it, but I'm hopeful that I will get the all-clear for driving and more normal activity levels by the end of the week which should help. In general news: the baby sleeps pretty darn well, Jr hasn't been too disturbed by the new arrival, the house is in somewhat controlled chaos, and we're not surviving exclusively on take-out (thanks to very kind friends/family/neighbors and my predilection for making freezer meals).

Brand spanking new.

Such a snuggler...

First family selfie!

And the compromises begin...
"Yes, you may use your toy truck as an eating utensil."

Apparently happiness expands in direct proportion to the bags and lines under my eyes...

"Walking through the house at night is wonderful to me; a symphony of breath, each person a separate instrument as they collectively breathe in time to the metronome of life itself."
Edwin Leap

Monday, May 30, 2016

One Week...

Well here we are, just over a week from D-day! The last month has simultaneously dragged on and flown right by. The good news? We've made a very respectable dent in the to-do list with only breakfast burritos for the freezer, a freezer inventory sheet, filling the nursery dresser, and a "final" house cleaning remaining. The bad news? There really isn't any, but I am getting a bit of pre-baby jitters.

My plan for this last week is to relax (as much as being 9 months pregnant and sleep-deprived will allow), enjoy all of the snuggles that Jr can tolerate, and hopefully complete at least the main piece of nursery artwork during his naps. And to stay indoors since the weather has decided that moderate 70 degree days are overrated and we need a weeklong run of sky-high temperatures. Yuck.

He's very thoughtful about choosing where to put his scribbles.

We've successfully made it out to the farm for berries every week this month.

Just a couple more days for the paint to cure and I can finish the nursery!
They have the same walk, and it cracks me up.

We found (plastic) Hot Wheels at the Dollar Store, which accompany us everywhere.

Pregnancy Update
How far along: 39 weeks

Maternity clothes: Not going to lie, I'm pretty much avoiding outings that require things like real pants. They still fit, I just prefer my comfortable sweats.

Sleep: Not enough, but hey, I'm (mostly) functioning!

Best moment lately: Just trying to soak in the last bit of time where Jr will have my sole attention.

Missing anything: Wine, of all things, has been sounding fantastic lately. Oh, and I may or may not have told Chris that he needs to bring salmon nigiri to me while I'm in the hospital - SO looking forward to that as well!

Movement: I'm 95% certain that she is planning to exit via my ribs. The downside of being pregnant and short with a short torso is the baby "dropping" just means I get hit in more places!

Cravings: Sweet, salty - pretty much anything that isn't healthy.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Heartburn is running rampant, but only for a few more days!

Gender: A Girl!

Labor signs: A LOT of Braxton Hicks and stronger contractions too, mostly in the afternoons and evenings. Apparently the amount of false labor you have varies with every pregnancy. I'm definitely having way more than I did the first time around - which is kind of nerve-wracking even though it's not passing into the timing criteria for early labor.

Symptoms: Tired and achy, but aside from the extra contractions I'm having an easier time than I did with Jr.

Happy or moody: Chris may have a different opinion (which he is wisely keeping to himself), but I feel like I've been fairly mellow for this late in the game. Unless we're grocery shopping and you've decided to block an entire aisle to gawk at your phone. #aintnobodygottimeforthat 

Looking forward to: Meeting our Little Miss!

Baby gear/preparations: We're pretty much set!

"In a household of toddlers and pets, we discover this rule of thumb about happy families - that they are least two-thirds incontinent."
Robert Brault

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A Little Peek

At my to do list as of week 36! 26 days to go and I might be freaking out just a little... And quite frankly, I'm just too dang tired to go through the photo editing process to include pictures of our most recent shenanigans this time around.
(hangs head in shame and promptly falls asleep)

Freezer Meals/Foods:
Turkey mini meatballs
Banana muffins
Zucchini bread, sliced
Breakfast burritos
Quinoa taco skillet
Jalapeño turkey burgers x2 (1 batch done)
Waffles (done, but will probably do another batch before Little Miss arrives)
Beef enchiladas (done)
Chicken enchiladas (done)
Chili (done)
Taco soup x2 (done)
Turkey stroganoff (done)
Spaghetti sauce x2 (done)

Baby Prep:
Nursery dresser, repair and paint
Wash pack and play
Organize nursery closet and dresser
Wash and fold 0-3 month laundry
Wash swaddles/blankets
Wash burp rags
Wash Boppy covers
Wash and install infant carseat
Set up swing/bouncer
Sort Jr's old clothes for gender neutral items (done)
Assemble crib (done)

Make meal inventory sheet for freezer
Write down Jr's daily schedule and meals for hospital stay
Pack hospital bag
Purchase new toy, book, and puzzle for Jr during hospital stay
Decide on homecoming outfit (done) 
Shower thank you notes (done)

Pregnancy Update
How far along: 36 weeks

Maternity clothes: I'm all about comfort these days... 

Sleep: Reasonable, but still less than I would like. Luckily we are hitting that point where I'm tired enough during the day that I can usually catch a quick nap while Jr is sleeping - if I make it a priority.

Best moment lately: There have been so many wonderful things lately! Finding out during the last ultrasound that Little Miss has hair! The baby shower was beautiful and such a fun afternoon!

Missing anything: Other than just not having a belly "in the way" of everything? It's been a more comfortable pregnancy than the first time around, so while I'm definitely excited to meet our Little Miss, I'm not in a rush for pregnancy to be over.

Movement: So much rolling! Every few days she has a day or two where things are quieter than normal (but still with safe kick counts) and then she gets back to her gymnastics.

Cravings: Not really? I get passing cravings for random things, but they're generally not strong enough to be memorable.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Yes, but I have no idea what it is! I've been having random bouts of nausea, but they're short lived. Heartburn is a big one for making me feel sick, but I've been keeping up on my water intake and antacids so it hasn't been too bad.

Gender: A Girl!

Labor signs: Just the usual Braxton Hicks at this point. Some days are more uncomfortable than others, and they compress my diaphragm a bit so it makes me cough, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Symptoms: T-I-R-E-D! The relaxin is really kicking in, so my hip pops with every step and my pelvis generally feels like jello. Little Miss has dropped pretty far too, so I've been having a bit of trouble with my sciatic nerve getting compressed by her little noggin! A bit of foot swelling here, a bit of heartburn there - it seems like there's a sprinkling of just about everything.

Happy or moody: There's no telling these days! I've cried and laughed over the most random things.
Here's a definite cry though - you're welcome.

Looking forward to: Finishing up the nursery! It seems like no matter how much time I've spent in there I'm really not making much progress.

Baby gear/preparations: We have a few gaps to fill in - mainly with clothes and a few pieces of gear. The main preparation that is still hanging over my head is finishing the dresser so I can get on with organizing the nursery!

Funny moments: My pregnancy cheating is back in full swing! It was one of those had to be there moments, but pregnancy brain + learning a new board game + after 9pm = unintentional cheating GALORE...

"Do it or don't. It's amazing how many things in life are that easy."
Henry Rollins

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Between The Lines

How has it already been a month since my last post?!

Life continues as  a quick succession of busy nothings that are also everything. The nicer weather of late means that we have been able to do fun outings more often on weekends that always seem too short. We're trying to balance quality time and activities for Jr with getting everything in order for Little Miss to arrive among all of the usual schedules, appointments, and to-dos. We're happy, we're busy, we're stressed, we're blessed: life continues much the same and yet completely different.

I did finally transition Jr out of the sleep suits we have been using for the past year and a half and into a Halo Sleepsack Big Kids - so far, I love it! I was a little concerned about the sudden transition to no sleeves, but he adjusted like a champ the first night. If things continue as well as they have been, I think I may plan to move Little Miss into this style a bit earlier than we did with Jr.

Most mornings in the office.

This little man is in the midst of his first round with his two year molars - yikes!

Jr loved every minute of using the indoor play place that we found over spring break!

Our Easter activities - we used his favorite fruits (diced) as egg filler and gave him his very own plush white cat since the real deal wants almost nothing to do with him at the moment.

What else would you do in a sensory bin?

Beach day! Jr loved running back and forth with the waves.

Waving and saying "hello!" to seagulls.

Checking out the pier after a late lunch.

Carousel ride! Apparently we kept the beach theme going by choosing a pirate horse.

Hanging out in the yard on a mellow spring evening.

Strawberry plants from Pops and Gigi - something tells me he may not have the patience to let them ripen!

Afternoon stroll.

That was one of two red tulips in the yard. I guess he knew they were my favorite! :)

So close.

Pregnancy Update

How far along: 32 weeks

Maternity clothes: Yep! I still use my normal cardigans/jackets/etc since I tend to get chilled with bare arms but don't need them buttoned or zipped.

Sleep: You win some, you lose some. It seems like I have a pretty decent night of sleep every three or four days.

Best moment this week: The delivery of our glider! The pressure on my stomach that happens when holding/rocking Jr has been getting increasingly uncomfortable, but he's not a fan of stationary snuggles. I'm beyond relieved to have another option for soothing him (while sitting, no less!) and it will be SO nice to have when Little Miss arrives.

Missing anything: Nothing too terribly intense, but I do miss my regular clothes and bending over without a big ol' belly in the way! I would say alcohol, but realized I haven't had more than an occasional sip here and there since before I was pregnant with Jr. Supply issues make you kind of fussy about things like intentionally pumping and dumping! Cheers to another dry two years?

Movement: Phew! Someone seems to be running out of room in there, or is reorganizing some of my organs to suit her space preferences.

Cravings: Still nothing very specific as far as what I'm craving, but very specific as far as how I'm craving it. For example, I really want fresh things, which could normally be solved by a green salad or a bowl of mixed fruit. However, I am turning into a toddler who does not want these delicious things to be mixed - each component tastes better separate! Ei-yi-yi...

Anything making you queasy or sick: Easter lilies. My crazy pregnancy nose interprets them as incredibly strong BO. I ran a quick errand before Easter and walking by the display of lilies literally caused me to recoil as if I had run into a wall. It was like being hugged by someone who hadn't showered in a month!

Gender: A Girl!

Labor signs: I've had a couple brilliant periods of forgetting to drink much water, which has resulted in some pretty uncomfortable stretches of Braxton Hicks. Nothing a couple days of extra rest and LOTS of water hasn't been able to fix though!

Symptoms: The normal discomfort more days than not, and I can feel the third trimester tiredness creeping in. I'm a little afraid that if I give in and slow down, I won't be able to get anything done!

Happy or moody: It's all over the place. Mostly happy, but all it really takes is a few things going unexpectedly sideways to get upsetting. Spending most of a morning getting the run-around from our health insurance on billing issues was the most recent kerfuffle to send me into tears.

Looking forward to: Clearing out the spare room closet and rearranging the furniture that will be staying until Little Miss is ready to move in so I can start getting the room ready. I officially decided on the colors that we will be using so there's no stopping me now!

Baby gear/preparations: Since baby two is a different gender, I decided to give the go ahead on the baby shower inquiries. Mom, Mom-in-Law, Sis, and The Bestie are tackling the logistics so I just get to show up and enjoy it.

Funny moments:
I decided to do the grocery shopping solo recently, which was probably for the best since otherwise I would have had a witness to me allegedly leaving the store, wandering into the parking lot and trying to get into a Toyota, only to realize that I drove a Jeep instead. I can neither confirm or deny that pregnant me will turn to a life of crime when left unsupervised.

"Kids: they dance before they learn there is anything that isn't music."
William Stafford

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The War on Chaos

I'm of two minds about the chaos of babies and toddlers. On one hand, it makes sense to embrace the mess and work around it - it's only a season. On the other hand, I like to be comfortable at home and a large part of that is ensuring that we are reasonably neat and tidy. There's stress in the mess, I tell you! The balance I've found is a mixture of routines and minding the little things before they can turn into big things.

With that said, I'm fully aware that our routines can look a bit obsessive at a glance. I swear they aren't though! We're busy, but there is flexibility and quality time built into each day - especially the weekends as family time is our priority there. The key I've found is to structure the lists so that they build on each other: daily items make the weekly maintenance easier, weekly maintenance makes the monthly items easier, and the monthly items make the quarterly maintenance easier.

The strategies that I use to keep things in order are:

Daily Cleaning - 18 Tasks
Turning all of the little tasks into a checklist/routine is the easiest way to limit the time and brain power spent on maintaining the house. The whole list takes about an hour and a half to complete, but it's broken up into pieces: 30ish mins morning and evening with a couple other 15 min sections throughout the day.

Weekly Cleaning - 17 Tasks
Hitting every area on a weekly basis helps keep the dirt in check before it can become grime. I usually handle two to three areas per day and the amount of time varies depending on the tasks. Interior areas are scheduled around my busy days in the office, and exterior tasks are fit in on whichever day isn't pouring rain.

Monthly Cleaning - 17 Tasks
To be honest, a good portion of these tasks don't necessarily "need" to be done every month, but it cuts the amount time needed for deep cleaning on a quarterly basis. I shoot for three to four tasks every week, but fit in more whenever feasible.

Daily Routine
The general flow of our day is get up, eat, clean, work, play, eat, clean, (nap) work, play, eat, play, (sleep) clean, work, relax, sleep, repeat. I'm a firm believer in having a predictable routine for everyone's sanity.

Toy Rotation
This is a lifesaver for us! We currently have three toy "stations" in the house: Jr's room, the living room, and my office. Once every week or two I will go through and change out all of the toys and books in each station - some retire to the closet for a couple weeks and others switch stations, but the fresh perspective always seems to help Jr stay interested in his toys for independent playing.

He has so much to say now, but I still can't figure out half of it! Mom fail?

Ever have a feeling that someone is watching you...?

One of Jr's favorite things to help with is feeding the cat.

Yay playdoh!

He loves having company over to "his" house, thankfully I'm still able to get in (and out)!

Sticky window activity!

These mini doughnut muffins are seriously THE BEST! Chris and Jr approved.
(I used butter instead of coconut oil in the muffins and only brushed it on vs dipping them for the cinnamon coating.)

Pregnancy Update

How far along: 27 weeks

Maternity clothes: Oh, yes. I pulled an abdominal muscle last week so I am done with anything putting pressure on my stomach.

Sleep: Not great now that I'm hitting the "every position is uncomfortable" stage. Relaxin (the hormone, not the activity) is making a lot of my joints hurt.

Best moment this week: Our most recent OB appointment went well, little baby kept kicking the doppler while the doctor was trying to check her heartbeat.

Missing anything: Laying flat on my back!!

Movement: Plenty of kicks and jabs, we had our first "ow, that was my rib!" moment.

Cravings: Not anything terribly specific, but holy hunger - some days it seems like I could eat everything in the house and still feel hungry.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Nothing predictable, but there are always a few waves here and there. Oh, and the glucose test drink nastiness.

Gender: A Girl!

Labor signs: A few Braxton Hicks, but nothing unusual.

Symptoms: The third trimester is less than a week away and I'm definitely starting to feel my energy wane. Nesting is kicking in though, so no rest for the pregnant!

Happy or moody: Mostly happy, but my tiredness and general discomfort often gets misread as moody.

Looking forward to: Finalizing the nursery colors! It seems like no one is carrying coral nursery items online or in-store, but I was finally able to order a couple of coral crib sheets from Target. Here's hoping the color looks good in person!

Baby gear/preparations: N-E-S-T-I-N-G. Even when I want to slow down, a lot of days I just can't seem to stop until I'm falling asleep.

Funny moments: Pregnancy brain + a nasty cold + nesting + daylight savings = so much wandering around trying to remember what I was doing. Case in point, it took FOUR trips to the laundry room before I could remember that I was in there to get my chapstick from the diaper bag!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A Day In The Life... 20 Months

I assumed, when starting to blog, that it would be a nice way to look back in time at life as it was. Little did I know just how handy that would be once we had a kid! I've already forgotten so much of the details from when Jr was tiny, it was a fun walk down memory lane last week to look through my older posts from that time. And pregnancy? Fuhgeddaboutit. I think my brain just packed up and left for nine months.

Keeping in mind just how quickly I will forget what life at this point looks like, here's a peek at a "typical" day wrangling a toddler while working from home. 
*Wednesdays are typically insane and only vaguely resemble our normal days - usually involving frenetic paced work for me, an extra Curious George and independent play in the office for Jr, and Chris handling dinner.

Jr is up and ready for breakfast. The men have some one-on-one time while Chris makes their breakfast and I snag a few more minutes of sleep. I handle any nighttime disruptions and have the added restlessness of pregnancy (as well as a pillow-thieving husband).

I'm up and making my favorite iced coffee which is nursed through most of the morning. Nothing like extended morning sickness to make you quit the healthy habit of a daily breakfast!

Part One of the morning routine - clean up the aftermath of breakfast, pack a lunch for Chris, make the bed, pick up the bedroom, quick shower, feed the cat (Jr loves helping with this!), fill dog bowls and vacuum the small army of dog hair that has taken up residence in the laundry room/hallway, Chris and Jr let the dogs out to potty, start a load of laundry, change Jr's diaper and get him dressed for the day.

Settle in to work while Jr plays in the office. He's pretty good at playing independently during this time, but also gets a big kick out of sitting on my lap and pretending to type.

Toddler snack time! I'm usually hungry by this point as well and snag some protein to tide me over until lunch. Part Two of the morning routine - unload/load the dishwasher, wipe the kitchen counters, address any spills on the stove and in the microwave, spot check the appliance fronts, sweep the kitchen and entryway, mop the kitchen, quick scrub of the kitchen sink.

Development activities! Usually one of the following per day - coloring, painting, shape/color recognition, playdough, or sensory tub.

Story time and independent play (still supervised) while I complete a weekly cleaning task.

Jr watches Curious George or Puffin Rock while I prepare our lunches.

Lunch! We usually FaceTime with Chris unless he comes home for lunch.

Clean up the kitchen, start dishwasher if needed, switch laundry from washer to dryer, start second load if needed, let dogs out, quick toy pick-up, diaper and change for nap.

Snuggle time while watching Curious George.

Quiet time and nap. I head back into the office to catch up on misc items for an hour or so.

Address any items that are best done without a toddler in tow - mixing cleaners (I make my own daily floor spray, room refresh sprays, granite spray, diaper bin deodorizer), reorganizing cabinets/drawers, disinfecting bathrooms, etc. I've been trying to do more maintenance and cleaning while Jr is awake so he doesn't grow up thinking that elves come in to pick up after him, and we mostly use natural cleaning products in place of highly toxic items, but anything with harmful cleaners is still done while he's asleep.

Snack time, diaper change, let dogs out.

If it's nice weather we try to get outside for a walk or pulling weeds while Jr explores the yard. His favorite thing at the moment is collecting rocks to place on the side table by our porch chairs, or bringing handfuls of dirt for me to hold. If it's nasty weather we will stay inside to play tag, hide-and-seek, make pillow forts and obstacle courses - anything to help him burn off some energy before dinner! This is also when I usually handle most of our baking needs as Jr loves to help scoop, pour, and mix. I also pop into the office at some point to make sure there are no pressing issues that "must" be addressed by 5pm.

Dinner prep while Jr plays with the pantry bins and the Tupperware drawer, or wants to be held so he can see what it is that I'm doing. If Chris gets home early we generally go for a walk.

Dinner and family time!

Snuggles and Curious George for Jr with one parent while the other starts bedtime preparations.

Chris handles bathtime and pj's while I straighten up the main areas and kitchen. 

I handle bedtime stories and nightly song, which is usually followed by a toddler initiated giggle-fest.

Lights out! Jr has been great about putting himself to sleep, which is fantastic since rocking 25lbs of toddler gets really heavy, really quickly.

Once Jr is in bed, our evenings are very low key. We hang out, putter around the house, and try to have some downtime - both together and separately. A couple nights a week I usually have to head back into the office for 30 mins to an hour.

And that concludes the tour of our (mostly) happy daily life!

What happens when you ask a toddler to say, "Cheese!"

The faces of boredom: Hour 2 at the pediatrician.

No decorative pillow is safe!


Someone has taken to reading on trips in the car!

Pregnancy Update

How far along: 23 weeks

Maternity clothes: A mix of regular and maternity, but I'll admit that maternity items are just more comfortable.

Sleep: Pretty good, aside from my nightly it's-midnight-so-apparently-I-need-to-be-awake-for-an-hour-or-two sessions (which I've decided are prime opportunities for uninterrupted Pinterest-ing).

Best moment this week: A playdate/visit with a friend that I hadn't seen in six months!

Missing anything: Nothing stands out lately... It will be nice to feel "normal" again, but I'm not in any rush for it. I'm trying to enjoy pregnancy a bit more this time, especially since I don't have an outside 9-5 to deal with. Or at least until the dreaded foot swelling sets in again.

Movement: Regular kicks and twists now, but this one seems less active than I remember Jr being at this point. Maybe, in addition to the boy/girl split, we will have one runner and one snuggler.

Cravings: A giant hamburger and Doritos chips, preferably together. I have yet to indulge this one as it seems like a point of no return.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Strong smells and prenatal vitamins, but it seems that round two of morning sickness is on it's way back out.

Gender: No more blue for Baby #2 - we're having a girl!

Labor signs: Nope, just the way I like it.

Symptoms: My nose is still really sensitive and I swear pregnancy brain is taking hold. It feels like I'm thinking in slow motion most of the time. And holy breathlessness, my lungs are starting to feel crushed.

Happy or moody: Still an occasional bout of unexplained waterworks, but mostly keeping an even-keel.

Looking forward to: Starting on the nursery! Step one is deciding on a color scheme, so paint swatches were picked up this past weekend and Pinterest board(s) were created!

Baby gear/preparations: Still just cleaning, organizing, and freezing things.

Funny moments: At my appointment in December, I swear the OB said we would be having the anatomy scan at our next appointment in January. Guess who was pretty darn disappointed when the January appointment was wrapped up without it! My OB (nicely) had a chuckle at my expense: "Oh, honey, that's your next appointment... in February."

"The true secret of happiness lies in the taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life..."
William Morris

Monday, January 11, 2016

Without Loss Of Enthusiasm

The last few months of 2015 were pretty much a blur, thanks in large part to morning sickness and exhaustion. The good news is that life has returned to "normal" and I'm no longer constantly horrified by the state of the house. With that said, we haven't done much in the way of things exciting or newsworthy, but a happy and quiet routine is just fine with me for now. We're hitting the ground running in 2016! Not making resolutions, but the usual lists and goal planning. 

Jr trying to bribe the cat to come out from under the bed with treats, which I found
to be rather impressive logic for an 18 month old.

Christmas pajamas!

Our latest favorite for art, washable paint dabbers!

Sensory play with rolled oats.

Pregnancy Update

How far along: 18 weeks

Maternity clothes: Only the Blanqi support tanks for those pesky ligament pains, but I will probably need to start making the switch soon. It seems like my belly has really started to pop over the last couple weeks.

Sleep: Fragmented and uncomfortable, but reasonably sufficient most nights. I'm sure it would help if I wasn't so thirsty every evening and all through the night, but I can't stand that parched feeling.

Best moment this week: Finally starting to hit that second trimester sweet spot - more energy, less nausea, and not too uncomfortable/tired to get motivated!

Missing anything: Still dreaming of that second cup of coffee, but nothing unbearable. A cold pepper turkey sandwich sounds rather amazing, but is sadly off limits from the listeria potential. I've never been a huge fan of sandwiches, and sandwiches with heated deli meat are even less appealing. BLTs will have to suffice now that I have a source for nitrate-free bacon.

Movement: I started to feel occasional "quickenings!" Which is still the strangest, and yet completely normal, term for those first flutters of movement. I really missed this part of pregnancy.

Cravings: Iceberg lettuce - not romaine, not arugula, just plain old iceberg by the wedge. Cherry tomatoes are still a favorite, but that's not exactly new to pregnancy. Salty things in general, but I'm trying to avoid giving in too often as I'm dreading the water retention/swelling that happened last time around.

Anything making you queasy or sick: The morning sickness has tapered off enough to stop with the B6 combo, but it still tends to make its presence known first thing in the morning and later in the evenings. The smell of food generally doesn't sit well, and I swear I can smell everything the neighborhood is having for dinner when we take an evening walk. Prenatal vitamins are definitely causing nausea, but I take them right as I go to bed so it's not too bad.

Gender: Hopefully this week!

Labor signs: No additional Braxton Hicks since I've been much more attentive to staying hydrated.

Symptoms: A little tired and vaguely nauseated, but overall pretty darn good. WEIRD dreams most nights, a super sensitive nose, and my abdomen has been pretty tender. Ligament pains come and go, but seem to be easing up compared to how they were a couple weeks ago.

Happy or moody: Thankfully, the emotional roller coaster has pretty much leveled out. The fact that I am rarely ever moved to tears by a movie has been a running joke for years - and I am so happy to return to that version of normal!

Looking forward to: The next ultrasound! Hopefully this little one will cooperate so we can find out the gender. Once that happens, I can start planning whether the guest room will be converted to a play room or a nursery.

Baby gear/preparations: I've been trying to get a head start on nesting - mostly through organizing, deep cleaning, and testing new freezer meals.

Funny moments: We hosted Christmas dinner this year, and for some reason* I was pretty much left to my own devices for the planning. Christmas Day it dawned on me, one hour before my parents arrived and four hours before the other guests would be arriving, that I had completely neglected to plan any finger foods. Luckily, between both of our kitchens, my mom and I were able to whip up a decent snack spread - which was a good thing since dinner ended up being almost an hour late! Prime rib for 20 is not exactly my area of expertise.
(*Considering that my family is fully aware how hard pregnancy brain hit me last time, I'm taking very little responsibility for either kerfuffle.)

"I think in terms of the day's resolution, not the years'."
Henry Moore