Friday, April 28, 2017

Thankful Friday

Hey there!


(Believe it or not, this picture was taken after I brushed their hair. Sigh. At times I think I was meant to have boys...)

This post was mostly written on Thursday and then Cora, currently known as the child who doesn't sleep past 5:30 AM, couldn't believe that I would dare do anything else with my hands other than hold her.

Here are some things I was thankful for this week:

- I am thankful for the lilac bush right outside our kitchen window. Currently, there is no better place in our house than at our table inhaling the scent of freshly bloomed lilacs. Mmmmm...


- Ina's t-ball coach. This man had the patience of Job as he slowly taught the difference between the bases, how to hold a ball when throwing, and how to bat, while the (4 year old) kids half listened and half covered themselves in dirt. He also sends detailed, bulleted emails, which you know this momma appreciates!


- Speaking of Ina, she has slept in her own bed with no argument for the last FOUR nights. You know this has been a battle for some time now (mostly because Dan is on team co-sleep, while I am on team get-some-sleep), but I think we have finally gotten somewhere, thanks to night lights, library books, and the Trolls Play-Doh set she can see but can't touch until she sleeps in her bed for 7 nights in a row.


I am not above bribery.

- I am thankful Dan has made dinner the past few nights. I just haven't felt up to it and he has been rocking the Traeger. It has been delicious.

- I am thankful that our small group start FPU again. Dave Ramsey is just so motivating and makes me want to check my budget over and over again. Also, Dan's mom is taking the class with us and after the first lesson she cut up all her credit cards! When Ina asked while we were all cheering, I told her that Granny was working towards financial peace. Ina then, of course, asked what "financial peace" meant, which led to an hour discussion. Ha!

- I am thankful that baby #3 is perfectly healthy. She measured right on track in every category during my ultrasound on Friday and was quite the show off, moving all around.


I am thankful for the weekend ahead! I hope your's is great! <3

Monday, April 24, 2017

Our Weekend

Good Monday morning!

How was your weekend? Ours' was the perfect combo of rest of productivity - my favorite. We were slightly lacking on the social side, but Easter was extra social, so I think we get a pass.

Thursday Dan started leveling the yard in preparation for a new addition. (I am not going to admit what we are doing online until it is complete. Too scared.)

Here is a before picture. Sadly, we have to remove the garden bed, but Dan says we can add one on the other side of the house next year.


Unfortunately, while leveling, he cut our internet line. He knew how not happy I was about this, so he made sure to arrange for it to be fixed ASAP. So fixing our internet was our Friday night, along with a family movie night of Moana. (The soundtrack is just so catchy, isn't it?)

I worked Saturday morning for an hour or so while Dan made corned beef hash and veggie scrambled eggs for breakfast (I think he really felt bad about the internet line. Ha!) Ina had a playdate with a friend in the neighborhood (all my herself!), so Cora and I played while Dan worked outside some more.

While Cora napped and Ina was away, I felt like I could be trusted with power tools.


Don't worry, I was only cutting wood to be burned, so my main goals were to keep my appendages and get rid of one of the 75 piles of stuff in our back yard.

My grandma and mom came over just in time for an outside break. The girls played with grandma,
Dan and I cooked dinner, and then we watched Rogue One.


(The Easter baskets win the prize for "most played with" toy from Easter. Ha!)

By some miracle, we were all ready for church thirty minutes early, which of course means a trip to Big Daddy's Donuts is happening.

Although those things are tasty, we all crashed pretty hard while grocery shopping after church.

Sunday afternoon was yard and house work with a little relaxing before small group, when we started our new study - Financial Peace University. This makes my nerdy budget loving heart so, so happy. Dan and I took this before Ina was born and we were on baby step #1. Now, 4.5 years later, we are on baby step #5. Although we have made it far, we are somewhat stagnant and our budget/savings plan needs a little inspiration to move forward in right direction.


We were excited that Miss Emily, Ina's favorite teenager from church, came to help watch the kids while we had our study. Ina invited her to stay for dinner and, of course, play with aqua beads afterwards.

Our heads hit the pillow hard after such a fun weekend. Ina starts t-ball practice today - yay!

Have a good week! <3

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!
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