Monday, January 30, 2012


It was love at first bite!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

20 Weeks

Halfway there! Here is my belly pic as of 20 weeks:And just for fun, here I am at 20 weeks pregnant with Ryan:
I feel like my belly has popped out really fast this time, but these pictures look surprisingly similar to me! My belly is starting to get in the way a bit, particularly when I try to roll over in bed. I get pain in my lower sides if I roll over or move too quickly.

I'm not having any specific food cravings. My appetite has pretty much returned to normal. During the first trimester I was eating a lot....breakfast, snack, snack #2, lunch, get the picture. Now I'm back to 3 meals a day plus one snack. I bet this will change by the 3rd trimester!

I feel the little guy kick from time to time. Not as often as I'd expect, but I'm sure that will come soon enough. I remember Ryan's kicks feeling like little flutters or twitches in the beginning. With this baby, it's just full on kicking, but not as often.

Overall I'm feeling good. My headaches have decreased to about 1-2 per week, rather than almost every single day. My energy is pretty normal, except that I've had a cold this week and that has slowed me down. This better be the last time I get sick during this pregnancy!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Foodie Friday: Peanut Butter Balls

This week's dinner recipes were a bit lackluster. Ryan and I are both sick, so I stuck with easy meals based on pantry and freezer staples....pot roast, pizza, chicken sausage pasta, and one night of Pho takeout.

My recipe for you this week is one I made a few weeks ago. It is actually a really old recipe, back from when my older brother was in Kindergarten. Everyone in his class had to contribute a recipe to be compiled into a recipe book for the Moms. Here is a picture of the original recipe.
I remember eating these peanut butter balls as a little kid and loving them. They were so sweet and peanut buttery. Now that I look at the recipe as an adult, I see how nutritious they are! So I made them. And well, they definitely taste nutritious. I think the fact that I used whole wheat graham crackers contributes to that healthy taste. They're not bad, just don't expect them to taste like a dessert. Or to look pretty or appetizing.

Peanut Butter Balls

1 cup Peanut Butter

2/3 Cup Honey

1/2 Cup Powdered Milk

16 Graham Crackers (Preferably Whole Wheat) - Rolled into crumbs

-Combine all 4 ingredients. Roll into balls. Refrigerate until firm and enjoy!

(I warned you they aren't pretty)

Ryan, however, loves them! I usually give him one with breakfast or for an afternoon snack. I froze the leftovers and just pop one out each day and microwave for a few seconds to slightly soften.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Now that Ryan has 4 regular words in his vocabulary, we have been carrying on some interesting conversations lately! They tend to repeat themselves throughout the day, kind of like a broken record player. Sounds something like this:

Ryan: "Di-Da. Di-Da. Di-Da. Di-Da! Di-Da! Di-Da!"

Mommy: "Daddy is at work. He will be home later."

Ryan: "Mama. Mama. Mama. Mama! Mama! Mama! Mama!"

Mommy: "I hear you Ryan! I will get you down in one second"

Ryan: "Di-Daw. Di-Daw. Di-Daw! Di-Daw! Di-Daw! Di-Daw!"

Mommy: "Yes that's our doggy. Please be gentle with him!"

Ryan: "Uh-Oh. Uh-Oh. Uh-Oh! Uh-Oh! Uh-Oh!"

Mommy: "What happened? Oh no, did you drop your food on the floor?"

And repeat. And repeat.

I enjoy "talking" with Ryan, although I wish he would learn a few new words. It's pretty cute right now! This is only a glimpse into what our house will sound like in the future, once he is chattering all day long.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Nervous About #2

Looking back to my transition into motherhood with Ryan, I know that I had a harder time adjusting than the average Mom. There were many factors that played into this, including the personalities of myself and Ryan. I tend to be an anxious worrier and a planner who thrives on routine. Throw in a colicky baby and an incredibly painful recovery from labor, and suddenly life as a new mother was anything but enjoyable. Ryan used to scream for hours on end every single day, and nothing we did would make him stop. Sometimes it seemed like if he wasn't nursing, he was crying.
I was in a lot of pain for many weeks after Ryan's delivery. I remember nursing him in the middle of the night and one time not being able to stand back up. I was able to get down on all fours so I could lay Ryan on the floor, and then I had to yell for Adam to come lift me up. It was hard to enjoy my baby when I felt so miserable. I would even go as far as to say that I had a bit of post-partum depression, as I can remember myself crying almost every day out of pure exhaustion and frustration.
I also found it really difficult to take care of myself during this time, and that only further tainted my perspective of motherhood. Ryan was so demanding that I would often go many days without taking care of my basic needs such as showering and brushing my teeth. Sleep was scarce at best. And my eating habits were horrible. I vividly remember one day during those first few months when I looked at the clock at dinnertime and realized that all I had eaten that day was a string cheese and a slice of tomato. Obviously not enough for a breastfeeding mother.
So it may not come as a surprise that I am a wee bit nervous about baby #2.

I know how to take care of a newborn. And I know how to take care of a toddler. But together at the same time? That's what I'm nervous about.

I've been doing a lot of praying about it, and I know it will all work out. I will gradually figure out how to be a mother of 2. God won't give me more than I can handle, and He will guide me through the tough days.

But I'm still nervous!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Friday, January 20, 2012

Foodie Friday: The Food You Crave

I LOVE getting new cookbooks. I read through them like a novel, dog-earing the pages that contain recipes I want to try. Unfortunately cookbooks can be expensive. Last week a lightbulb went off in my head. I can check out cookbooks from the library! Here's what I got this week: I then proceeded to cook 5 recipes from this book. And all 5 were really good! Here's what we tried:

Sole with Vegetables in Foil Packets (Served over couscous)

Tuscan Roasted Chicken and Vegetables (served over her parmesan mashed potatoes)Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs in Spicy Tomato Sauce

Steak Tacos with Cucumber-Avocado Salsa (with homemade refried beans)

Chicken Pot Pie with Phyllo Crust (I used pie crust and used bacon in place of chicken)

Later this week I checked out Pioneer Woman's cookbook. This could be a dangerous book to cook from!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Uh Oh!

Ryan has finally figured out how to say "Uh Oh!". It is so cute. And he almost always uses it in the right context. He says it when his fingers get sticky, or when he shuts them in the drawer.
He says it when he drops something or spills crumbs all over the floor.
I usually come running when I hear him shout it from another room. It means some sort of mischief is going on!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Ryan's Quirks

Many people have been telling me lately to document the cute things Ryan does, because pretty soon I won't remember them. A random woman at Trader Joe's this weekend told me she can't remember her 14-year old son ever being Ryan's age. Now, I truly can't imagine Ryan ever being anything but a little toddler. I try to imagine him as an older child or a teenager, and I just can't. But someday he will grow up and I know I will want to remember all the adorable things he did at this age.

So here are a few of Ryan's cute quirks at almost 21 months of age.

~He is constantly chewing on his fingernails. He does it so much that he creates hangnails. Then he runs up to me and show me his finger so that I can remove it for him. Recently, he has begun to remove his socks and chew on his toenails. Yuck!
~When we get up in the morning, Ryan almost always says "Dada?" to me, and holds up his hand, as if to say "Where's Daddy?". I tell him that he is at work. For the rest of the day he periodically grabs Adam's things and brings them to me, saying "Dada" over and over, until I acknowledge him and put away Adam's things. He's becoming a real Daddy's Boy!~Ryan has started going under the covers on our bed and trying to sleep that way. He will do this in the middle of the night, and I wake up scared silly that he is suffocating. Apparently Adam has slept with covers over his head almost his whole life, so maybe that explains it? I still think it's weird and dangerous.
~We've taught Ryan how to make a "stinky" face when he smells something bad. He scrunches up his nose and sniffs the air. Well I guess I do this sometimes when Adam starts his mustang because it does smell really bad. Now whenever Ryan sees Adam's mustang outside, he immediately sniffs the air and makes his stinky face. Yep, Daddy's car is stinky!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Foodie Friday: Vegetable Beef Lasagna

I love lasagna. I love it with lots of rich meat sauce and gooey cheese. I also love making it in the summertime with a bounty of vegetables in place of the meat. So I thought, why not combine the two? I was craving a lasagna that was indulgent-tasting, but still full of healthy ingredients. I searched high and low on the internet, and just couldn't find the recipe I was looking for.

So I got brave and did something I rarely do. I created my very own recipe! I was so impressed with my result that I thought I'd share it with you. The best part is that the veggies are "hidden", so even pickier eaters (like my son and husband) might be inclined to try this. I used what I had on hand, but you could really add any vegetables you like.

Vegetable Beef Lasagna

9 Whole Wheat Lasagna Noodles

1 lb Lean Ground Beef

24-oz Jar Spaghetti Sauce

2 Carrots, grated

16-oz Cottage Cheese

3/4 cup Grated Parmesan, divided

1/2 Head Cauliflower, steamed and mashed

1/4 Cup fresh Parsley, chopped

1 egg

Dash each of salt and pepper

1 Cup Grated Mozzarella

1) Brown ground beef. Once fully cooked, add spaghetti sauce and carrots. Simmer for a few minutes.

2) Meanwhile, boil lasagna noodles for 5 minutes.

3) Combine cottage cheese, 1/2 cup parmesan, parsley, cooled cauliflower, parsley, salt and pepper.
4) Starting with meat sauce, spread even layers in a 9x13 baking dish. I did sauce, noodles, cottage cheese mixture, mozzarella. Repeat 3 times. I ended with noodles on top, and sprinkled the remaining mozzarella on the very top.
5) Cover with aluminum foil. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup parmesan. Makes 6 servings.
*I hate when the cheese on top of a casserole sticks to the aluminum foil that you use to cover it with. Tonight I had the brilliant idea of coating the underside of the foil with cooking spray. The result? No stickage! Genius, I tell you.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Today's Observation

Holding your toddler while he dry-heaves and cries at the same time is quite heartbreaking. =(

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Winter Vegetable Garden

My winter garden is finally sprouting some vegetables! This week I picked and cooked brussel sprouts and broccoli. The broccoli pretty much tasted like regular store-bought broccoli. The brussel sprouts, however, were delicious! So small and tender.

Oh and the carrots? You be the judge:

Friday, January 6, 2012

17 Weeks Pregnant

It feels like this pregnancy is going by so quickly! Just a few weeks and I'll be halfway to meeting NullyBaby #2. Here is my belly as of today. I also had a routine appointment with my midwife today. Here are my stats:

Total Weight Gain: 11 lbs

Blood Pressure: 126/73

Baby's Heartrate: 130

We talked about many things, including my headaches. She suggested they may be caused by stress, and even commented that she could sense I was "on-edge". I'm going to have to make an effort to relax and not worry about things so much. I also know I need to drink more water, which may help relieve my headaches.

Overall I'm feeling okay. Just fed up with all these headaches. Oh, and incredibly tired. The first-trimester fatigue seems to have come back. By about 4pm each day I am just suddenly so tired that I want to lay on the couch and never get up. I'm hoping this passes soon, since it's hard to rest when your toddler is trying to climb on your head.

My appetite is as strong as ever. But I'm finally craving healthier foods. Salads and sandwiches are sounding great, but I'm still lacking in the fruit department. It rarely sounds appetizing. I made an awesome sandwich the other day with whole wheat bread, 1/2 avocado, lettuce, cheddar cheese, tomato, cucumber, and herbed cheese spread. It was so delicious that I had it for lunch 3 days in a row. I didn't even miss the lunchmeat!

I am disappointed that I'm still not feeling this little guy kick. I first felt Ryan kick just after 20 weeks. I'm hoping to feel this one sooner!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Homemade Fruit Leather

Yesterday I attempted to make my own fruit strips. Also known as fruit roll-ups or fruit leather. The recipe was incredibly easy, although I did run into a couple issues. But the ending result was pretty yummy! Ryan had absolutely no interest in helping me, but I bet older kids would love to help with this recipe.

Homemade Berry Fruit Leather

4 Cups Berries

2 Tbsp Honey
-Combine ingredients in blender and puree until smooth. I used frozen berries that I got for just a few bucks at Grocery Outlet (Bargain Market!).
-Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread berry mixture out onto sheet. (Make sure you spread evenly. I would recommend trying to make it thicker around the edges and thinner in the middle)
-Bake at 200 degrees for 4 hours. Mine took longer than 4 hours, so I'm thinking my mixture wasn't spread thin enough. My edges cooked faster than the center, so I had to peel it off in stages.

-Cool and peel off of parchment paper. Here is my tasty fruit leather!

It's good....not as sweet as the store-bought kind, but certainly much healthier! Be warned: it sticks to your teeth!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy Boy, Happy Mommy

I thought I'd do an update on Ryan's development, since he has made a few improvements recently.Talking: Ryan played with his cousins a lot this past week, and I really noticed an increase in his verbal skills. Not necessarily new words (although he did very clearly say "Emma"). But lots of new sounds and an increase in his volume level when talking. Another exciting development is that Ryan now very deliberately calls Adam "Dada" and me "Mama". I have waited so long for him to do this!
Eating: Ryan's eating habits are still all over the place. Most days he is extremely picky and will only accept yogurt, crackers, fruit/veg squeeze pouches, breakfast cereals, and chicken nuggets. But every once in a while he will shock me with his appetite for new foods. For example, yesterday he ate hummus at lunch and grilled chicken and whole wheat couscous with dinner.Sleeping: If you read the last post, you know that we have officially transitioned Ryan back into his own room. So his sleeping habits may change a bit in the next few weeks. But lately he has been doing better. He will sleep longer stretches in his own bed (8 hours the other night!!). And once he wakes up and comes into bed with Adam and I, he usually goes back to sleep easily. Naps are still only in the car. Ryan's total hours of sleep in a 24-hr period are still below average for his age, but there has been some improvement, so I'm happy!
So there you go. It might not sound like much, but when Ryan sleeps and eats better, and is able to communicate, Ryan is a happier boy! And I am a happier Mommy.