Thursday, December 8, 2016

28 Week Prenatal Checkup

It's official. This baby is growing! I had my 28-week prenatal checkup this week and the scale confirmed what I've been feeling. All of a sudden my belly (and whole body) feels really big.



Total Weight Gain: 23 pounds
Blood Pressure: 103/50

Yep, that's a 8-pound gain in 4 weeks. And here I was thinking this would be a low-gain pregnancy. Ha!

This morning I pulled out my rainboots and was really frustrated to realize they barely fit over my calves! They fit fine a few weeks ago. I asked my doctor if I could already be retaining water and she said it could be that, or just good old weight gain. But in her words, I'm "perfect".

This baby kicks a LOT. I'm pretty sure he's my strongest baby in-womb. The acrobatics he's been doing lately are crazy!

I got my whooping cough vaccine today. I also got scolded by my doctor because I am overdue for taking my 1-hour glucose test. I've been putting it off because hauling kids to the lab and then making them sit for an hour doesn't sound appealing at all. But I really need to do it this week.

Overall I'm feeling okay, but I have pretty low energy most of the time. It's just hard to do a lot and be really active. I get tired and want to just sit and rest. I've also been up at night a lot for the past month with sick kids, and as a result I feel really groggy during the day. Feeling so tired and lazy makes me feel guilty. Like I should be trying harder and pushing myself more. And maybe I should. But I distinctly remember feeling this way with my other pregnancies. Wondering what's wrong with me, and why I feel so unmotivated to move. And then a few months after giving birth I would suddenly realize I had my energy back, and I felt more normal. It was always this AHA moment of "Oh yea, this is what it feels like to feel normal and energized. No wonder pregnancy felt so hard. I really didn't have a lot of energy!" So I'm trying to just roll with it and give myself a break, and remember that after the baby is here I will eventually feel more like myself.


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Jenna's 2-Year Checkup

Jenna had her 2-Year checkup with her doctor this week, now that she is finally getting better after being sick since her birthday! Everything went well at her appointment, and here are her growth stats:

Weight: 26 lbs, 3 oz (42%)
Height: 2' 11'' (84%)

Jenna weighs exactly the same as Lucas at 2 years, which is 2 pounds heavier than Ryan at the same age.

I asked the doctor about Jenna's cradle cap, which I assumed would have gone away by now. He said it is basically a pediatric form of dandruff, so I can use any dandruff shampoo on her head a couple times a week. I'm going to start trying that immediately, because her poor head is so flaky! Has anyone else used something to successfully get rid of cradle cap, once their child had hair?
Jenna is hitting all her milestones and right on track for every category. The only other thing I discussed with my doctor was how often my kids seem to get sick. He assured me that it sounds completely normal, especially since they are young and exposed to other kids at school. He said it is actually good to build their immune systems at this age with lots of viruses, because it usually leads to a healthier adulthood. Okay, so someone remind me of this next week when my kids are sick again!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Week of Dinners #6

It was nice to get back to regular cooking after a week of Thanksgiving and birthday parties. Here is our latest roundup of dinners!

Saturday: Salmon, Quinoa/Brown Rice, Salad

Adam was gone this day so I tried to keep things simple. My go-to seasoning for salmon is seasoned salt and garlic powder with a little olive oil. Ryan will almost always eat it this way.
On the side I made this quick box of flavored quinoa/brown rice for Jenna and I. For the boys I made white rice.
Served with a salad of iceburg, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and radishes. Topped with my homemade ranch dressing.

 Sunday: "Lucas" Chicken, Spaghetti with Alfredo sauce, steamed broccoli

I haven't made this chicken in a long time. Recipe here. We nicknamed it Lucas Chicken because it is the only way I could get Lucas to eat chicken for the longest time. Unfortunately he refused to touch it this time! Oh well, the rest of us devoured it. I only make this chicken when Adam is home to watch the kids because the breading and pan-frying process can be a little time-consuming (and messy!). I cooked a partial box of spaghetti noodles on the side and made a quick alfredo sauce. Recipe here. Plus steamed broccoli.

 Monday: Beef and Bean Burritos, fruit salad

Jenna was pretty sick this day so I'm glad I had an easy dinner planned. I cooked some ground beef with my homemade taco seasoning and we all assembled our own burritos. This burrito totally hit the spot. Maybe I was just really hungry, but it tasted SO good! Mine had a whole wheat tortilla, a little ground beef, refried beans, cheese, sour cream, diced tomatoes, iceburg lettuce, and this new Avocado Verde dip. I had heard how good it was, so I was happy to finally find it at Walmart last week.

I also made a little fruit salad of cutie oranges and strawberries. (Ryan finally decided he likes cuties! Praise God for another fruit he will eat. haha. He actually ate 2 yesterday!)

Tuesday: Crispy Pork cutlets, Parmesan and Garlic roasted potatoes, canned green beans

This was a recipe from my new 100 Days of Real Food cookbook. The breading on the pork is actually a combination of ground up triscuit crackers and some spices. It was easy and tasty! I also made these potatoes for the first time (a recipe from How Jen Does It on YouTube) and they were awesome. Adam has already requested I make them again. We also had some canned green beans.


Wednesday: Baked Chicken Sausage Pasta, Steamed veggies

I diced and browned 4 links of chicken sausage from Costco. Then I combined with about 10 oz of cooked Wacky Mac pasta, a jar of spaghetti sauce, 3/4 lb mozzarella and a handful of parmesan. I baked for about 20 minutes and voila! It was cheesy and yummy. On the side we had steamed broccoli and carrots.

I knew the kids wouldn't love the pasta (although Jenna loved the sausage). So when Ryan found these mini pizza bagels in the freezer and asked me to fix them with dinner, I agreed.
 I also made kale chips. (unpictured)
Thursday: Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Fruit, Homemade Bread, Hash Browns

This was a straightforward dinner. Eggs, bacon (cooked in the oven), hash browns (from Trader Joe's), and some cuties/green apples. I was testing out some bread in my bread machine that afternoon to give to a neighbor. It didn't turn out that great, so I kept it for us. Butter helped it, but it still wasn't very good.

Friday: Turkey Chili, Quesadillas, Cucumbers

By the end of the week I had the kids' cold and I was feeling pretty run-down. A big bowl of something warm sounded good so I made a pot of turkey chili. I used this recipe which is called "The Best Turkey Chili". Well I wouldn't call it the best, but it was easy, basic, and tasty. I had a few whole wheat tortillas leftover from burrito night, so I made a few quick quesadillas to dip in the chili. I also served cucumbers for Jenna and I.

And Saturday we ordered pizza because Mommy was sick. And ready for a cooking break! What did you eat this week? I always love getting new ideas!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Innocence

Keeping my kids innocent for as long as possible has always been important to me. I feel like they are going to grow up really fast and be exposed to so many things in this world all too quickly. So I try really hard to shelter them and preserve their innocence. However, this is SO much harder to do after child #1!
Ryan has been slow to experience a lot of things. One memory in particular stands out to me. When we first moved here 2 years ago, Ryan was 4 years old. The boy behind us (who was probably 7 at the time) asked Ryan through the fence what kind of games he had. Ryan's answer? "Candyland and Chutes and Ladders". I thought that was SO sweet and I just loved his innocent little answer, since the boy was actually referring to video games.

There are so many other things we do to keep our kids innocent. We try not to say words like butt, but instead say bottom or tooty. We say toot instead of fart. We are very strict about the types of shows they can watch. Anything with crude or gross humor is off limits. Even SpongeBob!

When Lucas came along I could immediately tell it was going to be harder to shelter him. Just by nature of having an older sibling, he was exposed to things sooner. And now with Jenna, I already see her growing up way too quickly! At the age of 2 Ryan was watching Thomas the Train or Caillou. Jenna watches whatever her brothers are watching, and even sings the Star Wars theme song. And the other day she fell down and said "Mommy I fell on my butt!"

I realize I can't keep my kids innocent forever. But it still makes me a little sad to see Jenna doing all these things and saying things that Ryan didn't even do until this year. It's impossible to shelter her the way I did with Ryan. And baby #4? Well he's probably going to come out of the womb playing video games and telling butt jokes.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Happy Birthday Mom!

My Mom and Jenna share a birthday of November 21st. This year my Mom had a very special birthday.....her 75th! I knew that deserved something a little more special, so I planned a surprise party for her the day after Thanksgiving. It was a week of celebrating around here!
My sister came over with her family, and my brother drove up to help us with the surprise.


We celebrated by watching old photos of my Mom, which was really fun to see.

My Mom is on the left....she has 3 younger sisters. It was fun to see pictures from the 1940's!

Can you believe this is what she wore to a high school prom? Looks like a wedding dress!

My Mom is on the left. You can see her little sisters and my Grandma on the right. (My Grandma is currently 98!)
Her hair! This isn't even as long as it got. She grew it down to the backs of her knees.

Isn't she pretty with my brother and sister?
 And with baby me!
 I love this one because it looks like something from The Sound of Music.
Ok back to the party. I made a Pecan Pie Cake for my Mom, since I know she loves pecan pie.

It was a fun afternoon celebrating my Mom. She is such a special woman who has taught me so much about being a mother and a Godly woman. She has always been such a steady presence in my life, serving her family selflessly. We are blessed to have her in our lives as a Mom and Grandma. I love you Mom! Happy 75th Birthday!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Jenna's Rainbow Party

On Monday we had a little party for Jenna's 2nd birthday. I decided on a rainbow theme and invited her cousins, as well as her Grandma Jan.
 
I had some little helpers, and Ryan was surprisingly really helpful with blowing up balloons and making paper chains!



Cousin Jacob.....not so much.

I knew I wanted to make a multi-tiered rainbow cake, but I wanted to avoid using artificial food dyes. So I found these all natural food colors at Whole Foods that are made with vegetable juice!
I even used natural sprinkles for the top.

 The food colors weren't as strong as normal food dyes, so the cake was more of a pastel rainbow cake. But still cute! (And no vegetable taste whatsoever)



For dinner we ate spaghetti and garlic bread.
 Jenna was a little sick with a cold so she stayed in her jammies all day instead of changing into a party dress.
 Here is a video of her blowing out her 2 candles!

Present time!


Jenna got some new shoes, clothes, and dolls with strollers. This was out pinkest party yet!



Happy Birthday Jenna!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Jenna: Two

Happy 2nd Birthday Jenna Mae Nullmeyer! These past 2 years have been so special getting to know my little girl. You are so easy to love.

You are a very smart girl! You recognize some colors now, such as blue, pink, purple, yellow, and red. You also love to read books, and you can tell me everything that is on each page. I will often find you sitting in your room looking through your books by yourself.

And you say absolutely everything! You will literally repeat anything we say. And it's not just that you repeat things, but you comprehend almost everything we're talking about. We will often not even be talking to you, but you are listening very closely to us. If we tell Lucas to go get his green cup and he doesn't listen, you will get up and go find a green cup for him. If we tell everyone to get their shoes, you will get yours as well as your brothers' shoes. The other day I was going to the bathroom (just #1!) and you were watching me. When I finished you said "Mommy did the baby come out?". You astound me every day with the things you say!

You adore singing, and being sung to. Some of your favorites are Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, the Star Wars Theme Song, and Wheels on the Bus.

You love being in on the action with your brothers.




You are always playing with them, inserting yourself into everything they are doing. And they love taking care of you. The novelty of having a little sister doesn't seem to have worn off yet.

You are still a pretty great eater, although you are getting more picky. Some of your favorites right now are cucumbers, ranch or onion dip, ground beef, sausage (saw-saw), chips, smoothies, oatmeal, French fries, broccoli, apples, eggs  and any kind of dessert.

Most of the time you are such a sweet happy girl. But lately you are showing some of the typical "terrible 2's" behaviors. You have tried hitting a little bit, and you've started saying NO when I ask you to do things. You've also had a few tantrums and timeouts. You've mastered the pouty face.

I think you are almost ready to potty-train! You love sitting on the potty and practicing. You will always tell me when your diaper needs to be changed, and just the other day I caught you climbing up on to the changing table by yourself.

You don't seem to be as shy as Ryan, yet you aren't quite as attention-seeking as Lucas. You go into the church nursery really easily now and you love playing with other kids. However, you can be shy around people you don't know well, and you definitely prefer Mommy over anyone else. At home with us you can be SO loud!

Your sleep is pretty predictable. You usually sleep from approximately 8pm until 6am. However, you have been putting up a fight lately at bedtime. As I type this at 9:30 at night you are still up, refusing to go to sleep. Your naps are usually around 1.5 hours. If you sleep long enough you wake up really happy. But about half the time you wake up really grumpy and sensitive, and it can take over an hour for you to act like yourself again.

Sometimes you seem like a little mini-Mommy. You love helping me with sweeping and dishes. And you are very nurturing. When someone gets hurt you are the first to rush over and say "Are you ok?", followed up by a hug and an "awwww".

You are still our palest child, with almost translucent skin! You have fine, wispy strawberry-blond hair. I keep waiting for it to get thicker but so far it seems pretty thin. You have small feminine features, and everything about you just seems very girly to me.

God may have only given me 1 girl, but He sure gave me a very special one! I love you my sweet Jenna Mae. Happy Birthday!