Sunday, June 29, 2014

Recipe: pizza pancakes

Can't really take credit for this one. Ben & his friend Billy found the recipe, I just brought it to the kitchen. It turned out well, makes for a quick and easy dinner, and you can modify it to whatever you would want on your pizza!

Original recipe found here:

2c bisquick baking mix 
2tsp Italian seasoning
1c milk
2 eggs
1/2c shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 tomato, diced
1/4 green pepper, diced
Handful of pepperoni, quartered (about 1/4c)

Combine baking mix & seasoning in a large bowl
Combine eggs & milk in a smaller bowl; combine with dry ingredients until just moist 
Fold in cheese and "toppings" (tomato, pepper & pepperoni)
Heat a greased skillet on med-low
Spoon mixture into heated skillet and let cook until bubbles pop, a few minutes on each side until golden brown
Optional: serve with warm spaghetti sauce 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Letters to Baby: Hurry up and Wait

Dear Baby,

First, let me start by saying, I'm sorry you don't have a name yet. It's not that we don't care - quite the opposite. For some reason we are obsessing over weird details we never even considered when choosing your sister's name. It's hard to name a boy! Something strong & masculine, but not doesn't sounds like a pit bull or super hero. Something that goes with "London Claire" but nothing that rhymes, starts with L, or has geographic origin. What will your nickname be? Should we use a family name? Will people mistake it for something else? Will there be 4 others in your kindergarten class? It's a lot of pressure! But I promise, the names we've narrowed it down to are all pretty awesome and I know, soon, it'll just hit us which one is perfect for you. Maybe after you're already here, but I'm (finally) ok with that. 

Anyway, the point of this was that we are not ready for you to come. 



Beyond just not having your name picked out, your nursery is not even close to finished. Your closet is empty, the crib isn't set up, sheets haven't been washed. I don't have your coming home outfit washed. I have no idea if we own any socks for you. All of this stresses me out quite a bit. You see, your mama is what some people would call a bit of a control freak. Type A. Whatever. So to have all these things left undone is unnerving to me, and causes me to hope you stay inside for at least another month. 

But yet, for some strange reason (maybe because I hate being pregnant and I'm relatively sure if you don't come out soon you might actually break my ribs), I'm so ready for you to be here. I'm over analyzing every possible pre-labor symptom. I packed my hospital bags (sort-of) tonight. I RSVP to things in the coming weeks with the preface that we'll attend if you haven't made your arrival yet. So I guess as much as I am not ready for you, I am as ready as I could possibly be to meet you, and hold you in my arms, and stroke those sweet tiny feet that have been threatening to crack my rib cage for so many weeks now. From as much as I can tell, things are pretty cramped in there so I think you're ready to come out, too. 

And since I'm "full term" and you've been measuring plenty big enough, I'll just go ahead and give you permission to come any time you're ready. Which, we all know, by me saying that means you'll be two weeks late. But hey, maybe then you'll have some socks?

Can't wait to see your sweet face, and watch your daddy meet his son for the first time. We love you so much already. 

Your mommy

Friday, June 27, 2014

Recipe: yummy burgers

So we bought a cow, right? But would you believe that this week was the first time we've made burgers on the grill with the *amazing* ground beef? They were delicious, cooked to perfection (way to go B!) and London even loved the mini-burger I set aside for her. And for the three of us, it was enough to freeze dinner for another night (read: to be enjoyed in my post-baby sleep deprivation haze). 

Inspired by this post via Pinterest:

1.5lb lean ground beef
1 heaping tbsp BBQ sauce
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Onion powder and black pepper to taste (I use both of these pretty liberally)

Mix all ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl
Form patties approx. 1-1.5" thick
Press firmly with your thumb in the middle of each patty to create a significant indentation; this will allow the burgers to stay "flat" and cook more evenly
Grill each side to your liking OR sautée 4-6min on each side in a buttered pan over medium heat 
Serve on buns and top with lettuce, tomato, etc. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

36 weeks

How far along?: 36w3d
How big is baby?: the size of a large cantaloupe; approx. 19-22in and 6lbs
Weight gain?: none since last week; 21lbs total
Stretch marks?: none
Sleep?: terrible. I have a lingering cough plus the reflux makes me wake up choking and often vomiting, so the sleep is interrupted and normally quite uncomfortable
Best moment last week?: London's 2nd birthday celebrations. Two is the sweetest age! Don't get me wrong, she's a total diva and the tantrums wear me thin, but she just loved celebrating her birthday. 
Food cravings?: nothing of note, besides beer and Italian subs
Symptoms?: reflux, more aches & pains than I could ever list, and one less than pleasant symptom I will spare you the details of
Exercise?: yoga and chasing London
Movement?: I'm constantly feeling his little heel up by my ribs
Belly button?: no change but definitely visible through clothes 
What I miss?: sleep
Labor signs?: as of today, my cervix is starting to thin & dilate and baby's head is low. Great news, considering I never got that far on my own with London, but not necessarily indicative that he'll be here any time soon. 
What I'm looking forward to?: continuing to work on his nursery. Ben is working hard to get it ready!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

34 weeks

How far along?: 34 weeks 4 days
How big is baby?: the size of a pineapple! 19-22 inches and about 4lb 9oz. He has likely reached his birth length and is now packing on the pounds. He obviously had a growth spurt since my last appt because I went from measuring 30w to 34w in only two weeks!
Weight gain?: back up to where I was a month or so ago - overall I think I'm at 19lbs, so on track to hopefully gain only a few lbs more than I did with L
Stretch marks?: nope - even the dr commented on how lucky I was not to have any!
Maternity clothes?: refusing to buy any more but I did get some super comfy non-maternity pants ( from target last week. And I'd like to get some nursing-friendly tops and gowns or pajamas before the hospital. 
Sleep?: ugh. Getting very tough. I'm fighting a cold or allergies, so I'm snoring like a chainsaw (poor Ben even slept on the couch!) and the heartburn (or whatever) is still causing me to wake up choking & vomiting. I tried sleeping propped up but ended up with a horrible headache. And most nights I have to get up 1-3x to pee. But at least I don't have insomnia!
Best moment last week?: we had a nice little adults-only getaway in Virginia Beach last weekend! 
Food cravings?: nothing to note
Symptoms?: aside from the previously mentioned, my pubic symphysis pain has flared up again and the mid-back / rub pain has started. I can tell it's getting crowded in there! Hoping to see a chiropractor to help alleviate some of the issues. 
Exercise?: signed up for 6 more weeks of yoga!
Movement?: frequent and often painful but at least I know he's healthy & active!
Belly button?: out mostly, but didn't stop me from wearing a bikini this weekend
What I miss?: adult beverages 
Labor signs?: he's head down (confirmed by ultrasound yesterday) but that's all for now - and hopefully for awhile!
What I'm looking forward to?: London's second birthday party next weekend!

Friday, May 23, 2014

32 weeks

... Which means 10 weeks (at the very most) to go! Hoping for only 8 weeks but you never know - this little guy seems to want to do things differently than his sister. And London is so much like me, so if he's anything like Ben he'll be ... less than timely. 

How far along?: 32 weeks
How big is baby?: according to WTE, he's the size of a head of lettuce (approximately 3lbs 9oz) and about 19in long, which means he's almost reached his birth length and now it's time to pack on the pounds 
Weight gain?: lost 3lbs since my last appt
Stretch marks?: nope
Maternity clothes?: picked up some used pieces from another mama in exchange for making her daughter some hair bows. Win!! Hopefully I'm done buying maternity clothes forever. 
Sleep?: interrupted, sometimes by waking up choking / vomiting. The joys of heartburn. 
Best moment last week?: some of my nearest and dearest hosted a beautiful "sprinkle" to celebrate me & the boy. It was such a fun afternoon with some of my favorite ladies, and we were so blessed with kindness and love!
Food cravings?: tacos
Symptoms?: heartburn is still kicking my butt. The pubic symphysis stuff seems to be getting somewhat worse, so I can really tell if I've overdone it with too much walking. 
Exercise?: yoga
Movement?: getting crowded in there! The movements are starting to become uncomfortable, especially if I'm sitting down and he's pressing into my ribs. Hiccups are more frequent too
Belly button?: partially popped
What I miss?: I can't bend over to put London in her crib anymore, can barely buckle sandles on myself, and it's very difficult to get comfortable in child's pose
Labor signs?: Baby is not currently breech, hooray!
What I'm looking forward to?: heading to the beach this afternoon ... Assuming I ever get out of this doctor appointment. I've been here over an hour and still haven't been called back / not awesome for an appt that shouldn't take more than 15min total. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

For the mamas who aren't mamas

Maybe that's wrong to say. What I mean is, I firmly believe you can have a mother's heart without having a child, or without having one who is here on this earth. 

Maybe your baby is not here yet, but you've been praying for him every day. Maybe it's been months, years. Wondering if it will ever happen for you. Wondering if your heart will ever truly be at peace, if you'll be able to fulfill the longing to look into your baby's eyes and stroke her hair and know that this. THIS is what you had been waiting, hoping, praying for. What you already knew, in the depths of your being, was meant to be. 

Maybe your mother's heart aches for a child that never was. For a lifetime of wishing, and finally accepting it will never be. Always wondering what kind of mom you would've been, whether he would've had your husband's dimpled chin or your blue eyes. Mourning the loss of someone who you never really knew, and yet knew better than anyone - all at the same time. 

Maybe your child was on this earth, but has gone on to be with our Heavenly Father. Perhaps she was here for an hour, a day, or even years. Perhaps he never lived outside the comfort of your womb. And you wonder why God would bless you with such an incredible gift, only to take it away too soon. Because, when it comes to losing a child, it is always ALWAYS too soon. Your heart may now be filled with precious memories but also with sorrow for a loss that will never, ever fully heal. 

Whatever the case may be, if you are one of these women, I imagine this weekend was incredibly painful for you. I imagine the cards, flowers, brunch reservations and macaroni artwork was all just too much for your broken mama's heart. And for that, I'm sorry. I'm sorry that you didnt receive a card with finger painted flowers or a beautiful bouquet, and that no one brought you breakfast in bed. I'm sorry that you were inundated with the reminders of your child that isn't. 

My heart hurts for you because I know

I have a hard time even putting these words in writing for fear that someone may feel I am trivializing their pain. Believe me when I say, I'm not. Your pain is real and nothing I can say can take it away. But while I'm having pancakes and opening gifts, my heart is aching, too. I lost my first baby on Mother's Day a few years ago and, as too many of you know, it's a hurt you just don't forget. 

We had grand plans of telling our own mothers that they would soon become grandmothers; that their Mother's Day gifts would soon be accompanied by toddler artwork and candid baby photos. But instead, a few days before, I was told it was not to be. That I wouldn't be having this baby. And on Mother's Day, I began to miscarry the child that would've made me a mother. The physical pain was intense, to say the least, but the emotional pain was tenfold. I spent a day that should've been a grand celebration curled in a ball, going in between broken sleep and crying. It was hard. And it got harder before it got easier. 

I am one of the lucky ones, I know. I am beyond blessed to have quickly gotten pregnant and delivered our perfect London Claire. And I am doubly blessed to be carrying, and hopefully soon deliver, a son whom will fill my heart like I never knew possible. But that doesn't take away from my baby that wasn't. And it doesn't take away the hurt of all the women who should be mamas, but aren't. 

So let this serve as an open letter of apology: I'm sorry. I'm sorry for whatever the reason your baby isn't here. And I'm sorry for the hurt you feel in the darkest parts of your soul. I'm sorry. I pray, pray, pray it gets easier for you. But I know that your mama's heart will never stop being a little bit broken. Because mine still is.