Sunday, December 29, 2013

22 weeks

22 weeks
heart shirtdress, out of stock @ old navy | custom black and white bow | green cardigan

I didn't get to post a 21 week bump picture because Solis and I BOTH came down with the stomach bug!!  Hands down the worst night in that poor child's life.

Baby is now the size of: a spaghetti squash
Total weight gain: Irrelevant b/c of the stomach bug.
Maternity clothes: No.  I lived in sweats all week b/c of being sick.
Sleep: I think I slept the whole week away.
Favorite meal this week: I didn't eat much this week but I did manage a little plate of my mom's Christmas dinner.  She made a family recipe called Aunt Sally's Potatoes.  So unhealthy but so delicious.  I posted the recipe below.
Cravings: Fruit.  Too bad it's winter and there isn't much fresh fruit around.  Bananas and applesauce were obviously my food of choice this week.
Exercise: Took the whole week off.  Can't wait to hit the gym when I have my strength back.
Sickness: I think you know.
Worst moment this week: That one awful night.  From 8pm-3am, Solis was sick.  And so was I.  And she was screaming for ONLY me so I literally was crawling to her room every time she puked.  At least daddy was there to change sheets, give baths, and do laundry.  Thankfully, the puking only lasted 1 night.  However, the fatigue and nauseousness still hasn't gone away.
Best moment this week: Christmas morning.  Even though we were recovering from the stomach bug, I really did enjoy our quiet morning together.  Solis was SO SO excited for just about everything.  I was also thankful that even though I was stuck in bed most the week, I was able to feel my baby boy move around constantly.  Sickness stinks but finding those little blessings makes my heart happy.
Looking forward to: NYE.  Bonus-Solis is spending the night at grandma's!  Even though I can't have any bubbly this year, a whole night with my husband and friends without any toddler interruptions is close enough.  Or at least I keep telling myself it is.  CHEERS!

Aunt Sally's Potatoes
1 bag of southern style hash browns, thawed
4 tsp melted butter
4 tsp flour
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
 3 tsp melted butter 
1/2 cup cornflake crumbs

1. Cook the hash browns in a skillet with oil.
2. In a separate saucepan, combine the butter, flour, and milk and heat until thick. 
3. Add 1 cup of cheese to the sauce.
4. Place cooked potatoes in a greased 13x9 dish.  
5. Pour sauce over potatoes.
6. Top with remaining cheese.
7. Melt 3 tsp. butter and add cornflake crumbs.  Sprinkle on top of casserole.
8. Add paprika if desired.
9. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

It's a.......

It's a........
Solis has been holding in a big secret!  
A new brother or a new sister?
 Watch the video to find out!

We found out awhile ago and had the ultrasound tech color a pink or blue line and seal it in an envelope.  When we got home, Solis opened it and told us the color.
We are so so happy to be adding a BOY to the family!  
Solis only has girl cousins on both sides so this will be first grandson as well.
We are on cloud 9 and thanking God for our endless blessings that he has graciously given us this Christmas day.  XOXO

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

the cuteness of Christmas past

the cuteness of Christmas past
It's Christmas Eve!!  Solis and I both had the stomach bug for the past 2 days and we are s-l-o-w-l-y on the mend.  So everything we had planned has been postponed....our baby gender reveal, daddy's birthday celebrations, Christmas Eve fun.  Total bummer but there are worse things and so much to be thankful still.

So in the midst of my stomach bug, I found these pictures to bring some happiness back in my heart.

Here's baby Solis at 5 months old.  She's in her daddy's stocking that he came home from the hospital in-since he was a Christmas baby!
 Our Christmas card, 2011
 Christmas card, 2012 (Solis was 17 months and still bald)
 This year's card.  Finally some hair!  But it's a mullet, hence the piggytails.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Toddler Christmas snacks

Toddler Christmas Snacks
Time to jazz up those day to day toddler snacks with some festive fun!  Sure, it takes some time and doesn't look absolutely perfect but your toddler will love it (and you) for doing it! 

May I present the fruit candycane:
 Clearly she loved it!   
(I wish I could take credit for this super cute fruit snack but I saw it in Taste of Home.)
 Don't forget about milkies in a fun cup!
And if you need to kill time before her scrambled eggs are ready, try this fine motor skill activity.  Just buy a sugar jar from the dollar store and have your child put toothpicks in the holes.  Bam!  Whiney-ness averted.
She loves this activity!
The second snack I saw floating around the internet and been wanting to try:
Grinch Kabobs!
So easy.  You just need green grapes, bananas, strawberries, marshmallows, and toothpicks.  I cut the bottoms off the grapes so they could stand up but if you make a whole bunch and lay them down, you don't have to do that.
 Solis is a really good eater but I've never seen her eat fruit so fast.  Anytime you jazz up your child's food, they will eat it up!  Tis the season!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Toddler Christmas Crafts

Toddler Christmas Crafts
Since most of Solis's activities are on hiatus for the month of December, we finally had time to tackle some projects I've been wanting to get to.  

Craft #1: Number & letter recognition on Christmas trees.
I cut out two trees and put the alphabet and numbers (1-20) on stickers.  I wrote all the letters and numbers on the trees and she matched them up.  Anything that involves stickers, this kid is down with.  The numbers were easy for her and she did them on her own.  The letters were a little harder.

  The finished product.  I display all her artwork in her playroom on these IKEA magnetic boards.
Craft #2: Christmas Wreaths
The hubby cut out 2 circles from cardboard and Solis went to town painting them.  She h-a-t-e-s to get messy so no need for a smock on this girl.

The next day she decorated them.  I let her use a paint brush to dip in Elmer's glue and then she smashed placed on pom poms.

 And once I saw her start feeding the balls to her baby, I knew that wreath was done.
Wreath #2 was a crazy mess.  I got one of those bags of shredded paper at a craft store and it was everywhere.  I'm still finding paper shreds a week later.  For this wreath, she used a glue stick and then slammed down the paper.
The finished products.  Wild looking but 100% toddler!
 Craft #3: Matching colors on the Christmas tree
This is a super cheap craft and no mess!  The only thing I bought was a tub of foam stickers but you could use any stickers you have laying around.  I cut out 6 trees (that was the hardest part for me!) and put one sticker at the top so she could match up the rest.
Pealing the backs off stickers is great fine motor work.
When she was done, she took all her trees to the couch and started counting the stickers on each one.  The teacher in me was so proud!
Christmas fine motor skills activity: fruit loops, noodles, and playdough
This is so simple and most of the items you can find in your home already.  I put out red and green playdough and fruit loops (yes, I picked through a container)....stuck a noodle in each playdough ball and let her go to town.
She had a lot of fun doing this but kept asking every other one when she could eat one.  This was the first time she's had fruit loops and that girl was in sugary cereal heaven.
 There you have it....four simple and inexpensive crafts to do with your toddler around the holidays!

Monday, December 16, 2013

20 weeks....halfway!

20 weeks.....halfway!
Baby is now the size of: A banana.  At our ultrasound, baby weighed 12 ounces!
Total weight gain: 10 pounds, yikes.  With Solis, I only gained 7-8 at the halfway point.  But I also didn't have Pinterest and dessert recipes staring me in the face back then.
Maternity clothes: Nope, but I did buy a bunch of basic long sleeve tees the next size up to get over this bump of mine.  Still wearing my regular jeans, hanging on by a thread.
Sleep: Great, can't complain!
Favorite meal this week: A pomegranate and orange salad. (Recipe) It was so light and refreshing and my prego body was loving the fresh fruit.  We used spinach instead of greens, sliced almonds instead of walnuts.  And I skipped the dressing.  The juices from the fruits were good enough.  Bonus-Solis downed the pomegranates like they were candy.
Cravings: Hot chocolate.  I'm always cold and this is the perfect sweet fix at night without stuffing my face full of fat.
Exercise: 5 days of running or elliptical at 35 min and on one of those days, I ran 40 minutes.  I'm not a fan of the elliptical but on those super tired pregnancy days, it's much easier than running.
Sickness: I still get almost daily headaches, especially if I don't get 8 hours of sleep.  So weird.
Worst moment this week: The soda hangover.  It's when you haven't had soda in years and went hog wild one night with a bottle and the result is the worst stomach pain you have felt in years.  Ugggg and I didn't even get a buzz off it. :)
Best moment this week:  Definitely our ultrasound and seeing our baby in action.  Baby is measuring good and appears to be healthy.  After having 3 discouraging ultrasounds the first trimester b/c of the blood clot, we were so relieved and thanking God that our baby is looking great!!  And we know the gender but keeping it a secret for another week!
Looking forward to: Friday!  Because Shaun will be off work till January 2nd!!!!

One of my favorite and well known baby verses: "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Psalms 139: 13-14

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

the Christmas chocolate mint trifle

the Christmas chocolate mint trifle
  If you are a fan of chocolate and lots of it, then this bowl of richness is for you.  I am certainly no Giada and my bowl may not look pretty but really, as long as it tastes amazing then I can overlook the presentation.  It looks festive enough for the holidays so why not add a little chocolate cheer to your next gathering.  I whipped up this bowl for my MOPS group and when I say whipped up, I literally just threw things together.  So easy, just a little time consuming.  And if you have a husband on hand to do the mixing, then even better!!  Thanks, honey :)

1 box of brownies (I used Ghirardelli)
ingredients to make the brownies
3.9 package Jell-O instant chocolate fudge pudding
2 cups milk 
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon mint extract
drops of red food coloring (use green if you want to make a St. Patty's day bowl!)
12 mint oreos, chopped (you can use more if you are an Oreo fanatic or just eat the other row right there on the spot)
box of Andes mints, chopped

1. Make the box of brownies, cool, and cut into tons of little pieces.  Try not to put any in your mouth.  It's tough.
2.  Beat pudding mix and 2 cups milk with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes.  Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
3.  Whip heavy cream using an electric mixer until it thickens a bit.  Then add 1/4 cup powdered sugar and continue to whip.  Add the mint extract and food coloring and mix until the cream till hold a peak.  (This can take awhile so having a sucker of a helpful husband helps.)
4.  Chop the oreos and Andes mints, separately.  I have the Ninja chopper and it works like a charm.
5.  Time to layer!  You will be doing 2 layers of each ingredient, except for the Andes mints, you will have 3 layers.  Brownies, oreos, pudding, andes mints, cream mixture.  Repeat.  Sprinkle with andes mint.
6.  Serve and try not to eat too much that may result in Tums....story of my life.

And a blog entry couldn't possibly be complete without a Soly Poly picture.  We stopped by the lotion store, as she calls it, and what do you know....the bag matches her outfit.  Couldn't resist.

Monday, December 9, 2013

19 weeks

19 weeks
grey tutu dress, tights, boots, christmas bow

Baby is now the size of:  A mango and after having a mango margarita last summer, 
I now know I am allergic to them.  Bummer. 
Total weight gain: 9 pounds
Maternity clothes: No but I wore yoga pants most of the week.  Being a stay at home mom has its perks.
Sleep: Still great at night.  Sometimes I have to take a nap when Solis does.  I've been a sleeping maniac lately.
Favorite meal this week:  So many.  The tomato tilapia dish is one of my new faves (you can find the recipe in the recipe link at the top).  Salmon BLT's are also one of our favorite meals.  And I tried to recreate the Chipotle chicken bowl with brown rice, stir fry veggies, fresh shredded cheddar, and grilled chicken marinated with this amazing packet.  Shaun and Solis added beans to their bowls.
Cravings: Cheese its, so random for me b/c I don't munch on chip type products at all.
Exercise: 4 days running at 35 minutes, 1 day elliptical at 35 minutes, 1 day of P90X legs.  Felt great to up my running minutes!
Sickness: None but on some days I'll get a nasty headache.  Never had headaches when I was pregnant with Solis.  Aren't they delightful.
Worst moment this week: Solis woke up in the middle of the night crying.  Many times.  So unlike her b/c she's a rock star sleeper (thank you babywise).  The next morning we knew why.....a nasty cold.  She hasn't been sick in months and handles her colds like a champ but that night time waking just reminded us of what life will be like in a few months....
Best moment this week: I started to feel the baby move!!  I love sitting with my hand on my belly feeling movements.  It's happening multiple times a day.  Now I finally feel pregnant :)
Looking forward to: Our 20 week ultrasound where we will find out the gender!! But after the subchorionic hemorrhage scare in the first trimester, we just want to see our baby again and pray everything is going well.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

18 weeks

18 weeks
Baby is now the size of:  a sweet potato
Total weight gain: 9 pounds.  Up 3 from last week.  I would love to say it's all baby but I know it's from a whole week of stuffing my face with holiday food.  I even exercised 6 days.  Just goes to show that it really is important what you put in your body.
Maternity clothes: No but my jeans are getting terribly uncomfortable.  Good thing I have saved the next size up from when I used to like looser jeans.  That should buy me another week or 2 before (confession time) my Old Navy maternity jeans come in the mail.
Favorite meal this week: Nothing can beat your mom's thanksgiving dinner.  My absolute favorite is eating a bowl of turkey and stuffing the next day.
Exercise: 5 days of running at 30 min and 1 day of P90X legs.  It was a great week at the gym! 
Mood: Happy :)
Sickness: None and no weird pregnancy pains this week.  Enjoying this 2nd trimester...
Worst moment this week: One day at the gym a skinny, tan, blonde stepped on the treadmill next to me.  I felt incredibly large and old next to her, especially b/c my tank top kept riding up my growing belly and I had to keep pulling it down every 2 minutes.  My only solace was that I was running the whole time and she did a half walk/half jog.  I told my husband this story and he said, you sound like one of those old people complaining about young people.  Great, I guess I'm old now :)
Best moment this week: Shaun was off most the week and the 3 of us had the best time doing everything together.  And then there was this-I told Solis I love you.  She told me, I love you more, mommy.  Seriously, she is just the sweetest everyday!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving recap

Thanksgiving Recap
6 days off for the hubby.  Solis got her play partner.  Mommy got her rest.  It was a relaxing and super fun Thanksgiving filled with family, laughs, and too much food,
even for this prego girl.  
It all started with the eggless cookie dough (recipe found here).
I got creative with Solis's playgroup and made these fancy dancy acorn treats.  And when I say fancy, I mean, take a donut hole, spread some frosting, dip in sprinkles, and stick a pretzel in it.  Easy peasy.
 Then we moved onto more dessert for Thanksgiving day breakfast.  A little too french toasty for my liking and the cinnamon roll taste was lost.  But that didn't stop the 3 of us from finishing the whole pan.  We did cut the recipe in half......if that justifies it? (Recipe)
After breakfast there was a little fort making....
and a lot of booty shaking to the parade.
We went to my parents for dinner and I was in charge of dessert.  Naturally, I brought pumpkin pie chocolate cake.  I made a copycat recipe of Cracker Barrel's double fudge coca cola cake.  As you can see, we are not a traditional Thanksgiving dessert family. (recipe)
My husband's side of the family is huge and they always have a holiday brunch.  I decided to forgo the sweet route for once and made these amazing muffin melts.  I thought I would never touch egg salad based on the smell alone but picked one of these suckers up at MOPS one day and was in love. (recipe)

Amidst all this eating, we squeezed in some home made turkey cards for cousins and grandparents.  Toddlers+paint+markers+stickers=a whole morning of fun.
 Now that our week long pig fest is over, I am SO looking forward to eating healthy again and getting back on track.  It was fun while it lasted!  Happy Thanksgiving!!

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." 
Psalm 118:1