Thursday, July 27, 2017

Thankful + This Week's Meals

Good morning! Here is what I was thankful for this week:

  1. My mom came over and watched the girls while I worked from home and she figured out a way to make Cora want to stay in the pool for more than 3 minutes: play Ring Around the Rosie. For some reason, although she doesn't put her head underwater, Cora loves watching others "fall down."
  2. Fresh garden tomatoes. So good.
  3. Ina told me I was the "best mom ever" because she got to spend her chore chart money on Amazon. Disney Princess Aquabeads FTW. 
  1. Dan's grandma watched the girls and then Dan picked them up. For some reason, picking the girls up from daycare exhausts me in this heat. It was so nice to just have to get myself and my bags out of the car and into the house. Oh, third trimester problems.
  2. Family pool time. I could really type that everyday, but it is just so nice to spend time together as a family (even Granny joined us!) and Cora stayed in extra long tonight due to the warmer temps. 
  3. Leftovers for dinner = more time spent in the pool.
  1. My friend/neighbor Kim stopped by for a dip in the pool after she ran 14 miles in this crazy heat and let Ina swim with her. Then we joined us for breakfast! We welcomed her by spilling not one, but two, drinks across the table. 
  2. Dan replaced our garbage disposal! It broke last week and not having a garbage disposal doesn't work very well for my family. Ina did point out that because she helped by standing in the sink to put weight on it and that I helped by getting Dan a few tools and wiping something up, that it really was a team effort and "we" replaced the garbage disposal. Go team!
  3. Our friends came the Nybergs over for dinner and brought some other friends, The Hicks, that we had not seen in a very, very long time. It was so good to have a chance to chat. Also loved getting to see the kids play together, particularly the younger ones. Hearing Cora yell/sing from the swing set, "Edie, come here..." (without pronouncing the "r") was just the cutest.
  1. Our fantastic church. The music, the people, the sermon...everything. There have been times in my life when going to church felt like a chore and now I look forward to church time more than anything else in the week.
  2. Listening to Ina laugh with giggle with pride when she figured out she could swim to the bottom of the pool. Time to buy some more diving toys.
  3. An afternoon/evening with no plans except to make dinner. 

  1. Even though I have some trying times with Ina, I have to remind myself that she is a very sweet kid with an incredibly tender heart. She saw a picture of our neighbors' dog on Instagram, and then asked if she could write them a note. I had to help with the spelling of their names, but the rest was all her. <3
  2. My family still loves me even though I broke down in tears while discussing a recipe. A recipe! Pregnancy hormones are my enemy right now. 
  3. Cora's early water table birthday present from G. There were times when I didn't know if the family would get it put together without a meltdown, but we made it through and had lots of fun playing in the water and enjoying the cooler evening outside. 

  1.  On the morning of Cora's 2nd birthday I walked into her room and the first thing she said was, "I love you Mommy." 
  2. Someone else baked Cora a birthday cake because I forgot that I should do such a thing.
  3. Cora finally decided that she could ride the mini carousel at about the exact same time Ina had used the $10 in quarters we had on bouncy balls...
  1. The baby is still doing well. I love hearing her little/strong heartbeat.
  2. My grandpa had a successful gallbladder surgery! He has been in the hospital since Sunday and hopefully gets to go home soon. We went to visit him last night as soon as he was out of surgery and he had pictures of his gallbladder to share with us, so Ina and Cora also had a little anatomy lesson.
  3. Facebook Marketplace: how I am getting baby supplies that I prematurely sold a year ago. Yesterday a lovely girl who I have several mutual friends with dropped off a like new Rock N' Play for half the price of retail and the process was so much easier than Craig's List. 
Plus, what we ate this week, because I actually kept track and discovered we ate pizza for dinner 3/7 nights. 

Thursday: chicken pot pie. Dan's absolute favorite meal and some pie crusts were taking up too much room in the freezer, so I caved and made it. No, it is not the healthiest, but yes, it was absolutely delicious. 

Friday: leftovers

Saturday: smoked chicken quarters, broiled potatoes, corn on the cob, cottage cheese salad, and cucumber salad. Summer meals are the best because everything can be done beforehand, but please, someone remind me that if Dan is smoking the chicken it needs to start at least 4 hours before we plan to eat. At 6:30, when the chicken still wasn't done, I gabbed a sleeve of crackers and a jar of peanut butter and was immediately swarmed by 4 hungry babies whose energy reserved were cashed from swimming.

Sunday: homemade BBQ chicken pizza using leftovers from Saturday night (even the corn!) and this crust

Monday: oven baked chicken and rice with cucumber salad (so easy, it is a keeper for sure!)

Tuesday: out to eat for Cora's birthday at Funhouse Pizza (everyone in my family's favorite restaurant except me. It is okay, just not my favorite).

Wednesday: cold leftover pizza eaten in the back of the mini van picnic style while parked in the hospital parking lot.

I hope you have a great end to your week! <3 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Happy 2nd Birthday Cora!

Two years ago...

And just like that, she is a walking/running, talking/screaming, nose scrunching, belly button loving, two year old.

A few things that two years means for us:

- So many words. Cora repeats whatever we say, for better or worse. She also says full sentences without being prompted (I think I have counted 7 words in a row!). She can pretty much say her ABC's and count to 10, but isn't necessarily consistent on those.

While she does talk a lot, she hasn't perfected all of the pronunciations, which has been entertaining to say the least. Currently when she says, fork, frog, fox, or firework, it comes out sounding like a colorful 4 letter word and princess sounds more like a body part that shall not be named. Hearing those challenges even the most mature to keep from letting out a little giggle.

She has very recently started randomly saying, "I love you mommy" and giving me a big squeeze completely unsolicited, which pretty much makes my heart melt into a million pieces.

But by far, her favorite word is...

-NO!!! I have tried to redirect. I have tried to give her choices. I have tried to not accept it, to ignore it, to say, "Yes!" or "don't say no" but still...she loves to say it. Sigh. I have read that this is a phase and I am ready for this specific one to pass.

-As Ina says, Cora has a, "red headed attitude." She is mostly pleasant, but when she isn't, she is very upset. We have found what works best is to go to "the red chair" to calm down (both of us!) and that mostly works.

-Two of everything. If she has one of something, she would prefer two, one for each hand. She loves her stuffed animals, dolls, and trinkets and now has a regular rotation of what she likes to tote around.

- Reading. She loves books and anytime she finds me sitting, grabs one, comes up to my lap and says, "Momma, read it." However, she often will grab a book and sit on the floor by herself to flip through the pages and look at the pictures. She loves lift the flap books, Goodnight Moon, The Pout Pout Fish, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, and so many more.

-TV shows - I wish I could say we never watch TV, but I am a tired pregnant momma and sometimes it is the easiest way for me to get ready or cook dinner. Her current favorites are Paw Patrol and Wild Kratts, but she also loves the movie Trolls.

-Singing - as soon as I turn on the radio in the car her little head starts bouncing and she hums and or gets in a word every now and then. She also loves for us to sing songs and for her to sing along.

-Cora is a Momma's girl to the core. She is happiest while on my lap or in my arms, but has really grown to love cuddling with Dan as well. Although I don't think she fully grasps the concept of a new baby coming soon, I can tell she knows something is different because she is even more at my side and not happy when I leave.

-Food: her eating is hit or miss. She loves everything or nothing and I try not to get too worried about it, but she will almost always consistently eat pizza, fruit, and peanut butter.

  • Diaper changes
  • Having her hair brushed or put in a pony tail.
  • Being cold/wet
  • Not having access to her belly button when wearing a romper or onesie
  • When Ina is holding something she wants, so pretty much any time Ina has something in her hand.
I so look forward to the next year and what it will bring.

We love you to pieces Cora Lee! Happy Birthday.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Third Trimester Update

34 weeks and growing!

I don't feel like I have much to report, because everything in this pregnancy is going about the same as the last two, with the exception of more painful varicose veins (to be expected with the third) and some dizziness that comes and goes.

Because of the above two reasons, I have stopped going to the gym and am limiting my exercise to taking care of two children (which takes a lot of physical energy), climbing up and down the stairs (I do at least 20 times per day) and swimming in the pool (which has been fantastic!)

Even though I love the outcome of pregnancies, being pregnant isn't my favorite. I think it is because I typically feel so great, energized, comfortable, and pain free. So, when I am not all those things, it isn't very fun. However, I know that this is very temporary and incredibly worth it, so I am doing my best to just roll with it for the next few weeks without counting down the weeks/days all the time and limiting my complaining to Dan. Picturing baby snuggles and coos is very motivating.

Ina is so, so excited about having another baby, which took some time, but was worth the wait. She talks about her new baby sister often and has a complicated yet detailed plan of what actions will need to be taken if both Cora and the baby's diapers need to be changed at the exact same time. I for one am happy that someone is planning all this out other than me.

I don't think Cora truly understands what is going on, although she does kiss my belly when I ask her to give her baby sister kisses. However, when asked if she loves her baby sister, she quickly crinkles up her nose and squeals, "NO!"

Dan is generally the most excited out of everyone, until we are having a trying parenting moment and look at each other and /ask, "What were we thinking?" However, he more often randomly asks, "Can't we just have one more?"

Then it is my turn to scream, "NO!"

My walk has already developed a significant waddle, which worsens as they day goes on. Multiple strangers have acknowledged my pregnancy this week, which must mean I have officially popped.

I am generally sleeping well, but have to switch sides about 10 times a night, which can take some effort. If I do happen to fully wake up, then it is difficult for me to go back to sleep, so I am usually awake from 2 to 4 am every night.

My appetite has been pretty typical, but unlike my other two pregnancies, my energy and motivation to plan for and cook meals is still high. I think this has a lot to do with having a CSA.

Baby girls moves a lot and really loves when I drink ice water or eat dessert.

I painted the "nursery." I am using quotes because I feel like calling the room a nursery right now is a bit of a stretch. We are going to put a crib up, order some black out curtains, move in a recliner, and possibly look for a changing table on Craig's List and call it a day. Once baby girl is a little older, we might decorate the room a little more. I hope that the lack of benefits she has from being the third child are compensated by having two loving older sisters.

I don't know if I have said here or not, but Dan and I have agreed on a name. Yay! It takes the two name southern theme to a whole new level but we love it.

I am seeing my midwife every 2 weeks now and starting at 36 weeks I get an ultrasound (just to make sure everything is going well after what happened to Ina) and then start once weekly appointments. My midwife is one of my favorite people ever, so I love this stage of the pregnancy for that reason.

Also, just a PSA to anyone who thinks otherwise: maternity leave is not a vacation.

35 weeks pregnant with Ina
8 months pregnant with Cora

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Thankful Thursday

Good morning and Happy Thankful Thursday!

Here is a list of things we have been thankful for lately:

- Granny closed on her house! We went out to eat last night to celebrate! The likelihood of this happening became questionable for a little while, so we are all thankful that door is closed. Literally. She now has a makeshift room in our toy room (we have a bedroom, but it
requires stairs) and the girls could not be happier. Her new house will open up in around a month, but until then we are soaking in all the Granny time we can get.

- Inbox zero on both my work and personal emails. Getting stuff done is the name of the game.

- Nesting is kicking in (see above). I have started to randomly pick closets to clean out and things to organize. However, don't let that fool you, there are still plenty of areas in the house that could use this type of attention and I would need to "nest" for the next two years to get it all done. However, a little here and there feels nice and I am thankful for any forward progress.

-Meeting Danielle and the kids at Costco for lunch. Danielle texted me last minute to see if I wanted to join them, so I popped out of the office for a few minutes. Ina and Cora were both so, so excited to see me in the middle of the day and Cora kept on squeezing me really hard. However, when I had to leave to join a meeting, it was melt-down city. Ina started it and Cora followed suit. I felt so bad leaving Danielle with such craziness. (picture taken when Ina found out I wasn't joining them for the shopping part of the trip; yes, I did get pizza sauce all over my white shirt)

-Our small group summer study is over. We ended Financial Peace University with a bang at our friends' house who then hosted a delicious dinner afterwards. Of course we love hosting, but it was nice to have a break from the typical "before small group" duties and on Sunday while Cora was napping and Dan was mowing, Ina and I played with legos and then swam. Ina has brought up the fact that I "never play with her" a few times here and there, so I have tried to make more of a point to do so.

-My grandma was kind enough to let my mom borrow her car so that my mom's car could be fixed from when Dan backed into it a few weeks ago moving his mom. Got all that? Also thankful to have an emergency fund so that things like fender benders, while still not fun, are a minor annoyance instead of a full out emergency.

-Senior scientists at work helping me with topics I have no clue about (re: chiral enantiomers - it has been quite a few years since organic chemistry).

- Our pool - swimming/floating/lounging all summer long. Cora, however, lasts in the pool for about 30 minutes, an hour tops, before she is saying, "All done!" or "I want towel!" or "I watch Ta Troll!" (Paw Patrol) so we have to plan our swimming time wisely.

- Dan and I came to a compromise on two pretty big areas of contention for us (not huge things, but things that often start petty disagreements). When we finished the discussion it felt like a win-win situation and that both issues were resolved for the most part. It's almost like we are mature adults or something?

That is all I have for today! I hope you all have a great end of the week and weekend. Danielle is going camping, so we have various family members stepping in to watch the girls, which I am also so thankful for!


Friday, July 14, 2017

The Last Three Weeks

Good morning and Happy Friday to you!

(She really is a belly button girl...)

It has been awhile, huh? I wish I could say I have disappeared from the blog because my time has been consumed by other things, and in some ways it has. But mostly I am just pregnant and tired and I sleep in past my normal before-the-girls-wake-up blogging time.

I feel zero guilt, because come September, nine hours of sleep will not be happening, so I am soaking it in while I can.

The time has flown by though! A few things we have been up to:

- Swimming, constantly. The girls know as soon as we get home from work/daycare to grab a popsicle out of the freezer and head for the backdoor to change into their swimsuits. We have been swimming so much, in fact, that Ina's hair has turned green on the ends, which many people warned us about. I haven't really looked into preventative shampoo, because I think the green is kind of cute. Chlorine is like an easy way to get mermaid hair, right? Does that make me a horrible mom?

The pool is the only place I feel 100% comfortable, so I am more than happy to make swimming a nightly event.

- Moving Dan's mom. She is moving to our rental house just a mile down the road, which is so exciting. However, because she sold her house so quickly, she had to be out of there before our rental house was open. Thankfully, my mom has let us store the majority of her stuff in her garage, which is now full. The move is almost complete, but we will soon be doing it all again into the rental house. Something to look forward to. Ha!

- We enjoyed 4th of July! Ina was bit by the firework bug this year and was severely disappointed when we blew our way through our fireworks budget in a matter of hours. Next year I might have to allow for more than poppers and sparklers...

- Speaking of budgets, we are finishing up Financial Peace University this week. Going through it a second time around has been particularly interesting and I have picked up on lots of things I didn't think about the first time around. I am so thankful for our small group for doing this study!

- We finished up Ina's t-ball season. While I loved seeing her play a sport, I do appreciate not having to get home just to rush through dinner and out the door again. I know those days are sometimes inevitable when your kids are involved in things, but I do love our family time at home.

- A few things we have been eating lately:
  • BLTs once a week, as soon as we get tomatoes from our CSA
  • Smoked chicken legs, also once a week with CSA veggies (corn on the cob, beets, roasted carrots, etc.)
  • Tacos carne asada
  • Coconut curry chicken (an easy staple in our house that the whole family loves to eat)
  • Paleo chocolate zucchini bread (I have made that recipe at least 5 times)
  • Homemade pizza using this dough recipe. I love that I can make enough for two dinners and freeze half of it. 
That is all I have to share for today! I have a mid-wife appointment this afternoon and this weekend is looking very chill. I hope you have a good one! <3
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