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Thursday, July 25, 2013

See What's Cookin'

I felt pried back into blogging to share some of the great recipes I have made this week. I have been making 1-2 new recipes a week to switch things up a bit (and so I don't have to think of what to make, just pick a recipe, the ingredients, and follow instructions). This week I did more!

On Sunday William was at my moms for the first half of the day so I made a different lunch for Brad and I. I had a $5 roasted chicken from Costco, which I love, and I went to Pinterest to find this recipe I pinned for Chicken Salad lettuce wraps. Not traditional chicken salad by any means. Chicken, grapes, apples, honey, almond butter. Next time I will use less almond butter, but it was pretty good! I refrigerated it for a bit before rolling in lettuce to try and make it easier. Have toothpicks on hand to close up the wraps! Will definitely make it again.

(Not my photo)

Sunday evening we had friends over and the husband helped Brad install our new electric fence for our cows. So I made Chicken Taco Chili because I tossed it in the slow cooker at lunchtime and had it ready for dinner without having to "slave" with company here. It fed five adults, two toddlers and I had 1-2 servings leftover. Next time I will add some additional hot sauce to mine. I also used the jalapenos as a topping since the kids were eating it…didn't want my "easy dinner" plan to backfire and have to cook something different for them! The same night I also cooked cornbread from scratch thanks to the Chesapeake Bay Cookbook but it was too salty and I didn't like it much so I'm not even going to bother ya'll with that recipe.

Monday was BOGO pizza night from our favorite place so that's what we had!

Tuesday night we had porkchops seasoned with a rib rub from Penzey's and portabello mushroom tortellini and some sort of vegetable. Yummy!

On Wednesday I made Pioneer Woman's Sour Cream Noodle Bake. Yes it does contain sour cream. And cottage cheese. And that seemed weird to me but it was actually pretty good. The noodles tossed with the two aforementioned dairy items were good plain believe it or not.

Photo from Pioneer Woman. 
You didn't think I'd manage to cook and take pictures did you?

Thursday morning William and I whipped up Watermelon Pico de Gallo, also thanks to Pioneer Woman. Best recipe of the week by far! I wish I started making this in June when watermelon started popping up. Skip the chips and eat it with a spoon, not kidding. Doesn't even taste like watermelon somehow. I made a few tweaks based on our taste and what we had. I bought a 1/4 watermelon and used it all. Also used two peppers, not three. And I didn't use as much cilantro because my husband isn't a big fan of it and I know it can quickly overpower a dish.

You guessed it -- not mine either!

For Friday night I will be making chicken pot pie, using a recipe passed along by a friend who brought it to us right after baby #2 was born. I am using the rest of the Costco chicken (which I picked earlier in the week and froze) so it was definitely worth the $5 I paid! Plus, a nice comfort food way to end the week.

Try at least one of these recipes…they are yummy!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Tractor Party

It has been a while since I have shared something crafty (my bad). Eat your heart out…here are a few photos from William's 2nd birthday party. I'd like to mention that we pulled this off one week after moving to the farm. I mean, how could we not have the tractor themed party at the farm? If you like what you see, please visit Memorable Designs' Facebook page or Etsy shop.

I made a banner for our mantle that used the same pattern as the invitations (you can view the invitations on Etsy). I made the cutout shapes resemble wheels with treads in keeping with the theme.

I kept his name separate to use in another area, on our kitchen wall, next to the food table. I printed out about a dozen pictures of him on tractors and hung them up…simple, but cute!

I had these cute mini galvanized buckets and added chalkboard labels with farm-themed words for forks and spoons.

These baggies had rice krispie treats that the birthday boy helped make. Toppers read "Have a Hay Bale for the Ride Home."

For favors I did acrylic cups for each child with all different designs and their name. William got a green one since he was the birthday boy. I did everything from a crab, airplane and dinosaur to a ladybug, chicken and butterflies.

I also used vinyl to customize these little green buckets with the tractor theme. You can also see one style of food tent cards I made. I used a handful of complimentary patterns for the backgrounds.

And a family picture…on the tractor of course!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Coming Up: House Tour

I realized that since we moved and welcomed a new baby in quick succession I haven't shared many photos of the interior of our new home. I will take photos of the rooms once the sun comes back out and post as a home tour. Consider most of it the "before" or "during" photos. Nothing is "after" photo ready (except our new floor and carpets).

The boys' bedrooms are the most exciting since they are the closest to being done. Actually, William's room is done except for a hanging picture, so score!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Our Life as Brothers

Brothers are family,
And brothers are friends, 

Brothers stick together,
Brothers have no end, 

Brothers part from time to time,
But come together again,

And be thereselves,
No need to pretend,

Brothers are family,
And brothers are friends, 

Brothers stick together,
BROTHERS have no end... 

By Brandon Sigourney

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Settling In

I feel that I can say I have settled in to my new role as a mom of two. Jonathan just turned three weeks old and between my husband's few days off, grandmothers cycling through for another week and my sister visiting for nine days, I am just starting to care for both boys all by myself. I am grateful for the help I received (especially from my husband in the mornings and evenings) which allowed me to spend many more quiet moments with the new baby than I expected. My husband is started a new job, technically his old job, next week and won't be working from home anymore so that may be a whole new definition of "long day" for me.

As most moms know, Jonathan wakes up for his first morning feeding around 5:30-6am and then goes back to sleep for a few hours…unless big brother wakes him up. This allows me to be with William once he wakes up between 6-6:30am, watch 30 minutes of one of his shows and have breakfast. I have been trying to run laundry, clean up, etc during this time because it is William's best time of day in terms of being content playing on his own and being calm. As far as sleep goes, the rest of the day is just a toss up. If they both nap at the same time, I try to also. I am very grateful for the sleep I do get at night because there have been several days that I have not napped and felt pretty good. Yes, I am always in bed by 10pm, usually 9pm :). Two nights ago it was 8:40pm!

A big change this time around is that when I feed Jonathan at this first morning feeding, sometimes I get him dressed for the day (in his first outfit at least) because sometimes we leave for an activity before he wakes up. He is not a big fan of the car. William slept all the time in the car but Jonathan spends more time awake and isn't always happy. So this prevents me from waking him to change him. Yes I have brought him out in pajamas, but it has been so hot that he would cry from being uncomfortable the last few days. Jonathan is sleeping in our room which is where I keep him in the morning and try to keep William away. I wish I had taught him the concept of whispering before the baby was born…

So we are doing the activities we used to do before baby, but I am not putting pressure on myself to stay out all morning, etc., just taking it day by day.

More pictures coming soon!

Monday, May 13, 2013

It's a BOY!

 Jonathan Paul
April 27, 2013
9lbs 5oz
21 inches long

A fast five hours from my first contraction until birth
7cm dilated when arrived at the hospital
Extra bag of epidural fluid needed to ease pain/discomfort

One proud big brother who was more interested his second visit
One set of very excited parents
One mother who could have sworn she was having a girl…but didn't!

Two weeks of getting life back on track as a family of four
Too little time to myself to spend it blogging -- I just want to sleep
Endless feelings of being torn between my boys already (but I am working on that)

Friday, April 26, 2013

"Estimated" Due Date = Overdue (again)

The end of my pregnancy has (kind of) arrived! Yesterday, Thursday, April 25th I was 40 weeks pregnant with our second child. I have been feeling great for about three weeks now which has allowed me to do all sorts of walking, playing and climbing with my sweet William. Last weekend exhaustion hit me like a truck and I felt like I could barely function. Midweek I got some energy back, but daily naps are a must. Being overdue is a feeling I know -- William arrived at 40w3d.

At my OB visit on Tuesday (39w5d) my weight was the same as last week so I have gained 35 pounds. My BP was healthy and thankfully baby is head down, my body is dilating and this baby and family are just waiting for his/her birth! I have contractions and other paints every day (seeping is not too enjoyable on my side with the extra weight) but none of the contractions have forced my water to break or stayed consistent enough to send me into active labor. So here I am…impatiently waiting…again.

I took a photo of myself last Friday before we went out to dinner, but it is still on my camera so I don't have it to share now. I will try and add it here soon. This week has been all about my little boy. We have gone to different parks several time, visited with lots of friends, gone on a tour of the post office and taken several walks together down our lane to get the mail, something he loves to do. Whenever he sits on the couch, I snuggle up with him since both my arms are his still and I just tell him how much I love him over and over and what a good big brother he is going to be.

At two years old he is rather interested in every baby he sees which will hopefully bode well for us in the coming days, months and years. And if it doesn't, Daddy is taking time off, then my sister will be here from May 11-19 and his Nana and Grandma and Grandpa will be around scattered between and after those dates. It might not hit him (or me) for almost a month that there are two kids and one Momma during the day. I hope the first few weeks with the new baby allow me time to relax my body and mind while others are here to help. But, I don't want William leaving to go to an activity every day either because I want time with him and for him to start adjusting.

My husband repaired all the walls in the new nursery, painted the walls, ceiling and trim. It looks great. Look for another post on the nursery soon :).

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Bubble Fun

Last week during my OB appointment (I was 38w5d in these photos) my mom rode to the office with me and took William to a park right around the corner. There is a pond full of geese and a sidewalk that goes around it. Also some shady area with picnic tables. So, a toy lawnmower, bubbles and a ball provided 2+ hours of entertainment! Here are some sweet photos she took of us playing together since we will soon have a brother or sister in the mix.

I have been making an honest effort to pay less distracted time with William. The weather has been beautiful and we spend hours at a time outside. My phone is inside. Everything else can wait (unless my husband is away on travel for work). I realize that our lives will soon change and I want him to have my full attention as long as possible. It has also left me with mixed emotions about asking his grandmothers for help even though I may need it. I feel bad "passing him off" even though he has a wonderful time with them.

I LOVE his sheer joy in this photo!

Another fun shot except my eyes are closed so darn tight...

Sharing bubbles with the baby

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Closet Facelift

On the same day that the carpet installers were at the house, I decided a little closet facelift was in order. All of the closets at our "old house" had white wire shelves. That is not the case here. This is the closet in the master bathroom upstairs. It is an obscenely large bathroom (no photo to share now) in need of several updates, but with a smaller size closet. There is also a similar size closet downstairs adjacent to the full bathroom on the main floor which I am grateful floor. Right now, that houses everything child related since it is near their bedrooms and extra towels that are not under the sink. Note: without locking bathroom cabinets, the only thing safely stored in them are towels! Back to the closet...

The closet shelves were in need of new paint. As you can imagine hair products, lotions, etc sitting there over the years. Well, I didn't want to paint because that would mean sanding, cleaning up dust, etc and we will probably paint the closet when we paint the bathroom down the road. 

So, I used the next best thing, a material I am very familiar with…Vinyl! I purchased two large containers of this distressed chevron vinyl at JO-Ann's back in the summer for $2.97. The rolls were huge. Time to use them!

I simply measured the shelves, cut the vinyl and adhered it to the shelves. WaLa!

Now the shelves look updated, clean and it was a much quicker process than painting.