Obligatory Update

Well, it’s been a few weeks since the last post so you know what that means: some sort of vague update is in store!  This time it’s a daybook of sorts.

Reading: Too many things, I’m a little over my head in the book department to be honest!  I’m working on The Importance of Being Little which I am enjoying, but it’s also rather damning in regards to some of my beloved preschool routines and activities.  I’m attempting to keep an open mind.  I also have Acedia and Me, which I am a little scared of starting because I know that acedia is my number one vice.  Hence, why I ordered the book!  I also have The Nesting Place waiting for me at the library, so yeah, lots of things to read!  I’m also dying to reread an old favorite, Coming Home by Rosamund Pilcher. Does anyone else experience this, like a craving for a favorite food, but it’s a book?

Watching:  Downton.  Duh!  (Spoilers ahead) So, I’ve been very “meh” about Downton for the past few years because it was just getting so ridiculous, but this last season has been ah-maz-ing!  But!  Why oh why did Lady Mary get her happy ending before Edith?  I mean, Edith called it like it is.  Mary is a B.

Thinking: Stewing is more like it.  Has anyone else read this article?  I feel so lucky that I’ve been able to nurse my two, but I also know so many women who greatly struggle for various reasons and eventually need to switch to formula.  I hate these types of articles that impose moral guilt on mothers! [Update: Simcha Fisher responds! Thank goodness!  “Women are more than the milk they can make.” Love her.]

Praying:  For sick relatives, for one pregnant sister and her upcoming move and the other formerly pregnant sister and her new baby girl!  Maura Rose was born on February 8th! I can’t wait to hold her little self!

Eating:  (I feel like the following is a bit misleading because I’m not really a crunchy health nut, but it is Lent and I’m trying to stay away from sweets, so I’ve been focusing more on eating healthfully… believe me, I’d rather be baking chocolate chip cookies…and eating the dough…)  I made these homemade apple pie lara bars to snack on and today I made a big batch of quinoa and roasted veggies so I could have veggie bowls for lunch this week.  Oh!  And I made this spinach bacon chicken risotto for dinner last week like a boss! It was so good and so easy, you have to try it!

Playing: Outside!  This weekend was very mild, which was nuts because last weekend it was in the subzero temps!  It’s such a blessing to have these mild days in the middle of winter.  We also went to the indoor trampoline park this morning.  The kids didn’t like it at all.  😉IMG_5534IMG_5541

Wearing:  Too many stripes, probably.  I’m afraid we’re all going to look back on ourselves 10 years from now and shake our heads at all the horizontal stripes.  But I can’t help myself!  And I feel like it must be classy, right?

I mean.      Image

Thankful: As always, for my Dave.  I was able to get away for most of the day Saturday to view several of the Catholic Conference 4 Moms videos with some fellow Catholic moms at a nearby parish.  I came back so refreshed with my extrovert cup filled, and the kids had a great time with Dad of course.  Whenever Gus has too much alone time with Dave, he starts calling me Daddy.  Funny, he doesn’t call Dave Mommy despite me being home with him all the time.  Dad’s just a special guy. 🙂

Looking Forward:  Spring!  I can’t wait to see if the bulbs come up that I frantically planted in November. We also have a lot of house projects on the horizon.  A new roof, new paint job, maybe new paving, and hopefully a nice facelift to our living room too.  We bit the bullet and ordered a new slip cover for our couch because it’s really been looking shabby lately.  We ordered it in a dusky shade of blue instead of the parchment shade of off-white we have already and I’m so excited!  With a new couch (color) and fresh paint on the walls, it will be like a whole new room!

7QT: Frivolous Minutiae

  1. Christy pulled on my heartstrings yesterday with her “I miss blogs” post.  I really miss them too. Needless to say, our little sisters blog here has never and will never be big.  My older sisters have always struggled to find time to blog with their growing families and I’ve been struggling with that too.  More than that, though, I’ve been struggling with what the point is.  I’m not click-baity, I don’t have a major theme or area of expertise, and  I’m also not terribly deep or inspirational. Honestly, I try to keep it light and even frivolous.  But is that okay? Is that allowed? It’s strange how the internet and blogs started out as this place where there were no rules and you could just do your thing, but now it seems like there are rules and you have to play the game right.  I’m not on board with that at all.  Anyway, I’m going to still plug away when I can with my bits and pieces of frivolity. And I hope, if you have a little corner of the internet, that you will keep at it too. 🙂
  2.  I shared on Instagram a while back that I’ve been making this certain dish for lunch for myself.
    Brussles sprouts and onions sauteed in butter with soft boiled eggs on top. Salt 'n peppa!

    Brussles sprouts and onions sauteed in butter with soft boiled eggs on top. Salt ‘n peppa

    I usually aim to eat my lunch after the kiddos are down for a nap (for obvious reasons) but today I made lunch while they were eating and sat down to eat when they were done and supposed to be playing.

  3. Gus is an Oliver type of kid, minus the starving orphan part.  Just the “Please sir, I want some more”, minus the please part.  He most certainly won’t eat my brussles sprouts and eggs, though.  I give him a bite to show him.  But he still won’t stop bothering me and climbing all over the table.

    Gus

    I don’t know that that is, but I want it, Mommy.

  4. Then Sara walks by and says “I fink Gussie has a poopy.” Sure enough, it was a 6 alarm situation in his diaper.  And meanwhile, my beautiful, delicious lunch grew cold on the table.  Lesson learned: no deviating from naptime lunches!
  5. Childbearing ladies of the interwebs, I had to share this recent purchase of mine with you: 

Loft Mosaic Pintucked Shirtdress

I’m super stoked about this dress because not only is it flattering on me now (not pregnant), but it also has room for a first-second trimester bump and it buttons in the front so it’s perfect for nursing.  I consider that a sound investment! Loft is having a 40% sale right now (like always), but maybe if you hold off they’ll have one of their flash sales and it’ll be even cheaper.

6.  I’ve been planning on trying out Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue because it’s name alone sounds like it would help my adolescent skin issues, and also Fran recommends it and she is my fashion and beauty guru.  However, after doing a little research (*cough* googling good BB cream for oily skin *cough*) I stumbled upon Dr. Jart Dis-A-Pore beauty balm and this stuff sounds like magic! Plus it has Dr. in the name, so it will cure my acne, right? Right? Anybody else tried it/heard about it?  I’m waiting to get some Amazon points before I pull the trigger.

7. And, just to make sure this a completely random post, you all really need to make this crockpot soup ASAP.  It’s been a favorite of ours all this fall.

Alrighty, that’s quite enough of my random ramblings.  Check out the other quick takes at This Ain’t the Lyceum!

7QT: Blog Angst, Goals and Some Happenings

Here’s hoping that hopping on the 7 Quick Takes train will help me out of my blogging rut!

1. I’ve started and thrown out several posts over the past few weeks.  I lost my groove! First I tried to write about my quest for cute summer sandals, but the quest came to an abrupt end when I succumbed to the siren call of Target’s shoe department.

IMG_4227_2

Gus is unimpressed.

They’re cute, I like them.  I just always do this.  I cave for the cheapest, easiest buy because the nicer, better made and probably more comfortable pair is so much more expensive! No doubt I will pine over this pair for the rest of the summer. But I made my choice. (Aren’t you glad I saved you all from a post full of this nonsense?)

2. I thought about and even started writing a What I Wore Sunday post about how more often than not, my Mass outfits are not nursing friendly because I’m a heartless mom because Sundays are the only days that I have an excuse to get dressed up nicely and it’s only for an hour, so I don’t see what the big deal is.  And then I decided that, indeed, it is not a big deal, so I trashed that post!

3. I guess I’m having a bit of a blogging existential crisis.

Moving on!

4. Last week was Dave’s birthday, and I made him this cheesecake.IMG_4247

I don’t know which good deed earned me best wife award: making the cake or selflessly leaving the last piece for him.  Anyway, I dun good.

5. The month of May so far has been positively magical.  The garden is thriving, my lilacs are starting to bloom and we’re all beginning to shed our pale ghostly gray complexions and don our summer glows.IMG_4219 IMG_4244IMG_4234 IMG_4261_2

Or, in my case, my first sunspots on my forehead.  Hello sunspots, you go well with my prescription sunglasses and forehead creases. 😉

6. This month I set a fitness goal for myself: run 40 miles in the month of May.  I got my 10 miles done in this first week, so I’m feeling optimistic that I can hit my 40 mile goal.  I’d been plateauing a bit with running because my hamstrings have been killing me. I think my lower back is a mess in general and that’s making my hamstrings tight, but I also have never been the best at stretching, so this week I really focused on stretching after running. I also started drinking coconut water again, since it helped my leg cramps and soreness significantly at the end of my pregnancy last year.  Anyway, if any of you seasoned runners/fit people have any tips about stretches, etc., please let me know! I’m a complete hack at this running thing.

7. What I really need to do is set some housekeeping goals for myself! Gus is almost a year old, which means I don’t really have an excuse any more, huh? I mean, I figured once Gus was sleeping through the night, then I could really get my rear in gear and tackle more than the basics.  Are you laughing yet? Have you figured out the punchline? Gus isn’t sleeping through the night. And the rare nights he does sleep all night, Sara wakes up screaming about losing Minnie or her blankets.  As Jenny brilliantly wrote last week, when it comes to sleep training, there are no victors.  Har har.

Anyway, don’t pity me, I’m not dying from lack of sleep. But I might die from lack of dusting in my bedroom.  Oy! I finally deep cleaned my bedroom this morning and it. was. shameful.  No more! Once a month (hey, maybe the Saturday that I go to confession since I actually have stuck to that New Year’s resolution!) I need to dust and swiffer the bedrooms.  No more neglecting the upstairs since nobody sees it. As the internet is my witness, the dustbunnies will never get that bad again!

Happy Mother’s Day weekend, everyone! And don’t forget to click back to Kelly’s place for more Quick Takes!

 

7 Quick Take-Aways from No Sugar January

Well, I did it.  I can hardly believe it, but I did it! I went mostly sugar free for most of January! Of all the diets and health crazes I’ve tried, this has been the biggest success for me.  Maybe because it’s not a diet or health craze; it’s just common sense!  Here are my take-aways from my not-so-sweet experience.

1.  It wasn’t too difficult.  This was the most surprising take-away for me.  The first week I felt hungry most of the time, but I made sure I ate a lot to maintain my milk supply. I just didn’t eat sugary things.  Then suddenly, the hunger pangs went away, which just goes to show, I wasn’t hungry to begin with! My body told me I was hungry when it really just wanted sugar.  Sugar really messes with you!

2. Good begets good.  That one little effort of not eating sugar led to me changing my eating habits.  I ate more good fats to keep me full: avocados, full fat greek yogurt and eggs by the boatload.

I think I have a future in food photography, don't you agree? I mean, I make that paper plate and laminate countertop look good.

I think I have a future in food photography, don’t you agree? I mean, I make that paper plate and laminate countertop look good.

I also upped my vegetable intake, and (don’t tell them) the veggie intake of the whole family. Being mindful about what I wasn’t putting into my body and why made me more mindful about what I should be putting into my body and why.  Its not rocket science, I know, but it was a welcome development for me.  See, before I would attempt to make these changes but then I would feel defeated by my daily sugar cravings.  Without the sugar cravings distracting me, I could focus properly on eating healthfully.

3. I’m the boss of my diet.  When I first was researching sugar detoxes, I found all sorts of gimmicky programs.  It was really overwhelming and frustrating.  Wasn’t the idea to simply not eat sugar?  But sugar is technically in everything!  Some programs called for eliminating fruit, honey, maple sugar and carbs and anything with even trace amounts of sugar in them.  I’m such a goody-goody; I worried that if I didn’t do these programs to a T that it would all be a waste and my sugar cravings wouldn’t budge and inch.  I worried that if I had a little honey in my tea the heavens would open up and God would bellow “Fail!!”

Eventually I resolved to give it a shot anyway, but to do things my way.  And my way was to allow natural forms of sugar like fruit, honey and maple syrup.  I also would eat things that contained sugar, as long as it wasn’t a predominantly sugary food. I did get into reading labels more (which is so obnoxious, I know) but now I have better knowledge of what contains sugar.  Newsflash: a lot of things contain sugar!

Oh, and I drank wine and occasionally beer.  I ain’t crazy! Real sacrifice is for Lent!

4.  There was an end in sight.  The whole month I had the mouthwatering goal of my birthday cake to work towards. Not only was it the dangling carrot that I needed to keep me motivated, but just the thought of turning 30 and entering that new chapter of adulthood was enough to keep me focused on improving my health and striving for an adult relationship with food. It’s still a work in progress, but I feel like I made great strides this month.

Furthermore, it was good to take this break from sugar, knowing that it wasn’t for forever.  That’s always been my biggest hangup with diets.  You starve yourself to be skinny and then… you eat again and the dreaded cycle continues?  It’s so discouraging!  Like I said in my initial post, I love food.  I love sugar. I love to bake.  I’m not going to throw that away, it’s not a bad thing!  The bad thing was I was addicted to the sugar.  It’s a powerful, addicting substance and it’s not good for you in big daily quantities!  My goal was to kick my cravings and dependency so that I can enjoy the occasional treat without guilt.

5. I lost 5 pounds!  It doesn’t sound like much, but keeping in mind a. I did not cut down on my food intake at all and was constantly eating to make sure I had enough milk for Gus and b. I was already below my pre-pregnancy weight, I’m pretty stoked that I lost weight at all!

It would be a bald-faced lie to say I wasn’t trying to lose weight.  I’m your typical vain woman; I’m always looking for a way to lose a little weight and feel better about myself.  But I can honestly say that I’ve slowly let go of my obsession with those pesky numbers on the scale and on the tags of my clothes.  I’ve put too much stock in those numbers in the past.  I’ve let those numbers ruin my mood and shatter my resolve to be healthy.  It’s so discouraging to work hard and feel better physically but those numbers taunt you and tell you that you’re still a “fatty”.   It’s so unhealthy!  My worth is not in my pants size.  As much as it breaks my heart, I know my daughter will probably have these same struggles in her adolescence and young adulthood but that’s why it’s so important to me that I work to conquer these struggles in myself.

6.  My work is not done.  Going forward, I hope to mostly keep to my no sugar resolve.  I’m aiming for 70-80% no sugar as my norm. I think a key to staying on track is not making sugar a daily thing again.  I don’t know about you, but I used to be one of those people who needed a “little treat” pretty much daily and I didn’t see anything wrong with that.  I’m pretty sure that was my downfall.  I mean, I don’t even let my toddler have sugar every day.  She gets a “special donut treat” after Mass on Sunday and that’s her big sugar bomb of the week.  I need to hold myself to the same standards.

I know there are going to be seasons when I fall off the bandwagon completely.  Valentine’s Day…

Yes, please.

Yes, please.

Easter, Halloween, Christmas, parties, rough times… it’s just life!  But experiencing this success will help me in the future in getting back on track.  That’s just how I am.  I resist trying new and scary things.  I tried getting into running for years before I actually succeeded.  It was hard and I always gave up, but when I finally stuck with it after Sara was born, it was a huge boost to my self-esteem.  Getting back on that bandwagon after Gus was born was tough, but I had the memory of success in the past to motivate me.  And I finally got back into shape and ran a 5K this past December.

7. If I can do it, so can you?  Well, I honestly don’t know. But if I’ve learned anything from this experience, it’s that it’s worth a shot.  Maybe you don’t have a problem with sugar.  Maybe you already eat healthfully and exercise daily.  But maybe there’s another area of your life that you need to work on.  Maybe you’re scared to start because you’re afraid to fail.  Or you’re lazy.  I am both!  I’m just saying, it’s worth a shot.  Face your demons, take that first step, don’t get discouraged and try try again.

Well, that’s 7 things, so I’m going to call it a “Quick Takes” (SNORT!) and link up with Kelly and the other quicker takers at This Ain’t the Lyceum.  Happy Friday!

Our Current 5 Favorites

It’s been way too long since I did a 5 favorite’s post.  So long, in fact, that it has a new hostess, the awesome Jenna of Call Her Happy, who has excellent taste in names for her kids, if I do say so myself… Anywho, here are Sara Kate’s and my current 5 favorite things:

1. Charley Harper Memory Game

Sara’s Godmother got her this memory game way back when she was a baby and I remember thinking it was going to be a loooong time before she would be ready to play it.  And then I blinked and here we are.  Sara loves playing memory, and I love the gorgeous, retro-y illustrations, so it’s a win-win.  And since this is the first formal game we’ve ever played with SK, we’ve discovered that she’s not competitive in the slightest.  Whenever Dave and I get matches she claps and squeals for us! We’ll see if she stays that way or she realizes that the goal is to win. 😉

2. Goat Cheese Toast with Honey and Walnuts (and apparently Thyme)

It’s with great shock that I can report to you that it’s January 21st and my (mostly) No Sugar January goal has been largely successful.  Really, I’m amazed, and it’s been relatively easy so far.  That said, it’s probably gone so well because I haven’t cut down on my overall food intake, and I’ve allowed myself to have natural forms of sugar, like fruit, honey and real maple syrup. [I’m planning on doing a recap of my no-sugar month with my take-aways, but in the meantime, check out this relevant NPR story I heard just the other day!] A good friend of mine shared this pin with me because she knows I love goat cheese on anything, and it’s been my go-to afternoon snack with a cup of tea (with cream & no sugar!)  The only thing is, I don’t put thyme on my toast (I could, but I always forget!) and I don’t drench my toast in honey like in the picture, just a little drizzle.  Yum.

3. Beatrix Potter

Jemima was a simpleton.

We have a little set of Beatrix Potter books that SK has just recently become interested in. Isn’t it great when the the books your toddler wants to read over and over are books that you really enjoy reading over and over? Her favorite is Jemima Puddle Duck.  I think she initially preferred it because the cover is pink, but she really got into the story too!  I’ve had to explain some things because my 21st century kid does not get the inferences about foxes being bad and why the shed full of feathers was a bad thing.  I mean, no amount of explaining is going to help her understand the part where Jemima complains about the “superfluous hen”, but one day she’ll get it and she’ll chuckle.  And meanwhile, I chuckle!

4. N is for Nuns!

IMG_3676

How cute is this craft we made at our preschool co-op yesterday?  I can take no credit for it, it was the creation of my friend’s imagination.  I just think it’s so stinking cute!  Last week, we had a little field trip to visit the convent of a newer order of sisters, The Daughters of Mary of Nazareth.  So, as a follow up in class this week, we talked about nuns and vocations in general, and tied it in with our letter of the week.

5. Marmee and Louisa by Eve LaPlanteIMG_3616

I am enjoying this book so much!  It’s the story of the relationship between Louisa May Alcott (the author of Little Women) and her mother Abigail May Alcott. This is the definition of my ideal read; familiar-ish story and characters (since much of Little Women is based on Louisa’s life) and set all around where I live, but 200 years ago, with the unexpected twist of the mind-blowing revelation that Louisa’s father/Abigail’s husband, Bronson Alcott, is pretty much the worst. It’s fascinating!  I’m hoping to write a little review of it when I’m done, but I might want to re-read Little Women before I commit my thoughts to a blog post.  Book reviews are not my forte, but I love this book so much I might give it a shot.

Don’t forget to check out the other 5 Favs back at Call Her Happy!

Goals, Resolutions, Promises You Don’t Intend to Keep.

I’m pretty sure that exactly a year ago when everyone was writing New Year resolution posts, I did my best Liz Lemon eye roll and clicked far away from them all.  I was just leaving my first trimester and my only goal in life was to survive the winter and have my baby.  And I accomplished both!  2014 was a success!

I did have one goal last year that I tried and failed at, though.  I have this same goal every year and I’ve yet to fully succeed at it.  I’ve never shared it with anyone because I’m superstitious and think that telling anyone will doom me.  I’m also a little ashamed that this is something I need to work on. ALSO, I feel a little silly and perhaps prideful about sharing it.  Recently it’s occurred to me that perhaps I should share it in case anyone else has this same goal every year and “fails.” Perhaps it’s not pride as in not-being-humble that keeps me from sharing.  It’s the type of pride the keeps you from telling your spouse that you’re starting that diet on Monday.  If you don’t tell him, he won’t know that you weren’t supposed to have that cookie!  Ok, where am I going with this?

I try every year to go to confession once a month.  Some years I come closer to succeeding than others, but every year I fail.  It’s really easy to conclude that maybe I stink at this.  It’s really easy to despair.  But no, I know that’s the devil.  I know it’s the devil whispering in my ear every Saturday in January “But you just went in December for Advent… Just go next weekend.”

I’m not going to give up and I’m not going to feel defeated.  Usually, New Year Resolutions frustrate me because I tend to feel overwhelmed by them.  Who knows what’s going to happen in a year?  So much changes so fast, especially with little kids. Why make promises you can’t keep?  But this resolution I make every year is on a month to month basis. [A related aside: this is why I love Ashley’s blog.  She’s always making reasonable but inspiring monthly goals!] Right now, all I’m worried about is January.  I don’t know if I’ll make it to confession every month in 2015, but golly I’m really determined to get there this January!

Since I’m already on the topic and blabbing on, I’ll share a little bit about my other January goal: going (mostly) sugar free for (most of) January.  I know, I’m so inspiring, huh?  This one has been on my mind for a while. I kicked my almost decade-long addiction to CoffeeMate in October.  It was hard at first but eventually I liked half and half and a bit of sugar.  But then Halloween happened and that was a new low. Dave and I ate so much candy on the weekend following Halloween (which was on a Friday) and I felt like utter garbage by Monday.  But I couldn’t stop! I would have a healthful lunch and then boom! Sugar cravings would hit all afternoon and I had no self-control.  I clearly needed to work on this.

I did a little research during December (in between baking and eating Christmas sweets of course!) to see what kinds of programs were out there for sugar addicts like me. Most of them involved cutting out fruit and carbs too, and I just can’t do that.  This nursing mom can only deal with so much! Plus, I’ve done lots of diets in my day, and it’s never been good for me to eliminate food groups. I love food and I love cooking and baking and I’m tired of feeling ashamed of that.  What I really want is to be able to enjoy food, even sweets, healthfully and have the self control to stop myself when I’m done.  Laura shared this video with me and it was mind-blowing and very inspiring to me to get my sugar addiction under control.  Haley’s posts Why I Don’t Want to Be Healthy and Confessions of a Sugarholic were also very timely for me and made me fist pump a little a lot.  I  was ready!

So! I’m on day two and it’s not too bad!  No sugar in my coffee, and no added sweets. I’m not too worried about sugar in things as long as it’s not a predominantly sugar-y food.  So, I’m not going to have jam on my toast, but I won’t worry about a little mayo in my tuna. But I did switch from bottled salad dressings to oil and vinegar. One of the main ingredients on my favorite (lite!) poppy seed dressing is high fructose corn syrup! [Gah! Listen to me, I already sound obnoxious!]  I did have a glass of red wine with dinner but only after Dave looked it up and explained that dry red wine is really the least sugary wine of all.  Moderation, folks.  Thus, it’s mostly sugar free, but not totally sugar free.  And it’ll be most of the month, but not all of the month because my birthday is on January 28th and I must eat cake. I’m not that crazy!

Whew.  This is a wordy post.

What do you think of resolutions? Are you for? Against? Indifferent? Do you just want to get on with the New Year already? Me too!

 

Mindy Kaling Is My Homegirl (and other takes about food)

1.  You guys.  I’ve always liked Mindy Kaling, but now I’m convinced we are soul sisters.  This segment from Jimmy Kimmel was just too funny and I could totally relate, especially when she said “It takes a lot of effort to be a normal/chubby woman.” Preach!

(Fun fact: My ob was friends with Mindy Kaling’s mom, who was also an ob in Boston.  Does that make me funny/cool by association? She’s also just an amazing woman and ob.)

2. It reminded me of an incident last year.  Dave and SK and I were at a social event with several other families, some that we knew well and several that we did not know.  One woman there who I didn’t know was trying to get her bearings in the group, figuring out who’s spouse was who’s and who’s kid was who’s.  One of my friends had just had a baby and her husband was holding the baby, and the woman I didn’t know asked if it was my baby.  Perfectly innocent question and I know it wasn’t asked out of malice or judgement or anything like that.  But my thinking was “Darn it!  I’m more than a year postpartum and I’ve been running and eating healthfully and I feel good about myself! Do I really look like I just had a baby?”  I know, this whole incident is silly and I should just let go of it. [Better yet, it’s a great opportunity to grow in humility, Ellen!] But when Mindy Kaling said that it takes effort to look normal I’m like “YESSSS!!! You’re speaking my language Mindy!!!!” I really do work hard to look normal and keep it around a size 8. Thank you, Mindy Kaling, for trying normalize normal for the rest of us schlumps!

3.  Now I’ve automatically committed myself to 5 more takes because it’s Friday and that’s what everyone does.  So here goes…

4.  I’m nearly 38 weeks pregnant!  I can’t even believe it.  Remarkably, I feel really good physically.  With Sara’s pregnancy at this point, I was literally a beached whale.  I was so swollen and uncomfortable and didn’t know how I would last another 2-4 weeks.  I’m not saying I’m bursting with energy and running 5 miles a day or anything, but I’m definitely not feeling as crummy as I was last time.  Emotionally though, I’m a mess.  I’m sure Dave, my mom, and my friends are all shaking their heads forlornly in agreement.  Sorry guys.  It’ll be over soon, and thanks for being there for me!

5. I’m on a baking kick lately which totally refutes my claims in take 2 of working hard to look normal but… pregnancy!  No, the real reason I’ve been baking more is because I got a thing of buttermilk last week and I’m determined this time, THIS TIME! I will use all the buttermilk before it goes bad!  [I know, I know, I can freeze it, but then I forget about it or I don’t allow myself time for it to thaw when I’m making something that needs buttermilk.  Believe me, I’ve tried!  Why don’t they make smaller containers of buttermilk??] So, earlier this week, SK and I made this banana bread and it turned out soooooo goooooooood.  For the past few years, I’ve tried all the healthy, low sugar, low bad things recipes and I’d forgotten how delicious real, fatty banana bread is. Yummmm.

6.  And today is rainy and gloomy and SK has a bit of a cold, so we stayed in, stayed in our jammies and made my favorite Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake.

You can see some of our pretty new kitchen paint in this picture.  I promise I'll do a kitchen post next week!

You can see some of our pretty new kitchen paint in this picture. I promise I’ll do a kitchen post next week!

Do any of you have favorite recipes using buttermilk?  Send ’em my way!

7.  Oh, and I have to share with all the other preggo ladies out there in case you struggle, as I do, with the dreaded night-time charlie horse attack.

Except it’s toes and legs!

A friend of a friend is a doula and I picked her brain over the weekend about what to do about them because mine were getting really bad last week.  She suggested coconut water, but not plain coconut water (she said plain is nasty. I wouldn’t know because I don’t buy healthy things.) but the chocolate flavored kind.  I went out the next day and got some Zico chocolate flavored coconut water and my legs have been great this week!  No charlie horses and no stiffness and soreness.  And the stuff tastes like coco puffs.  Win-win!

Linking up my 7 quick ones with Team Whitaker.  Happy Friday!

5 December Favorites

1. Muddy Buddies 

I only allow myself to make and eat these in December.  And it’s December, did you notice?  Anyway, they make a great little gift for friends with gluten allergies, as they’re gluten free as long as you use the gf Chex.  Also, I made mine with coconut oil this time to be a little healthier (right?) and to give to a friend who is gluten and dairy free.  Win-win!

2. Christmas cardsIMG_2042

I got a really good deal this year using Snapfish.  I really really wanted to get some gorg Minted cards and I entered everyone’s giveaways, but alas… Anyway, I’m very pleased with my Snapfish cards and I was really happy to find a not-ugly, not-smug religious template! I finally wised up this year and just picked a nice picture of SK.  Nobody cares about me and Dave, right?

3. Nambie and Hissy (that’s Lambie and Horsey for the uninitiated)

IMG_2025

They’re eating their breakfast. Can’t you tell?

These guys are SK’s best buds.  Well, Nambie is the bestest bud and he goes everywhere with her, including/especially bed.  Hissy is new to the gang, but he’s still very very loved.

4. Snow in December.  We got a couple of inches yesterday and we’re getting more this weekend!

SK had a fun time today sledding in our backyard for the first time (no pictures because I’m lame).  At first she had a fit because I wouldn’t pull her in the sled back up the hill, but she got over it real quick.  I guess the fun canceled out the work of climbing the hill.  Doesn’t it always?

On another note, I’m a fan of the snow because it covers the leaves that I just didn’t get to.  Now they’re Spring’s problem.  But not my problem… because…

5. This new little friend who is on the way!IMG_2039

We got to see shim squirming around yesterday in protest to the ultrasound tech’s pokes.  All is well so far and our kiddo is due at the end of June (so, the beginning of July). Please keep us in your prayers?

For more favorites and lots of gift ideas, head back to Moxie Wife!

5 Fatty Favorites

Linking up with Hallie to share my 5 favorites this week.  Am I making this up, or are we humans wired like our furry friends to bulk up for winter time when it starts getting colder and darker?  Just me?  Well, this is what I’ve been loving lately.

1. Trader Joe’s Edamame Hummus

I’ve been trying out different hummus every week to go with the ooooooooodles of cucumbers we’ve harvested.  This, by far, is my favorite.  I want to eat it with everything!!!

2. Newman’s Own Peach Salsa

Yes, I like dipping things.  This peach salsa is amazing! To be honest, I’ve never had peach salsa before, so this might be the worst one ever but I’d never know.  Because I’m sold.  Paul Newman, you little man with a huge head, I’m yours.

3. Apricot Lattice Bars

I love love love this recipe. It’s for fruit bars, but I always just do apricot.  They’re so easy, but they look super fancy and taste amazing!  I always get the itch to make & eat these bars in the fall, so I made them last weekend when we had guests over.  Yummmmmmm.  I very reluctantly sent our guests home with most of them at the end of the night because I can’t afford to buy myself new jeans, people!

4. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is an oldie but goodie.  I wrote about them last year in my autumn recipes post.  I haven’t made my inaugural fall 2013 batch yet, but I’ve been dreaming about it for the past few weeks.  Soon and very soon my love…

5. Corn Chowder

This is an old staple of my fall and winter dinner menu.  It’s so hearty and delicious. Just look at the bacon!  It really sticks to your ribs on a chilly night.  I usually make these biscuits to accompany it.  Soooo goooood. Oh, and I usually make the full recipe and then freeze half.  I love having freezer meals for those nights when I just can’t deal, you know?

Are you starving now? Me too.

Head on back to Moxie Wife to see everyone else’s 5 favs!

Quick recipe share

For all of you drowning in ripe tomatoes, if you have a gathering to attend soon, do yourselves and everyone there a big favor and make this BLT dip. Delish! Mimi and I enjoyed it 🙂

blt dipThis is not my photo, but it’s pretty much what it looked like, and it’s the photo that made me try out the recipe to begin with. I used lowfat sour cream instead of yogurt, and I served it with bagel chips. Worth the bacon-frying time!