Sunday, December 22, 2013

18 Weeks

How Far Along: 18w 3d

Baby Is The Size Of: A Sweet Potato

Baby's Development:Our baby BOY is about 5 1/2 inches long! He's yawning, hiccuping (which I'll be able to feel weird), kicking a punching around in there.

Sleep: Still crazy dreams. Still getting up a few times a night. Still tossing and turning from back/hip pain. Sooo not much has changed

Movement: Still waiting!!! I'm starting to get really impatient....

Cravings: All the same things! Cuties, pickles, fajitas (although I haven't had any in over a week! I'm dying!), pizza (again, haven't been eating it though) and Mountain Dew Baja Blast! I keep forgetting to mention it. I can't tell you how many times I went to Taco Bell and walked in just for a large Baja Blast. haha The workers always look at me like I'm nuts when I don't order any food.

Aversions: Still chicken and food with weird consistencies. 

Gender: We have a little BOY!!!! Mommy's intuition was right! Can't wait to meet my little guy!

Best Moment This Week: Finding out we're having a little boy!!!

Looking Forward To: We have our anatomy scan tomorrow so we'll get to see our little boy again. Two weeks in a row... so blessed!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

DIY Snow Globes

Last Christmas I made some DIY snow globes inspired by a pin I saw in Pinterest. I've gotten so many compliments so I thought if do a tutorial. A few of these will be gifts this year and they are definitely budget friendly. I already had everything I needed except for extra trees so this project cost me less than $3. 

You Will Need
Glass jars if varying sizes (wide mouth if using mason jars)
Glue gun
Epsom salt (mine is from the dollar store bought last year)
Clear or white glitter (optional)
Bottle brush Christmas trees (mine are from Ben Franklin)
Little critters if you want

I started by laying out all my jars and supplies so I could see how many little trees would fit in each one.

Next I cut out little bits of cardboard so I could make my trees sit up higher. If you skip this step your trees will sit much lower and you will barely have any snow in the bottom if your jar. Little wood dowels would work well too.

I started gluing the little bits of cardboard to the bottom if the trees. While those were drying I glued my mason jar lids together. Don't hot glue your thumb like I did... I forgot how much that little bit of glue could hurt!!!

After putting everything together I added the Epsom salt and glitter to the bottom of the jars. I just eyeballed this and added enough to where I thought it would reach the bottom of the trees. This was definitely trial and error but there's no easy way to try and measure it out.

Finally, I glued the lids on and voila! Done!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

17 Weeks

How Far Along: 17w 3d

Baby Is The Size Of: An Onion or A Pear

Baby's Development: Baby's heartbeat was 140 at my last appt! (16w6d) Baby's skeleton is changing from soft cartilage to bone. Baby is also forming sweat glands, body fat and is now almost half a foot long!

Sleep: Still having crazy dreams. I dreamed the other night that my dad had a baby horse and was keeping it downstairs. When I came over the horse was running around like crazy and kept jumping on my brother's bed! These dreams definitely have me waking me up going WTF sometimes! I've been getting up in the middle of the night multiple times to go to the bathroom and now I know why! At my ultrasound last night I found out baby is facing upside down kicking my bladder. We actually watched baby kicking my bladder! haha It all makes sense now!

Movement: Still nothing =( Hoping for any day now!

Cravings: Still cuties, fajitas and pickles. Also been craving Chicago Style pizza from Papa Murphy's. We got it the other night and it was to die for. My lunch on Friday actually consisted of leftover pizza, pickles and carrot sticks! haha

Aversions: Still anything stinky. No foods have really been making me gag too much except chicken and occasionally the consistency of oatmeal and yogurt (two of my breakfast staples unfortunately).

Gender: OMG. We find out TODAY!!!!!!!! I'm dying in anticipation! The party is only a few hours away and I think I might pass out I'm so anxious! Still thinking boy!

Best Moment This Week: Eating fajitas! haha Just kidding. It was definitely the ultrasound we had yesterday! We got to see baby moving around for about 20 minutes and it just made my heart melt. Baby's hands were next to it's face almost like praying and at times it looked like baby was sucking his/her thumb! Baby was definitely kicking a lot... using my bladder as a trampoline! It was so hard to not find out the gender but it will be all worth it when we find out at the party!

Looking Forward To: Finding out what baby is so I can start shopping! As soon as we find out I'm going to make John run out and go shopping with me! And I'm still impatiently patiently waiting to feel movement!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Living For Today

Lately, I've been trying to live my life differently. 

It's so cliche to say, but life really is short. 
We don't know how long we have here 
and we don't know when those we love will leave us. 

I'm trying to enjoy the present, 
rather than dwelling on the past and worrying about the future. 

I'm trying to see the positive in every situation 
and appreciate all the blessings I have in my life, no matter how small.

I'm trying to trust in what God's plan is for my life, 
even if it doesn't always turn out exactly as I had hoped.

I'm trying to find the good things in every day, no matter how mundane.

I'm trying to remember that the current stresses in my life will eventually pass and they aren't permanent. 
I'm trying to explore new things and expand my horizons. 

I'm trying to nurture old friendships and grow new ones.

I heard a quote on the radio today. It went something like, "Instead of always trying to prove yourself, try to improve yourself."

What about you? What are you doing to try to improve yourself?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

16 Weeks

How Far Along: 16w exactly

Baby Is The Size Of: An Avocado

Baby's Development: Baby can now hear our voices! This makes me so excited! I love that baby will have the next 20 weeks or so to learn to recognize John and my voice! Baby is also growing nails and forming taste buds this week.

Sleep:Sleep is still rough with my constant back and hip pain. I toss and turn most nights, but that could also be from the crazy dreams! I've been having the craziest, most vivid dreams this pregnancy. Most are totally random and filled with random people I'm no longer even in contact with. So weird! I'm hoping soon I'll dream about baby though!

Movement: Still haven't felt any movement yet and I'm dying for that first flutter! I'm hoping sometime this week I'll feel baby Wallace for the first time. Cross your fingers for me!

Cravings:Still craving clementines (Cuties)! I eat 3-4 a day and go through a bag a week! Still craving salty foods. Lately I've been really wanting Mexican food but I've yet to have it =( And the frozen taquitos I'm eating constantly are not cutting it. I NEED fajitas. ASAP

Aversions: Still having a rough time with smells. I have a feeling it will be this way my whole pregnancy. Also, really not wanting anything to do with cooking chicken. Used to be my favorite but I think I've only cooked it twice since I've been pregnant.

Gender:We find out next weekend!!! I'M SO EXCITED! I don't know how people wait to find out until their baby is born. I can barely handle waiting until 17 weeks!

Best Moment This Week: Realizing it's only a week until we find out baby Wallace's gender!

Looking Forward To: Starting to plan the nursery! I can't wait to find out baby's gender on the 15th. After that it's on! Also looking forward to my bump getting bigger! Still feeling like I don't look pregnant yet (to strangers at least). I can't wait til the bump is more defined and obvious.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Mini Chicken Pies

I love absolutely anything that's comfort food. And these definitely fit the bill.

I decided to try this recipe last fall and we fell in love with it!

They remind me of little chicken pot pies laced with cheese. What could be better!?

The greatest part is that they freeze really well so the leftovers make a great meal for later on. My husband will sometimes take a couple of these out of the freezer to have for breakfast too. (he eats weird things sometimes!)

This recipe is super easy to make and anybody could do it. Half an hour to prepare, (or 3 if you do shredded chicken my way) half an hour to bake and voila! Mini Chicken Pies!

What You Will Need:

3 Large Chicken Breasts, Shredded
2 Cups Mixed Veggies
2 Cups Shredded Cheese

1 1/2 Cups Bisquick
1 1/2 Cups Milk
3 Eggs

1 Cup Cheese

Step One: Prepare your shredded chicken. I like to do mine in the slow cooker so the meat is juicy and tender.  All I do is put the chicken in the slow cooker, add a can of chicken broth and let it cook on low for 2-3 hours. Once it's cooked I let it cool for a minute then break it up with two forks. This is the only way I do shredded chicken and I swear it's amazing!

Step Two: Add the veggies and cheese. Season to your liking.

Step Three: Prepare the Bisquick Mix. (I also turn the oven to 375 at this point to preheat)

Step Four: Grease your muffin/cupcake tins. Add 1 tsp of Bisquick to the bottom of each.

Step Five: Add filling to each cup. I'm not a very technical cooker, so I just use about half a handful per cup. I don't pack it in too thick though because I want the Bisquick to get in between the filling.

Step Six: Add approx 2 tbsp Bisquick to the top of each cup.

Step Seven: Sprinkle Cheese on top of each cup. Bake for 25-30 min or until golden.

I love these mini chicken pies! (or meat muffins as they were recently called! hahaha) They come out super moist and flavorful! I love how convenient they are too... you don't even have to use a fork if you don't want to! Now go get cookin!

Friday, November 29, 2013

15 Weeks

How Far Along: 15w 1d

 Baby Is The Size Of: An orange! Totally fitting since that's all I've been craving!

Baby's Development: Baby can now sense light and is growing taste buds!

Sleep: Since becoming pregnant my back pain has been worse and worse (due to the extra hormones apparently). I can't imagine what it's going to be like once I get huge! Still peeing all the time (although this is supposed to slowly decrease until I hit 3rd trimester), the crazy sense of smell and definite moodiness! My tolerance for BS has greatly decreased. I'm finding it's easier to keep my sanity by avoiding things that annoy me/stress me out/don't make me happy. Unfortunately I can't avoid annoying/rude customers at work but biting my tongue seems to be working just fine so far! haha

Movement: Although I can't feel it yet, baby is moving a ton in there! Baby is kicking, punching and bouncing around! We've been lucky enough to watch this a few times during ultrasounds and it is probably the neatest thing I've ever seen!

Cravings: Pickles! I know, I know. I'm the stereotypical pregnant woman. Also craving clementines, anything salty and grapes.

Aversions: With my sense of smell in overdrive, anything even slightly unpleasant smelling makes me gag. Still have thrown up yet, but I've gotten really close. People's body odors seem to be driving me nuts the most. Thank God it's not summer!

Gender: We won't find out until December 15th, but I'm feeling it's a boy!

Best Moment This Week: Not baby related, but I did The Ugly Sweater Run last Sunday! It was so much fun!!! I did walk it though because I haven't ran since I've been pregnant.

Looking Forward To: Feeling baby move! I cannot wait until I get to experience that. It's going to be so neat...but also so weird! haha

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Where have I been?

So I've totally sucked at blogging lately, but I swear I have a really good excuse! First trimester of pregnancy is a lot of work! . . . That's right, John and I are expecting a baby in May!

Now that I'm gaining my energy back and not feeling like I'm going to fall asleep at any moment, I want to recommit to blogging. I'm not going to promise daily posts or anything, but at the very least once or twice a week should be manageable! Well, at least once a week because I plan to do weekly pregnancy updates =) I'm planning to do a ton more cooking posts, some homemade cleaning recipes and some home decor/project posts too!

See you soon!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Difficult days for Miscarriage Survivors

As my expected due date drew nearer and nearer, my anxiety and depression grew more and more. September 21st. The day I was supposed to be due with our first child.

When somebody loses a loved one, others are sensitive to the fact that certain holidays and dates will be harder. But when a woman loses a baby most people don't realize there's certain dates that are hard for her too. I wanted to write this post to draw attention to a few of those tough dates that miscarriage survivors have to endure.

1. The day she originally found out she was pregnant.
 For me this is January 13th. It was the happiest day of my life (other than my wedding day) but now in the future it will always be a day that reminds me of what I've lost.

2. The day she found out she had lost her baby.
This one is two fold for me as I had a missed miscarriage. March 13th will always be a dark day as it was the day I found out I lost our baby. But equally as tough? The day I had my D&C (March 18th). There's no way to erase the pain of this day and year after year I will have to relive that pain over and over again.

3. Her expected due date.
The days leading up to the EDD are agonizing. September 21st was my EDD and I couldn't help but dread it. This is perhaps the worst day for a miscarriage survivor. Knowing that this was supposed to be the day you finally got to hold your baby in your arms is heartbreaking. This was supposed to be the day you finally got to meet your little one. Instead, you get to spend it alone, no longer pregnant and not holding your child.

4. Mother's Day.
When you're the mother to a child lost, people tend to forget that you are still a mother. Yes, I don't have my child here to hold but I still am a mother to a baby in heaven. This past Mother's day I spent the day thinking about what could have been. I spent the day being angry, depressed, jealous and a whole mess of emotions.

5. The day she finds out she's pregnant again.
There will be joy, elation and happiness for the child growing inside me... But also anxiety, panic and dread that I will lose this child too. Unfortunately, any future pregnancies I will experience will be leave me paralyzed with fear and longing for the child I've lost.

6. When she finds out a friend/loved one is pregnant.
This can only be described as bittersweet. On one had you feel completely over the moon happy for your friend/loved one, but at the same time you feel insanely jealous and depressed and wish it was you.

These are just a few examples of tough dates that miscarriage survivors encounter. It's different for every woman. Some women aren't bothered by certain dates, while others are.

This list is by no means all inclusive, but it does give a good idea of how often that pain can resurface. I hope this is will help remind those who haven't suffered a miscarriage that although healing does occur, some scars just don't go away. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Spicy Sausage Tortellini Soup

AKA My husband's new favorite soup! I adapted this recipe from Party In My Kitchen after finding it on Pinterest. This soup is so easy to make and it's super quick too. 

You can change it up to fit your tastes by adding more or less sausage and tortellini. (so for us, that means more meat to make it man friendly) 

You Will Need
One Pkg Spicy Italian Sausage
One Pkg Tortellini (approx 2-3 cups)
4 Cups Boiling Water
3 Chicken Boullion Cubes
1 Can Evaporated Milk 
1 1/2 Tbsp Oregano
1 1/2 Tbsp Chives
1 1/2 Tbsp  Parsley
Salt & Pepper

Step One: Brown Italian Sausage. (I like to use Johnsonville hot, but mild or medium is fine)

Step Two: Break up boullion cubes in bottom of soup pot. Add 4 cups boiling water to dissolve.

Step Three: Add sausage, evap. milk, oregano, chives, parsley, salt and pepper. Slowly bring to boiling. (approx 15-20 min)

Step Four: Once boiling, add tortellini and cook to pkg instructions. (7-9 min usually)

Step Five: Serve with fresh Parmesan.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

What I Wish I Knew Before I Was Married

John on our wedding day, September 7, 2012

When I walked down the aisle on my wedding day last September I had already lived with John for 4 1/2 years, been dating him for 5 years and known him for 7 years. 

I thought I knew everything there was to know about the man I was committing the rest of my life to.

I thought I knew every side of him and everything he had to offer me. 

But I was wrong.

In the first year of our marriage I have learned so much about John and he has shown me a side of him I've never even knew existed. 

I've always known John is caring, considerate, thoughtful and generous to a fault. But I never knew exactly how far it could go.

In our first year of marriage we have dealt with the joy of my first pregnancy, a devastating miscarriage, trying to conceive again, problems within our families, my parents splitting up, watching those we love dealing with cancer, addiction, depression, and every other kind of stress you can think of.

Through all of this my husband has remained a constant source of strength.

He almost always knows what to say to make me feel better (or at least calm me down).

He understands when it's the stress talking and not me.

He understands when I need to be held, when I need to be left alone and when I need to talk.

He is patient when I worry about the same things over and over.

He bases every decision upon what's best for us and our relationship.

He's constantly looking out for me and always gives me the best advice he can.

I wish I had known the first year of our marriage was going to be so rough for us emotionally and that John would be what got us through. Every day I feel more and more confident that we are meant to be together and can get through anything. (not that I didn't already know that though!)

I feel that if we can get through this first year of marriage and come out stronger, we can get through anything.
And more than anything, I feel so incredibly blessed to get to spend the rest of my life with John.

Fall 2007

Fall 2012
This past weekend John and I celebrated out first wedding anniversary with a quiet weekend away at the cabin at Lake Cushman. It was just us, the trees and peace and quiet... and I wouldn't have it any other way.