Wednesday, September 30, 2009

May I Have A-Ward with You?

I am just now coming off my sugar-high from Monday's Glucose Tolerance Test Debacle '09. I am just now able to focus enough to read other blogs. To comprehend the words. To realize that awards are being handed out ... and I am a recipient times three. (the 3rd was over at ToddlerBrain)

How freakin' awesome is that? Compared to drinking 2.5 times the amount of glucose I was suppose to because the lab technician has poo for brains ... and then consequently pooing out my brains ... I'll take awards for 100, Alec!

Any hoo, both mammydiaries and Raising Z bestowed upon me ... with great fanfare, I might add ... the very prestigious and sought-after "One Lovely Blog Award."

And it looks a little something like this ...


Let me first tell you about my awarders - is that even a word?

mammydiaries lives in Ireland and she is one sassy lassy! I knew when I saw profile photo - her bare pregnant belly with the title of her blog painted on it - this would be a blog I'd enjoy! She also happens to be a mommy of two, my new favorite group of mommies to align myself with :)

Raising Z is a former teacher (hello, me, too!) and mommy to an adorable, newly three-year-old little guy. We bonded over our second pregnancies, and I officially fell for her when I read this post written to her in-utero baby - so sincere! Makes me wish I wrote sweet notes to Baby Girl 2.0 ... hey, maybe I will!

This is the point in the awards show where the slightly awkward guy shuffles out on stage and spouts a bunch of legal-mumbo-jumbo ... here are the rules of the "One Lovely Blog Award" ...

Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Not much mumbo or jumbo there ... saweet ... let's get to the good stuff ...

And, now - without further ado - here are the nominees for the One Lovely Blog Award from yours truly, MommyBrain.

15? Seriously? I am not sure I have the attention span needed for this. Can't I just do 5, like the All About MEme Monday? Oh, I can ... because I am a contracting pregnant lady who has to take a second 3-hour Glucose Tolerance Test on Friday? Okay, thanks ...

Here are my top 5 - in no particular order :)

Mama Loves Shoes

A fellow prego with a daughter just a little older than my NHV. She works full-time and runs a beautiful jewelry business on the side. I like her honest - non-fluffy - writing style.

For What It's Worth

I can't even remember how we met, but I know that I am so glad we did! If I am ever in Wisconsin, I am tracking down BJ_Mama and taking her out to lunch. She won my CommentPalooza giveaway ... and agreed to put her super-crafty talents to work making a pillow for NHV's new big girl room :) Our daughters are about the same age. Oh, and she celebrates birthday month ... which definitely rivals my birthday week!

Speaking from the Crib

First of all, I love her header image! Secondly, she's funny and a little crazy ... and that's a combination I find irresistible :)

MommyBrain

Great minds think alike! My Canadian counterpart totally "gets" what it's like to lose precious brain cells to birthing a baby. She's the mommy of an adorable little girl with an equally adorable name. Her first-time mommy perspective is honest and insightful.

World Through My Eyes

This girl is for real ... her TMI Thursdays are hysterical and blush-worthy! And she's got mad photo skillz, too. On a very sad note, she's going through something devastating right now, and I know she could use some love.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wordful Wednesday: Growing Up


she's saying "yeah" instead of "yesh"

she's honing her skills as a drama queen

she's using "last year" instead of "yesterday" ... figuring out past tense

she's tuning into emotions and reasons for feeling a certain way

she's counting to fourteen and knows all uppercase letters

she's eating more and better varieties of foods

she's making us laugh and marvel everyday

she's semi-giving up her lovey ... but definitely not her binky

she's learning to use the potty ... one BM at a time

she's insisting on some Independence and doing it "self"

she's preferring daddy, especially when they're being "goofy"

she's pretending to be a cook, a mommy, and a bally-reena

she's leaving babyhood in her dust, cruising through toddlerhood,

and hurling herself toward big girl status

she's a delight ... and an enigma ... my baby girl ...

my first born ... soon-to-be big sister

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You can see more great photos and Word-less-ful Wednesday
posts here and here and here.
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Check out my fun and fabulous GIVEAWAY over at ToddlerBrain: http://toddlerbrain.blogspot.com/2009/09/spek-tacular.html

You Could WIN ... at ToddlerBrain

If you've got kids ... and if you're reading a blog called MommyBrain, I assume you at least know kids if not have them yourself ... you simple MUST check out this newly released kids' music CD ... all the way from IRELAND. That's right, people, I bring you the goods from across the pond :)


It's called Sing-Along Songs from Glasses Island by the Speks, and it is unique and fabulous and kid-pleasing ... how's that for a pot-o-gold combination?


Along with a clever little REVIEW - complete with limerick and Irish proverb, I am also hosting a GIVEAWAY (hey! hey!) ... and you can enter each day this week - for a total of 5 chances to win! Each day I'll ask a silly question and your answer (in the form of a COMMENT) enters you in the giveaway ... far easier than drinking an Irishman under the table!



The REVIEW is the first chance to enter.



And here's the link to today's chance to win.


Now, my little lassies, get your @$$ies on over to ToddlerBrain
and win yourself something fabulous!

From the Archives: 9/29/08

I've been reading through my archives ... looking back at how this whole blog thing got started in the first place. And I must admit, some of what I wrote is just boring crappity-crap, however I have stumbled onto a few gems worth unearthing for my newly acquired readers ... because let's face it, no one was reading my blog a year ago ... except Chitown Momma (who was TX Momma back then); she's been with me from the beginning!
Here's my favorite post from this date in 2008:


Discipline with a Smile (it's worth the click)

And just so you don't feel totally shafted by a recycled post - although NBC once said, "It's new to you" - I've included a photo, too.




Monday, September 28, 2009

All About MEme: Survivor Style


with MommyBrain and SupahMommy



Let's start out with a little Tribal Council ... cuz I've got a little business to take care of with the crap-for-brains lab technician who royally screwed up my 3-hour glucose tolerance test ... and pretty much ruined my day. (If you don't have a clue what I'm talking about, click here.)


Oh, and look, I even invited Jeff Probst to my little island to make this vote all official and what-not. The glucose has runs its course (not delightful!) and non-direction-reading, untrained lab technician, the Tribe has spoken ... and said all kinds of nasty, catty things about you and JP made some great underhanded comments about your lack of intelligence. It was awesome! Anyway, bah-bye.




So I am a HUGE Survivor fan - always have been, always will be! I've even had deranged visions of applying and trying my hand at outwitting, outlasting, and outplaying 19 strangers ... all while eating bugs and living in filthy and missing my family like crazy and getting my cute arse kicked in challenges. Wonder how the producers would feel about including a pregnant lady with a contracting uterus? Now that's SURVIVING!



Here's what I've decided ... after surviving the crap-tastic day I've had, I deserve to bend the MEme rules ... and I deserve to go on an island retreat with five things of my choice ... not really for survival, per say, but to make my stay as enjoyable as possible.



First up, this rustic shelter will be ready when I arrive; I am not looking for plush, just adequate. The bedding is soft Egyptian cotton - or something fabulous like that - and the bugs are non-existent. And I plan to SLEEP whenever and as much as I'd like.


Secondly, a pregnant mama's got to eat, so I am bringing along Jamie Oliver and all of the kitchen gadgets and food rations he needs to keep my cravings in check and my glucose in the normal range.


Third, I want to read until my brain hurts and my eyes get blurry. Rather than packing a bunch of books or keeping them dry (I hate wet pages), I've decided to give the Kindle a try ... it will be loaded with all kinds of literary masterpieces and romance novels.

Since there's no way I am going without a shower - especially at a time when I can take one uninterrupted, I'll have access to this outdoor shower stall and a plethora of good-smelling hair and body products.

And finally, because he looks too good to resist ... that's all I'm saying ... the rest is up to your imagination ... think this hottie digs the robust and curvy shape of a pregnant lady?


Yep, that's it. I am simple. Not sure how long I plan to stay, but these five things should serve me nicely on my island retreat :)


All About MEme: Surviving a GTT Debacle

Post from 8:30 this morning:
Just letting you know that I am here ... kind of ... I've been fasting for the past 12 hours ... for this stupid 3-hour Glucose test ... and I am planning to pass the time while blogging. Please check back in a few hours for my All About MEme: Surviving post. It will be here ... and hopefully it will be worth the wait :) I can't wait to read all the other entries!

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Post from 2:00 this afternoon:

Let me just say ... that my 3-hour Glucose Test was a NIGHTMARE, a freakin' DEBACLE ... that ended with invalid test results! Can you even believe it!? I am super, super sick to my stomach ... because the dumb-arse - perhaps should be looking for another job - lab technician had me drink not ONE but THREE bottles of glucose, one after each blood draw ... apparently for shits (literally) and giggles or because he's a moron ... thankfully my doctor walked down the hall to check on me as I was beginning to drink the third bottle. The lab guy (freakin-frakin idiot) was like, "Well, the manual isn't really clear, but I think it says three bottles." You think? You didn't double - make that triple - check?! His supervisor was called ... ugh, huge debacle! I fasted for 12+ hours, spent three and a half hours of my life sitting in that stupid room, drinking glucose, and trying not to vomit ... had my blood drawn three times ... ALL FOR NOTHING! Oh, and today - of all days - their guest WiFi connection was down, which pretty much blew my plans for blogging while waiting.

I am so beyond annoyed! And now I am trying to eat something - even though I still feel like throwing up - and getting ready to walk out the door to appointment numero dos ... weekly ultrasound! I know it could be so much worse. I know this, I really do. But right now I am seriously bummed and a smidge pissed off ...

Sorry to further delay my All About MEme post ... but it will have to wait until after this next appointment. I really hate to be so late ... I know I am letting you down, Supah :(

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Post from 7:30 this evening:

My actual All About MEme post - with a Survivor theme is posted now. What a day!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Supah Fabulous Giveaways

My buddy SupahMommy is working her tail off ... while simultaneously keeping her three daughters alive and loved (I hope!) ... to bring you some supah fabulous giveways. Entering is ridiculously easy, and the prizes are varied and practical and cute. And all of that is just an adorable button-click away:




Free Friday Giveaways


Come on, play along ... I don't want this contest to be like "taking candy from a baby," ... and if you watched last week's episode of Survivor, you'll think that's even funnier :)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

All About MEme PROMPT for 9/28

READ IT. THINK ON IT.
DO NOT STRESS OVER IT!


COME BACK MONDAY :)


with MommyBrain and SupahMommy



5 Essential MEme Items
I Cannot (Will Not) Survive Without ...


  • on a daily basis,
  • on a deserted island,
  • with my kids in the car
    (you choose!)


  • Tell us WHAT and WHY.


Come back on Monday and join our little MEme group!


Link your Survivor post to Mr. Linky and meet some other GREAT bloggers!


And a special thanks goes out to SupahMommy and her mad Photoshop skillz - she created our awesome Survivor logo, and I think it's pretty fabulous - even Jeff Probst is singing her praises!


Thursday, September 24, 2009

One of those days ... hooray!

Yep, it's been one of those days that leave me with a feeling of contentment. Boy, did I need that! It's been one of those days when nothing really special happened, yet I feel truly blessed and somewhat relaxed. It's been one of those days that don't happen often enough, but now that it has I am practically glowing with gratitude.

Are you wondering what it's like to have one of those days?

Well, for me, it went a little something like this ...
  • Made my bed ... with my new creamy delicious bedding!
  • Cleaned my bathroom; I multi-tasked while blow drying my hair this morning.
  • Washed and dried my hair - it's so rare to manage both!
  • Felt cute (and somewhat put-together) when I walked out the door this morning ... on our way to a delightful playdate.
  • Visited with mommy friends while NHV played and fell in love with a doll house.
  • Served up a yummy lunch of chicken noodle soup and grilled havarti sandwiches (even though I seriously contemplated hitting a drive-thru because I can't stop thinking about french fries!)
  • Read lots and lots of stories - and cuddled like crazy - with my sweet, smart little girl
  • Took a seriously rockin' nap and still had an hour to myself before NHV woke up from her nap
  • Talked to my dear friend Heather in VA; it was so good to hear her voice and catch up on the latest at the school where we both taught
  • Had a silly and fun dance party with NHV; love having my iPod updated with kids' music and docked in her room!
  • Vacuumed upstairs and down, which was probably more work than I should've done.
  • Cooked a new recipe - uninterrupted while NHV played and pretended and made a huge mess
  • Savored delicious Spinach Chicken Parmesan and heard rave reviews from hubby
  • Waved good bye to NHV and her daddy was they set out for a walk to the park
  • Cleaned up the kitchen - it's spotless
  • Looked around, breathed a deep sigh of relief, and realized ...
I just had one of those days ... hooray!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Enough

I was feeling really awful last night. The contractions were constant. The medicine wasn't helping. My face was flushed. My body was exhausted. I just wasn't feeling good enough to be the kind of mom I wanted to be for Natalie. Thankfully, my patient, sweet husband stepped in and helped get Natalie ready for bed. I joined them in our bed for stories - part of our routine that I really grown to love, the three of us cuddled together and the baby giving gentle kicks at the sounds of our voices - but I was there half-heartedly. Hoping it was enough just to be in the room. Knowing that I wasn't giving my full attention to a nightly ritual that I ordinarily cherish. My mind wandered to the things on my ever growing To Do List that remain to be done. There's never enough time to do the things that need to be done, yet alone the things that I want to do. Is enough ever really enough?

My thoughts were interupted by giggles and tickles ... but it was bedtime, not playtime ... and I was annoyed. After several close calls with Natalie's feet flailing toward my belly and then a quite purposeful (albeit playful) bop on my head, I rolled myself at of bed, away from the two people I love most in this world, and, in a hateful and awful tone, said, "I've had enough," and proceeded to stomp out of the room.

It brought tears to my eyes then, and it brings tears to my eyes now. That ugly moment stuck with me through the night. It clung to me this morning and followed me around all day.

And then, I found this ... this beautiful proverb typed on a card ... while cleaning out a drawer (because I am in unstoppable nesting mode right now). I know this proverb well, but I cannot remember where I found it originally. I haven't seen it in a very long time, but I think you'll understand why I am sharing it with you now.

May your joys be as bright as the morning,
And your sorrows merely be shadows that fade,
In the sunlight of love.
May you have enough happiness to keep you sweet.
Enough trials to keep you strong.
Enough sorrows to keep you human.
Enough hope to keep you happy.
Enough failure to keep you humble.
Enough success to keep you eager.
Enough friends to give you comfort.
Enough faith and courage in yourself to banish sadness.
Enough wealth to meet your needs.
And one thing more:
Enough determination to make each day
A more wonderful day than the day before.

Last night, I thought I'd had enough.
Today, I am praying that someday that will actually be true.

Little Miss Communication

This morning when I asked Natalie what she wanted to do, she instantly and enthusiastically said, "Go to zoo," with a that-would-make-my-whole-day smile on her face, "See aneeemals."

We have a membership to the zoo here in our community, so dropping by for an hour, saying a quick "hey" to all the animals is certainly not unheard of ...

In fact, just yesterday we drove up to the zoo - with every intention of doing just that - and found the gates closed and no zookeepers in sight. I looked around for a sign to explain why the zoo was closed on a Tuesday - seemed odd to me ... and the lady with a van full of kids who pulled up behind me.

So, when NHV requested a trip to the zoo today, I thought I'd better check the website to make sure it's open ... in case there was some weird animal flu outbreak or random renovation or some plausible explanation for the zoo being closed on a weekday.

I said, "Oh, that sounds like a good idea. Let mommy go online to see if the zoo is open today."

Natalie gave me a quick nod and headed off to play ... but she soon returned with a question, "Mommy go-wing on a LION today?"



I can only imagine her confusion ... as I am sure you can imagine my amusement!

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I also find it hilarious that the word "my" has somehow morphed into "mouse" or "mice" when NHV is referring to something that belongs to her.




"Mice nakey." (My blankie.) "Geeve mice nakey to ba-bee dawl?"

"Mouse duece cup." (My juice cup.) "Boy tuk mouse duece cup."

And the two forms of the word - mouse and mice - are totally interchangable! Maybe Natalie has some new imaginary friend(s)? Or perhaps we have a rodent problem?

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: No Photos, Please



During a recent trip to the park,

I caught a glimpse of the tween attitude

as NHV refused to look at the camera.

Is it really that hard ... that awful ...

to turn those beautiful blue eyes

in my mama's direction for a few seconds?

I mean, I've only taken 4,000 photos this year!

Just so you know - eyes or not - I'll still be clicking away :)


You can see more great photos and Word-less-ful Wednesday
posts
here and here and here.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cervix of Steel

Bad News: I was plagued with lots and lots and lots of contractions again last week. On Wednesday evening, after three hours of contractions every 5 minutes, I broke down and took a dose of terbutaline. It was either that or go to the hospital again. This weekend I did my best to relax, but continued to have contractions ... and started having some discomfort when emptying my bladder.

More Bad News: All these contractions, which I am not suppose to be having, coupled with the pee-pee pain got me to thinking that perhaps I have a bladder infection. I've never had one, but from what I hear UTI is the leading cause of pre-term labor. I was checked for a UTI on the 13th of August but not since then. So I called my doctor this morning and asked to be tested for a bladder infection. I had an appointment within the hour and off I went ...

Somewhat Good News:
The sample showed no infection, which means I don't need antibiotics. However, the doctor is concerned about my continued bouts of contractions and other symptoms. I spent 20 minutes having a non-stress test ... listening to the baby's heartbeat (one of my all-time favorite sounds) and watching the little blips of contractions (despite the fact that I had taken my medication just an hour or so before).

Not-Delightful News: It was decided that my cervical length needed to be checked - AGAIN. For like the hundredth time. Off I went to MFM for another ultrasound. These people are starting to know me by name! And while they were at it, I got the "pleasure" of having the FNN swab done - AGAIN. If you've had this test, you know it is not delightful.

Delightful News: I have a cervix of steel - an expression my friend Laurie has used before and a direct quote from my doctor! Despite daily (and sometimes really painful) contractions, my cervical length hasn't changed at all! And BGV 2.0 looks awesome. She is the cutest little peanut, and I got some more great 3D photos. We are hoping I can wait to have another ultrasound in two weeks instead of one.


Ah, so I left the specialists office feeling relieved and reassured ... and starving, so I headed for Jimmy Johns to grab some lunch. How convenient is it that my doctor's office is located just minutes from my favorite sub shop?! I was enjoying lunch - all by myself - when the doctor called ...


More News: My fluid level has gone from high normal to low normal in the course of one week. I am still in the normal range, but I will need to be checked again in one week - so much for my hopes of staying ultrasound-free for a two week period.


Even More News: I also found out today that the results of my one-hour glucose test (taken last Monday) were not good. Perhaps it was the french toast I had for breakfast that morning? And my urine sample today showed lots of glucose ... could that be the blueberry pancakes with maple syrup I had for breakfast? So I have the three-hour glucose test next Monday ... in addition to the ultrasound. And I have been ordered to eat eggs and "meat" and cheese for my first meal of the day. Oh, how I will miss my sweet, carb-driven morning meal :(
So that's the latest from my womb ... hoping for a quiet, contraction-free week ...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

All About MEme Monday: TV for MEme

First and foremost, I am about to reveal something shocking-a-locking ... but I think it's important for you all to know ... and understand ... and appreciate ... and still love me, 'kay?

Prepare yourselves ...

I don't have cable. I haven't had cable since NHV was about three months old; she's more than two years old now. We don't have rabbit ears or anything crazy like that ... I don't even think those things work anymore, do they? We have 12 channels - the networks plus Discovery plus PBS. It was a sacrifice but at least I talked my husband into keeping the internet connection ... can you even imagine? No, it's just to horrible to even consider ... aaaaaaahhhhh!

Most days I am okay without cable. I don't even really miss it ... that much. It requires a lot less channel flipping now to realize the same thing I realized with hundreds of channels ... there's really nothing on ...

But I do manage to watch my fair share of network shows - sometimes online or on NetFlix, sometimes "real time." The major drawback to watching "live" is the time zone here. Shows don't even start until 8:00 and the news isn't until 11:00. That's late, folks!

And so without further randomness, I give you my LISTS (I am such a rule breaker!):

If I had cable, which I don't ...
  1. True Blood - I watched the first season thanks to boot-legged copies on the internet but haven't stooped that low again

  2. Weeds - my friend Tammy got me hooked and she's hooked me up with the DVDs for every season; I watch the episodes one right after another - like an addiction!

  3. Project Runway - I adore this show and should probably try to watch it online (in my spare time)

  4. Top Chef -I adore this show and should probably try to watch it online (in my spare time) ... I love copy-and-paste

Not To Be Missed - under any circumstances
  1. Heroes - I didn't watch this show when it first came out, but CPV and I watched two seasons on Netflix in a matter of like one week - there were nights we'd watch 3 episodes in a row and then complain about being tired the next morning! Season 3 was a little weird, but I am definitely back for more in Season 4! (That's my Heroes cheer; just made it up!)

  2. One Tree Hill - I am the biggest sucker for high school drama. While they aren't in high school anymore, I am so compelled to follow each character through their individual trials and tribulations. I am such a dork! And Chad Michael Murray is pretty h-o-t!

  3. Grey's Anatomy / Private Practice - I am counting this as one show and hoping ABC continues to run them back-to-back. Ummm, hello, I live in Seattle, so really I don't need an excuse to watch Grey's :)

  4. Friday Night Lights - If you don't know how I feel about Tim Riggins (aka Taylor Hirsch), you should really take a moment to read here and here. He's enough reason to keep me coming back season-after-season. But I also enjoy the coach and his wife ... and the drama of a small town in Texas where high school football is a metaphor for the game of life.

  5. Survivor - I have watched this show since season 1 and haven't missed an episode since. I know I should be over it by now, but I'm not ...

Intriguing & New - based purely on first impression via commercial previews

  1. FlashForward - CPV is all excited about this one, so I figure I'll watch, too :)

  2. Community - I don't love most 30-minute comedy shows but the previews look hilarious.

  3. Glee on Fox - I keep hearing lots of buzz about this, and I hate to miss out on a good thing.

  4. theForgotten - good Samaritans "putting right what once went wrong," just like Sam Beckett on my all-time favorite Quantum Leap - minus the time traveling plus Christian Slater ... sure, why not?

When Boredom (or bedrest) Sets in - whichever comes first :)
  1. V - I'd tune in mainly because I can remember watching the mini-series with my dad like a bazillion years ago, and I think it's so funny that they are trying this again! The scene where the lady gave birth to an alien still haunts me and cracks me up!

  2. Cougar Town - What was once a MILF is now a cougar (or a puma as my brother says), and Courtney Cox has the potential to be funny ... as long as I can forget Monica.

  3. Accidentally on Purpose - I love Dharma - don't know her actress name but she's funny.

Why Not?
  1. How I Met Your Mother - I wish I could be friends with Barney :)

  2. Scrubs - JD and Turk, you are almost as funny as SupahMommy!

Not Even if you Paid Me
  1. The Jay Leno Show - seriously? 5 nights of this crap? NBC executives have lost their minds!

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Everyone else is doing it ... Give into the peer pressure!

  • Put together a post to telling us about 5 TV shows you're looking forward to watching... and no one best interrupt YOUyou.
  • Be sure to copy/ paste/ post our super fabulous button thingy (at the top of this post) on your post somewhere! (That's how we'll grow and we THANK YOU 100X for helping!)
  • Come back here and link up with Mr. Linky!
  • Visit the 3 blogs above your name if you have time and leave them a comment!! (This is the secret to growing a blog!) ... and if you're first, ... well then aren't you special! You'll just need to visit the 3 below your when name when they appear and leave a comment.
  • Look for a comment from SupahMommy and MommyBrain; we've made it our personal mission to visit and comment on all of our meme links ... that's how much love we have for you all :)





Meal Plan - Week 12

Woo Hoo! I've hit the DOZEN mark! How exciting is that?!


Before I get to this week's meal plan, I have to rant-and-rave about a new recipe from last week's meal plan. The Fuss Free Ravioli and Cheese Bake was delicious and very, very, very EASY. My appreciative husband said, "This may be a recipe of the year contender." Wow! That's high praise! The recipe - with just 6 ingredients - boasts a prep time of 5 minutes ... and I must say, that's pretty accurate. You dump everything in the pan - no slicing or dicing (the vain of my cooking existence) required - and stick in the oven and walk away. The only change I made was to toss in a handful of diced kielbasa leftover from the Sausage Potato Soup - another praise-winning in last week's meal plan.



This was slated for last Wednesday, but we had an out-of-town guest who took us out for dinner that night :) And did I mention that this recipe was delicious?!


Monday - Beef Brisket, Mashed Potatoes, and Fresh Green Beans

This was pushed forward from last week's meal plan. Can't wait to taste the last of the brisket my MIL cooked when she visited about a month ago ... yummy!



Found this in my latest Kraft Food & Family magazine*, and it looks ... easy and delicious ... perhaps it will be my fuss-free recipe of the week :)


Wednesday - Leftovers & Gram's Best Brown Sugar Cake

Keeping the cooking simple so I can bake this cake ... it was calling to me from the pages of the magazine ... what's a pregnant lady to do? When the cake calls, I answer!


Thursday - Pizza and Mixed Greens & Pear Salad

This is Survivor night, and we usually do a simple dinner to make sure everything is cleaned up and we are sitting in front of the TV as the theme music rolls! The salad recipe will be perfect for using some of the pecans and apple-pears I got at the store.




Saturday - Date Night - Woo Hoo!


Looks like a yummy week ... better get to the store tomorrow while daddy is home to watch the toddler!

More Good News than Bad

Good News: It is a beautiful day here in the NW. I know I comment A LOT on the weather, but let's face it, in the NW, the weather is a very important part of our day. And when it's not raining, I can't help but celebrate. Right now the sky is the most amazing shade of clear blue. In my opinion, that is what the NW should be known for - not all the rain - because when the weather is like this, there is no place more beautiful!


Bad News: Natalie (and I) nap right through the best part of the day. By the time she wakes up and I prep dinner, there's hardly any time left to soak up those rays! But it is nice just to see the sun streaming through the windows ... although, that does remind me that I should probably add "clean windows" to my ever-growing To Do List!


Good News: Natalie and I enjoyed an awesome trip to the Aquarium today with our good, good friends Megan and Alison. First of all, I always love the time I spend with Megan; she's a fellow teacher, she's super laid-back, and she's also pregnant and due at the same time. There's something comforting about waddling around with another preggo ... and being able to commiserate ... and chat about what our lives will be like after our second. The girls had a blast running all around! The exhibits are fantastic - fish of all varieties, a giant octopus, sea otters, ...


Bad News: There is one corridor that projects light through a film of moving water, which creates strange shadows and ripples of light on the walls. Natalie did not enjoy this part of our aquarium tour ... to make matters worse, she has talked about it non-stop, including the car ride home and through lunch and as soon as she woke up from her nap ... and even now. She has said, "I no yike yite at quarium," at least 100 times! What is it with this age and fixating on certain events?!


Good News: I have discovered the joys and comfort of the huge-waisted maternity jeans! During my first pregnancy, I avoided these like the plague ... because I thought they looked kind of goofy and not "hip" and (very-much-in-conflict to what I know now) uncomfortable. Instead, I sought out the low-waisted variety with the elastic bunches in the back or side ... because I thought THAT would be more comfortable?! Anyway, my kind and same-size neighbor Jessica brought over two tubs of chubby-wear (as I affectionately refer to maternity clothes), including many, many pairs of huge-waisted pants. I was skeptical at first, but oh-was-I-wrong! These things are the BEST - my tummy is supported and comfy-cozy and my waist doing a job my belly is much better suited for ... holding up my pants!


Bad News: The delightful reason for needing "chubby-wear" has now grown large enough that shaving my nether-regions has become quite comical, which is really only bad news for my OB ... and maybe my husband ;)


Good News: Since starting our little potty training endeavor, Natalie has made all of her poopies - more than a week's worth - in the POTTY! That urge is clearly something she identifies with, and she does not want to make poopies in her diaper anymore ... woo hoo!


Bad News: We are not making that same kind of progress with urinating. She has successfully used the potty for pee-pees, but she has also had many, many accidents over the course of the week.


Good News: Those accidents have been contained to panties (she chose Thomas the Train) and pants - with very little floor clean-up required. My favorite "accident" was the time she peed right into her Crocs while playing outside :)


More Good News: I am so proud of the strides she has made, and I do feel confident in our decision to pursue this right now. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel ... and that tunnel is paved with diapers, lots and lots of diapers!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Supah Funny Tribute to Louie

So, I wrote about my CAT yesterday. I admit it. There's nothing to be ashamed of. Heck, it even won me an award ... from my gurl Supah. I will be wearing my new bedazzled cat-lovah sweatshirt to my next playdate - fo shizzle. (Thanks for the suggestion, D)


It was the first time I've kitty posted in my almost two years of blogging. Had I started blogging before having babies, I sure that would not have been the case! Poor, Louie, he's been neglected in the blog-world ... until now ... thanks to ...


Supah Mommy was so inspired by my cat tale, that she wrote her own hilarious tribute to my sweet Louie.

You absolutely must go read it! You won't be sorry. It's so worth all the scrolling through the spaces and the font size changes :) If that doesn't convince you, allow me to tease you with this image - made my Supah herself:



Happy Friday from Louie and all the neighborhood thugs cats :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Game of Cat and Mouse

While visiting a pet store and watching the mice run around and around on their little wheel, I had a moment ... a bit of an epiphany. The piped in music died away. I swear one mouse held eye contact with me; he even had this look on his face like, "Yep. This is what it's all about." And I thought ... that's pretty much what my life is like, too. Wake up, breakfast, errand or playdate, lunch, naptime, laundry, unload dishwasher, blog, craft or activity, dinner, bathtime, bedtime, blog, sleep, and do it all over again!





And while the cat's away, the mice will play ...

Our trip to the pet store wasn't just for mice watching (and epiphany-having), although NHV could probably do that for an hour or so. We were also buying presents for our kitty man's birthday. Louie, newly four years old, got a cool corrugated cardboard scratchy thing - with catnip - and new bowls for water and food because his seemed a little disgusting. Natalie took such pride in helping me choose Louie's presents and carrying them to the check-out. Louie was so excited - almost kitten like - when we arrived home with our presents. Natalie and I sang "Happy Birthday," I sprinkled the catnip on the scratcher, and Louie had himself quite a celebration!


I really should've grabbed the camera and documented the moment. After all, a cat only turns four once in his life, right. But I didn't ... yes, I am a bad kitty mom. So I dug through my photo files and discovered that we haven't really taken many pics of Louie since ... before our firstborn joined the family ... imagine that :) But here's one of Louie sitting in the new glider in what would become Natalie's nursery. It was a favorite nap spot for a long time.

Now, Louie takes most of his naps in a basket on top of the refrigerator - away from the noise and hubbub. That's where he is right now. And between CPV's legs at the foot of the bed is his favorite place to sleep through the night. He also demands a spoonful of moist food as soon as we get out of bed in the morning. Other than that, he's a super chill, tolerant cat ... who sometimes acts more like a dog.

We've decided to keep him an indoor cat, and sometimes I struggle with that decision ... because all the neighbor cats prowl around and taunt Louie through the open windows. I wonder if Louie is sad being stuck inside all day, everyday? I wonder if Louie feels an awful lot like the mouse on the wheel, too?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Potting Training

Breakthroughs and Setbacks
It's been an interesting transition

She'll sit on the potty all day
As long as there's proper entertainment

Reading more books than I can count
Drawing with crayons on the toilet seat
Singing every song we know
Stacking foams blocks on the step stool

Sometimes our efforts are rewarded
Other times, it's all just for fun :)


You can see more great photos and Wordless Wednesday
posts here and here and here.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Giveaway, That's What I Say!

what the heck? GIVEAWAY

going on now at ... my other blog ...


ANY comment on ANY post enters you to win.

40+ fabulous posts just waiting to be read.

Contest closes at the end of the day - Wednesday 9-16-09

What do you have to lose? Absolutely nothing.

But a little comment love would mean a lot to me :)

Meal Plan - Week 11

Well, here I am at Week 11 of Meal Planning with the Organizing Junkie. I must admit when I started, I thought I'd be lucky to keep it up for more than a week or two. But it really does make a huge difference in my stress level.


Last week's Mission Impossible - use up all the food in the freezer/pantry - was a success, but it was harder than having a structured meal plan. I struggled a few nights to find ingredients that could be pulled together into a meal. But no one went hungry, and I did meet my goal. Can't wait to get a good list and head for the grocery store ... that is totally an exaggeration, but you get the point :)


Here's the plan for this week ...


Monday - Brinner

I know we have this one more often than I'd like. But the truth is I have two doctor appointments today, and hubby offered to cook. Yep, breakfast for dinner it is!



We are having a guest from out-of-town. This is always a crowd pleaser and easy to prep ahead of time. And I have salmon in the freezer; one less item to buy at the store.



This one is delicious and seriously fuss-free!





Just found this recipe on the Organizing Junkie's meal plan for the week. Checked the weather forecast, and it's calling for soup day on Friday. Perfect combination!


Saturday - Pizza Party


Sunday - Beef Brisket, Mashed Potatoes, and Fresh Green Beans

Thanks to my MIL, I still have one more dinner's worth of brisket in the freezer.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

White Lies Told by MEme


I should start by saying that I have the worst Poker Face in the entire world. I also hate that stupid song by Lady Gaga, but that's way off topic. The truth is ... I am one big, ginormous "tell" and a known tattle-tale and perhaps a bit of a goody-two-shoes (that is such a weird expression), and everyone who knows me will confirm these simple truths.


I am really terrible at lying, even white lies. Yet, somehow, I came up with today's All About MEme topic. Go figure! Been kicking myself for about that past two hours trying to scrounge together a delightful post ... okay, that's a lie I've only been typing for about 10 minutes, but still ...


I'll let you in on a little secret - not a lie - but a secret. I thought up this silly little topic because I wanted to see what SupahMommy would reveal. I can hardly wait to read her naughty list of white lies ... all typed up with little regard for punctuation, just the way I like it :)


To my binky-sucking-addict ... "I'm sorry, honey, but mommy forgot your binky at home." This is my weak attempt at breaking her of that darn front-tooth-ruining piece of green rubber! Truthfully, I never leave home without one of those sanity-saving, peace-and-quiet-providing pieces of green rubber.


To my well-meaning yet opinionated and right-thinking dad ... "Of course I didn't vote for Obama. Why would I go and do something crazy and anti-Rush, like that?" Truthfully, I did vote for Obama, and I have tremendous faith that he will do amazing things for this country. And I cannot stand Rush Limbaugh!

To my students who gift me with lotion and candles ... "Oh, what a clever gift! How did you know I loved this scent?" Truthfully, I'd rather - much rather, in fact - receive a Starbucks gift card. I have more lotion and candles than I know what to do with! If you have school-aged children (or when you do), heed this little white lie ... all teachers are telling this one. P.S. Lotion and candles are gifts that scream, "You're stinky!" But it is the thought that counts ... could that be a white lie?


To someone explaining something I am not interested in and/or I don't understand ... "Oh, yeah, that makes sense. Totally." The other option would be admitting that I am clueless, and that's not going to happen :) Truthfully, if I am interested, I will ask questions - unless I can't figure out what to ask. If I want to understand but don't, I'll Google it when I get home!


To SupahMommy who just spent $5 of her hard-earned money to send me a copy of PhotoShop Elements ... "Thank you so much! This is awesome. Yeah, that Mac software totally works on a PC. No problem with the installation at all." Truthfully, now I know what I am asking Santa to bring me for Christmas this year ... :) P.S. Supah, I'll put it back in the mail to you ... with a little something-something for your trouble. XO ~ D


Now, it's your turn! You know you wanna!

  • Put together a post to reveal your deepest, darkest ... ummm ... WHITE LIES.
  • Be sure to copy/ paste/ post our super fabulous button thingy (at the top of this post) on your post somewhere! (That's how we'll grow and we THANK YOU 100X for helping!)
  • Come back here and link up with Mr. Linky!
  • Visit the 3 blogs above your name if you have time and leave them a comment!! (This is the secret to growing a blog!) ... and if you're first, ... well then aren't you special! You'll just need to visit the 3 below your when name when they appear and leave a comment.
  • Look for a comment from SupahMommy and MommyBrain; we've made it our personal mission to visit and comment on all of our meme links ... that's how much love we have for you all :)



Saturday, September 12, 2009

Wish to be Better

I wish I was better at ...
making the bed in the morning
being a morning person
getting to bed on time (I blame the blogs!)
giving my husband my full attention
kissing my husband (like I mean it) each and every day


I wish I was better at ...
replacing the paper rolls when they're empty
hanging up clean clothes
getting stuff done during the day
delegating and asking for/accepting help
using NHV's naptime to its fullest potential



I wish I was better at ...
writing down the ideas I have before falling asleep
reading just for pleasure
passing along magazines after I've read them
returning library books on time


I wish I was better at ...
making sure there's milk in the fridge
having a list ready for the grocery store
avoiding impulse purchases of inexpensive items
unloading the dishwasher in the morning (not during dinnertime)
prepping dinner ahead of time


I wish I was better at ...
keeping in touch with my siblings
calling on some one's birthday; I remember but forget to call
answering my phone when it rings
replying to emails instead of just reading them
deleting emails from my inbox

I wish I was better at ...
spending a few minutes on my hair (ponytail is the norm)
knowing how to apply make-up
getting rid of clothes I no longer wear
buying clothes that will last even if they cost more


I wish I was better at ...
resisting fast food and junk food
understanding finances (ignorance is bliss)
thinking long-term rather than instant gratification
making decisions


I wish I was better at ...
staying motivated and focused
keeping my expectations realistic
having a long-term plan
following my dreams
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