Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ramblings of a tired pregnant woman ...

I have neglected the blog over the past couple of weeks so I thought I would share a few things that are going on in our lives right now (in list form).

(1) The heat heat has finally subsided some this week. There is actually a hint of cool in the air in the mornings and evenings. We have enjoyed playing outside more and hanging out with our neighbors on their back porch. It has been nice to get out of the house without melting.

(2) The kids start preschool this week. I went to their open house this week and met their teachers. I think they are great! The kids are definitely ready to go back to school and so am I!

(3) All the big kids in our area have gone back to school now, which makes traffic into work very bad. Even if I leave a little later than normal. My commute to work has gone from 20 minutes to about 30-35 minutes. I am glad I don't have to drive it that much longer (at least for a few weeks anyway).

(4) Baby Luke is still growing. I really don't think my belly can get much bigger. I have officially gained 40 pounds this pregnancy (which is 10 more than ever before).

(5) I am super busy at work. In fact, I worked over 100 hours this month. Normally I work between 60-75 hours per month.

(6) David is a fast food restaurant spotter extraordinaire. He can spot Sonic, Chick-Fil-A and "HotDonalds" from a mile away. He is also very good at spotting Target.

(7) After 15 years of playing their lottery, Will finally got tickets to the Masters golf tourney (one of the practice round days) in April 2011. He got the letter in the mail yesterday and he was super-pumped.

(8) Claire was evaluated for free speech services through Metro schools last week. They are almost positive that she will qualify which will put an extra $150 back in our pockets every month (and we had really affordable speech therapy through a good friend).

(9) Will wants to put our house on the market in October so we can move into a neighboring county with a better school system. I want to wait until the spring for my sanity's sake! And, I don't want to lose our free speech! (See #8)

(10) We have not been to the pool since our vacation in mid-July. How sad is that? Maybe we can squeeze in one more pool trip before it closes Labor Day weekend.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: August 30-September 5

This menu plan is brought to you by ... my mother-in-law. We were in Alabama this weekend for a baby shower and she loaded us up with some good eats to help me out with the cooking this week. I am pumped about not having to cook much at all this week. Plus, she sent some of our favorite things!

I have big plans to catch-up on my blogging this week for those of you out there who might like to read about more than what we eat every week! HA!

Monday: beef & vegetable soup, cornbread

Tuesday: taco salad

Wednesday: roast with carrots & potatoes, lima beans, rolls

Thursday: Tomato basil quiche, sausage links, coffee cake, fruit (this has been on our menu for three weeks now ... even if we don't eat it this week, I am making it and putting in in the freezer for later!)

Friday: grilled turkey tenderloin, mac & cheese, fried okra

Saturday: Game Day spread ... I haven't quite figured this one out yet but it will definitely involve some buffalo chicken dip and I might even have to bust out some of our favorite chili. (Sadly, we will be watching the Crimson Tide in front of the computer since their game will not be televised.)

Sunday (lunch): eat out with coupon

Sunday (dinner): leftovers

Check out other menu plans here.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: August 23-29

This menu plan will be short and sweet this week. Our fave thing from last week that was a last minute addition to the menu plan was pesto-crusted grilled cheese. I served with sliced tomatoes and chips and Will and I both loved it. Can't wait to have it again this week. I thought the garden veggie frittata was also very good, but Will did not give it high marks. After that meal he said, "where was the meat item?" I actually meant to serve it with sausage links, but I forgot. It was still very filling though with muffins and fruit.

We will be having some quick meals and lots of leftovers this week as we have something every night this week and have a baby shower this weekend in Alabama.

Monday: pesto-crusted grilled cheese, sliced tomatoes, chips

Tuesday: Poppyseed chicken casserole w/rice, green vegetable, rolls

Wednesday: Tomato basil quiche, sausage links, blueberry muffins or coffee cake, fruit
Thursday: Leftovers for Will and the kids (I have book club!).
No cooking this weekend! Yeah!

Check out other menu plans here.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

35 weeks down ... 4 weeks to go!

Finally! Some good belly photos done by a professional.

I meant to do a pregnancy update sooner, but I kept forgetting to take a belly picture, and then decided to wait until after Jadie took our pictures this weekend since I knew she was going to do a few maternity shots. I am very pleased with the outcome!

As of yesterday, I was 35 weeks along. I will be induced the week of September 13-17 (at 39 weeks) so I only have 4 more weeks to go. I have gained about 5 pounds since my last update bringing the total weight gain up to about 35 pounds.

I am going to the doctor every week now. Yesterday, I was dilated to 1cm. Last week, my cervix was still closed ... so, there has definitely been some progress. Over the past 2-3 weeks, I have had some really bad pain in my lower back and pelvis area. My doctor said it was something called symphasis pubic dysfunction, which means that the ligaments that normally keep my pelvic bone aligned become too relaxed and stretchy and that causes pain and instability. My treatment options are Tylenol or wearing a maternity girdle. Um, no thank you in this heat. I will take some Tylenol and just deal with the pain!

The baby has dropped a little bit, which makes sitting more comfortable, but now my belly button has popped out. This is a first for me! The heartburn is a little better now too. I don't really crave anything food wise and can't eat my whole meal without feeling full-up.

The sleep is going much better. I just can't get enough of it. I have been getting in bed right after we put the kids down at night (around 8:30) and I'm still exhausted all day long. But, on the plus side, my blood pressure is still low and I haven't experienced any swelling (yet), which is shocking considering how hot it is outside.

I am starting to get a little freaked out by how soon this baby is going to be here. I'm ready for the baby for the most part, but it's trying to get the rest of my household situated before the baby comes since I will be out of commission for a few days. And work is really busy. Depending on what date I am induced, I only have 10-12 more work days. Yikes!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Look what we did this weekend ...

We had some new pictures made by the amazing Jadie Thomas. These are Claire's 4-year and David's 2-year photos. I usually do them in April around their birthdays, but decided to wait this year until later in my pregnancy so we could do some maternity photos too. As always, they turned out great!!

I hope to get my side updated soon with the new pictures. But don't hold your breath since I'm working the next three days.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: August 16-21

I'm really not in the mood to plan our menu this week because I am so very tired and it is so very hot. But, I'm also not in the mood for sandwiches and cereal for dinner every night either. I haven't been to the grocery store yet, which means I will have to go Monday or Tuesday night after working all day (hopefully our milk will stretch until then).

We have a few leftovers that will sustain us until I can make it to the grocery store ... I hope!

Monday: leftover Squash, caramelized onion and tomato pasta, salad, garlic bread

Tuesday: leftover Chicken puffs, fresh green beans & new potatoes

Wednesday: Garden veggie frittata, blueberry muffins or sourdough toast, sausage links

Thursday: grilled pork chops, fried okra, squash casserole, bread machine wheat rolls (seriously, I have had these pork chops on the menu plan for about 3 weeks now and we still haven't eaten them. Good thing they are in the freezer!)

Friday: family dinner out (I really hate cooking on Friday nights for some reason)

Saturday: date night

Sunday (lunch): Tomato basil quiche (this is a new recipe I am trying since we have basil coming out of our ears right now and I don't really need to freeze any more pesto), cantaloupe/watermelon

Sunday (dinner): leftovers

Check out other menu plans here.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

This & that

We have had a busy August ... and it's only halfway over. Due to all the busyness, the blog has been a little neglected. Here is a snapshot (in list form) of our life over the past two weeks.

(1) We have played outside in the 95-100 degree heat and gotten hot and sweaty. Then acted really silly at dinner.

(2) I've done a lot of laundry due to all the playing outside. These are my helpers ... and yes, that is dirty laundry they are wearing.

(3) Claire got a haircut. We love it except that now she looks SO GROWN UP!

(4) Claire also went for a follow-up hearing exam (which was supposed to be done last summer ... oops!). She has some very mild hearing loss in her left ear due to the hole in her eardrum from her tubes that were removed last year. So, now we get to go to the ENT and have her eardrum patched. That should fix the problem we hope!

(5) Will sanded and painted the new crib. In our hot garage.

It is now fully reassembled in the nursery and pictures have been hung. Still waiting on name letters that I apparently waited a little too late to order. Oh well, maybe Will can hang them while he is home on paternity leave. (Yes, he gets two weeks paid paternity leave ... at least one of us will get paid while we are home with the baby!)

(6) I have been in nesting, I mean organizing mode around the house. Look at all the neatly organized art/craft supplies put away so the kids cannot freely access them. And they are close to the kitchen where we do most of our art/crafting.

I also organized the downstairs toys. All of the junk that was stacked on top of the shelves is now neatly stored underneath the train table. I don't know why I never thought to use that huge, empty drawer before.

(7) We tried out some new local Mexican fare at Swanky's Taco Shop and The Local Taco. Both were very good, but on the fancy side of Mexican food. Of course, I'm more of a sloppy Mexican kind of girl and the kids only eat chips and cheese quesadillas, which are pretty much the same everywhere!

(8) My kids discovered pudding. I don't know why I've never made pudding before. It is a much healthier treat than candy or ice cream, which my kids usually ask for (and I oblige if they have eaten a good meal). I got this 6-pack of pudding for like 25 cents at Publix one day and the kids love it. It's very messy, but very good!

(9) Claire started ballet this week at a new studio. It is about 5 minutes away from our house. She is "a little sad" that she is not taking ballet with her cousin Evie anymore (and she will gladly tell you all about it), but I just couldn't drive her 30 minutes away for ballet every week anymore. At our new ballet, she has to wear a black leotard instead of a pink leotard and Claire has been crying that she didn't want to go to "black ballet." All was forgiven though when Ms. Beth (her new ballet teacher) had Skittles after class and drew rainbows on her hand. She had a really fun time I think!

(10) Will got to spend a few nights at a fancy hotel about 8 minutes from our house for a work meeting. It was bad enough that he was away, but somehow, it seemed even worse that he was so close by and not sleeping at home. We survived even though I can now barely bend over the bathtub to give the kids a bath!

See ... we have been busy. I think they will only be busier as the month goes on as we start back to our Wednesday night routine at church, Claire starts soccer, we get ready to start back to preschool and I try to finish up a bazillion things at work before I am on maternity leave for a few weeks. Of yeah, have a I mentioned that we are having a baby in less than one month now?!? Yikes!! I need to go take a nap now.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sewing List Progress (II)

Remember when I posted my summer sewing goals? Here is an update.

Let me preface this meager update by saying that my sewing machine has been in the shop for the past 10 weeks. It needed a good tune-up and I was having some major tension problems. But, I got it back yesterday and I am ready to SEW!

Back to the list ...

This outfit has been in my "to do" pile all summer but I couldn't finish sewing it up until I got the applique/monogramming done. It matches an outfit Claire has that I hope still fits her. This outfit is lacking buttons and button holes, but not for long!

This is the reverse side of the romper. Baby Luke will be able to wear this outfit in a couple of years now.

I also made these outfits for the kids to wear to Disney. I finished the shorts the night before we left ... at midnight. We left at 3:00 a.m. the following day. Needless to say, I did a lot of sleeping in the car on the drive to Orlando! They were definitely the best dressed kids at Disney! I loved that all of the park employees (even the dancers in the parade) called my kids by name all day long ... one of the perks of monogrammed shirts I guess.

There are three outfits on my old list that are being postponed until next spring because by the time I get them finished now, it will be too cold to wear them. I do still hope to finish David's smocked puppy romper even though rompers are kind of a pain to wear now since he is potty-trained.

I saved the best for last ... the diaper bag. My mom ended up making it for me because when we had to move our trip around to accommodate Will's work schedule after his company made the big layoff, I was going to be gone during the diaper bag class. I haven't seen it yet, but I can't wait. I promise to post a picture. Just to tide you over for now, the bag looks like this, but is made out of this fabric. (I went with the lime dots for my coordinating fabric.)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: August 9-15

We pretty much stuck to the menu plan for last week. It was easy since Will was out of town for the most of the week. I have a couple of carry-overs from the end of the week that we never got to.

I have enjoyed our CSA so far, but it does kind of throw a kink in my menu planning since I plan and grocery shop at the beginning of the week and I don't pick up my weekly produce box until Thursday afternoon. We did enjoy an impromptu to fresh veggie dinner on Saturday night ... complete with fresh fried okra, squash casserole and field peas.

I also made this yummy lemon bundt cake and I am the only one in my house who will eat it. I guess I will take it to work if I get tired of it before it's all gone (which is highly unlikely!).

I also got a ton of fresh basil from my CSA last week and made basil pesto for the first time. I froze most of it, but saved some to use in our meal tonight.

Monday: Squash, caramelized onion and tomato pasta, salad, garlic bread

Tuesday: BBQ chicken, fried okra, field peas, squash casserole and cornbread

Wednesday: baked pizza roll & sauce, salad

Thursday: grilled pork chops, roasted fresh veggies (squash, zucchini, red/green peppers, red onions), rolls

Friday: Chicken puffs, green beans, fruit

Saturday: dinner out/date night

Sunday (lunch): Mozzarella, tomato, basil panini, chips, cantaloupe/watermelon

Sunday (dinner): leftovers

Check out other menu plans here.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Summer's End

Well, I know that summer is far from over, but it feels like things are coming to a close once August rolls around. My kids both loved their summer preschool program at our church and last Thursday was their last day. I snapped a quick picture with their teachers who they both were just crazy about.

After I picked the kids up, we celebrated with ice cream from Baskin Robbins. (I am not a huge BR fan, but I had a BOGOF coupon.) I did have some praline pecan cheesecake ice cream, which may be the most heavenly flavor combo ever in my book. The kids enjoyed their vanilla soft serve cones, which is what the coupon was for.

There is nothing better than ice cream on a hot summer day! This has been a fun but QUICK summer for sure!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Getting Ready for Baby

This past weekend was the first one we have been home in a while. We worked around the house all day on Saturday trying to get some things finished up before Baby Luke arrives next month.

We hung curtains and pictures in Claire and David's room. It is finished for the most part ...

... except for this disaster area. I need to clean off and redecorate the top of the chest of drawers, and clean, paint and decorate the book shelf next to the chest. I really not sure I want to leave that big toy bag of stuffed animals out either, but for now, it will probably stay.

I also still need to address the empty walls on the side of each kids' beds. I would like to hang these on Claire's wall, but I have yet to make any for David. I would also like to make some kind of bulletin board or magnetic board for each kid. Something like this perhaps? [Will thinks we should not go to the trouble since we will probably be selling our house next spring to move into a better school zone. I disagree.]

On to the nursery ... I think I've said before that we are not making any major changes to the nursery. It did need a few touch-ups though.

(1) Curtains. Will is re-hanging the curtains on a different rod so I could put the valance up that we never used before (it matches the bedding). Claire is supervising (in her underwear).

The finished product (before it was just the gingham panels).
(2) The crib. I have used this crib for all of my children. Claire did no damage to it.
David went all "woodchuck" on it. So now it has been taken apart so we can take it outside for sanding and a little touch-up paint. I guess we all know what Will is going to be doing this weekend!
David found Will's screwdriver and decided to do a little more work on the crib.
I still have a few pictures to hang and a closet to finish cleaning out, but otherwise, the nursery will be finished. Yeah!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Cousin Time

We got to see our Georgia cousins on our way home from Orlando last month. (I promise I am going to blog about our vacation soon ... all the pictures are just overwhelming me.)

The kids are all second cousins since my first cousin David is their dad. Next to our two on the end, we have Rachel (9), Will (almost 7), Gracie and Michael (twins, age 5). At one time, my cousin and his wife had 4 kids ages 4 and under. Isn't that crazy!! That makes the arrival of our third (making it 3 kids 4 and under) sound like a piece of cake!

As always, we had a great time visiting and our kids had fun. And this was the only picture I took. We usually see my cousin's family twice a year, but for some reason (our growing families perhaps?) we haven't been able to get together lately. We decided it had been about a year and a half since we last saw each other.

These kids love "Big Will" and kept him busy playing with Nerf guns and plasma cars in the basement. And, we got to have some of cousin Dave's pancakes, which are always a treat. I made pancakes last Saturday and Claire told me that they were good, but not as good as Mr. Dave's pancakes. Oh well, I try.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Friday Night Flashback

My sister and brother-in-law came over to hang out with us last Friday. We always have such a fun time with them. Here are all the kids hot and sweaty from playing outside ... eating watermelon of course. Ian (my nephew) ate about 10 pieces of watermelon I think. I'm not really sure where he puts it all because he weighs less than David and is 6 months older.
My sister and me.
And here I am poking her with my big ole' belly. Ha! It makes her look all the more skinnier.
We had a big night of Band Hero planned and the girls decided they needed to look "fabulous" for our band reunion. Last time we did this, the kids were all content to play with the busy bee toy band instruments while the grown-ups played with the real Wii instruments. That was not so much the case this time. Let's just say that there were a fears tears shed over the whole ordeal.
Uncle Jon & Aunt Ashley getting ready to "rock"!
Another reason for our little impromptu get together ... Will wanted to use his new kitchen toy and he needed a non-pregnant drinking buddy. Remember this? Well, I broke down and bought it thinking I would give it to Will for his birthday/Christmas gift (both in December). However, it was on backorder when I ordered it and it shipped while we were on vacation, so Will saw it when he went to get our mail from our neighbors. And naturally, he thought we should test it out to make sure it works ... for the next 5 months. I have told him that he is getting nothing else for his birthday or Christmas come December so he better enjoy! Will and Jon had fun making margaritas, daiquiris and mudslides on Friday night. So far, the new kitchen gadget is getting great reviews! I'll let you know what I think come mid-September!
Thanks to Jon, Ashley, Evie & Ian for a fun night!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: August 2-8

This week's menu is a lot of repeats from the previous week. With my mother-in-law cooking us a meal while she was here and bringing us a rotisserie chicken (and I pulled some leftover homemade pizza from the freezer), we didn't get to a lot of the things I had planned. I did do a lot of cooking though. I took two meals to couples in our Sunday school class that just had babies and I made 4 coffeecakes to take to Claire and David's summer preschool program teachers on their last day of school. (In total, I made 4 quiches and 4 coffeecakes this week.)

I also tried these two recipes over the weekend and they were both yummy!

(1) Banana pancakes (I added chocolate chips and left off the strawberry topping). Will and the kids really liked these. But they were not my favorite. I have not been a huge fan of banana stuff during this pregnancy for some reason.

(2) Feta Black Bean Dip. [Warning: this recipe makes a ton of dip. I halved it and we still had plenty for four adults with leftovers. I could also eat my weight in this stuff so I was pleased with all the leftovers!]

Plus, we joined a CSA (community supported agriculture) this week so I got this yummy box of fresh produce to use. You will notice a lot of squash in this week's menu plan! I have also been loving the fresh cucumbers and tomatoes and fresh basil.

Monday: leftover Mango tilapia, rice pilaf, steamed broccoli (see photo below ... this meal was too pretty not to take a picture!) .

Tuesday: leftover Ham & cheese quiche, coffeecake or muffins, fruit

Wednesday: Mozzarella & basil panini, chips

Thursday: pork tenderloin, roasted veggies, rolls

Friday: Chicken puffs, green veggie, jello salad

Saturday: grilled pork chops, baked acorn squash, green beans, rolls

Sunday (lunch): eat out

Sunday (dinner): leftovers

Check out other menu plans here.