Highs and Lows

Welp, it’s been a heck of a long time since I’ve blogged. And I’ll just put it out there for the 3 of you who aren’t members of my family and have been wondering where I’ve been: I’m not pregnant! That’s right, my 3 month blogging hiatus is not due to exhaustion and morning sickness. I’m just lazy. But we all knew that!

Now that that’s out of the way, I thought I’d use a certain, unoriginal, tried and true method of blogging to jot down a little bit about our summer and early fall: the highs and lows post.

Ahem.
July Highs:
Dave and I escaped and went out on a fancy, long date to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and then dinner for our anniversary.IMG_4572

The kids and I spent a week in New York while Jane was in town and all the sibs briefly got together (to take a picture).

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Lows:

None that I can think of… Well, July might have been the month that we let our tenant get a dog. Sigh…

August Highs:
The garden was in high gear giving us more produce than we could handle, especially tomatoes! I actually froze a ton of them this year and we’ve been using them in soups and chili. It makes me feel very Ma Ingalls-ish. Except she didn’t have a freezer.IMG_4779

My friend Annemarie hosted a FUS reunion that we made it to and that was a blast! It was nice to catch up with old friends and see our kids play together.

Lows:
Sara got a tummy bug at the tail end of the month and it was so sad.IMG_4771

September Highs:
We took an epic trip down to Raleigh to visit some of Dave’s family and then to Virginia Beach to soak up the last bit of the summer. And I was able to reconnect with a dear college friend while in Virginia Beach! We went on a sushi date and it was glorious!IMG_4854

When we got back, our preschool co-op started back up, and Sara LOVES it. Her pre-literacy skills are just exploding. My former preschool teacher self is totally geeking out over her academic growth.

GUS FINALLY STARTED WALKING! Listen, people. The kid is 27 pounds. It was time he started pulling his own weight around here.IMG_4927

Lows:
Everyone (except me!) came down with a stomach bug while we were on our epic trip. So. much. puke. And Sara had only gotten over her other stomach bug a couple of weeks before this one! I’m really trying not to let that whole ordeal color my impression of the entire trip but I’m not succeeding.IMG_4840

With the cold setting in at the end of September, some little furry friends decided to move on into our cozy house. We’ve had mice here and there over the last 4 years that we’ve lived here, but this is the first time that we’ve had some in the attic (how did they get up there????) as well as in our kitchen and bathroom. Any recommendations for your best traps would be appreciated! I’m really trying to fake it till I make it, because I know it’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but! ! ! They’re gross.

Well, that kind of covers it I guess! I’m not going to make grand promises of more consistent blogging, but I don’t intend to shut it all down or anything. ¬†So if anyone is still reading, thank you. ūüôā You’re a very patient and charitable person, and I like you.

 

 

7QT: Whaddup wid us

Linking up with Bonnie today for 7 quick takes.  Make sure to click back there and congratulate her on her big news!

1. Worst mommy (blogger) ever over here. ¬†Gus’ birthday was 2(?) weeks ago and I still can’t believe the dude is one. ¬†Except I can, because he’s the size of a 2 year old. ¬†He is bigger than Sara was when she was 2, and she’s no peanut! ¬†He needs to walk soon for my lower back and left hip’s sake. ¬†My left arm, however, is looking quite svelte! IMG_4566

2. ¬†He is such a jolly fellow, though. ¬†He says Momma, Dadda, thank you and happy, and sometimes “puhboo” for peekaboo. ¬†He’s only nursing once a day now so he’s been taking little milk bottles during the day and he’s OBSESSED with them. ¬†And he finally popped his top front teeth and it seems like the side ones on the top and bottom are close too.IMG_4480

3. ¬†Oh! And most importantly, he sleeps! ¬†I thought he never would sleep through the night, but at the beginning of June Dave finally had it with the night wakings and subsequent grumpy wife the next day, so he took it upon himself to deal with Gus’ wakings in order to break the night nursing. ¬†And it worked! ¬†I’m wondering why we didn’t night wean sooner. ¬†Now I know for next time. ¬†Life is so much better with sleep, ya’ll.

4. ¬†Sara is loving summer time in her backyard and her swimming lessons. ¬†Swimming lessons are her first “little thing” that she’s done. This fall, she’ll be doing Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at a nearby parish and I’m so excited for her to experience that, not only for the catechesis, but also for the independent learning experience with her friends. My friends and I are also doing the co-op again, and this coming year Sara will be in the classroom with me. ¬†She’s VERY excited about that and I’m excited to see how much she grows in the next year. ¬†3/4/5 year olds were my specialty back in my teaching days, so I’m looking forward to experiencing that age group again with my own kids.IMG_4428

5. ¬†Life has been humming along at a good pace. ¬†I feel like we’ve finally made our backyard a comfortable place to hang out, ¬†so we’ve been doing a lot of that lately. ¬†Dave made us a huge picnic table which we christened on the Fourth of July when we had some friends over, and since then we’ve been trying to have dinner out there when the weather allows.

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6. ¬†The garden is doing pretty well now! ¬†We were worried it was all going to be a wash in June when our backyard groundhog decided that it was¬†his garden, not ours. ¬†We weren’t able to harvest much broccoli and no snap peas at all because of his pilfering, but since we put out a trap, he’s stayed away. ¬†He’s a pretty old guy (or gal?) and I wonder if he knows what the deal is with the trap and he’s keeping his distance? ¬†Anyway, we haven’t had an issue since. ¬†We did have an issue with squash root borers in one of our zucchini plants, but the rest seem unaffected. ¬†We have more yellow squash than we know what to do with! I’m thinking of trying to make these soon.

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Carrots too!

7. ¬†Tomorrow we’re going on a date for our anniversary (which was on the fourth of July)! ¬†We’re finally going to check out the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum and then get dinner in the city somewhere. ¬†This is a big deal for us homebodies!

Happy weekend, everyone! I’ll be following along with all you Edel ladies on Instagram, trying not to be too jelly. ūüėČ

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.

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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. ūüėČ

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 Reasons to Smile

I’m pushing against this postpartum quicksand feeling today and actually getting a post up, by golly! I thought I’d do a combination of a Quick Takes post and a reasons to smile post, which is a happy challenge posed by my friend Annemarie earlier this week. ¬†So, here goes!

1. Our garden is in full harvest mode, and it’s helping us to be not so unhealthy in this survival season of life. ¬†So, while we’ve been eating a lot of freezer food lately, we have fresh tomatoes, green beans and squash to go along with it.

Tried out and loved the tomato zucchini gratin recipe found here. :)

Tried out and loved the tomato zucchini gratin recipe found here. ūüôā

Our carrot harvest back in July was piddling, but SK was impressed nonetheless.

Our carrot harvest back in July was piddling, but SK was impressed nonetheless.

2. And speaking of farmer Dave, not only has he been busy growing veggies and helping me stay sane in the evenings and on weekends, but he also landed an awesome new job this summer. ¬† I’m so proud of him and grateful for all his hard work for our family. ¬†Also, on the days when I get around to pumping, he takes the first feeding at night. ¬†What would I do without this man?

3.This little girl is growing in leaps and bounds every day.

IMG_2956¬†She has so much to say lately, and it’s so adorable. ¬†The other day, SK woke up from her nap in a grumpy mood so we cuddled on the couch with some milk and some Curious George. ¬†Gus woke up a little while later and he was in a bad mood too, and Sara said “It’s sad, Mommy! Why Baby Gus sad?” and I said he was just grumpy after nap and sometimes she feels grumpy after nap too, right? ¬†Sara looked at me solemnly and said “No, I just happy atter nap.”¬†IMG_2978

SK found a faint sliver of the moon outside and said “Wook ower dere! It’s da moon! It wook wike a bana (banana), yum!”

4. And this guy. ¬†IMG_2961He has his moments after nap and his little tummy does NOT like it when I eat Mexican food (sad day!) but otherwise he is such a happy fella. ¬†He’s much more smiley than SK was.

5. My friends and I are doing a preschool co-op this year, and we just had a planning meeting last night. ¬†Part of me is a little stressed because I’m the teacher. But I think I’m stressed because my experience with teaching preschool was in a professional setting. ¬†This is just friends, and we’re all there to help one another. ¬†There are no parent teacher conferences or difficult bosses to please, just a bunch of moms dipping our toes into cooperative at-home learning. ¬†I am enjoying flexing my preschool muscles again. ¬†It’s going to be a good year!

6. And speaking of muscles, I’ve started exercising again! ¬†I started doing my maternity barre dvd again and I’ve gotten out of the house for a few jogs since last week. ¬†I really missed running. ¬†My first run went well and I felt like a rockstar, but I’m pretty sure there was a lot of this going on:

Basically, my baby pooch kinda irritated my incision scar; I was wishing the whole time that my compression leggings had more compression! ¬†So on my second run, I wore spanx. ¬†(Underneath my running clothes, sheesh!) So. Much. Better. That’s right, folks, I run in spanx and I ain’t ashamed.

7. And this definitely random crazy and weird, but it’s been making me chuckle all week. O Fortuna Misheard Lyrics.

Postpartum pieces and bits

Life is really real with a toddler and a newborn.  I hope this transition to 2 is my hardest and 3 is easier.  Jinx! IMG_2895

I’m not good at doing things when I’m lacking sleep. ¬†I know, you’re thinking “doing things” is a very broad statement. ¬†What do I mean? ¬†Just that folks. I mean just that. ¬†Doing things, doing anything! ¬†We’ll start with talking. ¬†Words are escaping me right now in an alarming way. I’ll be telling Dave something and I’ll trail off and then completely blank and then literally bite my tongue.

Work it.

Work it.

Speaking of sleep affecting my cognitive powers, this past weekend during Gus’ baptism party I was talking to Rose and some of my girlfriends about Gus’ mysterious 3 am gas attacks. ¬†Someone suggested that maybe I’d had some cabbage, maybe a spring roll? ¬†Yes that was it! Then I realized, no, I was just thinking of that NBC reality show Food Fighters and how they had made spring rolls in the last episode. ¬†OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And speaking of Gus’ baptism, it was so lovely and we had such a great party afterwards. ¬†It was not Martha Stewart worthy in it’s presentation or quality of food (hello Stop and Shop deli platter!) but we had so many family and friends come and the weather held out so it was such a nice time relax and be with all the people we love. ¬†Oh, there I go again with my brain! My sweet friends here did generously bring some food to add to the mix that was delicious and beautiful so take that Martha!

Gus and his Godmommy Jane.  I think he likes her. :)

Gus and his Godmommy Jane. I think he likes her. ūüôā

People are so sweet and generous. ¬†I’ve only just started being responsible for cooking dinner at night again, my friends and family are that amazing!

Probably 5 out of the past 7 days, I’ve discovered around 2 in the afternoon that I forgot to brush my teeth. ¬†This never used to be a problem!

Baby boy poopy bums are much harder to clean than baby girl poopy bums.

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Backyard pool time means no bathing suit necessary. #lowstandards

Daniel Tiger’s insistence on teaching emotional language is going to be the death of me and my attempts to raise a decent toddler. ¬†“I’m so FWUSTWATED!”

Gus is not only a Mama’s boy, but he’s also literally clingy. ¬†He grabs onto my hair or my necklace with such a death grip and if I try to pry his fingers open, he starts hysterically crying!IMG_2905

Can a person have a love language that comes and goes? ¬†I am most decidedly not a physical touch person with my kids lately. ¬†SK has always been a very independent kid, but ever since Gus came home, she’s been extremely needy, especially physically needy, especially right when the baby is nursing after keeping me up all night nursing. ¬†I’m just a leeettle touched out. ¬†But on the flip side, one hug or a shoulder rub from Dave makes me melt into a puddle of mush, so I guess I still do like physical affection.

When SK wants me to do something with her but I can’t because I’m holding/nursing the baby she says “Put it down! Put the baby Gus down, Mommy!”

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I’m not going to lie, these first few weeks have been tough. ¬†But even in my exhausted stupor, I find myself at least once every day marveling over the fact that I have 2 kids. I feel so unworthy and so overwhelmed (in a mostly good way!) by my blessings especially after last week.¬† I’m sure you’ve all heard about Sarah Harkins and how she and her unborn daughter Cecilia passed away last week. ¬†Sarah was in my household, although she graduated my freshman year so we didn’t really know one another. ¬†I remember her from alumni visits, though, especially how stunningly beautiful she was and her fun sense of humor. ¬†It’s just been so devastating, I don’t know what to say or write. ¬†Others have written some beautiful things about her though, so I wanted to share their thoughts:

Jenny’s post¬†Sarah and the Saints

My friend Annemarie wrote 3 posts here, here and here

The Washington Post even had a touching piece on Sarah’s life.

That’s all I’ve got folks, nap time’s over. ¬†Happy Hump day y’all.

 

7QT: Whole Lotta Randoms

Linking up for 7 Quick Takes Friday with Jen & the gang.

1. A song for your weekend (and childhood nostalgia trip for me :))

2. Now that we’re a few hours away from his ETA, I guess it’s ok to share that Dave’s been out of town this week. ¬†It’s not a big deal and travel (specifically British travel lucky duck!) is a common thing for Dave with his job and current project. ¬†The hard thing about this trip was it was very last minute so I didn’t have time to get used to the idea and make plans (ideally to visit my mom) to distract us. ¬†It’s actually been a good week, though, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to face my discomfort with being at home alone with the kiddo and I survived! ¬†It helped to have playdates and friends visit, and of course, the farm trip really boosted our moods too! ¬†It really makes me feel for you ladies out there who are single moms, or who deal with deployment or demanding work hours in your husband’s jobs. ¬†We were not meant to do this alone! ¬†And if you have a minute, can you please say a quick prayer for Dave’s flight back today? ¬†The whole Malaysian flight disappearance last week has made me a Nervous Nelly about this trip.

3. When Dave gets home he’s going to need to sleep but I’m afraid he’s going fight it because he’s got some projects he’s feverishly working on here. ¬†One of them is his seedlings and garden prep. ¬†Check out this set-up he’s made for the seedlings in the basement!

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Yes that’s a heat lamp AND a heating pad. ¬†I’m surprised the neighbors haven’t called the cops on us yet as it clearly looks like we’re trying to grow a special type of garden if you know what I mean.

4. He’s also working on making a play kitchen for SK for her birthday at the beginning of April. In typical Dave fashion, he’s taking this project to the next level of nerdiness, but consequently the end result is going to be amazing. ¬†Here’s some sneak peek pictures.

Yup, those are some light up burners!

Yup, those are some light up burners!

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Oven door

5. I’m so excited for SK’s birthday because I think she’s really going to like her kitchen. ¬†She loves helping in the kitchen and her growing vocabulary reflects that.

Deeyishious! – Just yesterday she started saying that about her play cookies.

Mixin-mixin – That’s what we do with everything we cook.

Other cute words and phrases:

Cuse me, toots – her very polite, but hysterical phrase for when she’s suffering some flatulence. ¬†This phrase was basically the theme of daily Mass yesterday… it’s a good thing it’s mostly elderly folks at daily Mass!

Naaaamie, e aaaaaaaaa yoooouu? – SK has to search for her favorite buddy every day before nap and bedtime.

Oh, and remember how waffels used to have a mysterious h in front of it in SK’s pronunciation? ¬†Well, she recently changed the h to a y so it was “yaffels” but this morning it changed again to just “affels” which doesn’t at all reflect SK’s opinion of that particular breakfast bread product.

Wearing her "sun gasses"

Wearing her “sun gasses”

6. I had a First Communion meeting this week and there I found out for the first time how the First Communion day is going to go. ¬†Well, it was a bit of a rude awakening to discover that because it’s split into two Masses, I’m going to be there and working from about 9am till 3pm. ¬†Of course, this wouldn’t be a big deal except that I’m going to be 32 weeks at that point and probably looking a feeling a little worse for the wear. ¬†It’s a good thing I ordered this leg-hiding dress (taking advantage of Old Navy’s 40% off dresses this week):

7. Obviously, the dress will be paired with my most comfortable arch-supporting shoes, which might end up being my sneakers… You know you’ve really hit adulthood (especially in my family!) when you’re seriously considering taking the plunge and investing in a trusty pair of Birkenstocks to wear with EVERYTHING.

Have a great weekend, everyone! ¬†Despite our crazy wintery day yesterday, we’re supposed to get temps into the 50’s tomorrow! ¬†I can’t wait! ¬†I hope your weekend weather is shaping up nicely too.

Garden Update…

Last year was our first experience with gardening — Paul’s first ever, and my first since 4-H in junior high, plus my high school farm working experience. We were pleasantly surprised with the results. The peas, tomatoes, and onions were all plentiful and delicious, and the broccoli was really yummy if not high-yielding, and everything was very easy to grow and maintain. We had total fail with our cucumbers and peppers, but we were still raring to go when spring came around again this year. We wanted our garden this year to be bigger and better than last year’s, so Paul built three more raised beds, filled them with topsoil and manure, and we planted MORE tomatoes, MORE peas, MORE onions, MORE broccoli, plus some melons, lettuce, potatoes, and peppers.
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Results: mixed. The peas were easy and delicious and disappeared quickly, just like last year (I keep meaning to plant another round, but it’s getting late in the game now…). The onion sets I planted were dubious (small and squishy) as was the soil I planted them in (shallow and hard) and the results have been bleh — lots of dead or tiny onions, with a few stragglers seeming to be coming to full size out there. Oh well, onions are cheap.

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The tomatoes have been late in coming and not as drop-dead delicious, but they’re definitely ripening aplenty these days, and the plants themselves are monsters!
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So now I have to put these tomatoes to good use! I’ve already made this old favorite recipe twice (please try, it’s delicious!) so tonight I went with a chicken bruschetta recipe instead– similar, but definitely its own distinctive flavor. We liked!

bruschetta

If you try this recipe, two things: eggs first, then breadcrumbs, and add balsamic vinegar to the bruschetta topping, because duh; and also, warm the bruschetta up on the side or tucked in around the chicken rather than on top of it, as it ruins the crunch of the crouton topping, in my opinion.

Here’s a closeup of some of our ripe tomatoes, delicious-if-tiny broccoli, and sad little onions.

bounty

And I almost forgot — we’re really looking forward to harvesting our watermelons! So far we count five of them, but there have been lots of flowers, so I don’t know what to expect for a total yield. We made little beds of straw for them to rest on so they don’t get flat or squishy. They look delicious already and are growing really quickly!watermelon

As far as the potatoes and peppers, well, it’s almost September and there have been no blossoms on either, so our hopes aren’t high, but maybe everything will just be a little late this year (oh, please, do not let this apply to babies, too!).

 

 

5 Favorites Vol. 9

1. First things first.

Sorry (not sorry) if that annoys anyone. ¬†As Simcha said, he’s a new baby, and new babies are always a wonderful thing! As an aside, of course Kate looks wonderful, yadda, yadda, yadda, because she’s Kate and she has a stylist and hair and makeup person and she’s gorg. But! Apart from her amazing arms and legs and remarkably not-puffy face (we McSisters get pregnant EVERYWHERE so we’re very jealous of ladies who just get a belly) she actually looked like it was a physical probability that she did indeed birth an 8-ish pounder the day before. ¬†I’m a fan.

And!  We have the same exact infant seat as the Cambridges.  Now I just wish we had the same car!

Sweet ride. Image via Metro UK

2. This lace top that I scored for $14!!!!

Find it at Loft

I haven’t been shopping at Loft for a while because I’ve noticed a decline in the quality of their products and frankly I haven’t really been liking their stuff all that much. ¬†But I’ve been drooling over this top since I first saw Kate wear it way back when. ¬†Plus, $14 is pretty darn good for a lace top!

3. Lest you think I’m completely shallow (I assure you, I’m only mostly shallow),¬†¬†Christy’s post on Monday about the sacraments and motherhood was so beautiful and definitely hit a note for me. ¬†I’ve had times in my life when I have clung to the the familiarity and tangible comfort of the Mass, adoration and the Eucharist. ¬†The sacraments are one of the many reasons why I’m so grateful to be Catholic!

4. This post written by my good friend Annemarie about traveling with 3 littles made me laugh HARD. ¬†She’s hysterical and she’s my hero!

5.  So many cucumbers!  cukes

¬†Gots to go now. ¬†Somehow my child is covered in chocolate. I know there are much worse things she could be covered in but still… it’s a mystery! And it’s messy!

For more 5 Favs, head on over to Camp Patton ūüôā

Celebrations, Cravings, Carsick {7QT & Womb Service}

It’s Friiiiiiiday, Friiiiiiday.

1. I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July yesterday. ¬†We enjoyed our double celebration of the Fourth and our anniversary. ¬†We all went out for a nice lunch together and then later we went to our friend’s house for a delicious BBQ. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA You know, when we set July 4th as the date for our wedding, we weren’t absolutely thrilled with it because it seemed kind of kitschy, but in retrospect it was a really good decision. ¬†Dave always has the day off from work and there’s always fun to be had. ¬†Hence it’s always a really special day.

2. We were relieved to make it to our friend’s house (which is about 40 minutes away) yesterday in one piece because we’ve been experiencing some technical difficulties with car travel lately. ¬†It all started last week when we decided SK was ready for a big girl forward facing car seat. ¬†She seemed pretty excited about this transition too! ¬†That is, until we took our first 10 minute car trip to Costo. ¬†We barely made it to the parking lot before she ‘sploded her snack all over the beautiful new Graco Nautilus. ¬†I was in a panic. Was she sick? We had a date that night! ¬†Was this carsickness? ¬†Couldn’t be! We were in the car for 10 minutes! ¬†Well, we very cautiously took very short trips all weekend and watched her like a hawk. ¬†She never got fully sick again, but most car trips, even the quickest ones, made her very upset and she would cough-gag by the time we got to our destination. ¬†Since we stupidly got a seat that only faces forward, we decided we would get another car seat that had a rear-facing option in hopes that it would help her nausea. ¬†So far so good! But I’m feeling mostly cautious, not so much optimistic though. ¬†Especially since we have lots of car trips planned for this summer.

3. Well, it’s a terrible segue, but I figured since I was writing about nausea, I could join up with Katrina’s Womb Service link-up and reminisce about what foods kept my nausea at bay when I was in the “family way”. ¬†In some ways, I was totally that pregnant woman. ¬†I loved pickles! ¬†I always love pickles, especially a good bread and butter pickle, but when I was pregnant, it was only dill pickles for me. ¬†Dill pickles with slices of sharp cheddar. ¬†Dave loved a smooch after I had that snack! Towards the end, I had a terrible horrible no good very bad eating habit. ¬†I had some frosting left over from making St. Patrick Day cookies and I would eat the frosting with ritz crackers! ¬†It was awful! ¬†And I wonder why SK was 9 1/2 pounds! ¬†That’s all I can remember specifically. ¬†I wish I was one of those ladies who craved fruit. ¬†I never crave fruit, pregnant or not. ¬†And I wonder why I’m ____ pounds!

Pregnant women don't get free beer at the Sam Adams brewery :(

Pregnant women don’t get free beer at the Sam Adams brewery ūüôĀ

Oh, and speaking of beer, I think Rose has her current cravings to share for Katrina’s link-up too!

rosebeer

Teehee. Don’t kill me, Rose.

4. Our garden is doing so well! ¬†IMG_1521 IMG_1522We’ve had snap peas for the past 3 weeks or so, so of course I made this dinner with them. ¬†So delicious!

5. I wish I had progress to report about our chair reupholstery project. ¬†It’s kind of in limbo right now. ¬†Dave still needs to finish stripping and re-staining the wood and I need to start cutting pieces, making new cording and sewing the cushion cover. ¬†It’s just not on the top of our priorities and wants now that summer is here. ¬†The last thing I want to do in the summer is spend hours inside sewing! It’s shameful though, I know. ¬†I’m going to make weekly chair goals for myself so that we have a little progress soon, I promise!

6. You’re not going to believe this but we are far from being done celebrating birthdays and anniversaries this month! ¬†Next up is Miss Ruthie’s birthday on July 7th, then Jack’s on July 8th. Our Grandma’s birthday is July 14th, Jane and Brandon’s 13th wedding anniversary is the 15th and Lucy’s birthday is the 16th!

7. And on top of all that, Coming up next weekend is the long-anticipated McFamily reunion. ¬†My Mom and Grandma have been working non-stop on planning this shin-dig for at least a year and it’s finally almost here! ¬†Along with descendants of our beloved late Grandpa McMahon, there will also be descendants of his siblings in attendance, making for a very merry McFamily get-together. ¬†And get this. ¬†We get tee shirts! ¬†Jane and her brood are coming so almost all of the McSisters will be together; we’ll be missing our Sister-sister Mary though. ¬†Maybe someone got around to making a Sr. Theresa cardboard cutout?

That’s all she wrote. ¬†And it’s quite enough! Linking with the beautiful Katrina and Jen today because that’s a-what-I-do ūüėČ

Five Favorites (Vol. 4)

Finally Rose’s turn to join up with Hallie Lord and her 5 Favorites fun! ¬†Here are Rose’s favs:

Okay, getting this feature in on the right day! Here’s some things that are making me happy lately…
1. Maxi skirts as maternity wear:jessalba

I’m due at the END of September, so I have a long summer to get through and shorts/short skirts are not an option for this McSister. This is less a modesty issue and more a Hilary-Clinton-legs issue on my part. I do wear capri pants, but obviously a skirt or dress is the most comfortable and cool option. Enter the maxi skirt — I’m so glad these are in style this time around, and the jersey-knit ones seem really versatile, able to be dressed up for church or special occasions, or doing the work of sweats with a plain t-shirt. I have purchased two skirts and one dress/beach coverup that seems like it could double as a skirt as well, and I’m looking forward to debuting them on our trip to Florida at the end of May.

2. Homemade Granola:

granola

A few weeks ago Ruthie decided that her new favorite cereal was my $5 a box granola, and we were going through it like water and killing my grocery budget. So I decided to try to make some at home, and we’ve all been very happy with the results of this recipe I found by America’s Test Kitchen.¬† Big chunks, just sweet enough, stays crunchy in milk, and makes a nice frozen yogurt topping, too. Try it!

3. The Tupler Technique

This probably doesn’t qualify as something I like, because first of all, I hate doing it, and second, I just started so I can’t even tell you if it works or not, but let me explain: Like two of my other McSisters, I ended up with a diastasis recti, or separated abdominal muscles, after my second child was born. It wasn’t bothering me too much until I got pregnant again.¬† Lets just say that at 7 months pregnant, it looks like Princess Kate has just finally caught up with me, and I’m only 18 weeks along. I will not be sharing photos. Beyond the merely aesthetic issue, though, my upper abs were sometimes feeling numb and tingly, and my almost 2-year-old kept climbing on me and elbowing or kneeing me straight in the vital organs, which are no longer protected by a wall of muscles. Plus, as I looked into the issue more, I discovered that having a diastasis can make it harder to push effectively in labor, and can make it more likely that your baby will present transverse breech, since your stomach muscles are not holding them into the correct position for delivery.¬† Been there already, don’t wanna go back. So, I took the plunge and ordered an instructional DVD and a Diastasis Rehab Splint from this website. According to the website, and to my midwife, it is totally safe to wear this and do the exercises while pregnant, and the hope is to keep your diastasis as small as possible and to strengthen your abdominal muscles and pelvic floor in preparation for labor.¬† We shall see.

4. Getting back into artwork

artwork

I recently joined the local art society, hoping it would encourage me to do more artwork on my own, and I have really loved the experience so far. I have gotten to see two demonstrations of different techniques, attended a watercolor workshop, and had some of my work critiqued by a local art professor. Tomorrow, I will be submitting two pieces to the Spring Juried Show at our library.¬† I will post pictures of them later and let you know if they’ve been accepted, but I’m quite happy with them either way and very pleased to be drawing and painting again.

5. Spring!

Yes, I realize this is unoriginal, but it is nonetheless true. I love this warm weather and getting the girls outside every day, and they love it, too. We have expanded our garden from two raised beds to five, and Paul worked all weekend tilling and mixing up soil and building the new boxes. This is only our second year gardening, but we had some success last summer and we’re hoping it turns out well this year, too. Advice for Ellen — pinch off the tomato suckers!

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Head on back to Moxie Wife for more 5 Favorites!