Sunday, April 23, 2017

What We Ate Last Week

You guys, after months of the first trimester blahs and then Dan being gone, I finally, finally am back in a cooking groove!

I haven't been following a meal plan, but instead shopping for a few meals I want to make "sometime" in the week and completely winging the rest. So, instead of posting a meal plan, I thought I would summarize what we ate and my family's like/dislike of it.

This keeps me more accountable to actually cooking food and also is helpful to know if the recipes are good ones. Perhaps this will help in your meal planning for the following week? 


Monday: 


Pakastani kima (subbed sweet potatoes) with brown rice and a chopped tomato/cucumber/onion salad (all chopped small with olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and a dash of sugar). Protein! Whole grains! Vegetables! Flavor! I will be putting this exact recipe on a monthly repeat in my house. Dan told me he liked it and Cora and Ina both cleaned their plates and each asked for more of the salad. After an Easter weekend sugar fest, I was so happy to inject some vegetables into my family's stomachs. 


Tuesday:

Hot sauce chicken thighs with roasted carrots, kale, and beets. I don't have a recipe link, but I follow Julie from PaleOMG on Instagram and she always has some interesting, helpful, hilarious and sometimes colorful stories to share. She made this meal a few times last week which inspired me to pick up all the ingredients when I was grocery shopping. Simply roast the carrots, season and saute the chicken thighs in oil and add hot sauce to taste for the last few minutes. Then saute the kale in the same pan as the chicken. Voila, dinner is done.


I took a few thighs out of the pan for the girls before adding the hot sauce. I accidentally over-salted the kale, but everything was still delicious and (for the second night in a row!!) both girls cleaned their plate with the help of a dollop of ranch dressing to dip everything in. 


Wednesday:

We had some friends over for carne asada tacos! I picked up some supplies from TJ's on the way home and let my boyfriend Joe do a little of the meal prep with the pre-marinated and pre-cut carne asada and the pre-cooked rice, which I "mexicanified" using this recipe. Dan grilled the steak and I chopped the cilantro and onion and lime wedges for serving. I also heated up a can of black beans, as my kids LOVE them.


But, the star of the show was the salad that our friends brought. You can't tell from this picture, but it was chalk full of fresh spring fruits and veggies and covered in a fresh avocado based dressing. I had three servings of it and Cora stood above the bowl yelling "Moi!" (more) after each bite.

Seriously delicious.


Thursday: swim lesson day. 

Some family went with us to swim lessons, so we decided to celebrate with pizza afterwards. I thoroughly enjoyed the two pieces of pepperoni black olive pizza, but thoroughly regretted eating it  30 minutes later due to pregnancy heart burn. No more evening red sauce for this girl until September.


Friday:

Chicken pad thai (using this sauce) with roasted broccoli. I prepped most of the meal the day before, after a quick noodle boil, re-heat, and broccoli roast, dinner was complete.


Cora ate half the roasted broccoli and the rest of her meal was covered in harissa or siracha. She is so funny.


Saturday:

We spent most of the day doing yard work and hadn't gone to the grocery store in over a week, so dinner was a random compilation of what we had left in the fridge. Dan grilled some chicken legs, I roasted some potatoes and carrots in the oven, and chopped up a cucumber/tomato/onion salad.



(x2)
My mom and grandma ended up staying for dinner. This never would have been a meal I planned for guests, but it actually ended up tasting pretty good.


Breakfasts:

- Smoothies (made with banana, spinach, almond butter, collagen powder, and almond milk)
- Turkey, sweet potato, and kale hash (obsessed with this recipe)


Lunches:Leftovers


Snacks/Treats:



I intended to make these for the girls, but somehow they only each had one and I had the rest...

Also M&M cookies leftover from Easter. I cannot be trusted alone with them...

Looking back, everyone in the family loved every meal we made this week. This is not typical. I think the girls might be in a growth spurt. Or it might be that they are playing outside all day and more hungry for dinner. Or it might be the Trolls plates they received for Easter. Either way, I am calling this week a win!

Have a good week! See you on Monday for a weekend recap. <3



Thursday, April 20, 2017

Thankful Thursday

Good morning!

I am bringing back Thankful Thursday. I wanted to post what I was thankful for daily, but then things in my life quickly changed, and we all saw how well that was going, so a weekly (or more likely monthly) post will have to do.

Here is what I have been thankful for lately:

Having my nails done.


I had an extra hour last week and decided to splurge some time and blow money on my nails. Although having painted shiny nails is such a simple thing, every time I look down and see them I get a surge of joy. I might put this splurge on a monthly repeat. (The asparagus is fresh from a co-worker's garden. He has his kids harvest it and keep the profits. Such a great idea!)


The beautiful weather. I just love the girls coming home from daycare covered in dirt from playing outside a good chunk of the day and then coming home to play in more dirt, eat popsicles, and swing their hearts out. Cora is constantly begging (well, more like shouting) to go, "OUTSIDE!" Spring can stay for good. 

Easter gifts from our generous family. I think that picture says it all.



Aqua beads. The best $9.99 ever spent. Even though we initially had some problems with Ina being appropriately thankful for her Easter gifts, she soon changed her tune and has been obsessed with these things. Already hours of entertainment. However, the new challenge is making sure that Cora is adequately entertained, because toddler hands and tiny colorful beads that can be mistaken as candy ("Titi!!! Titi!!!") don't mix well.

Cora's language skills. I have to admit there was a time I was lightly concerned about Cora not talking as much as I thought she should, but lately her words have exploded. She can repeat or at least attempts to repeat, pretty much anything I say. She also can tell us what she wants, which is almost always something to eat. At times she will rattle off a 15 syllable sentence that is completely gibberish to us. but the look of conviction on her face means that she knows what she is saying and she means business.

My devotional: Savor. I love starting my day out this way reading a bible verse or two and then a blurb from Shauna Niequist, who I absolutely adore. If you are looking for a devotional, I highly recommend this one.

That is all I have for today. I hope your Thursday is fantastic! <3

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

20 Week Update: 3rd Pregnancy

Half way there and feeling...

Generally pretty good. I still occasionally have a "blah" day, but am mostly loving the second trimester.


(This is the first bump picture I have taken. At 20+ weeks. #ThirdChildProblems

Lots of kicks! I am pretty sure I felt a little sporadic movement starting around 10 weeks, but now anytime I eat baby girl has a party. Me too girl, me too.

Speaking of eating, I am very hungry. I need to capture what I eat in a day because it is pretty much nonstop and mostly carbohydrates. I try to squeeze in at least a green monster smoothie for breakfast to get some veg in my diet. Actually, this week veggies have made a comeback, but I still cannot be trusted with cookies, chocolate, or candy.

I am sleeping decently (thanks to my Snoogle), however if I happen to wake up in the middle of the night, it takes me an hour or so to go back to sleep.

I have a goal to workout three days a week for the foreseeable future. The coaches at Fitness Tiger KC are absolutely fantastic and help me with any modifications I need to make, which can basically be summarized by:
  1. planking instead of any ab work on my back
  2. lighter weights
  3. less jumping
I went to the gym today and felt great.

Every time I think we have decided on a name Dan decides he doesn't like it. I know we will find one eventually, but nothing solid for now.

We went back and forth about putting the new baby is Cora's current room (as it is all decked out for a baby) and moving Cora to another room, or keeping Cora is her room and creating another "nursery." I think we have decided on the later because a). Cora is still sleeping in a crib and I don't want to mess any of that up. b). It doesn't seem fair to Cora to take away her room or to the new baby to not have a room planned for her. However, having said that, there will be little work done to the nursery. We borrowed a crib from Danielle. I will buy black out curtains, hang a wall decal or two, and find a changing table on Craig's List. There is a full bed in there now, which I am considering keeping in there for the nursing season until Cora is ready for it in her room. 

How the rest of the family is dealing:

Ina: she has really come around and often talks about how she will soon have another sister to take care of. "Mom, can you believe we are going to have TWO girls to take care of?!?"

Cora: she doesn't really understand just yet. I tell her there is a baby in my belly and she lifts up my shirt, sees by belly, and gives me a confused look. She is, however, incredibly possessive of me and doesn't like other babies (and sometimes Ina) to get to close to me. She has been known to yell, "No baby!" at other kids at small group that have gotten too close and will occasionally scream if Ina interrupts our cuddling. Poor girl doesn't know what is coming...

Dan: he is generally excited, but, similarly to me, will occasionally become overwhelmed with the thought of adding another baby to the mix. Things just started to get easy with Cora. (Well, in some ways. See above)

Looking forward to the ultrasound this week. It isn't as exciting as the last two 20 week ultrasounds, because we already know the gender, but I am still pumped to see baby girl. 

Related:
21 Week Update with Cora (I was so little! I attribute that to being pretty sick a few times during the first trimester with her. Ha!)

Have a good day! <3

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter Weekend 2017

Hey hey hey!


I am writing after a long, but fun, Easter weekend. It started off on Good Friday with grocery shopping (three stores!) and then a little partial family date. Ina had a sleepover with her grandma, so Dan and I took Cora out to eat by herself.


It was so funny how different she acted without Ina around. She was much more talkative and interactive with strangers. She also rotated from my side of the booth to Dan's throughout our meal, taking samples off of each of our plates. After dinner we plopped her in the stroller and walked around the plaza for a bit, window shopping and looking at the fountains.

Saturday morning I woke up bright and early to start prepping our house for the evening's Easter celebration. I worked for a few hours while Dan took Cora on some errands. Then I picked up Ina, who was shining with the excitement she had experienced. Sleepovers with grandma are just the best. We pulled in the driveway to a few guests already arriving and spent the rest of the day celebrating with my mom's side of the family. The kids played outside in the backyard and the adults sat inside and watched the Royals game.


We had a slow Sunday morning as we opted to go to our church's late service to miss the larger crowds. I did some cooking and baking and the girls opened their Easter gifts. (A little drama ensued. I might write about that later, but let's just say that early morning lessons on thankfulness are not that easy to learn. Or give.)


Some of Dan's family met us at church, along with my grandma, which was lovely. We sang and clapped our hearts out celebrating our Risen Savior. Afterwards, we hopped in the car and drove to Dan's grandma's house for some delicious food and an egg hunt.

Cora had fun playing with the dyed eggs, until she mistook one for a chocolate egg and attempted to eat it. That child...

We hopped back in the van to our last destination of the weekend - my sister's house to see my dad's side of the family. The girls fell asleep for about 5 minutes in the car, but rallied once they saw their cousins playing in the backyard.


We sat on their brand new deck and chatted and ate some delicious food. Looking back, I am fairly confident that both Ina and Cora ate nothing but chocolate and sugar over the weekend. Time to get in some veggies and extra rest today!

Have a good week! <3

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Lake Walk

Good morning to you!

I have been trying to get more activity in, because the temptation is sit down 24 hours a day is real. Like my last two pregnancies, I am dealing with varicosities that make standing more than 5 minutes painful. They are genetic and there isn't much I can do about them but deal. However, my midwife did suggest walking.

After I picked the girls up from Danielle's on Tuesday we headed to a local lake for a walk. Of course, both girls wanted to sit in the same place in the stroller. Therefore, both girls ended up walking. I suppose it is good practice for when the stroller will be inhabited again.


We ended up meeting a woman who had a beautiful parrot out for a walk. Ina had no less than 53 questions for her, so most of our walking time was spent learning about parrots and keeping Cora from jumping in the water or grabbing the parrot, which she kept on calling an "owl."


We came home to dinner already done, thanks to an easy quinoa casserole that I had assembled beforehand, and have eaten for my last 3 meals.

I told myself that I could purchase maternity workout gear if I made it to the gym three times this week (bribing myself works). Two down! Wednesday's Fitness Tiger KC Workout:
  • 10 minute EMOM: 5 eccentric push ups with a 4 count down 
  • 20 s work/20 s rest/20 s work /20 rest circuit
    • ring rows
    • ab wheel
    • upright rows with bar
    • man makers (15 lb DB)
    • hallow rocks (I planked)
    • push press alternating arms (20 lb DB)
    • bench dips
    • curls
    • plate ground to overhead
    • plank wag the tail
My legs are still (embarrassingly) sore from Monday and now my arms are sore. Can't wait to see what Friday holds.

Last night after work we met with our parents as teachers teacher and she worked on sight words with Ina. This week's project is to make her some flashcards. If she is anything like her momma, nothing is better than flash cards.

We had leftovers for dinner and then hung around outside drinking a golden milk latte and enjoying the beautiful evening. Have I mentioned how much I love spring?

I hope you have a fantastic day! 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Sunday + Monday Highs and Lows

Good morning!

I hope the beginning of the week has treated you right! Ours' has been a little all over the place with some great moments but a few not so fun ones as well.

Let's start with the highs:


- Family dress up time. Dan brought us all home some fun Indian garb, which he insisted we all wear to church. The dresses were beautiful and the girls loved all the extra attention they received. I felt a little silly once I had dropped them off in their rooms, but everyone was very nice about my change in fashion.


- Dan's mom joined us at church! It was a show stopper service. (I blamed the tears on the pregnancy hormones. I don't know what Dan's excuse was.) Listen to the sermon here. We were so thankful she was there.

- Dying Easter eggs. Cora ended up napping through this, which was probably a good thing.


- An awesome, awesome small group discussion and fellowship afterwards with lasagna.

- I returned to the gym Monday morning! I felt so good during the workout, and took it pretty easy on myself, but still managed to accelerate my heart rate and work up a sweat all while having fun. Here was Monday's Fitness Tiger KC workout:
  • 30 rep complex with 12 lb dumbbells (this was pretty light for me, but I was still feeling it!)
    • 1 clean
    • 2 squat press
    • 1 push press
  • Sprints
  • 10 minutes AMRAP:
    • 250 m row
    • flutter kicks (I planked)
    • Ball slams (20 lb)
  • 10 minutes AMRAP:
    • 10 cal bike
    • leg over ball (I planked or tried to catch my breath and not die)
    • jumping jacks (these felt really weird, so I can't say that I did too many in a row)
And then for a few lows:

-During small group while the kids were playing outside Ina somehow found a board that had fallen off (or was pulled off....) the swing set with nails sticking out of it and was carrying it around and then fell on it. A nail punctured her upper arm, but after some soap, Neosporin (from another mom in small group because I couldn't find ours'), a cookie, and a call to her doctor's office to make sure she is up to date on her tetanus, we were all good. 

-While Dan was bandaging Ina up, his mom called to let us know she had fallen and broken her foot! Talk about overwhelming. My house was full of people, my daughter was bleeding and screaming, I couldn't find the Neosporin, and I felt a huge need to jump in the car and take Dan's mom to the ER. Thankfully, all of small group worked better under pressure than me and the stressful situation soon dissipated. Dan's mom seems to be doing pretty well, considering. She has stayed with us since then so we can help with a few things and she can be closer to the doctor.

- The Royals lost Sunday's game in extra innings and Monday's home opener. I know, not a big deal big picture-wise, but still kind of sad.

Today I am resting my sore legs from the gym, but plan to return tomorrow. I might try to get outside for a walk.

I hope you have a fantastic Tuesday. <3

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Dan's Home! + Meal Plan

Good Sunday morning!

The three week blogging break can be explained by the fact that Dan was out of the country on a church trip and I was single mommin' it for 2.5 weeks.


So, the short summary of the past three weeks is one word: survival.


Longer summary: I didn't exercise, I ate whatever was easiest at the moment, and didn't get all that much sleep. You know, generally took very good care of myself. I am in awe of true single moms, military moms, and moms whose husbands travel for work often. How, just how, do they do it?

Our experience actually was pretty good. The girls and I got into an awesome rhythm and my expectations of the evenings were very low. Also, we have a tribe of support around us that I will continue to be incredibly grateful for. Kim brought us dinner one night (and dessert TWO other nights), my dad and Dan's grandma took us out to eat two separate nights, Danielle made us dinner at her house. Dan's mom came and stayed with us one night and dusted (dusted!!!). We stayed the night at my sister's house one night, and another night she brought dinner over to ours' (along with a birdhouse painting project that was a hit).


Two separate people offered to mow. I seriously have the best people around me a girl could ever, ever ask for.


Also, I cannot fail to give a shoutout to the movies Trolls and Moana. They both helped this tired, pregnant momma out a few times.


During the last week Cora was sick and just wanted to be held for about 72 hours, during which, I really wished I had a third arm, but otherwise, we all did great.

We were able to FaceTime Dan almost every night/morning, who was in Napal and India, meeting lots of new people and having lots of fantastic experiences. There was one time when he texted me, "I think I need to vomit" and then NOTHING for 72 hours.


Since we picked him up from the airport, we are have been back in our normal swing of things, which has been lovely. Dan and the girls dumped out his lego bucket from when he was a kid, and they were able to find the design to a car that Dan bought 25 years ago, and after a lot of searching, he still had all the pieces!


At first I was surprised by this, but then wondered why I was. Really, this explains so much about my life.

I actually made a meal plan for this week and already grocery shopped, so hopefully things will get a little better in the "taking care of myself" department.

Sunday: small group - lasagna
Monday: brussels sprouts carbonara 
Tuesday: BBQ quinoa casserole
Wednesday: Dan grill + roasted veggies
Thursday: out to eat
Friday: meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and roasted green beans
Saturday: Easter at our house - I am in charge of drinks and a dessert...still deciding on what to make

I hope you have a fantastic end to your weekend! We are going to church today, then dyeing some eggs, then having small group. Fantastic Sunday coming up!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Park Day and Meal Plan

Good morning and Happy Sunday!


I hope you have had a great weekend so far. Our's has been just about perfect. It started out Friday morning with a workout at Fitness Tiger KC.


Genius me decided to go back to the gym after a few weeks of rest on the day of the fitness test. Even so, it was good to see that I could still do all the moves (even though my back doesn't feel great and I am so, so sore). It was even better to see everyone in my gym family. I sure missed them.



I worked from home on Friday and was excited to shut my laptop and go pick the girls up from Danielle's. After some push pops and a few rides in the Barbie Jeep around the back yard, we headed back to Danielle and Kyle's to celebrate Danielle's birthday with pizza, veggie, salad, ice cream, and cake. The adults talked while the kids played. It was a fun night.


After a few hours of work on Saturday morning, we packed up the van and drove to a super fun park Dan had spotted in the city a few weeks before. I was proud of Ina and her braveness on the spider web climbing thing, and after a few trips with Dan and myself, she climbed up by herself over and over again!


Cora loved the swing and the slides and wanted to follow Ina everywhere. Next year, my sweet baby.


We worked up quite the appetite with all that climbing, and next visited a new to us restaurant close by - Aladdin Cafe. We had hummus (amazing) and gyros and walked down the street to a snow cone place for an extra treat.

Cora has been pretty fussy at night and had a fever off and on (yesterday morning it was 99.6) and we stopped by our friends' house on the way home because Chessa has an otoscope. Her ears were in the clear (whew), but it was still nice to stop by and chat with some friends for an hour.

After all the outside playing and adventure, we were ready for a relaxing evening. Dan and Ina dropped me and Cora off at the house and ran by Target to pick up Trolls and popcorn. We had the best night watching the movie and the girls dance their hearts out to that fantastic soundtrack.

Here is this week's meal plan. (What?!? The past few months the words "plan" and "meal" haven't gone in the same sentence at this house. However, now that I am solidly in the second trimester, and craving a consistent intake of normal food again, meal plans are back! Try not to hide your excitement.)

Also, I am going to be playing single mom for the next few weeks around dinner time, so a plan is completely necessary. Also know the odds of at least one of the meals below being replaced with "chicken nuggets and apples" are about 99%.
I hope you have a fantastic and relaxing Sunday. We have church and small group, but hope to get some outdoor play in there as well. <3

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Update

Hello!

How have things been on your side of the internet? We have been great over here, taking it easy, and enjoying spending time as a family.


The weather went from warm and sunny to cold and snowy, so we have spent most of our spare time inside in pajamas with the fire going.


Cora was sick Sunday and Monday, so my naturally cuddly girl was even more so, which means I have spent a lot of time either sitting down or standing with a toddler on my hip. Monday Dan stayed home with both girls and Tuesday I worked from home with both girls. Want to know how it went?

(Photographer credit: Ina)

Just picture me running up and down the stairs frantically going from conference call to change the Paw Patrol episode to conference call to getting Cora candy so she would sit down and be silent for 5 minutes while I had to explain something to a client, to conference call, to puzzle organizer. to email, to lunch chef. And somewhere in there I thought it would be a good idea to bake Irish soda bread.

I slept really well on Tuesday night.

We had a surprise visit from my grandparents on Tuesday evening and went with them to grab a quick bite to eat. After being kept mostly inside for four days in a row, Ina was bursting with excitement to see some guests in our house. She literally looked and acted like she might explode. The chocolate ice cream likely didn't dissipate that feeling much.


Seeing them was such a treat, I hope we get to do it again soon.

I still haven't been to the gym and our eating has been pretty sporadic. A bag of kale has sat in our crisper drawer untouched for two weeks, but I did make Zuppa Tuscana last night. I have single handedly eaten half a loaf of Irish soda bread in 24 hours. Being pregnant is hard. Things that have sounded good: eggs, hummus, smoothies, and iced tea.


Dan roasted four corned beef briskets in anticipation of small group dinner on Sunday night, which we later had to cancel because of Cora's infectiousness. We froze some, but still have been enjoying pieces here and there and made Rubens on Monday night.


Dan was in charge of the sandwiches, which were amazing, even Ina devoured her's. I was in charge of the brussel sprouts, which were burnt.

Another meal win - red curry from my office cafeteria. This was so yummy and re-inspired my love for Asian/Thai foods. The cucumbers were my favorite part! Ordering some curry paste from Amazon now...


Another extra exciting improvement to our house - I cleaned and organized the toy room.

You can actually see the carpet! All the legos are in the lego container, the doll clothes with the dolls, and kitchen supplies tucked into the kitchen. Cora hasn't left the room since I did this, as she is so enamored with all her "new" toys.

I am going to the gym tomorrow. Typing it now for accountability.

Have a good rest of your week! <3

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

News

Hello there!


Things have been happening around here:

1. We found out on Friday that the baby is a girl! 💝

I opted for the $10 genetic blood test that just happens to also reveal the gender. I was on the fence about which gender I preferred more. A girl would make things easier in a lot of ways, but it also would be nice to have a boy.

Dan and Ina, however, were fully on the girl train and so, so excited with the news. (Ina had actually told Danielle that we were giving the baby to Kim if it was a boy. Ha!) Cora has absolutely no idea how her world is about to change. No idea.

2. We bought a mini van! Our family went on a mini-road trip (as the van was 1.5 hours away) last night to pick it up. We had a few minor hiccups at the bank (cashier's checks...ugh), but were able to drive away in soccer mom style.

The van has a lot of features and gizmos that I am not familiar with, so I have a date with the owner's manual this evening. Now we have the small task of selling my current vehicle...minor detail.

Other things we have been up to:

We have been enjoying some absolutely beautiful weather. Dan was able to fix his mom's Traeger grill that was damaged in her fire and we started it out right with some delicious steaks.

On Saturday Lucy's friend Ina invited her to "Lunch with Belle" at the local bible college. She had the best time.

The Catholic church down the street has a fish fry every Friday evening during Lent. They also have amazing baked fish. You know where to find us the next few weeks... We met some friends there last week, met some other friends for lunch on Saturday, and last night met Dan's sister and brother in law for dinner on the way home from buying the van. Yay for being social!


The gym: I haven't been going and I miss it terribly, but I am somehow getting even more tired. Not so much during the day, but I feel like I need 10+ hours of sleep each night. Maybe I need to start going to sleep at 6?

Things I have been thankful for lately:

  • Hearing the birds chirp in the morning. So refreshing!
  • Cora's language exploding. She has so many new words every day which is great, but she now expects me to always understand what she is saying, which sadly, isn't the case.
  • New maternity clothes! I put in a large order to Old Navy/Gap.
  • Small group - we started meeting again a few weeks ago and the discussions have been wonderful, along with some delicious meals afterwards. 
That's all for today! Have a good one! <3


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Round 3

Three children.

Can you believe it? 

I couldn’t when I was having random waves of nausea around Christmas and then checked the calendar to realize something wasn’t quite right. I didn’t believe the first test. The second test had me slightly convinced. However, by the third test I was staring in the mirror thinking I was having a dream and asking myself what in the world I was going to do. 

Three children.

Three.

(Source

Three children wasn’t exactly our plan. We planned on having two children. One per adult. One per hand. I sold all my baby stuff. I sold all my maternity clothes. I booked an adult only vacation to St. Thomas for my birthday in September.

I would be lying if I said the first few weeks of the year weren’t spent worrying. How are we going to afford a third child? How are we going to care for a third child? How are we going to sleep? How am I going to get them all in the car at the same time? The car! We will need a new car that will fit our family. And on and on and on.

Then, I put my big girl pants on and decided that if this is God’s plan and if other women can survive the life of having three (+!) children then so can I. We are perfectly capable of feeding, bathing, and clothing three children. We can buy a minivan (a minivan!). We can sleep…later.

And baby snuggles.

Being a mom again.

Having a love like I have for Ina and Cora...again.

Watching Ina be a big sister again.

Seeing Cora become a big sister.

Having a “big” family. 

All children are a blessing and this child will be as well. Our family is nothing but blessed to have this “surprise” extra member. I hate to admit that it took my Type A control freak brain some time to wrap around that concept.

Dan, on the other hand, was ecstatic from the moment I told him. Since Cora’s first birthday, he has been casually mentioning that maybe we shouldn’t be done having children, to which I would reply, “do you want to see me completely lose my mind?!?…” 

Now I have to prove myself wrong. I hate when that happens.

Here is how the past few months have gone:

4.5 Weeks: 

I feel completely normal, with the exception of a few random waves of nausea. So normal, in fact, that I often forget I am pregnant. Then Dan reminds me, which sends me into a mini-freakout, and then I have to remind myself that everything will be fine. It will be fine. Fine.

6 Weeks:

Still pretty normal. A few tiny waves of nausea and a few moments of feeling pretty tired, but moving helps with both! Speaking of moving, I have been keeping my workouts the same as normal, but holding back a little on the high intensity portions. I am trying hard to listen to my body and drink a lot of water. 

7 Weeks:

So. freaking. tired. One day it took all the willpower I had in my body to hold my head up and pretend I was looking at my computer screen. I cannot think about cooking or else I gag. I have to stop looking at Instagram because I follow so many people who post pictures of food. Cooked vegetables are not my favorite thing right now, but cold ones are great. On the plus side, my nails are growing and noticeably stronger. 

7.5 Weeks:

I saw the baby today via ultrasound. Darn it if I didn’t fall in love with that little peanut from the second I saw its tiny heart flashing. The ultrasound tech said that everything looks perfect. 

We told Ina today. She did not take it very well. She screamed, “No!!!” and told us that she wanted to give this baby up for adoption. She seemed very disappointed in us that we “asked for” another baby and told us she was sad that we would pay less attention to her. But, I think she got over the sadness just in time to tell everyone at the restaurant we went to for dinner. We may be paying less attention to her, but that doesn’t mean that others won’t give her more attention. Ha! That girl knows how to work things out for her good. 

9 Weeks:

Still so tired. Half the time we come home and I just sit on the couch and don’t get up until we head for bed around 7. We watch Batman until 8 and then go to sleep. Our new routine.

10 Weeks: 

My jeans don’t fit. Not even close. This is more likely from the non-stop carbohydrate intake than the lemon sized baby in my belly. Still nauseous. Still tired. Soul crushingly tired. I swear I can feel little kicks already, which is so exciting!

11 Weeks:

Hello fresh vegetables and energy! I am starting to feel like my old self again. Whoo hoo! Although, I still want a chocolate chip cookie or brownie as soon as I wake up in the morning. I am still worn slick by the end of the day, but the beginning and the middle are back to the way they used to be. It feels so, so good. 

12 Weeks:

I just conquered Disney World during my first trimester. Although I was tired, I don’t know how much of it was the pregnancy and how much of it was standing all day and walking 15 miles. 

13 Weeks:

I am enjoying days full of energy, but about every third day I still feel completely drained. I suppose I can’t just expect the third trimester to end and a lightbulb to go off saying, “Now you have energy again!!!” 

Maternity clothes are still too big and baggy. My normal clothes don’t fit. My decision to go places is solely based on if they allow stretchy pants. 

Thanks for following us on this journey. 

Again. <3

Monday, February 27, 2017

Big Sister Training

The girls are so excited to finally be able to share some news with you...


Although if you saw us in person Ina would blurt out, "my mom's pregnant!" and you would give me an awkward look that asked, is she telling the truth? should I say congratulations?

Discovering this way is much less weird.

Round 3, coming atcha in September.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Disney 2017

Hello there, remember me? 



I am recovering from an all out trip to Disney and dealing with a toddler who has decided to wake up at 5 am. However, I am determined to get this post written today before I forget everything that happened. 

This trip has been in the works ever since my oldest nephew Kauffman was born. My cousins are huge Disney fans, and because they are so generous, have wanted to take the kids to show them all the wonder and magic there is to offer. This was the last year where Kauffman could miss school and Ina was just old enough to maybe remember everything, or at least something, so we went. Cora and I were lucky enough to tag along. 

Tagging along was exactly what we did. I didn’t plan a thing, but very much enjoyed the benefits of every ride, fast pass, and show being planned for me. 



The night before our plane left, we spent the night at a hotel close to the airport so we could be there bright and early and ready for action. We had a layover, but the kids did great. My biggest memory from the flight experience was Ina crawling under a bench an unsuspecting woman was sitting on and poking her in the rear end. Thankfully, she thought it was hilarious, but Ina definitely learned her lesson.

After we landed we grabbed our rental cars, ran to the grocery store for some breakfast supplies and park snacks, and then checked into our first hotel at Animal Kingdom. We had a suite that was fantastic. The best part was seeing the animals (giraffes, zebras, long horns, ostriches, etc.) right outside our balcony! 



Soon it was time for our dinner at Chef Mickey's, a character buffet at The Contemporary Resort. The food was pretty good for buffet food, but of course the highlight was seeing the characters. Every single one gave each table a good one to two minutes of their undivided attention. There we say Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, and Donald. 



The kids were so excited to see the characters, and unlike the first time I took Ina to Disney and she cried next to the characters, this time everyone gave very big hugs. Cora even touched Minnie’s nose!


A large meal and a long day of travel meant an early bedtime for all of us.


Our first park day was early at Magic Kingdom.


We spent the morning checking off as many rides as possible before the crowds arrived: barn stormer, tea cups, Big Thunder, Dumbo, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Peter Pan, 


the carousel,


and even had a character experience with Belle’s story (which Ina says was her favorite thing we did the whole time we were there!).


We had lunch at Cinderella’s castle, 


which was pretty fancy. Of course we were all exciting to get more one on one time with each princess.


After lunch we hit up more rides: The Magic Carpets of Alladin, It’s a Small World, Buzz Lighyear’s Space Ranger (twice), and Ariel’s Grotto. We also paused at three to watch the parade, which was absolutely fantastic and my favorite thing about Magic Kingdom, well, except for the fireworks. 


We chose to watch the fireworks from a distance, while enjoying some ice cream. This gave the girls a chance to don their princess dresses and dance like royalty under the light of the fireworks to Disney music. Ina was dancing with Kauffman and soon my uncle was dancing with Halllaway. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t shed a few tears. It was a pretty darn cool experience.


Friday morning we headed to Epcot bright and early. We immediately ran to Soarin’, which was one of the coolest rides of the week. At Epcot we also tasted the different sodas at Cool Factory, met some characters, 


tasted some food from around the world (empanadas, churros, and French ice cream), and road Test Track, another really, really cool ride.


But I have to say the highlight of Epcot was meeting Anna and Elsa and riding the Frozen ride, which was fantastic.
Even though the girls had met so many princesses already, it was obvious from their excitement that Anna and Elsa were different. They kept a full conversation with them for five minutes and I admit, a few tears came to my eyes (again) when I saw just how happy Ina was. 


After Epcot we headed back over to Magic Kingdom to finish up a few things we didn’t get to do the day before: meeting Tiana and Rapunzel, riding The Pirates of the Caribbean, and riding Buzz Lightyear and Ariel’s Under the Sea again. This was our latest night and by the time we got to our car I was so, so happy to sit down.

Saturday morning started at Hollywood Studios before the park opened to stand in line for Jedi Training, which was hands down my favorite part of the trip. The Star Wars attractions at Hollywood were absolutely fantastic-the ride was awesome, the shows were entertaining, meeting the characters was fun/scary, but the best was Jedi Training.


If your kids like Star Wars at all this is a must do. It starts with a “show” and the Master Jedi trains the kids. Then, danger is sensed and Darth Vader appears and each kid gets the opportunity to fight him. Then he retreats and they think that have won until Kylo Ren appears, who, at least in Ina’s eyes , is much scarier than Vader. The training Jedi fights him, but in the end it takes everyone using “The Force” to get him to retreat. Seriously fantastic.

Other fun things at Hollywood Studios included The Disney Junior Show, The Little Mermaid Show, Frozen Sing-along, and The Toy Story Ride. 

Our last day at the Parks was at Universal Studios, which mainly focused on Harry Potter World, which was also fantastic. Seeing the Harry Potter world come to life in front of me was an exciting experience for this HP fan. As soon as we entered Diagon Alley, our first order of business was tasting a butter beer. It was delicious and pretty much exactly how I expected it to taste. While we enjoyed our butter beers the kids munched on chocolate frogs.


Next we visited Olivander’s wand shop where the kids each selected an interactive wand. This wand allowed them to perform “magic” around the park, which they really enjoyed. Ina is still carrying her wand around at home.

We hopped on The Hogwart’s Express to Hogsmeade, where we at lunch at The Three Broomsticks. After lunch my aunt and I rode the Quidditch ride (my favorite ride of the week) and the kids rode Flight of the Hippogriff. 

After the rides we were pretty worn out, so we decided to call it an early night and go back to our hotel to swim, which was a great way to end the trip. 

 We had a fantastic time and are unbelievably thankful to get the opportunity to go on such a great trip! 

Some things I would recommend for Disney: using Magic Bands, getting the photo pass, bringing/renting strollers (even for bigger kids), packing lots of snacks, and wearing comfortable clothes and shoes. Also, if at all possible, bring more adults than children and have someone else plan your trip. Ha! :)


Until next time! 
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