Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My little froggie and pregnant thoughts

My dog just vomited. Twice.
My (almost) two year old has been whining in his crib for an hour and a half instead of sleeping.
I'm sitting next to a freezing brick wall with a chilly draft from the patio.
Happy Halloween!

While I could complain and whine about all the things that are unfair, unhappy, or frustrating in my life, I would feel quite selfish for doing so while thinking about people on the East Coast.
I've been watching the news about the Superstorm Sandy. Seriously. It blows my mind. The videos and reports are unbelievable. Devastating. I wonder how and when things will be back up and running. Just for records sake, some of the things that happened:
-14 foot storm surge
-8 million people without power, and it's not warm.
-3 feet of snow in the Appalachians
-4 feet of water in the NY subway system
-over 100 homes destroyed in Breezy Point, from a fire
-flooding. everywhere.
-cars in piles, boats on train tracks, boardwalks gone, beaches demolished, homes destroyed

I'm not sure what I would do if something like this happened to me and my family. But I do know if we were told to evacuate, we would. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those who were affected.

In other news. I'm pregnant. I'm exhausted. All the time. I don't want to cook. I don't want to clean. I don't want to run. I just want to sleep. All day. Every day. I feel nauseous most parts of most days, but I don't actually throw up. I feel bloated and chunky but I've only gained 1-2 pounds, depending on the day and what I've eaten. Mostly I just feel worn out.  I'm nervous to take care of a newborn again because I feel like I've forgotten. I'm nervous for the labor and delivery because of how things went with Bubs. I'm nervous to get huge and uncomfortable again. I'm not thrilled about hauling a two year old, a baby carrier, and groceries up two flights of stairs. I'm nervous about meeting the needs of two children and loving them equally.

But I'm thrilled. I'm excited. I can't wait to have another little baby! Having a family and kids has always been my dream and goal in life. I'm excited for Bubs to have a little sibling. I'm excited to grow our family. I'm excited to raise another kid. I'm excited to join the ranks of mother of two. I'm really, really, excited! And most of the time, that happiness and excitement outweighs the negative.

Plus, another one of these cutie pies? Yes, please!

Our little Halloween Froggie. 
He had an absolute blast at the Ward Trunk or Treat! He loved running around and playing with other kids and he loved trick or treating. He even kind of says "trick or treat" and of course "thank you!" at every car. I'm really excited to take him trick or treating tonight! 
Hopefully he'll hold a little more still at some point so I can get a better picture. 
And why is he a frog, you ask?
He picked it out.
Out of the dragon, lion, bear, dog, bee, and monkey, he wanted the frog. Go figure. It's adorable. 

Happy Halloween everyone!

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Secret is OUT!

My awesome photographer Mom came to visit us this past weekend specifically to capture some family pictures for us.
I learned something during that photo shoot...
Ya know all those pictures all over Pinterest with the perfect families, with perfect kids, with perfect smiles, with perfect poses? A little too perfect and a lot too unrealistic for my expectations.
Bubs had a horrible nap, didn't eat much food most of the day, was cold, wanted the playground, and was super cranky about anything and everything. 
Thus, we didn't get any pictures of him smiling. ...not that he smiles for cameras anyway.
Overall it was a learning experience with some fun parts.
But, the most important thing? We got some amazing shots of my beautiful family. I can't wait to print them and add more pictures to our walls!
If you like what you see, you can contact my mom. She works in the Kansas City area. Here blog is here

Note to self: puppies are even harder to photograph than toddlers.
Put them together? Good. Luck.

Oh yeah, we're having a baby!!!

Apparently he is not very happy about this...

We also bribed with goldfish.

Gosh, I married a hunky babe!

Story of our life.
He's got a mind and personality of his own.

"Uh, Mom? Dad? What are you doing?"

Love this!

I love my sweet little family!!!
Baby #2 due: May 20, 2013.
We couldn't be more excited!
And more relieved that I don't have to suck in my belly, make up excuses for not running in the cold, and feel great about midnight Taco Bell runs. Phew!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Life through the eye of my phone

I know every mom and every family is busy. Especially with small kids.
I, however, am the exception.
I am never, ever, ever, busy. 
All I do is lay on my couch and eat bon bons while my almost 2 year old plays quietly with intelligent puzzles and books. 
No messes. No whining. No loud screaming.
It's the perfect life.

In Mars.

So, since I've been too busy to take any pictures of yummy food, make any spectacular crafts, or write about my tricks for cleaning the toilet (really, I just use clorox wipes), here is a glimpse at what my life is like, from the perspective of my phone. Er, camera, on my phone. 

Cuddle bug.
This happens, never.
Except for this picture.

Oh yeah, these are almost gone.
I think it's been a week? Maybe.

My son has an obsession with his Cars jammies.
And saying "cheese" for the camera, if it's reversed and pointed at him so he can see himself.

Biggest leaf I've ever seen in my life!
It was right in our parking lot.

My stubborn dog refusing to go downstairs into the dark, windy, night.
Can ya blame her?
Oh, and see the pumpkins? I carved a flying witch.
Best pumpkin I've ever carved. Too bad there's no picture.

Remember that one time it was October 25th and 80 degrees outside?
We played at the park for an hour and a half.
Then it dropped 40 degrees and feels like winter.

My snuggle bug cuddling and watching the lightning storm.
He is most cuddly when it storms.
I. LOVE. it.

It is freezing all of the sudden. I guess that's what happens in Missouri.
Summer. Fall. Winter. Summer. Winter. Fall.
Oh, and Bubs, Please stop growing up.

This is what happens when I try taking a picture without him being able to see himself.

Showing me the pumpkin on the candle.

So there ya have it. My life in pictures. I really have been busy. Insanely, never see my husband, busy. When he's home, I'm not. When I'm home, he's not. Hopefully things will slowly start to improve someday. But for now, we'll just stay busy, and happy, and loving every second of life (except for big poops in the tub, courtesy of my son).

Friday, October 19, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie and a lesson in Organic Chemistry

Windy. Cloudy. Chilly. Rainy. Fall. 
Perfect for making Chicken Pot Pie!

I've never actually made this dish before, and I don't usually love it, but it sounded delicious for a brisk Fall day. 
A few things you should know about me and "food blogging":

1. I am not a photographer.
2. I am not a food photographer.
3. I tend to make dishes and add a little of this, a dash of that, without measuring. Makes it hard for others to recreate.
4. My brain works like so: cook, eat. 
Not so: cook, display, photograph, eat.

Phew. Now that that's all off my chest, here is my amazing recipe for Chicken Pot Pie, the simple, easy, and chock full of delicious calories version. 

Chicken Pot Pie
adapted from Pioneer Woman

1/4 c. butter
3/4 c. onion, finely diced
3/4 c. celery, finely diced
1 c. carrots, finely diced
1 c. frozen peas
2 c. chicken, I used Costco rotisserie chicken
1/4 c. flour
2 c. chicken broth
1 c. evaporated milk, or cream, or milk
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
1, 16 oz package refrigerated biscuit dough

Preheat oven to 400. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the onion, celery, and carrots. Saute and cook until the onions are translucent and the veggies are getting soft. Sprinkle the flour and stir constantly for a couple minutes. Add the chicken broth and milk, stir often. Bring to a slow boil over medium heat. Add the frozen peas, chicken, and spices. Stir and let simmer until slightly thickened. About 5-10 minutes, depending on how thick you want the end product. Pour into a baking dish (I used a 9x9, 2 qt.), cook for 15 minutes. Remove and place biscuits over the top. Replace in the oven and bake another 15 minutes. With about 7 minutes left to go, I placed foil over the biscuits to prevent from getting too brown. Enjoy!

**the filling reduced more than I expected, probably because the biscuits soaked up quite a bit of juice. If you're worried it will be too thick, you could boil the mixture for less time, double the liquid and spices, or add the biscuits with only 10 minutes left to go. I didn't have a problem with the thickness and thought it was great!

I was really proud that this turned out so dang delicious on my first try. 
Creamy, a hint of spice, and perfect biscuits on top. 
What more could you want?
Plus, I knew it would be good so I wrote the recipe down as I went. 
You can thank me later. ;-)

Now you're probably wondering, "what the heck does Organic Chemistry have to do with Chicken Pot Pie??"
Well, it's a little embarrassing  but, when I opened the biscuit package I noticed that each serving contained 3 grams of trans fat! **Huge, frustrated, gasp!**
Since everything was already cooking, I had no way to escape. Normally I'm extremely good at checking for trans fat and will not buy anything that contains it, but this time I didn't check. Oops.
So our dinner conversation went like this:
me: "So, why is trans fat so bad for you?"
hubby: "Well, let me draw you a picture..."
And then he proceeded to illustrate what fat molecules look like normally, what they look like with saturated fat, and what they look like with trans fat. He explained about the carbon and hydrogen and double bonds. Pretty much all things that I would have never heard him utter before Chiropractic school.
Of course now I can't remember much of what he said. But, this was his closing statement:
"Trans fat is bad because your body doesn't like it."
Thank you for simplifying my life, babe!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wednesday Confessions: My Family.

I've been thinking about this post for a long time now.
Wondering what I should say and how it should be said.
Asking myself if it's okay to share or if someone will be offended or hurt in some way.
So I've decided to leave details out and spill the very basics.

My parents are getting divorced.

That's why I've had such a hard year.
That's why I have a hard time going home.
That's why we "escaped" to Utah in May.
That's why I started running.

I'm doing better now. Much better.
I'm distracted by my busy life with a toddler, nannying, play groups and play dates, and my calling in YW. (thank goodness they didn't take it away last week!)
I've realized preserving relationships is better than taking sides and trying to understand different perspectives.

I never thought this would happen to my family.
It's proof to me that now more than ever is a time to be so, completely, centered in Christ.
It's a time to teach my child about Christ, the Atonement, and how to withstand temptation.
It's a time to make our home a haven from outside influences.
It's a time to fortify our testimonies, our family, our homes, and put on the armor of God.

I've learned alot this past year.
I'm not an angry person, but I've felt anger in a way I cannot describe.
I've also felt healing, compassion, forgiveness, and love without judgement.

I love my family. We'll get through this. The pain will fade, the cuts will heal, and the scars will remain.
But as long as we keep Christ in our hearts and minds, we'll get through it.

Thank you to those who have known and who have helped support me during the dark times.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wednesday Confessions: Running

I must confess: I am absolutely, completely, 100%, terribly, horribly, stuck in a running rut.

I have zero desire to run.
I have zero motivation to run (except for the cinnamon rolls, cookies, and ice cream calling my name from the kitchen).

Why would I want to wake up at 5:45 to run in the freezing cold, dark abyss of a morning, when I could just stay snuggled up in my warm, cozy bed?

It's so frustrating.

Especially because I have a gym with a treadmill only a few hundred feet up the road.
I could drive to the gym. Run. Then drive home.
But I still can't seem to do it.

What is WRONG with me!?
Maybe it's the fact that I have no race to train for.
Maybe it's the fact that the sun goes up and down 6 hours sooner than it used to.
Maybe it's the fact that every morning in the past week has been under 45 degrees.
Maybe I just need to stop whining, procrastinating, excusing, and suck it up then run.

Fellow runners, how the heck do you run in the winter?

p.s. I would love to run at 9:00 am, but this sweet bundle of love, and a hubby in over full time school, prevent me from doing so.

disclaimer: his outfit is not a reflection of my personal fashion sense.
he refused to let me take off his cars jammies.
since when were toddler boys picky dressers???

Monday, October 8, 2012

Project: Glitter Heels

I have come to the realization that I am not very crafty. 
Meaning: I am not creative enough to think of cute, crafty projects on my own. 
My brain does not function in that way.
However, I am exceptional at copying!
Thus, when I see a project that looks cool, or if I think of something then Google or Youtube it for directions, I can usually accomplish something neat.
As is the case with the following project:

Remember these lovely, beautiful, perfectly colored and shaped nude pumps that I love?
Let us not forget how my dear, sweet, puppy chewed one of them and broke my heart.
I figured out a way to salvage the shoes!

Notice the terrible bite marks?
My heart breaks a little more every time I look at this picture.

Modge Podge (glossy!) and Glitter.
Martha Stewart (@ Michaels) in Smoky Quartz.

Mix some glitter and some glue together.

The following two pictures are out of order. 
I apologize.

Making your way around the shoe, paint some glue mixture on in sections.
Then sprinkle glitter, generously, immediately on the glue.
Tap the shoe to remove the excess. 
Repeat on a new section, making your way around.

The instructions I found said to "seal" the glitter with hairspray.
That worked for about 15 minutes.

To really seal the glitter, brush a thin, even coat of just Modge Podge all over the shoe.
I was worried the sparklyness would diminish, but it did not!
In fact, it really didn't change the look at all. Just sealed the glitter.

The unwearable shoes are now wearable!
You can't tell for a second they were chewed up, unless you look on the inside.
I'm still missing my perfect nude pumps, but I'm happy I didn't toss them!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Sweet Pork Chili

Sometimes I think I should be on Master Chef. 
This usually happens after I whip something up in the kitchen sans recipe.
First I'm incredibly proud of myself, and then I realize I could never be on Master Chef. 
I know nothing about souffles, pastries, nor the wide array of strange spices and ingredients they always use.
However, when it comes to basic, good, home cookin', I usually do a good job.

My latest concoction came about after a cool, cloudy, Fall afternoon.
I was in need of a warm, spicy, soup. Chicken wouldn't cut it, we were out of Beef, and when I opened the freezer, out fell some leftover Sweet Pork.
Sweet Pork Chili it was, and this time I made sure to measure everything as I went, just in case it turned out good enough to share.
So without further ado, here is my recipe!

Sweet Pork Chili

1 medium onion, diced
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 TBL. olive oil

Heat the oil in a large stock pot. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are tender. 

1 can chicken broth (2 cups) I used two when I made it and it was a little thin. If two cups is not enough, gradually add more broth, up to 4 cups total, until desired thinness is achieved.
2 cans of beans, drained and rinsed (I used black)
2 cans diced tomatoes
1, 4 oz can diced green chilies
1 c. frozen corn
1/4 c. salsa
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. dried cilantro
3-4 TBL. brown sugar
2 c. Sweet Pork (recipe here)

Combine and bring to gentle boil. Reduce heat and let simmer about 20 minutes or until beans and veggies are tender. Serve with grated cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips. I added the Sweet Pork just before serving so it wouldn't take on all the other flavors as deeply. However, the next afternoon as leftovers, it tasted nearly the same. So I don't think it matters too much when you add the pork. 

I haven't yet mastered the art of photographing food, but at least I included a picture!

Whenever I make Sweet Pork, it makes enough for a small army of people, of which I do not have in my home. Thus, leftovers last for days, and honestly, sometimes leftovers (even sweet pork), gets boring. So this is a perfect recipe for that last bit of meat you can't consume! Plus, I felt like I was eating a Cafe Rio burrito in soup form. Delicious!

Monday, October 1, 2012

50 Things to Do in St. Louis

Two years ago we moved from Utah to Missouri.
We felt excited, overwhelmed, totally uneducated, completely lost on every road, and above all ready for a new adventure.
Scott was starting Tri 1. I met friends whose hubbies were in Tri 5 or 6 and I thought they were so mature, smart, and "upperclassman"-esque. I never thought we would get to that point, it just seemed so far away.
Now, Scott is working in the student clinic and is a Tri 7. That means 3 only more trimesters to go. Which is just over a year.

That means I need to make a Bucket List.
Because we only have one more Summer, one more full Fall, one more less stressful Christmas, one more New Year's, one more Spring.
Now it's overwhelming, and terribly sad, to think about how soon we will be leaving!

So without further ado, here is my

  St. Louis Bucket List for 2012-2013. 

-Balloon Glow at Forest Park, September 2013
-Grant's Farm for Halloween
-Apple Picking at Eckert's Farm
-Thanksgiving day parade
-Corn Maze

-Lone Elk Park
-Butterfly House/Faust Park carousel
-St. Paddy's day race/parade
-Cahokia Mounds

-Shakespeare in the Park
-Meremac Caverns ($$)
-Fair St. Louis
-Six Flags
-Johnson Shut ins

-Cathedral Basilica
-Old St. Charles
-Way of Lights display
-Ice Skating at Forest Park or Queeny Park
-Botanical Gardens Wreath Display

Any Season
-Ride the Arch elevator tour
-Paddle boats at Forest Park
-Soulard Farmer's Market
-Purina Farms dog show
-Museum of Transportation
-Anheuser-Busch Tour
-Science Center
-Dog Museum at Queeny Park
-Art Museum
-Wild Bird Sanctuary

-Dewey's Pizza
-Imo's Pizza
-Mr. C's custard
-Crown Candy
-Lenten Fish Fry (never done it, sounds cool!)
-Zia's toasted ravioli
-Missouri Baking Company (chocolate drops)
-Gooey Louie Butter Cake

Things To Do Again
-Zoo: Children's Zoo, Carousel, Sting Rays
-Botanical Gardens
-Fair St. Louis
-City Museum
-Cardinals Game
-Ted Drewe's Custard
-Pappy's or Bogart's bbq

Out of Town
-Kansas City Half Marathon
-Hospital Hill Half Marathon (KC)

Obviously it is not entirely likely that I will cross off every item on this list, but one can dream, right?
If you have any more suggestions, please comment!
Especially if it involves food.
Because we all know I really love food.
Happy Monday!