Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas and Beyond

A few highlights from this past week:

1) We were so blessed this Christmas. In addition to receiving many generous gifts, we have been spending lots of time with my sister and her kids. I love my family!

2) Speaking of those kids, Ryan LOVES his cousins! He is so much more vocal when he's around them. They keep him entertained and help to tire him out too!

3) Unlike last year, Ryan didn't pull down the Christmas tree this time! He did however pull off all the lower ornaments, throw them at the tree, and shatter a few higher ornaments.
4) Adam has the week off. I have about a million projects that I want him to get done, but I'm also trying to be realistic. One of those projects is Ryan's new "Big Boy Room". More on that in a later post.
5) We enjoyed a turkey dinner the other night at our house with my family. Also on the menu was saffron butternut squash risotto, homemade popovers and roasted parmesan broccoli.

6) Ryan turned 20 months old today! How is he getting so big so fast?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Train Tracks

Merry Christmas Eve everyone! (And Happy Birthday to my big brother!)

We're spending time with family today and building choo-choo train tracks in the living room.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Foodie Friday: Veggie Week

Here's a recap of our meals this week. I tried to incorporate more vegetables because we've been lacking in that area lately.

We had Shrimp Fra Diavolo with Spinach:

Courtesy of this healthy cookbook:Adam wasn't a fan (he doesn't like eating shrimp at home) so I made steak and potatoes the next night.Then we had roasted vegetable pizza (zucchini, tomato, bell pepper, onion):And finally Thai Chicken Curry!A few years ago we used to receive a box of fruits and vegetables from Farm Fresh To You twice a month. It was organic produce fresh from their farm...and it was a surprise each time what we were getting! I loved it because it forced me to cook with a new variety of vegetables each week. I'd love to sign up for something like that again, but preferably at a lower price. Anyone know of anything similar?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Year She Said NO

I don't know about you, but for me, December can be a stressful month. It's easy to lose sight of the meaning of Christmas while running from store to store, trying to find the perfect gift for each and every person on your list. When you add a pregnancy to the mix, that causes daily headaches and fatigue, it can be even harder to get everything done. Particularly when you are chasing around a little boy who now likes to undress himself.

So about a week ago I made a decision. I was going to take something off of my "To-Do" list. Just remove it and not give a second thought to it. And for me, it is Christmas cards. That's right, I'm saying NO to Christmas cards this year. At first I felt really guilty about not sending them out, because we've been receiving so many beautiful cards. And I love getting them in the mail and displaying them in my house. But the thought of making Ryan pose for a cute picture, then trying to find a cute card on Shutterfly, paying money to order the cards, and then address each and every one......too much! I just can't do it this year. So I apologize if you were expecting one from us this year. There's always next year, right?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Swinging Through the Year

Ryan, first swinging experience at 7 months:

A few months later.....And yesterday, at almost 20 months.

Apparently orange is THE color to swing in.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cold Headaches

Overall I'm feeling pretty good now that I'm in my second trimester. But I do have two lingering symptoms that are getting to be pretty annoying. No, I'm not getting cold headaches, as the title may suggest. Actually, I've never had one in my life!

I have been super cold during this pregnancy so far. I remember being warm a lot with Ryan, but now it just seems like I can't warm up. I am costantly turning up the heat and bundling up in layers. Adam even asked me if I would like a maternity snuggie for Christmas!

The more annoying and painful symptom I'm having are headaches. I have literally had one at least every other day for the past two months. My most recent one lasted almost 3 days straight. Thank goodness, I'm not getting migraines. These headaches are not usually so bad that I have to lay down. But they are painful, frustrating, and rather draining. I've been popping Tylenol like crazy, and it does help temporarily. But then a few hours later the headache usually returns. So far no pain today....let's keep it that way for the next 6 months!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Foodie Friday: Easy Chicken Parm

As you all know, I love to try new recipes. New cuisines, new foods, new flavors, and unfortunately for Adam, many recipes he doesn't like. Last weekend I was excited to make Greek Meatballs with a yogurt sauce and orzo salad. Adam wasn't quite as excited to eat it. I feel a little guilty whenever this happens, so I made a conscious effort this week to make at least a few dinners that I knew Adam would love. This included pot roast one night, and a new recipe the next:

Photo Source: Simply Alicia's Blog

I made this Chicken Parmesan recipe, which was super easy and delicious. Adam practically licked his plate clean. It's basically chicken breast placed in a baking dish, topped with marinara, mozzarella, parmesan, garlic, basil, and the "secret" ingredient, croutons! I thought this was a bit strange, but they really added a great crunchy texture to the chicken, making it seem like it was breaded and fried. I encourage you to try it!

If you're the cook in your house, do you plan meals based on your spouse's likes/dislikes? Or do you just make whatever you like? It's hard when you have picky eaters to prepare food for!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gender Reveal

Yesterday was the NT Scan for NullyBaby #2. This is where they check the spinal cord for signs of down syndrome. Last time we accidentally got signed up for this, but ended up finding out Ryan's gender at the of course we did it again this time! We are obviously not patient people.

Let me start by saying I have been thinking "girl" all along. Partly because I have felt worse this pregnancy. And partly because we already have a boy, so the 2nd must be a girl, right? (totally dumb logic, I know). I even wore a pink shirt yesterday because I was sure it was a girl.

The first things the Dr. commented on was the baby's large size. I am still measuring ahead by at least a few days, and the Dr. said the baby looks very big and healthy. No signs of down syndrome or any other issues. NullyBaby #2 was sleeping during the entire ultrasound. (A sleepy calm baby, perhaps??)

He then asked if we wanted to know the gender, and we both practically shouted "yes!".

And.....Ryan is going to have a little brother!! NullyBaby #2 is a BOY!!

I was absolutely shocked. I even asked him to double check. And I have to admit, I felt a slight twinge of disappointment. Mostly because I am worried that this little boy will be exactly like his older brother and present us with a few, um, difficulties. But I got over that pretty quickly once I started thinking about all the positives:

1) A buddy for Ryan just 2 years younger!
2) This will save us money! We still have all of Ryan's baby things.
3) We'll have to try for a 3rd baby at some point so we can get a girl!

I'm already thinking about a million things....boy names, room decor, and how the heck am I going to birth this giant boy?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Book Learning

It's finally happening...Ryan is getting interested in books! This really excites me because I have always loved to read and I have great memories of all my favorite childhood books. Up until now Ryan has shown no interest in books, other than in throwing them across the room. But just in the past couple weeks, he has learned to love his books! Throughout the day he will run and grab a book, bring it to me, and then climb up onto my lap. I then "read" the book to him. Basically I turn the pages and point out things that he might recognize. Sometimes he tries to say the word after me, so I'm hoping that all this "reading" will help with his language skills!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Playing with Pot Pie

This is how dinnertime typically looks for Ryan these days. I present him with a plate of healthy foods. He eyes suspiciously anything that resembles a vegetable, fruit, protein, or squishy carbohydrate. He cautiously takes a bite or two of any crunchy carbs that happen to be on the plate. (toast, crackers, or in this case, pot pie crust). He takes a sip or two of milk and then flings the rest of his food around, dumping most on the floor. He usually goes to bed with a pretty empty stomach. Last night was no exception.

Friday, December 9, 2011

13 Weeks

The end of the first trimester! Overall I'm feeling much better. Almost no nausea and my energy is slowly returning. Here is my 13-week belly:Not too much going on there. I think my 10 week belly was bigger!

I had an appointment with the midwife this week and everything looked great! Here are my stats as of 13 weeks:

Weight Gain: 4 Lbs

Blood Pressure: 120/67

Baby's Heartbeat: 150 bpm

She surprised me by doing an ultrasound! I've mentioned before that I forget sometimes that I'm pregnant. When I don't see a big belly and I can't feel the baby kicking, it's easy to wonder if everything is okay in there. Well this little baby was bouncing around like crazy! (Please oh please do not have as much energy as your big brother!!) Here is Nully Baby #2, waving for the camera! Isn't the level of detail amazing for just 13 weeks? I could see the fingers and everything. He/She is still measuring a few days ahead, based on its size.

I talked to the midwife about how I've been getting sick so much, first with bronchitis and then with a cold. I asked if I could take Vitamin D, in addition to my prenatal vitamin, and she said that's fine. So I'm going to start that right away!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Gain Lose Gain

When I got pregnant with Ryan, I was overweight. I gained 36 pounds during that pregnancy, which resulted in a number that I never want to see again on the scale. I was blessed to be one of those people who lost all the pregnancy weight in the first 6 weeks, and thanks to calories burned through breastfeeding, went on to lost another 40 pounds over the next 5 months. That put me at a very healthy weight for my height. (I'm not going to mention specific numbers).

I gained back a few pounds right before getting pregnant this time, and I have officially started this pregnancy exactly 31 pounds lighter than my last pregnancy. And while I know that I'm gaining weight for a very good reason (the best possible reason!), it's still tough to see the numbers on the scale go back up.

My old jeans are no longer buttonable. My maternity jeans from the last pregnancy are all size large and are too big for me now. I'm too cheap to go out and buy some new maternity pants, although I know I'm just delaying the inevitable. So for now, I switch back and forth between two pants. One day I'll wear my jeans with a hairband holding them closed. (It really works!). The next day I wear my black sweatpants. And repeat. And repeat. I hate this awkward stage of pregnancy!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


I have a step-stool that I use in the kitchen to reach the tops of the cabinets. Ryan has recently taken it over, and he drags it around all over the house! He uses it to see what I'm doing at the kitchen counter, reach things he couldn't otherwise grab, and my least favorite.......
Unlock the front door to go outside!

Monday, December 5, 2011


I started a Bunco group earlier this year and I look forward to it every single month! Bunco is kind of like when old men get together, play poker, and smoke cigars. Except not really. It's not about winning tons of money, and it doesn't involve any strategy (or cigars, or cards for that matter). Our Bunco group is more of an excuse to catch up with each other and eat delicious food! Oh and play with dice and possibly win a few bucks. I am hosting our Bunco game at my house tonight. The more that I have people over for dinner or host things like Bunco, the more I realize just how much I enjoy it. I love sitting down and planning out my menu. Here is one of the appetizers I have already assembled for tonight.
Do you like hosting? In a perfect world, I would make lots of money hosting dinner parties and cooking for other people.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Cookie Dough

Introducing Ryan to one of life's sweet pleasures.