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Showing posts from 2013

2013 Goals - Where I Ended Up

So here is what is was on my list for 2013 goals:

FAILED
ACHIEVED 
obtain my wedding weight by March 31st and more from there on- Fail, however I did get under a number I wanted too and stayed there until I got knocked up.participate in at least one 5k walk/run -Boo-Yah!  I did 4 of these this year!take a vacation with just the hubby- this will probably be short & sweet, but it's needed.read 3 "fun" books - I blame Candy Crush, sadly.Get my 2 closets full of clothes down to one, and make my clothes fabulous and functional! - almost there but not enough to actually complete.  This will be done by March though.Hang up pictures in my house.  It is sad that this is even a goal. - I hung up at least one wall collage and have the frame ready to go for when #3 arrives for our big family photo.  Pathetic goal, but it was real to me :)Design my living & Dining Room to not be so piecey - I'm getting there slowly on my Living Room, but the Dining room is still as is.  Th…

The Secret to a Great Labor and Delivery

My bestie over at Truly Margaret Mary is expecting her first little bundle of joy in a few weeks (eep!) just ahead of my own impending bundle of joy's arrival.  Unfortunately, too many miles, and most likely yucky winter weather, separate us to where I won't be able to perform my protective bouncer/womance duties during her L&D experience that served us so well when we were roommates.  However, her awesome husband and own will and determination will serve her well during this experience.

However, I'm going to let her and you all in on a little secret to a great L&D experience.

Here it is...the nurse(s)

Yes, folks, the job that I could never ever do that is done by so many wonderful was the key to #2's arrival being a surreal experience of, dare I say it, comfort and joy.

Let's travel back in time 6 years ago this week to the arrival of my first son.  My L&D started out textbook.  Lost the plug, water broke a two days later, arrived at hospital showered …

Disney Recap

We did it!  We survived a wonderful week at Disney World!  Everything went off without a hitch and it was a week full of magical goodness and family made memories.

We started off early in the morning to catch our 6am flight, and surprised the boys at the airport.  We didn't get a Disney-worthy commercial out of it at all.  Alex was surprised but rather reserved and Cameron cried.  I blame it on being up that morning at 3am.  Wah. Wah.

After a nice little anxiety attack on the plane by myself, I managed to enjoy the fact that the boys were sleeping and well behaved.  We arrived an immediately were swept away by Disney's resort transportation, the Magical Express, off to our resort, Caribbean Beach.  We checked in and since our luggage would be arriving separately later at the hotel we decided to head on over to the Magic Kingdom to arrive just in time for our 11am lunch reservations at the Plaza Restaurant.

We had great weather this day and changing into shorts/capris at the ai…

Celebrate, Don't Bellyache!

It's that time of year where for the most part the air if full of all the sights, smells, and sounds of a cheery holiday season...for the most part.

Listen, I know that life deals us a crappy hand at times and that also the timing of those events can be tragically close to the holidays, but try not to let it steal all the good that is still existing around you.

I've never known anyone in mourning say, "Oh the holidays are tough b/c "X" hated them so much".  No shit.  They loved the holidays, so why mope around with out them? 

I lost my mom last year, and she LOVED Christmas.  In fact the few happy memories I have of her and my childhood exist at this time of year.  The first year was definitely hard and when I put up the Rocking Horse tree solely dedicated to her, my heart always twinges a little bit.  However, me crying and being sad does her an injustice as well as creating new memories around me with those that are still around and the blessings that …

Crying at Work - The Kiss of Death?

All of you in the interwebs world that aren't familiar with me don't have the luxury of knowing that I am a pretty emotional girl.

Now, I am not a huge sap, but I do have this nasty character flaw that allows me to tear up when I'm feeling rather passionate about something. It can be connected to happiness, sadness, anxiety, and of course my favorite way, laughing.  

You see I think it's a little odd that I have this trait since I think others might define me as a bit of hard ass until you knew better.  I don't go tearing up over every Hallmark commercial, every cute thing my kids say, or every Deliah story on the radio around Christmas.  But it is what it is and last week, this trait of mine made me stabby.

The short-edited-because-I-love-my-job story is that I cried at work in front of my boss last week.  A lot.  Like 4 times.  Yeah, it was a no good very bad week. And sure he'd seen me cry over getting the call at school that my mom only had hours to live an…

And the results are in...

*insert shocked face here*

Holy crap, we made a baby girl. 

Despite all signs pointing to another boy and my own mind trying to convince myself it was a boy, and this admission I made last week, I am indeed baking a little baby girl in there.  I can do this, right?

I'm pretty darn tootin' excited and now feel like I can get things more underway.  She's looking healthy and right on point so far which is fantastic.

Stay tuned to see how things progress with baby girl, aka "Tater Tot"!

Besides a healthy baby, what do you want?

What?! How can I possibly answer such a selfish question? Ah, but I'm going to. I'm going to be honest with myself and all of you in the blogosphere. 
I want a girl.
There I said it. Whew. 
I have a certain family member of mine has expressed their desire for a girl and I'm offended by it and want to scream, as I say so often to my boys, "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit!"  But I am just as guilty of having a desire for a girl too.

Why is that so hard for me to admit? Oh wait, silly me, I know why...guilt. Gulp. You aren't supposed to chose right?

I LOVE my boys more than the moon and back, but I just want to give a crack at trying to raise a girl and all the insanity that surrounds it.

I know I'm crazy.  I mean I barely get my own ass out the door looking decent and I want to curse myself with someone who'll want their hair done too and probably fret over what to wear every morning just like I do.  But, if you know me, you know I *m…

A week of Anniversaries

Forever the dates that occur this week are engrained in my heart and soul.  For both good, sad, and a little in between.

First the good...

Eight years ago was our wedding and while that doesn't seem that long ago we've managed to cram quiet a bit in there.  2 houses, 2.5 kids, and tons of trips fill my memories.  Probably like most brides, I tried to live in the moment of that day but it still is a bit of a blur to me which is funny considering I spent more hours planning it and fretting over font sizes than I'd like to admit.  We got married just on the cusp of digital photography too so our pictures are good, but not the amazing quality I've seen to day of wedding or have been lucky enough to capture of my minions.

Unfortunately, on our actual anniversary date this year we were both cursed by the stomach flu, but hey I'll take losing 6 pounds in a weekend as a bonus present (ps--they've made their way back).  We're planning on heading out for an overnight …

The BIG ultrasound is almost here!

Last time I was adamant on being team green.  How in the hell did I accomplish that I'll never know.  Even more spectacular was that my husband knew and I didn't.  He did a phenomenal job keeping it from me for 20 weeks and I managed to only have one or two outbursts where I thought he had spoiled it for me.

Well this time I can't wait.  I was originally thinking we'd keep the gender a surprise for both of us for another two weeks until my birthday, but I don't think I can wait that long. 

So which way am I leaning?

Pink = 1% because I feel like have been on my period for 19 weeks straight with all the PMS attitude that accompanies it, I mean only my veins being pumped full of extra estrogen could cause that right?
Blue = 99% because I'm pretty sure my husband doesn't know how to make girls and this is by far the easiest pregnancy I've had so far. *knocks on wood* Stay tuned for results!




"Fried" Pickles - A pregnancy cliche

I get a little excited when we go out to eat and I see pickle chips on the menu. So when I found this recipe on Pinterest I just had to try them out. 

Baked "fried" pickles
Source: theculinarycouple.com on Pinterest


Ingredients
1 jar pickle slices, preferably the oval dill pickles for sandwiches2 eggs1/3 cup flour1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce1 tsp hot sauce1 tsp garlic powder1 tsp Cajun seasoning (or "hot" chili pepper seasoning)1 tsp pepper1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbsRanch dressing + hot sauce for dippingDirections
Turn oven broiler on high.In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and flour. Add Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, garlic powder, Cajun seasoning, and pepper. Mix well.Place panko bread crumbs in a shallow dish. Dunk each pickle slice into the egg mixture, than dredge it in the panko bread crumbs.Place coated pickles baking sheet and sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Place pan in the middle rack of the oven. Broil for about 3 minutes on each side.Serve…

Running For A Cause...My Health & Sons

This weekend I participated in another color run only this time I had a special partner, my son.

It was special to be because if you've read any of my Slimming Me Down series here, you know that I've struggled with my own weight and self esteem issues.  This post shows where I was about 2 yrs. ago.  I'm mentally in a better place than that now even though I'm pregnant and the scale is going up up up.  Bake baby, bake.


I hadn't reached my goal weight before this pregnancy, however I was working out regularly and am ecstatic to proclaim that I've completed four, yes 4, 5K races since May.  2 of which I was pregnant for.  So what might be a small step for others is a major accomplishment for me.  And better yet, I like them, I really like them!

What made this race so very special to me was that my oldest did it with me.  My parents both suffer/ed from weight related health issues and never once did we ever do anything active as a family.  In fact, the running jok…

Meal Plan Monday

Everything this week comes to you straight from my freezer.  I've been meaning to get it cleaned out so I can get new fall dishes prepared.  I usually make double batches of those so I need the freezer space back.

Sunday
Potato Soup

Monday
Spaghetti & Meat Sauce


Tuesday Chicken Florentine w/pasta
Wednesday Cheesy Chicken Noodle Casserole

Thursday Skirt Steak w/tomatoes, balsamic, and onions
Friday Chicken Pot Pies w/veggies

Am I Showing?

How to answer this question when a pregnant woman asks is quite easy.  The answer is "Yes."

Here's why.

You might not be able to see diddly squat change on her even if she's 20+ weeks along, however you better believe that since about week 6, if not earlier, she is incredibly aware that her body is indeed changing, particularly her midsection.  Now this might be bloat, baby, or chocolate cupcakes as the cause, but whatever the cause she's noticed she's not the same and she's looking for reassurance that you know she's got something growing inside her besides a tapeworm.  She's also not trying to trick you into telling her you think she's fat.  She simply just wants some justification of why her underwear and comfy fat girl pants are all of a sudden not as cozy as they once were.  So humor her, please, and tell her yes indeed you think you spy a perfect tiny little baby making bump at work.  Also, if you say "yes" and the water works …

Yay! Fall is here!

Sigh, I love fall.  L-O-V-E it.  Happy Fall Equinox everyone!

I loved it before Pinterest told me all the soups I should be cooking, how to decorate my house with pumpkins and leaves, and how to dress in jeans, sweaters and boots.  Thanks, but I got this.  About the only fall trend I shy away from is the PSL craze.

Living in the midwest I hate that this season is always the shortest between blistering hot temps (was it really 90 last week?!) and gray coverage that looms over us from November until March. I promise to do my best to savor each day/weekend for this short lived period of time.

However I'm excited to see the warm golden colors appear, have the kids rake the leaves and play in them, get all bundled up for chilly nights, eat comfort food until my heart is content, watch football and enjoy the sights and smells of all the festivals.

I hope you enjoy this season as much as I do! If summer is more of your thing, sorry for your loss for now.


Meal Plan Monday

Sunday
Bean Soup w/Ham and cornbread

Monday
Pasta Pot (leftover from last week)


Tuesday Swiss Steak & Potatoes w/gravy
Wednesday Freezer Dash

Thursday Yo-Yo again (leftovers)
Friday Freezer Dash again, we've got lo

Party of Five!

Time for me to share my news with you all that we are indeed expecting a new bundle of joy to our family this spring!  I'm pregnant....I think.  No, I mean I really am but this third time must be a charm because I've had nearly zero symptoms which is awesome.  I had pretty good, typical pregnancies with the boys except the morning sickness increased with Cameron and was no fun.  Guess it was a good thing we bought the new mom-mobile this past spring.  I also couldn't have planned it more perfectly for a teacher, I'll be delivering in March with my FMLA leave taking me until the end of the year, that means nearly six solid months of baby cuddles!  Yes, I wrote this post last September, but I already had my mind made up I think.

How are the boys handling it?
They boys have responded well to the idea.  My oldest is being super sweet and such the charmer as the older sibling planning for things in the future.  For the record, he wants another brother, but believes this one…

Fall Festival Time!

It's hereererereere!!  I love spending every weekend out at festivals in the fall.  Mmmm, sipping on hot cider and cocoa, kettle corn, apple fixings.  I love it all!

Here's a great list of Corn Maze Coupons and Fall Festival savings nationwide.  Download valuable coupons for Corn Mazes, Pumpkin Patches and Fall Family Activities.  Enjoy!

Arizona
Schnepf Farms - Queen City

California
Forneris Farms - Mission Hills

Colorado
Anderson Farms - Erie
Flat Acres Farm - Parker
Fritzler Maze - La Salle
Sunflower Farm - Longmont
Mile High Farms - Bennett
Wishing Star Farm - Calhan
Harvest Farm - Wellington

Texas
Devine Acres Farm - Devine
Fiesta Farm - San Antonio
Yesterland Farm - Canton
South Texas Maize - Hondo
Dewberry Farm - Brookshire
Brazos Valley Maize- Brenham

Louisiana
CM Farms - Dry Creek

Georgia
Lane Southern Orchards - Fort Valley
Poppell Farms - Odum

Michigan
Farmer Charley's Corn Maze Adventure - Monroe

Indiana
Amazing Fall Fun - Waterloo
Harvest Tyme Pumpkin Patch - Lowell
Hobson's …

Meal Plan Monday

Time to get back in the groove of things now that school's started.  I'm excited to get cooking some of my favorite fall recipes although it's still 80+ outside.

Sunday
Leftovers (enchiladas/pasta/Chinese)

Monday
Rotisserie chicken w/mashed potatoes and veggie

Tuesday
Taco Tuesday - out after soccer practice


Wednesday
Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole


Thursday
Chili w/macaroni


Friday
Pasta Pot


Saturday
Football Food - Homemade Calzones and "Fried Pickles"








A Perfect Day of Food

Another awesome blogger who is also my bff posted a Perfect Day of Food post.  Think of it as a last day of meals vs. just one.  Oh, and calories don't count.  Now this is a menu plan I can get behind and I'm pretty sure I'm ignoring the time frame too and taking all 24 gluttonous hours into account.

I know I have probably consumed this many calories on a day, but not with this type of quality behind it.  And yes, I know I shouldn't eat right before bed.

Here's my gluttonous list...

Breakfast:
My Christmas Day Casserole is a sausage and leek casserole from FoodTv's couple the Neelys Fresh FruitPancakes & a 1/2 gallon of Strawberry OJ from Yolk.Also I'll need a 1/2 gallon of OJ from the Orange Ring in Haines City, FL off Rte. 27.  Tear that I'll probably never get this againAM Snack:
A chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie...you know for the proteinLunch:
A deli club the size of Texas on a crossiant with ham, cheddar, mayo, dijon, bacon, turkey, and l…

Summer T-Ball

We got Alex on the t-ball team this year and he seemed to enjoy himself.  Although I must say most of the enjoyment came on our end and the other parents watching their little munchkins attempt to play.  Who know squatting down and picking at dirt could be so interesting?  The games were only once a week with no practices.  The game itself consisted of two innings so everyone gets to bat twice and of course, no score is kept and everyone gets a medal and a trophy.





Now onto fall socccer!

News from others

You know what is *this* close to being better than announcing big life altering news in your own life?  Hearing that type of news from others!  My bestie is pregnant with her first and I'm over the moon excited for her.  She's like a sister to me and this is how I felt when my brother told me I was going to be an Auntie years ago.  She's going to be an awesome mom which I hope she knows and I'm excited to see her go through this process.  Plus I'm going to spoil that baby!


What news have you heard from others that you love?

Disney Free Dining Tip

I posted last week how I was saving money on our trip to Disney World this coming fall.  I thought I'd pass on a little hint a friend of mine passed on to me that saved us about $700.  FREE Dining at Disney.  If you stay at a Disney resort you most likely have the opportunity to eat for free.  But, when we made our reservations I was bummed to see that the dates didn't coincide with our visit.  However, a veteran mouse visiting expert friend of mine informed me that you simply have to arrive one of those days, not stay during those dates.

See down below,  you just have to arrive sometime during those dates and not actually check in and out during the time.  You'd still qualify for free dining if you arrive Oct. 2nd and depart Oct. 7th.   Pretty cool huh?  Also sometimes you don't need to stay 6 nights so don't let that intimidate you either.


How do you get this free dining option?
follow WDW on Facebook where they'll post these deals usually 1-4 months before …

Update on OD - Operation Disney

A few things have changed with our trip for the better.  And by better I mean cha-ching - saving big bucks!  I first thought this trip was going to rival our honeymoon in costs, but now it looks like we're going for just about as much as we spent on our summer vacation, including flights!

How you might ask?  Well here's how...
My brother-in-law travels like crazy for his job and ever so graciously donated his flyer miles to us.  He already has built back up what he gave us if that tells you anything.  All we had to pay was tax which was get this...$20 for all 4 of us!  Super nice of him.Free Dining.  We thought we were going to get blacked out for this but we changed our dates slightly and now we have free dining which meant we were able to extend our stay for 1 day as well as upgrade our resort to Caribbean Beach resort for the same price we were originally going to pay. This gives us plenty to of time for the week to accomplish all we want to without rushing.  I'm psyche…

Summer Vacation Recap

Yay!  No bed bugs this time.  That already made the trip 1000 times better.  We had a great time in Raleigh, Myrtle Beach, and Gatlinburg.  Bonus -- we missed all of the crappy weather whether it was monsoons or heat waves.

We started off at my brother in law's in Raleigh and even though his AC was broke, his house was quiet cool and the pool in the backyard made us forget about it.

A couple days later we made our way to Myrtle Beach, SC and plopped ourselves on the beach for the week.  I highly recommend shelling out the money for renting the beach umbrellas and chairs.  Economics 101 is Opportunity Cost my friends...no packing or buying up the gear yourself which you'd use once a year anyways and no lugging it down to the beach every morning and back every afternoon along with the little ones.  Money well spent in our book.  We did ate breakfast and lunch in our efficiency room and had dinner out.  It was a great beach bum vacation full of R&R.  Nothing is better than se…