Monday, July 30, 2012

My least favorite game...

Step right up!  It's time for another gripping rendition of... 

You have a sick baby. 
Now in the next 30 seconds you will have to decide: who can afford to not be at work more out of the two parents that both HAVE to be at work???   Aaaaannnnndd GO!

:: insert Jeopardy Music here ::

ME:  Well I have a huge client event this afternoon so I HAVE to go in but I could probably swing a late start...

HUBBY:  Well I HAVE to be in the office this morning to help out with a project and to be on my conference call...

ME:  Ok, so I'll stay home until your conf call is done and you can relieve me so I can get to the office and prepare for our event. 

HUBBY:  Sounds good.

:: Ding, ding!  Time's up! :: 

Little C is sick.  Again.  What is going on here?  Do we have him enrolled in the most unhealthy daycare known to man?  Do we take him to the most unsanitary park and sand box in all of Denver, Colorado?  Should we stop taking him to the Zoo, swimming, exploring, etc?  Do we live in squallier causing our child to get sick all the time?!?!?

I don't get it.  I wish someone could tell me if this is normal or not.  Everyone always says that the first year of a baby in full-time daycare is tough and to just hang in there.  "He's building up his immune system, he'll be the healthiest kid in kindergarten."  I sure hope everyone who keeps saying that is right.  I feel like it's always something with our little man and not having an idea why is hardest part. 

Today is an unexplained fever.  No puking (thank goodness).  No Rash.  Teething?  Possible.  Flu?  Doubtful.  Food allergy?  Some other type of allergy?  If the fever is still gracing us with its presence tomorrow there will definitely be another titillating round of my least favorite game AND a trip to the doc!

And to think, I had a whole bunch of super cute and fun pics to share from my weekend but now my day is cut short and I have to put on my best super fake smiley face for 50-60 of our top clients until 7pm tonight!  I've been up since 4:30am and all I want to do is be home with Little C and Hubby.  (sigh)  Oh well.  I can do this.  Plus... I love my job, I love my job, I love my job.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sweet 16, 5 spot, and Friday vibe

So my son will be 16 months old next week and I am currently on my 16th week of pregnancy.  Woot!  I can't believe it has already been 4 months and what is even harder to believe is that I only have 5 months to go!!  5 months can feel like plenty of time AND the blink of an eye. Gulp.

5 months before labor.  Double gulp. 

5 months to figure out sleeping arrangements, dig the newbie clothes out of the boxes, get the bottles back out, organize as much as possible and finish all the house projects that are looming over us. 

5 months to spend extra special quality time with Little C before he is no longer the baby on the block.  5 months to spend wondering if he is going to be ok with the new addition and how all of us are going to adjust. 

5 months to pick out the name, because it just might take us that long to figure it out!  Fun Fact: Hubby and I are both Gemini's so decision making can go round and round sometimes.

We can do it!  We will do it!  Within 5 months we will somehow work out all the details big and small and we will be ready to rock and roll when P-Nut graces us with his/her presence.

Speaking of rock and roll...  don't Fridays just put you in a rockin' mood?!?  I think most Fridays just have a certain "vibe" to them.  The end of another long week, the weekend on the horizon.  I'm stoked because my boss is in a chipper mood, which sets the tone for the whole office, and he will be in multiple appointments OUT of the office today.  In turn I am in a chipper mood and will be enjoying my quiet Friday.  I've already been told I get to leave early today and my father-in-law is picking Little C up from daycare to spend the afternoon with him so I will have a couple of hours to myself to squeeze in a workout.  This Friday is shaping out to be pretty great!  Now if only my bank account was as rockin' as my mood...  payday can be painful when you know the money coming in is on its way out!

But no!  I will not let that damper my mood today.  Nothin' is gonna break my stride!

Happy Friday, friends!  


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Apparently my doctor doesn't read my blog...

Remember how I told you I had an appointment with a Thyroid specialist yesterday?  Well it didn't quite go as well as I had hoped but, I suppose, it didn't quite go as bad as it could have either.  Basically one set of my labs came back hyperthyroid and my second set of labs are normal.  Some of the symptoms related to hyperthyroidism and Graves' disease are symptoms that I have.  The doc's "theory" is that I have had Graves' disease for some time but my pregnancies have "calmed" it down to the point of normal thyroid function.  :-/

Then I started asking, "so what does this mean for me and for my pregnancy?"  She said so far the pregnancy is fine and there is nothing to worry about.  As for me, she said we really won't know for sure if I have Graves' disease until after I deliver and that I should try not to worry.  Ha!  Try not to worry?!?!  This was also said after she revealed all of the scary effects of hyperthyroidism. 

And then guess what I did once I got back to work??  Remember what I said the #1 thing NOT to do if you are worried about something???  Google it.

Graves' disease: (according to the Mayo Clinic)
Graves' disease is an immune system disorder that results in the overproduction of thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism). While a number of disorders may result in hyperthyroidism, Graves' disease is the most common cause.

Because thyroid hormones affect a number of different body systems, signs and symptoms associated with Graves' disease can be wide ranging and significantly influence your overall well-being.

Untreated hyperthyroidism in a pregnant mother can cause:
  • Miscarriage
  • Intrauterine growth retardation
  • Prematurity
  • Low birth weight
  • Stillbirth
  • Hyperthyroidism in the fetus or newborn

After my appointment it became very clear that my doctor did not read this post where I admit I am a "worry wart" mother, much to my chagrin.  If she had read my blog she would know sharing with me all of the unpleasant and scary effects of hyperthyroidism would do not one bit of good for me (even though I would have googled them on my own any way).  But alas my lovely doctor has basically told me my thyroid readings are currently normal and I have nothing to worry about AND that whether or not I have Graves' disease is purely hypothetical at this point. 

As I attempt to let all of this go I have full faith that I am in good hands as I continue to get thyroid readings done once a month until I deliver, meet with the Thyroid doc twice more before I deliver and continue on with my amazing OB/GYN docs.  If they say I have nothing to worry about then that is the approach I will take!  I will do my best to not worry

So... how do I not worry??? Anyone have any tips?  Anyone?  Oi.  Hold me closer Tony Danza.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Things I am Loving About Today

  1. I have a guest post at Mile High Mamas.  Woot!
  2. It's hump day!  We're half way there people.
  3. It's a bit overcast and lovely this morning and they are calling for rain later.  Any break from the heat is a very welcome thing.
  4. Little C has started playing this new game in the car for the drive to daycare.  He blows a raspberry and when I reciprocate he bursts out laughing.  Of course it is repeated many, many times.  It makes me smile and warms my heart.
  5. I have a pretty light day here at work.  Not a single client is coming in and after running around at a tennis tournament the past few days I am looking forward to catching up and working at my own pace.

Things I am NOT loving about today:
  1. It's only hump day.... wishing it were Friday.
  2. I have developed a very terrible habit of pulling into the drive thru Starbuck's conveniently located next to daycare and there is never a line.  This is dangerous and wonderful all at the same time and must be stopped.   
  3. I discovered a stain on my shirt after pulling into the office.
  4. I have to go to a Thyroid specialist today.  Apparently my thyroid readings are a bit wonky and you can't take any chances with that stuff when you're pregnant.  This happened when I was pregnant with Little C and there ended up being nothing to worry about.  Apparently my "normal" is ever so slightly out of the text book normal range.  But my doctors won't let me slide and I now have to pay an arm an a leg to see a specialist who I know will tell me I am fine however, she wants to keep monitoring me therefore causing me to keep paying an arm and a leg to continue seeing her so she can continue to tell me I am fine.  (sigh)  I am honestly just hoping with all my might that I am fine and that there isn't an issue and of course I will gladly pay a specialist to make sure my health and my baby's health is all good. 
  5. I had to leave Little C at daycare and come to work.  I don't know whats harder... leaving him when he is crying with outstretched arms or when he is in such a fun and cute mood and all I want to do is stay and play with him.  :( 
How is your day going so far?  Did you have to leave a little one(s) at daycare today?  What are you loving or not loving about today?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Weekend Wrap-up

I had a great and busy weekend!  It was also one of those weekends that made me thankful for having so much family nearby.  We had to enlist my mother-in-law to watch Little C overnight on Friday because I had to work at a tennis tournament my company is sponsoring and Hubby had a rare night out for some fun with his bro. 
Little C's first haircut at 9 months old sitting so still!

Saturday after picking Little C up from Grammy's we were off to get the guys haircuts.  This is C's third haircut to date and he does such a good job!  He sits still for the most part and even the clippers don't scare him.  This time the dryer did make him nervous and he cowered into mamas arms.  I of course found this endearing and loved "protecting" him from the big, bad hair dryer! 

We rounded out Saturday with a party for my Grandma's 75th birthday.  The entire side of my Dad's family gathered at my Uncle's house for a lovely evening of eating, drinking, laughing, reminiscing, and baby holding.  Little C has two baby girl twin cousins.  You guys, they are the cutest little 5 month olds EVER!!  Plus my Uncle who's house we gathered at is a wonderful cook.  He made a delicious grilled salmon salad and bruschetta with fresh heirloom tomatoes and mozzarella.  It was to die for!  My Grandma had a wonderful birthday and she enjoyed having all of her family there to celebrate with her.

The only bummer about the birthday party was the giant pitcher filled with margarita's that I couldn't drink!  When I was pregnant with Little C people would always ask, "do you have any cravings?"  Although I did crave apples (I ate at least one a day and some times more) and sweets, the one thing I always wanted to tell people was... MARGARITAS!! 

Not a marg but a tequilla shot for my 29th birthday.  It was the last year of my twenties... had to live it up! ;)

That was the main craving I had during my last pregnancy and so far this time is no different.  I'm not going to lie, the no drinking during pregnancy can be hard at times.  Some days you just want to unwind with a nice cold beer on a hot day.  A glass, or two, of red wine chatting with a girlfriend.  Dinner out at your favorite Mexican restaurant to enjoy tequilla shots margaritas.   It is such a social part of our lives and most of the time it doesn't bother me at all and to be honest I don't think about it.  But then there are those days were you just need to unwind or you are in a social situation where everyone around you is enjoying the libations and you would kill to enjoy them too.  But alas, just one more sacrifice that I happily make as a mother for the benefit of my baby.

Little C then went home with my parents from Grandma's party for yet another overnight stay because I had to be back at the tennis tournament on Sunday morning and Hubby had golf with this dad and bro for bro's bday.  My little family of 3 (well I guess we are technically a family of 4 now... crazy!) reunited on Sunday afternoon for chores that we didn't get to all weekend, a walk around the neighborhood, dinner, and plenty of reading car books and sharing tickle induced laughter before bed.

It was a lovely weekend and Hubby and I are so thankful for family that can help us when we need and also family that we have the privilege of spending time with.  I was starting to feel bad that Little C was going to spend two nights in a row away from home but then my mom texted me this photo of him out to breakfast and clearly I had nothing to worry about!

How was your weekend?  I hope you have a great week!

Friday, July 20, 2012


The Aurora movie theatre shooting is unbelievable.  Why do people do this?  How does someone lose their way so much that they result to ending the lives of others?  It was bad enough that school became an unsafe place to send your children in 1999 but now, going to see a movie?!? 

12 people lost their lives and close to 40 people are injured, one of which was a 3 month old baby.  The gunman has now been named and as we speak bomb squads are cautiously navigating their way into his "booby trapped" apartment.  His actions are inexcusable and heartless.  As more is uncovered about this 24 year old suspect it will be interesting to learn how he got to this destructive place. 
Today is a somber day not only in Colorado, but across the nation as an event like this brings an outpouring of support and compassion.  My heart goes out to the victims and their families.  My heart goes out to the people that were there and may not have been physically injured but are now left shaken and traumatized.

Hug your family.  Call your family and friends that aren't nearby to hug.  Talk to your children.  Talk to one another.  Pay attention to those people you may know that are losing their way, and tell someone you trust that their may be something wrong.  Be kind.  Be compassionate.

Such a tragedy...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Worry, worry, worry

(photo credit)
I'm finding this a constant thing as a parent.  By nature I'm not too much of a worry wart to the point that it is all-consuming or paralyzing.  Unless of course I'm being asked to jump off of a cliff into a body of water.  Where some find this fun and invigorating, I find it terrifying and will not jump no matter what!  "C'mon Kendra, the water feels great!"  "Nothing is going to happen to you, you will be fine!"  "Seriously, Kendra. We've all jumped now and no one is left to help you down.  You have to jump. There is no other choice!"  I can hear the shouting now... "JUMP ALREADY!"  It sends chills down my spine.  Stupid cliff jumping...

Wait, wasn't I talking about worrying??  I clearly haven't had my pregnancy allotted caffeine yet for the day.  Bare with me!

The worrying started on March 31st, 2011.  The day my son was born.  As a newborn the worrying was focused mostly on whether or not he was breathing.  Then it shifted to worrying about breastfeeding.  Even his belly button/umbilical cord thingy was worrisome at times.  From breastfeeding it was whether or not we needed to supplement with formula or when to give him rice cereal.  When do I stop breastfeeding?  That poo looked different from all the other poo's.  Is this normal?  Was that normal?

From infancy we surged ahead to toddlerhood.  Why is he throwing a fit?  Is he hurting, teething, hungry, tired?  Why is he rubbing his ear?  He must have an ear infection.  Why is he banging his head on the floor?  Why won't he eat {insert a particular food} now?  He used to love it!

(photo credit)
The worrying never stops!!!  It is hard because more often than not, there is nothing to worry about.  He is fine.  He is healthy.  He is happy.  Almost everything has an explanation, a solution, or solves itself.  But as a mom I can't stop worrying about his well-being.  Will it ever get better?  Should I not be worrying?

The latest is Little C's weight.  At his 15 month check-up we were told he is in the 30th percentile for weight.  That was down from the 50th percentile.  The doctor didn't seem too concerned she just said it could have been from when he was sick and just to keep an eye on it.  Well he just had another stomach bug and this morning I was looking at him and his PJ's were practically hanging off of his little body!!  The same PJ's that just recently we were laughing at because his "budda belly" was hanging out of the bottom of the shirt and they were super tight on him.  :(  He eats like a champ but isn't putting on the pounds!

Want to know what the #1 thing you should NOT do if you are a worried parent???  Google what ever it is you are worried about!!!  I mean it.  Don't do it.  It is amazing what you can find and how it seems every single symptom of a terrible life-threatening disease your precious baby can have.  As I frantically called my hubby to tell him that Little C could have cystic fibrosis all I heard was laughter on the other end.  "How can you be laughing at a time like this?!?!?"  I demanded.  This is serious!  Hubby assured me that he does not have cystic fibrosis and if I was so concerned I should call and speak to someone from the Pediatrician's office.  Ahhhhhh, right.  He wants me to do the logical thing.  Darn Hubby, he's always right!

So my burning question is whether or not the worrying is good?  Not the over-the-top crazy diagnosis type worrying, but the keeping in tune with my little munchkin and being aware, type of worrying.  I've heard so many stories about moms being told not to worry about something but that mom insisted there was something wrong with their child and turns out she was right!  A mother's intuition can be a strong thing but where do I draw the line between a conscious well-informed mom and a worry wart mom?   

All I do know is that Little C is eating healthy carbs and ice cream for dinner!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Weekend Wrap-up

Hey there!  Are you draggin' your waggon like me today?  I'm not sure why, I went to bed early and slept pretty solid.  I thought since I'm currently in the second trimester that I was going to get my energy back...  still waiting...

We had an interesting weekend.  Little C started fussing in the middle of the night on Friday and when I went in to check on him he was burning up with a fever.  I gave him some Tylenol and soothed him back to sleep.  When he woke up the fever was virtually gone and he was in great spirits!  We had planned on going for a hike Saturday morning and since he appeared to be better we packed up and hit the dusty trail.  We chalked the fever up to teething, which has been kicking our little guy's butt lately. :(

The hike was lovely.  We tested out our new toddler hiking back pack and it was a success.  Hubby said it wasn't that heavy and Little C seemed to be enjoying himself saying "hi" to anyone that approached us and then "bye" as they walked past.   The trail was nice and easy and it followed along a creek which we stopped to wade in for a few.  We even spotted some tadpoles.  When was the last time you saw tadpoles?!?  The geeky scientist in me was giddy with excitement and I can't wait for when Little C is a bit older to get giddy with me.  He's at an age where the tadpoles meant nothing to him but the stick he found in the water was like GOLD!!

Once we arrived home we fed our sweet little adventurer and that was when we realized it wasn't teething that had him out of whack...  it was a stomach bug.  He made an awful gagging sound and I immediately rushed to his side and without even thinking I cupped my hand under his chin and...  Needless to say it wasn't pretty!  By the way, cupping one's hands under the chin of another and expecting those hands to contain whatever is spewing out is a very ridiculous thing to assume.  :-/

So Little C was down for the count as he couldn't keep anything down the rest of the day and his fever returned with vengeance.  He went to bed at his normal time of 7:30pm and he slept until 9:45am!!!!!!!!!!!  Guys, that NEVER happens.  My son is a human alarm clock that will wake up at 6:30am no matter what time he went to bed or what kind of night sleep he had.  6:30am on. the. button.  His poor little body needed to recoup.  He even took nearly a 3 hour nap on top of it!  His appetite was back yesterday and everything stayed where it was supposed to.  Phew!

Today he is back in tip top shape and was ready for daycare.  Now if only I had the same enthusiasm as he did this morning, and I wasn't even sick over the weekend!  (sigh)  I hope I shake this "case of the Mondays" soon.  Especially because in a small four person office, two of my co-workers are on vacation.  So I'm off to get my pregnancy allotted amount of coffee for the day which I have a feeling I'm going to need!  I'm already putting out fires.  Kind of wishing I was at daycare with my son.  Singing songs, eating snacks, taking naps, doesn't that sound heavenly?

I hope your week is starting off on the right foot.  Did you have a good weekend? 

Friday, July 13, 2012

How to make weeknight cooking a breeze!

As much as Hubby and I love to cook, we do have those nights where we just don't wanna!  We've had a long day, it's stinkin' hot, we went for a family walk after work and now we only have 30 minutes before Little C has a complete melt-down because he is starving...  There are many reasons why making a home cooked meal isn't feasible or appealing. 

I thought I'd share with you how we handle our dinners throughout the week.  It makes things easy, we have a plan and we soar through the weeknights with the greatest of ease never experiencing a bump in the road or a hiccup of any kind. HA!  Yeah right!  I can't even say that with a straight face.

First off I'd like to point out that although we would love nothing more than to make homemade meals every night and eat only real food or only organic, it isn't a good fit for us.  We are on a tight budget and time is of the essence.  On an average week I only get to spend 2 hours a night with my son (I get home around 5:30pm and he is in bed by 7:30pm).  I want to make the most of my time at home so I need meals that take a total of 30 minutes or less from start to finish.  In regard to real food or organic, that shit is expensive!!  There are plenty of healthy alternatives these days and we do buy organic when we can. Our shopping cart is probably 10% organic and the rest is as healthy as we can get with the occasional splurge of decadence.

(photo credit)

Part of making our weeknight meals a success is having a well stocked pantry.  That way we aren't spending money every week on ingredients like chicken broth, spices, olive oil, breadcrumbs, etc.  There are many items that make up a well stocked pantry and I will go over those in another post.

The second key to easy peasy weeknight cooking is the grocery listHave a plan for the week and while you are shopping get all the essentials you need.  If you need inspiration look up recipes online, in cookbooks, magazines, etc.  Make sure you consider proteins, starches and vegetables.  Also consider what nights you will have time to actually cook and how many "gimme meals" you are going to need. 

"Kendra, what is a gimme meal?"  So glad you asked!  Here are a few that we turn to:
  • Frozen pizza - you can get thin crust and they have so many out there these days that aren't that bad for you.
  • Sandwiches - you can do your basic cold-cuts here or since it is dinner after all, you can jazz them up a bit.  We make paninis every once in a while or we make what we call "melty's."  "Kendra, what on earth is a melty?!?!"  Oh man, such a great question!  Start by toasting your bread (we use whole wheat sandwich thins), building your sandwich on each side of the bread with the cheese being the last thing on.  Then we melt them under the broiler.  You can eat them open-face or smash them together.  Have a salad on the side, soup or baked chips. 
  • Nachos - baked tortilla chips, black beans, ground turkey, onion, tomatoes, green onions, black olives, cheese, etc.  The world is your oyster here AND you can buy all organic ingredients, if you're in to that sort of thing.
After figuring out your gimmes for the week, decide how many meals you are actually going to cook or grill.  On an average weeknight Hubby cooks at least one meal and I cook at least one meal.  Remember, you want the weeknight meals to be snappy and not too involved.  My specialty happens to be chicken cordon bleu but I'm not about to make that anytime Monday-Friday.  It is an easy recipe however the prep time, bake time, time for the accompanying sauce, etc. is just too much during the week.  Are you picking up what I'm throwing down??  A few examples:
  • Sausage and peppers
  • Many, many, different types of pasta dishes
  • Almost ANYTHING on the grill
  • Most seafood is pretty snappy to make
  • Chicken Picatta (just one of many quick chicken dishes)
  • Jazzy Salads
Then there is the middle ground.  The not quite a gimme but not quite a homemade meal either.  "Kendra, what pray tell is this that you speak of?!?!"  In a nutshell - the grocery store is your friend.  Let it do the work for you.  Allow me to show you an example:

Here we have last night's dinner:  Store bought "ready to bake" Alaska Cod already prepared with a Moroccan Style situation going on.  Rice a Roni and pre-washed and trimmed green beans.  Now... are you ready for how easy this was?  Seriously.  Brace yourself!

Line a baking sheet with foil.  Spread the green beans out and add baby bella or regular button mushrooms.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar then sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Line another baking sheet with foil and follow the prep instructions on the package.  These are great because they do not even require thawing before throwing them in the oven! 

Make your rice according to the instructions as well.  The way our meal shook out I started the rice first and when it got to the, "reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes," I popped the fish and the green beans in the preheated oven. 

The entire meal took 10 minutes to prep and 25 minutes to cook.  BAM!!  Now that's what I call a "not-quite-a-gimme-but-not-quite-a-homemade-meal" meal! (please avert your eyes from the two mix-matched plates and the chip in the blue plate that I am poorly trying to cover with my thumb.  But hey, the Queen of England wasn't coming over last night so I was just keepin' it real!)

Little C ate some of our fish, some rice, he didn't care for the green beans but he did give them a fair try.  He also had some whole wheat pasta and left over five-veg sauce from the other night. 

So I leave you with this, my friends...  Set yourselves up for success.  Stock up, have a plan, make a list, roll up your sleeves and rock your weeknight meals!  Keep it simple, keep it healthy, and keep it yummy (as Little C would say).  Go forth and enjoy!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The things that keep me up at night...

Last night I could not shut my brain off!  I was so tired and knew I had to fall asleep soon or else I'd be pooped today.  Sure enough, I am.  But oh well, must soldier on!  As I tossed and turned in bed the my inner dialogue went a little something like this:

1)  I need a new pillow.  Mine is flat and annoying.

2)  I forgot to lay out my suit for the next day.  "I can't forget to grab it out of the closet when I wake up," was repeated many times in my head in hopes it would be the first thing I thought of this morning.  It wasn't.  The first thing I thought of this morning was, "holy crap, I'm tired!"

3)  I think I forgot how to swaddle a newborn.  This gem of a thought started to get me worried.  Will P-Nut be miserable and uncomfortable because his stupid mama should know how to swaddle a baby?!?  This one was eating at me so I even said it out loud at probably the exact minute Hubby had begun to doze off.  He reassuringly told me that he remembers, he was positive I did too and to stop worrying.

4) Where will P-Nut sleep?!?!?!  This thought is not only haunting my nights but consuming most of my days as well.  We live in a tri-level and the master bedroom and the nursery are on the top floor.  The idea of having Baby Boy sleep all the way downstairs is unfathomable to me.  So does that mean they will share a room???  Won't that just rock Baby Boy's world even more than it is already going to be rocked???  Humph.  This one is hard.

5) I really want to give Baby Boy a new name on my blog.  I call him so many nicknames at home and P-Nut gets their own nickname.  Shouldn't Baby Boy get one too?  I call him Punky, Fussy Butt, Buddy, Stinka-Stinka, and I'm sure there are a few others.  But maybe I'll just call him Little C.  The fam calls him that occasionally and it will be less embarrassing for him as my blog really takes off and someday I'm syndicated and asked to write a book about my life or about the many topics that I am an expert on.

6) How do I get my blog to really take off?

7) Am I an expert on anything?  Definitely NOT swaddling.

8) I am an expert at giving nicknames AND following up said nicknames with their own special jingle.  Hubby has a ton, and each of Baby Boy's Little C's nicknames I mentioned has accompanying jingles.  But... you can't write a book about that.  Humph

9) I'm hot.

10) I'm uncomfortable.  Stupid pillow.

11) Why won't my stupid cat stop yapping his head off!!  What is he possibly meowing at?  I refuse to get up and see.   

12) I really need to go to sleep.  Ok, focus.  Count backward from 10 breathing deeply.  Inhale... 10... exhale... inhale... 9... exhale... inhale... 8... exhale...

Monday, July 9, 2012

Kid-Friendly Meal (Unless You're My Kid)

So, I've cracked the code!  It has been made very clear by my darling toddler that if I actually spend time cooking a meal from scratch and pour my heart and soul into it, AND get super excited for him to eat it... he will turn up his nose and proclaim very emphatically, "NO."  But if I microwave a turkey hot dog, I'm Super Mommy!  Oh well.  I'm going to keep trying because A) I love to cook and B) this child can't eat only turkey hot dogs every. single. day. 

I thought I'd share a great recipe that I tried over the weekend.  It is super healthy and delicious for the little ones (that is, if your little one is actually going to eat it instead of turning up their nose) and it is a meal the grown ups will enjoy too. 

First things first.  I found the recipe in this little gem of a cookbook:

My parents gave this to me for Mother's Day this year because they know how much I enjoy cooking for my fam.  I know this gift was the brainchild of my mom's because she is probably one of the best gift givers I know!  Her gifts are always super thoughtful and tailored specifically for the recipient.  It's a true talent of hers.  Thanks, Mom! :)

Back to the recipe!  Here is what I chose to make:

Mini Meatballs & Couscous with Five-Veg Sauce

  • 4oz lean ground beef
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 1 oz mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tlbs fresh bread crumbs (I used store bought italian)
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped parsley
  • 2 tsps vegetable oil (I only had EVOO on hand)
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 2 tbls extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups couscous
  • 3 cups hot chicken or vegetable broth
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
Five-veg sauce:
  • 2 tbls extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • 2 1/2 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp  dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar

Mix the beef, onion, mushrooms, garlic, bread crumbs, parsley, vegetable oil, egg yolk, and seasoning in a bowl.  Shape into 12 mini-meatballs.  Refrigerate while you make the sauce.

To make the five-veg sauce, heat the olive in a saucepan, add the onion and garlic and saute for about 3 minutes.  Add the carrots, zucchini, and mushrooms and cook for about 15 minutes, or until softened.

Add the tomatoes, vegetable broth, oregano, and brown sugar, season to taste and simmer for 10 minutes.  Puree with a stick blender, then leave over low heat to keep warm.

Put the couscous in a large bowl and pour in the hot broth.  Cover and leave for 5 minutes.  Fluff up the grains with a fork.

Lightly dust the mini-meatballs with flour.  Heat the olive oil in a large, nonstick, heavy skillet and cook the mini-meatballs for 8-10 minutes, turning frequently, until cooked through.  Serve with the couscous and sauce.

I served ours with roasted broccoli with lemon and parmesan and a nice piece of garlic toast.  None of my plated shots turned out so I took another pic of the cook book version to show you how it should look:

The flavors in this dish were awesome and being that Hubby and I aren't huge carrot or zucchini fans, unless I'm devouring zucchini bread, it was nice that they were pureed into the sauce.  I also finished my meatballs in the oven after getting a nice brown carmelization on the outside.  This meal was relatively easy to make, but I wouldn't recommend it for a quick weeknight meal.  Enjoy!

Friday, July 6, 2012

My Week in a Nutshell

That makes me think of the Austin Powers movie where he imitates being in a nutshell.  Remember that???

Anyway, back to the topic at hand...  This has been a fun week!  My company was a sponsor for the USTA Women's Professional Tennis Tournament also called the Colorado Classic.  Since I am in charge of our marketing and event coordination I was able to volunteer all week at this event.  I enjoyed being out of the office and in the sunshine!  Even though I was working pretty hard and sweltering in the heat, overall it was a nice change of pace from sitting at a computer all day under fluorescent office lighting. 

Do you play tennis?  My mom had me in lessons when I was a kid and I remember enjoying it but it wasn't something I was passionate about and I haven't played since.  I don't really know much about it and never watch the big-draw tournaments on TV.  I had to learn about it pretty quick this week because I had to run onto the courts to fill ice bins, replenish water, drop off clean towels, etc.  You only have 30 seconds of break time where it is possible to do this!  At first I was so nervous and trying to be quiet but once I got the hang of things and realized how fast 30 seconds can go...  I was tearing it up! By the end I was an ice refilling pro!

Speaking of Pro's...  These women tennis players are amazing athletes!  Not only are they physically stunning, their talent on the court is equally impressive.  The speed at which the ball is flying back and forth, the force behind their swing and how effortlessly they move from one corner of the court to another, it is all so fun to watch!  It made me want to take lessons and give tennis another swing.  (Ha, get it??  Swing!  I kill myself!)

Also in the mix this week was 4th of July.  It happens to be my grandpa's birthday and he celebrated 84 years on Wednesday.  My parents had the whole family over for a BBQ.  When I say whole family, I'm talking 24 adults and 4 babies!  My entire extended family lives here in Colorado.  Thankfully, my parents have a gigantic backyard perfect for hosting a summer soiree.  The babies played in the kiddy pool and water table while the adults visited under the shade and we all ate and drank until we were merry!

And speaking of nutshells...  within the shell you find a peanut and within my belly you will also find a P-Nut! :)  Today I go for my 12 week check-up (although I'm now 13weeks along).  I'm officially on the last week of the 1st Trimester!  Woot!  I still don't have much of a bump and I'm able to button my pants but things are getting snug around the waist I have a feeling in the next week or so the belly band will be coming out to play! 

This is always a difficult stage for me because I can't wait for the bump to show and it feels like it is taking forever!  Whenever I see another pregnant woman with her beautiful bump I want to run up to her and declare, "I'm pregnant too!!"  But I refrain.  At least today I get to hear P-Nut's heartbeat and that always makes me smile.

I hope you all had a great week and you have a great weekend as well! 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

To Find Out or Not To Find Out? Should This Be Debated?

Over the weekend I attended a darling little girl's 1st birthday party.  It was pretty surreal to meet two other moms with one child around my son's age and one on the way, all due close to the same day as me!  Crazy!  As we started chit-chatting the topic turned to finding out the sex of the baby.  Did they find out the first time and would they be finding out the second time?  Out of the three of us, I was the only one who had found out and is planning to find out the sex this time as well.

(photo credit)
Here's where it got tricky...  One of the moms confidently stepped upon her proverbial soap box and didn't come down until she had declared why NOT finding out is so much better than the alternative.  She wasn't saying things like, "I just feel..." or "for us, this is what worked best."  No, she was stating very firmly that not finding out the sex until delivery is how it should be done.  She didn't feel that there was any surprise or excitement over finding out in the ultrasound room.

I explained that my husband and I just couldn't wait and we were both giddy with excitement for our ultrasound.  Once the technician told us it was a boy we clenched even tighter our already gripped hands, shed a tear, and while hugging whispered to each other, "congratulations."  It was so special... FOR US.  That may not sound at all exciting or special to you and guess what, that's great!

I couldn't get over this gals approach to a topic that has no "right or wrong" tied to it in any way.  She continued on to explain how frequently technicians get the sex wrong and stated how she didn't know why people find out in the first place.  She explained that people get their hopes up for one gender and when they find out at the ultrasound they are setting themselves up for disappointment.  Oi.  This was about the time I wanted to walk away from this conversation all together.  And that's just what I did!

If I was more of a confrontational person I may have had the guts to tell her there is nothing wrong with "hoping" for a specific gender.  It doesn't make you a bad person or parent.  Some of us envision our family looking a certain way, so what!  I have known many people that ended up with the opposite of what they were "hoping" for and I never once heard them express a shred of disappointment!  Once they found out they embraced their gift and knew it was meant to be.  There is no shame in hoping for a specific gender, it's human nature.

(photo credit)
Additionally, there is no shame in wanting to find out the sex before delivery AND there is nothing wrong with waiting either.  This is a personal option for expecting parents to make.  With all of the other issues exposing parents to harsh criticism and judgement, I feel that this topic is far from debatable.  I also don't understand how this mom had the audacity to declare that finding out during the ultrasound doesn't hold the same luster as waiting.  She had only done it ONE WAY!  How can you have a successful argument if you don't consider both sides.  Writing Arguments 101 taught me that in college!

It still gets my blood pumping just thinking about it!  Only because it was so ridiculous.  I have strong opinions about things but I'm not the type of person to shove it down people's throats.  Especially to people that I don't even know and especially not about decisions that are so personal and special to the parties that are making them.  Since becoming a mom I've discovered there are so many things to debate, scrutinize and judge each other about.  It really is a shame because we are all in this together.  As parents we are presented with similar joys and triumphs, obstacles and dilemmas and although we may address them differently there still exists a commonality.  So lets be kind to one another and although it is perfectly fine to disagree with the decisions of other people, be mindful of when and with whom you decide to vent about it.

Did you find out the sex of your baby?  If you are pregnant will you find out?  What are your reasons to wait or to find out at the ultrasound?