Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Makin' a Change

So.....I was messing around with my blog template tonight....whatcha think of the new look?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Movies: One of my Favorite Past Times...

I love movies....and going to movies at the theater...

One of our favorite "dates" is going to a movie. The absolute best is going to the theater on a Monday afternoon at 4pm when the movies are still $4.50 per person, the popcorn is fresh and the theater is almost empty. The last time we went to a weekend night movie was a few months back when we met Marc & Britt for Bridesmaids (my 2nd time seeing the movie)...oh, but I lied, I also went to Hangover 2 the first time for our movie premier for work....both times on a Friday and both times miserable. We had to sit right on top of everyone and in the bottom seats that are not inclined and you have to stretch your neck to see the entire screen.

We have been to A LOT of movies lately. Whether its because I'm preggo and there isn't a lot for us to do on our nights (days) out or the fact that we simply LOVE movies....and did I mention movie theater popcorn? There is a reason the good popcorn you get at home is called Movie Theater Butter....because it's so delicious.

We went to a movie yesterday and the previous Monday and I have to say I feel like we've been stretching to get a good movie the past couple of times. While we still have makes me wonder, are we going so often that we are reverting to the junk B List movies just to get out of the house?  Here are my (personal) ratings on the movies we've seen lately:
  • The Change-Up (D+) - funny at times (though minimal). The only saving grace was Ryan Reynolds (though he was kind of a douche) and the leading ladies: Olivia Wilde and Leslie Mann.
  • 30 Minutes or Less (C-) - eh, so a bit funnier than The Change-Up but lord did it seem they were trying too hard
  • Planet of the Apes 2 (A) - much better than I anticipated and way different than the first remake with Mark Wahlberg. Big monkey fan after this movie.
  • Friends With Benefits (A+) - was definitely a close 2nd to Bridesmaids. Good story line and I love Justin Timberlake's and Mila Kunis' roles. Funny and a bit of romance.
  • Horrible Bosses (B) - loved Jennifer Aniston's role in this movie (scratch that: I just love her), but the plot was silly and they main characters tried too hard to be funny. Plus I was very annoyed by the end of the movie because of the voice Charlie Day's character. 
  • Bad Teacher (C+/B-) - Cameron Diaz was good and I loved her wardrobe....otherwise, not a great movie. Definitely a renter.
  • Hangover 2 (A-) - definitely not as good as the first, but I love the cast and the basic plot. Plus, what's not to love about Bradley Cooper?
  • Bridesmaids (A+) - favorite movie of the year! Hilarious...I saw it twice and can't wait for it to come out on video.
What am I excited about?
  • Twilight: Breaking Dawn - uh hello! I'm Team Edward all the way! Completely addicted to these movies and a 18 months was WAAAY to long to wait between movies. Tessa and I are trying to figure out when we should go - before Little Mango is here (could the excitement put me into premature labor and do we really want to battle the crowds) or afterwards (who knows when we will actually make it out for a movie....I have a feeling I'm not going to be up to it).
  • The Help - I'm reading the book and once I finish I know I'm going to be ready to get to the theater....though, I don't think this is a good movie for Nick & I.
  • Crazy, Stupid, Love - even with a good review from Ross & Morgan....Nick still isn't sold. He's not a fan of Steve Carrell in anything but comedies.
  • Columbiana - heard about this from Nick and it sounds good. I like Zoe Saldana and it sounds like she is a bad ass in this movie.
It looks like I've got some movies to see before Little Mango gets here because I know it's going to be very difficult for us to get away for a quick afternoon movie once he's arrived. We talked about how easy it would be to bring him to a Monday afternoon movie since we are generally the only ones in there....but do we really want to be those people who bring a baby into a movie matter how good that baby is?

Monday, August 29, 2011

28 Weeks: What's New....(7 Months!!)

Due date: November 21st

Baby developments: Little Mango is now the size of an eggplant. He weighs approximately 2.25 pounds and is 14.8 inches long. He can now blink his eyes, which now have lashes. He's developing billions of neurons in his brain and adding more body fat in preparation for life in the outside world.

Weight gain: packing them on! 3 pounds this week (14 total pregnancy)

Cravings: bananas, red apples, popcorn and Diet Mt Dew (multiple times I found caffeine free at the gas station on our New Hampton trip - score!)

Aversions: none to note

Symptoms: having symptoms galore....major rib pain which after talking with Tessa this weekend sounds as though it's my precious little one pushing up into my rib - in lookingn online it may also be the uterus pressing into my abdomen and squashing my ribs. It's on my right side and very uncomfortable- fortunately it's not all of the time, but it has been happening daily (today since about 4pm, so five hours of fun!)

Leg cramps have been minimal, but I've had what I'm self-diagnosing as Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), which is an uncontrollable urge to move my legs. This happens usually late at night and it's painful, but just annoying more than anything.

Sleep: has been good, but I was tired after this weekend. We went to a wedding in New Hampton, Iowa and stayed with Tessa's husband's dad all weekend - it was late nights and early mornings. I slept from about 10pm until 7:30am this morning which was great.

I miss: wearing jeans and a nice shirt instead of dresses and stretchy pants....dang give me a pair of skinny jeans any day and I'd be a happy girl.

I am loving: getting closer and closer to meeting this little guy....being in my 3rd trimester means that we are almost there!

I'm spazzing about: not really spazzing, but hoping for the best on my glucose screening test in a couple weeks. At my last doctor's visit she gave me a bottle of this orange sugar stuff that I need to drink before my next appointment - if the results come back high I'm in for the 3-hour glucose tolerance test....and that doesn't sound fun.

Best moment this week: I have to say finding our pediatrician, which we finalized today after my appointment with Dr Shidler at Boys Town Pediatrics. Finally!

Milestones: we're in the home stretch and hit the 3rd trimester this week - wow! now it's getting real. It sounds like the average weight gain this trimester is 11 pounds....which would put me at 25 total pounds....

Movement: Little Mango has been moving like crazy.

Exercise: was slim to none last week - very busy at work with my new boss in town and it felt like we were out of the house every night this past week and weekend. Definitely going to get back into it this week and started this morning...

Diet: has been ok, but it's hard to eat well when you aren't at home. A lot of grabbing something quick in between meetings.

Goals for the upcoming week: order the chair for the nursery and hang some of the pictures in that room. Plus, a non-pregnancy related goal - finish reading The Help. I'm about halfway through and it's pretty good so far. Oh, and I need to catch up on the blogs I follow - last week didn't allow me much time online.

Belly shot:

28 week bump
(Now that is where those 3 pounds are storing themselves!)

Doctor, Doctor...

This morning, I had a "Meet the Doctor" appointment with Dr. Shidler at Boys Town Pediatrics' Lakeside location and it went really well. She was extremely friendly, knowledgeable and seemed like someone I could really get along with. Plus, she works six days a week which means she's available when we need her. On her day off (Thursday), she recommends any of the other three doctors who practice with her.

Dr. Shidler easily answered my questions and we talked about some of her personal opinions: breastfeeding (she did, but doesn't judge mothers who choose not to), immunizations, going back to work after her most recent baby after 3 1/2 weeks (she loves her job) and other things.

Besides her personal attributes, I really like what Boys Town Pediatrics offers:
  • Same Day Pediactrics -  if we call by 4pm to get an appointment for Little Mango, we will get in yet that day.
  • Office Hours - the offices is open until 7pm or 8pm each week night. Plus they are open on Saturdays.
  • After Hours - they have a 24 hour helpline with a registered nurse to answer any questions we may have - that gives me great piece of mind should anything come up late into the night....lord knows I will have plenty of questions!
It's such a relief to have our pediatrician....just one more thing to check off the to-do list!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Clothes Wars

Every morning I have a fight with my closet before work....I just have nothing to wear these days and keep "out-growing" my work clothes. This morning was no different, especially as I left for work with my pants un-buttoned...and halfway zipped up...seriously.

After complaining to the one person who legally has to listen to me, Nick finally told me to go and get some new clothes and I agreed with him. It was time for me to visit A Pea in a Pod and buy some maternity gear. I went in and actually had some luck. I was actually pretty impressed at how comfortable the pants were with that stretchy thingy around the belly... Here are a couple of my purchases:

Twill Skinny Flare Work Pants

Sleeveless Scoopneck Tank

Jersey Knit Leggings

Mavi Serena Secret Belly Skinny Jeans

So...$300 later (this is more than I spend on some of my regular clothes!), I'm feeling much better about my wardrobe and I'm that much more excited for fall dressing...for now...

Big Checkmark: the Registry

Tessa and I finally found a day that worked to make the trek to Kearney to visit my friend Shauna's store, "Time for Baby." Shauna started Time for Baby (check it out here) approximately six years ago and it's become such a cool space. It's located in downtown Kearney and she carries so many brands that you can't find in Nebraska at the regular baby stores.
On Sunday, since Tessa had the whole day kid-free, we met early and hit up Babies R Us in Omaha to check out some baby stuff, went to lunch at Cilantro's and then jumped on I-80 for our journey to Kearney. (You would've thought we had two 70-year-old women in the car as much as we needed to make stops to use the bathroom on the way, once we were in Kearney and on our way home.) We got to Kearney a bit early so we hit up the world-famous Hilltop Mall and did a little reminiscing at some of my old college haunts.

When we got to TFB, it was great seeing Shauna and the new store (she moved to a new location not long ago) and then we got down to business. First order - check out the stroller I've been wanting and stalking online since she told me about it....and it didn't disappoint. I added the Baby Jogger City Select stroller in Diamond White to the registry and loved it even more when I could see all of the great features - it is compatible with the Chicco Keyfit carseat I wanted, folds and stores easily, has tons of storage and when we finally decide to have another little one, you can easily add another seat to make it a double stroller. How cool is that?

Baby Jogger City Select in Diamond White (love it!)

In addition to the Chicco Carseat, I added the Chicco Pack N Play and 360 Hook-On Highchair - which will be so convenient in our kitchen and won't take up a lot of space.

Chicco Keyfit 30 Carseat in Graphica

Chicco Playard in Graphica

Chicco 360 Hook-On High Chair

As soon as Tessa spotted the Puj Tub - we knew I had to have one. Not only are they extremeley convenient and easy to use BUT how about that name? Puj Tub for my little chubby baby....too cute! I also finalized the chair - Best Storytime Series - that Mom & Dad are going to be buying for the nursery. It rocks, swivels and reclines which will be great depending on how Little Mango will want to be handled in the middle of the night. Plus it is SO comfortable.

Puj Tub Soft Foam for bathtime (and some random baby...)

Best Storytime Series chair - fabric will be a soft white
(This fabric & color does not do the chair justice!)

One of the BEST parts about the day, Shauan happened to let it slip in conversation that she works with a local seamstress and does custom bedding - what is that, you say? Custom bedding? Just as I was beginning to give up hope that I would find bedding that I'd love and would have to go completely generic OR spend a fortune on a set I'd been eyeing. In six weeks, I will have gorgeous custom bedding (completely unique might I add) for the nursery with the main pattern being this Michael Miller Citron/Gray stripe fabric. It will be a crib skirt out of this fabric, a simple white crib sheet and the bumper will be white supersoft chenille with this fabric as the trim and ties. I am SO excited to see the finished product and how the vertical stripes for the bedding will fit in with the stripes on the walls.

Michael Miller Fabric - Citron Play Stripe

Later Shauna, Tess and I met the Amundson's for dinner after we finished up at the store - it was great seeing them and I really enjoyed the much so that I have to share one little piece with you all. We were all talking about the baby and my blog (Barbara reads it and will often shoot me texts about posts) and Tessa mentioned something about Cruz. Barbara looked perplexed and asked "yeah, so why do you keep referring to him as Cruz?"

Tessa, Shauna and I look at each other confused and I respond, "um, because that's his name."

"Ohhhhh...I didn't realize that and thought it was just another nickname for the baby," (Barbara), which elicited laughter from the entire group.

It was such a great day and I'm so excited that I have the start to the registry steps - Target and Babies R Us for the rest of the registry. Tessa really has it coming if she thinks that was the last of it!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Week 27: What's New...

Due date: November 21st

Baby developments: Little Mango is now the size of an eggplant - this week he weights almost two pounds and is 14 1/2 inches long. His lungs are going through major developments these days, which (combined with the opening of previously plugged nostrils) means he's now able to practice inhaling and exhaling. He's also sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing his eyes, and might even be sucking his fingers! If he's anything like his mama, he will be sucking his fingers, not his thumb.

Weight gain: 1 lb (11 pounds total pregnancy)

Cravings: deja vu anyone? Diet Mt Dew, popcorn and sweets are the big culprit. I'm actually surprised at how little I'm craving chips and cheez-its these days, which used to be a major staple in my diet.

Aversions: not necessarily an aversion, but I haven't been eating tomato soup as often as I usually do. My favorite is Campbell's Old-Fashioned Tomato Rice and I've tried to make it a couple times over the past couple weeks and it didn't go down well.

Symptoms: leg cramps are still getting me at night - I think I'm going to try what worked for my friend, Shauna - a banana and glass of water before bed each night.  And I've been getting backaches more frequently, which I understand will only get worse as I grow bigger. It feels like a pinching in the middle of my back on the right-hand side. He often resides on the right side of my belly so I imagine it has something to do with his choice of real estate.

I can also see my linea nigra coming in beneath my belly button, which is due to pregnancy hormones. These same pregnancy hormones are responsible for some of the new freckles I have as well as my sunspots.

Sleep: I've been sleeping very well and actually it's been tough for me to get up by my alarm at 6am during the work week and I snooze for a half hour to an hour which isn't good.

I miss: fitting into my old clothes and shopping for cloths that aren't dresses. I've stopped into a couple cute boutiques in Omaha and saw some great deals on some dresses and tops, but I couldn't fit into them anymore. My next purchases will be a pair of jeans for fall, a couple new pairs of work pants and some maternity leggings. I'm getting tired of always wearing dresses these days.

I am loving: the most recent gift I received for Cruzer from his Auntie Tessa. She bought these yesterday and they are so dang cute....and little!

Little Man's first crib shoes
I'm spazzing about: missing my appointment with the pediatrician this morning - I really was hoping I would meet her, chat with her and sign her on to take care of Cruz, but because I had to go into work early with the flooding, I wasn't able to make the appointment.

Best moment this week: registering at Time for Baby and spending the WHOLE day with Tessa....just us. It's been a while since it's been just the two of us and it was such a good day.

Milestones: I'm almost in my 3rd trimester! Now THAT is very exciting and I am getting more and more anxious to meet this little guy!

Movement: I continue to feel tons of movement and love touching my belly when he is kicking away. It never, ever gets old.

It's a...: gorgeous little boy.

Exercise: has been good this past week - with the weather getting nicer, my walk/runs have been more enjoyable and it's been good to get Maya out of the house.

Diet: has been ok with the exception of a sweet treat at the end of the day. Those damn Hostess cupcakes are the devil - I've probably only eaten five of these in my whole life and now they are a staple in my diet. What is the deal?!?

Goals for the upcoming week: I'm going to focus on a couple of pregnancy super-foods this week...broccoli, hard boiled eggs and bananas. My blender broke a couple months ago and I've been craving my smoothies - I may have to go buy a new one...

Belly shot:

Belly Bump: 27 Weeks


The 5:30am wake-up call I received this morning came very early...due to the excessive rain we received last night and this past week, there was flooding in the lower level of our building at work. Fortunately it didn't impact business and for the most part everyone had packed up important items earlier this summer, so our biggest effort was focused around wet-vaccing the standing water and finding alternative locations for our employees to office out of.

View at TD Ameritrade flooding - similar sights across the river in our
casino parking lots and streets this morning.

I'm at home now trying to figure out if I should try to sleep for a couple hours or get on with my day...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

How Am I Supposed To Know?

I had what I would call a "new mom" moment this week. A customer from work left me a baby gift and it was full of (what I now know are) handmade burp cloths and a couple treat storage thingys. So I called her and left a message to let her know I received it and to thank her. In my message I exclaimed, "thank you so much for the wash cloths, they look handmade! It was so sweet of you!" etc, etc.

I was talking to one of my employees to tell her what I got and she said, "um, they were burp cloths, not wash cloths."

And I was like, "oh yeah, I knew that but they are basically the same thing."

"No they're not, they are different." (her, laughing)

So, I left work and called Tessa on my way home to ask her. Through her initial laughter, she said it was ok and there wasn't a huge difference, but I should be aware they are in fact different when registering or using them after Cruz gets here.

Then to be sure I sent a text to mom - "is there a difference between burp rags and wash cloths when you're referring to a baby gift?" Figuring her response would be something like, "eh, not much of a difference."

Her response, "yes, burp rags are for burping & wash cloths are for baths." I do feel a little silly for not knowing there was a difference or that a burp cloth is longer than a wash cloth to catch more of the spit up (thanks, Google).  However, I bet that if I was in dire straits and only had one or the other - I could use a burp cloth to wash the baby and a wash cloth when burping the baby....right? I mean come on - they are both basically swatches of fabric...

Monday, August 15, 2011

26 Weeks: What's New...

Due date: November 21st

Baby developments: Little Mango is the size of an eggplant - he weighs 1 & 2/3 pounds and is 14 inches long. He's soaking up my antibodies - getting his immune system ready for life outside the womb. Little man's eyes are forming and soon he'll be practicing the blink - he now has eyelashes. He is also starting to take breaths too - of amniotic fluid - but it's still great practice for him!

Weight gain: 1 lb (10 lbs total pregnancy)

Cravings: I continue to crave Diet Mt Dew and popcorn....big time.

Aversions: none

Symptoms:  I've had some cramping the last couple of days, which I've self-diagnosed as Round Ligament Pain. It refers to a brief, sharp, stabbing pain or a longer-lasting dull ache in my lower abdomen. The round ligaments surround my uterus and as it grows during pregnancy, the ligaments stretch and thicken to accommodate and support it and it occasionally cause pain.

Leg cramps galore - I've been woken up a couple different times this week with bad leg cramps. Generally it's been my right leg, but Saturday night was the first time it was my left.  I have been eating bananas for some extra potassium since I couldn't suck down the coconut water. There are a couple things they recommend:
  • Take a walk every day.
  • Wear comfortable shoes with plenty of support (oops - definitely not complying with this).
  • Avoid getting too tired.
  • Stay hydrated during the day by drinking water regularly.
I am loving: getting a ton of sleep and being refreshed during the day. I LOVE no hangovers!

Sleep: has definitely been good - besides the leg cramps waking me up and one bathroom break a night. However, I did stay out later than I have in a long time this past weekend - 3am on Friday night and 2am on Saturday night. I was feeling it for sure on Saturday at work and all day yesterday.

I miss: not having to pee 50 times a day like I have been lately. That is definitely why dresses are my friend these makes the process that much quicker!

I'm spazzing about: getting the registry completed. Tessa & I are heading to Kearney on Sunday to hit up Time for Baby and then we will more than likely set one up at Babies R Us or Target as well.

Best moment this week: two great moments this week - 1) hearing Cruz's strong heartbeat this morning in my doctor's appointment and 2) meeting Gavin Rossdale at the Bush M&G Saturday night - love him!

Milestones: this isn't a milestone in the pregnancy or Cruz's development, but I'm pretty impressed that I've refrained from buying up little boy clothes like crazy. Everyone knows I'm a shopper and I've maybe bought three onesies for him so far....props to me!

I did purchase my first two maternity clothing purchases this week - one was a black Liz Lange tank from Target and the other was a pair of Gap Maternity jogging pants - which are mighty comfortable.

Movement: Cruz has been moving around like crazy and I'm loving every minute of it. It seems as though just as I'm getting ready to relax, he is wanting to move around.

It's a...: little guy.

Exercise: still happening about five times a week.

Diet: has been ok this week.

Goals for the upcoming week: well I did knock a couple of things off my to-do list this past week: set up appointments with pediatricians, going to Kearney to set up my registry and registered for Child Preparation and New Parent classes at Bergan. My only goal is to finalize some of the big items (stroller, high chair, rocking chair, etc) while we are in Kearney on Sunday.  Shauna has the stroller I've been eyeing - I can't wait to check it out.

Belly shot:
26 Week baby bump - in my new Maternity jogging pants!

Groupies of the High School Kind...

Why is it when Tessa & I get together for concerts we become goofy little groupies? It happened when we went to Christina Aguilera at the Qwest, Goo Goo Dolls at Stir Cove last year (hello, Johnny Reznik?), Usher and most recently at Bush at Stir Cove on Saturday night. Our men joined us, but you wouldn't have known they were there, because we only had eyes for Gavin. I was able to sneak us into the M&G and it was so worth it!

Meet & Greet w/ Bush!

I got my two minutes with Gavin, but I wasn't prepared and was totally opening line " this your first time in Iowa?" (Really, Katie, that is all you could come up with?)

"No, I don't think so, but this must be your first time seeing me in Iowa." (Gavin - imagine this in his hot English accent)

"Oh yeah, you were here a couple years ago at Whiskey Roadhouse, but I had to miss it because I was out of town at my bachelorette party." (me)

"Oh, you're married?" (Gavin)

"Yeah. Thanks for the autograph!" (me)

Autographs with Gavin

What is a girl to say to one of her high school crushes?

I have to say my side of the interaction definitely wasn't eloquent by any means. Why couldn't I have asked him how his kids are doing or where he was headed next on tour? No, I use an old school pick-up line of sorts....and to top that off a really bad one!

Afterwards we met the guys out at the show and rocked out to some great music. Bush put on an amazing show  - none of us could stop talking about it. The songs definitely brought me back to high school and listening to their Sixteen Stone CD in my cool Chevy Corsica while driving mains in Emerson. I think Cruz enjoyed it too - he was moving around and kicking like a crazy man!

Gavin rockin it

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Weekend With Family

What a great weekend with family - Nick & I went to my cousin Jill's wedding on Friday night with Mom, Dad, Tessa & Chris. It was a gorgeous outdoor wedding at the Fountains Ballroom in Glenwood and we had a great time together. Some may say a little too much fun....being that we didn't get home until 3am made for a very tired prego woman at work on Saturday.

Nick & I having wedding fun

Tessa & Chris - it was a bit warm, but a great night

Mom & Dad

Nick enjoying his cocktails while his DD takes pics

Photobooth Fun w/ the girls

More fun in the Photobooth
On Saturday, Nick & I went to the Bush concert at Stir Cove at Harrah's with Tessa, Chris, Ross & Kyle and it was a great night for a concert (more to come in another post). Today we met Tessa, Chris, Kayden, Davyvaney & Ace for lunch and it was good seeing the kiddos - as always. It wouldn't be a lunch with the Lynch's without one of them making us laugh out loud - today was Dayvaney's turn. She asked Nick how we knew we were having a baby boy.

"Well the doctor took a picture of the baby inside Katie's stomach and could tell from the picture it was going to be a boy." (Nick)

"Could he see his dinger???" (Dayvie) This definitely got a laugh out of everyone....

After lunch, Nick & I were talking about how lucky we are to have such a great family and to have everyone living so close. I've had some opportunities for different jobs across the US within Harrah's and it would be better for Nick's work if we lived in Vegas, but we could never justify the opportunity - or money - outweighing the benefit of being so close to family & friends.

Friday, August 12, 2011


I had a brainiac idea to paint stripes on one of the nursery walls, but I didn't realize how long it would take. Well on Monday, I had the day off and tackled this project and I love the final result....even though I wasn't loving it while I was measuring and taping and painting. Here is the final result:

Painted three of the walls gray and one white to start.
The biggest pain: measuring & taping in preparation to paint the stripes.

Painting waiting for it to dry.
Finished product: ta-da! favorite purchase for the nursery so far - the Offi My Pet Lamp! I love the bright yellow color against the gray & white walls - I think Cruz is going to love his new room!

Offi My Pet Lamp - Mellow Yellow Daschund

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Makes Me Happy...

It's the little things in life that make this preggo girl happy and I've got THREE things to be very happy about right now:

#1 - Being that I'm large and in chage these days, I don't get as much pleasure in my wardrobe as I used to but what I love is when I'm getting dressed up and I've got a really GREAT pair of shoes to finish the outfit off with. Tomorrow night for my cousin's wedding, I'm going to be rocking my favorite pair of shoes wedding shoes. The "Something Blue" Manolo Blahniks best known for their appearance in SATC the Movie.

THE Shoes

#2 - Being able to meet my calorie goal for the day and indulge in two of my pregnancy cravings in one meal...Buffalo Wild Wings' Spicy Garlic Boneless Wings and their Soft Pretzel with cheese. One word: YUM.

#3 - I found out today that on Saturday, Tessa & I get to meet one of my favorite male celebs, Gavin Rossdale. I'm so excited. I have loved me some Gavin since high school when their Sixteen Stone CD came out and it didn't hurt that their lead singer was gorgeous. I had a chance to see him in May 2009 when he came to perform his solo music (remember "Love Remains the Same?) at Whiskey Roadhouse, but it landed on the day of my bachelorette party, so I couldn't stick around Omaha. But now I've weaseled my way into a M&G since he & the band are playing at Stir Cove at Harrah's and I can.not.wait.

Just a pic to show you all who I get to meet come Saturday!

With his son, Kingston - I booked Gavin's suite & an adjoining room for the
nanny and Kingston. I may just have to meet the little guy too!

Where Does the Puggle Fit Into All of This...

Lately, we've been trying to figure out how Maya, our puggle, will react to our little man once he arrives in November. To be honest, we are very concerned.

Maya is definitely a hyper and inquisitive dog. She is our first "child" and a huge part of our lives, however, we realize that we need to find a way to prep her for this major change of introducing an infant into her life. Am I concerned that she will try to trample the baby in one of her races around the living room or drag him around like one of her beloved toys? Absolutely.

I recently saw a post about the top 5 things to do to prepare your dog for a new baby and a couple of them seem as though they make sense.....a couple, not so much...
  1. Ignore them in the months leading up to delivery - not entirely, but don't spoil them as much as they are used to so they get used to the fact that they won't be #1 anymore.
  2. Get a crying baby doll & hold it while it's making noise - we probably won't be doing this, but I do think it's a good test....
  3. Arrange for someone to take care of your dog during labor, delivery and recovery - definitely need to put this on my 3rd trimester checklist.
  4. Bring baby clothes home from the hosptial so she can get used to his scent - hopefully this is something Nick can do, it would be good for her to get used to his smell before he comes home.
  5. Don't keep the nursery door shut all of the time - allow her to see what's going on in there and give her a spot to lay down and teach them to respect the baby's things. Makes sense....
This is definitely good advice and will help us make the transition from one "child" to two children.

Look at that face - of course, she's spoiled rotten.

Cat-like reflexes!

Her favorite summer hang out - she has used the new lounge chair more than I have!

Snuggled up

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Nursery Progress

On Monday, I took the day to run errands for some of the nursery projects I was working on as well as grab a yard stick to paint the stripes on the one accent wall. I had a great trip to Hobby Lobby and picked up some really good deals.

I still haven't entirely figured out what I'm putting up on the walls but I have a great start - I bought some prints from Etsy (here) a while back and got them in last week. They look great in the white frames I had bought a month ago and will be super cute on the walls. I did buy some more wood frames and spray painted them white - they are different sizes and will work great in the collage of prints I'm thinking of doing.

Wooden frame spray painted white

I bought this large "C" which was originally a glossy black/gold color, so I sanded it down and spray painted it a bright yellow. Nick & I decided the yellow was too bright (I believe he called it "Wayne State yellow"), so I'm planning to check out other shades of yellow to find one I like better. If I do get this to work, my plan is to hang this on the wall above the crib and hang a black frame around it - no glass or back on the frame. We'll see...

"Wayne State Yellow" letter C

I picked up these letters for $.99 a piece and decided to spray paint them metallic silver - I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do with them yet - either hang them or incorporate them on the dresser, book shelf...somewhere in the room. I really like the way they turned out!

Check out the Metallic Silver paint on the "Z"

I had been looking at some mobiles online to hang above the crib, but the ones I wanted were SO expensive and I'm trying to refrain from overspending on the nursery decor. So....I found some different ways to create a focal point and the poofs were my favorite. Plus it was VERY easy to make:

For the first "poof" I used 10 sheets of yellow tissue paper.
I folded the entire pile into 1 1/2 inch sections and then secured the paper
 in the center with floral wire (fold the floral wire over the center of the paper,
twist to secure & cut off the excess wire). Cut the ends into points, round them,
what ever you prefer (I cut points on this one).

Fan out the paper very carefully (it tears easily).

Pull the fanned tissue paper out piece by piece to form your "poof" - then hook
a piece of fishing line through the floral wire to create your "hanger." Voila!
Nick thinks it's too girlie so I'm going to incorporate some gray, white and maybe buy some shapes to hang with them (I'm a big fan of stars). I think it could turn out nice and be a colorful distraction for Little Mango.

Then it was onto the biggest task of the day which was completing the stripes on the accent wall - what a pain! I finally got them done and straight - expect to see pics posted soon....

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

25 Weeks: What's New...

Due date: November 21st - my mom was in town this weekend and we were talking about her staying with me when Little Mango is born...can't wait to have her help because I know I'm going to need it!

Baby developments: Little Mango is now the size of an eggplant and his sense of equilibrium is kicking in - he is starting to distinguish right side up from upside down. He's been feet down since my last ultrasound and I just know that he's pushing against (or kicking) my bladder. He weighs approximately a pound & a half and is about 13 & 1/2 inches long. Plus, he's putting on some baby fat - I can't wait to squeeze those cute little cheeks!

About me this week: my pregnancy hormones are kicking in and making my complexion a bit spotty. I've been using a skin lightening cream on these areas the past couple of weeks - hope it helps...

Weight gain: 0 lbs this week (9 lbs total pregnancy)

Cravings: this week I've definitely been craving diet Mt Dew (trying to mix in CF) and popcorn. I cannot get enough of either - popcorn has definitely become my nightly snack while I'm winding down.

Aversions: none that I can think of.

Symptoms: leg & foot cramps galore so I'm trying to drink the Zico coconut water and eat more bananas (to my friend Heather - I do not like the Zico, even freezing cold!)

I am loving: the nursery - it's finally coming along - I finished painting yesterday and got some of the stuff I'd ordered online in. I can't wait for the big reveal!

Sleep: I've been sleeping well aside from waking up at 3:30am on Wednesday morning and not getting back to sleep and again on Sunday morning at 4am, but fortunately I was able to fall back asleep around 6am. I've also been getting up in the middle of the night at least once to use the restroom, but I'm usually able to get back to sleep soon after.

I miss: nothing that I can think of - this last week was a great pregnancy week. Yes, I am saying that, the person who always complains about those women who "just loved being pregnant!"

I'm spazzing about: registering - I need to get to Time For Baby - my friend Shauna's shop to register and check out some of the items I'm interested in but we can't get our schedules synched. I'm hoping we figure it out soon so I can check that off the list.

Best moment this week: spending time with my mom, two of my sisters and my nieces & nephews on my side on Sunday. The only thing missing from our girls + nephews day were my sister Heather and little DeLaney. We had lunch at "the Breadstick Place" as Dayvaney calls it (Olive Garden) and then did some shopping. Dayvie & Sophie were my shopping partners looking at dresses - they were so cute holding hands and oohing & awing each item they saw - Dayvie's line of the day was "ohhh.myyy.gooosh. Isn't this the most beautiful dress?" to every sparkly and brightly colored frock she could get her hands on! She is definitely my niece.

Milestones: having hit the six month point definitely makes this pregnancy sink in that much more. Only 16 more weeks until we get to meet Cruz and I cannot wait....I hope the time goes quickly but at the same time that we get everything done we need to.

Movement: Little Mango is moving like crazy and I love it! I seriously could feel him moving all day long and not get tired of it. Yesterday Nick & I went to a movie (new Planet of the Apes movie- pretty good!) and he was kicking harder than I've felt him kick before. It was great - this is definitely one of my favorite things about pregnancy.

It's a...: little boy

Exercise: I get so winded these days....walking up flights of stairs, after my workout, youname it. I have been trying to walk/run as often as possible this week and do light arms & legs to keep myself in shape, but I struggle. I can only imagine when I'm 30+ weeks and the belly has grown even bigger how I'm going to feel!

Diet: has been ok, but not great - seems to be the recurring theme in this section...

Goals for the upcoming week: to schedule New Parent classes & hospital tour at Bergan Mercy as well as my pediatrician appointments.

Belly shot:

25 Week Bump

Saturday, August 6, 2011

My Cooking Venture

If you remember a couple weeks ago I decided to jump in and finally attempt to make Nick's mom's/nana's homemade meatballs and marinara recipe (here) and I didn't do too bad. Both Nick and I were pretty impressed that everything turned out similar to how it tastes when his mom makes it. (Score 1 point for me!)

Fast forward to Wednesday night of this week (remember in my early Wed morning post, I planned my grocery shopping list focused around new recipes: here) - I left work earlier than normal and hit up Hy-Vee for a long list of groceries. I was planning to make four meals that would feed us through the rest of the week/weekend for both lunch and dinner. What did I make, you ask?
  • For dinner that night, I found a recipe online for taverns (yes, we call them taverns, not sloppy joes, in our small town) and they turned out damn good. (1 point)

  • Nick's mom's lasagna recipe. I always loved when she would whip one of these up and on her Omaha trips put one in our freezer. I attempted this creation and for my first time EVER making lasagna I would have to say I did good. However, where the recipe said to cook the noodles til they are "almost" done? I failed here, the noodles were still a bit hard. Plus, the last layer of cheese melted completely around the top layer of noodles and it just didn't look as yummy as it does when his mom makes it. (0.5 points)

  • On the Cooking Light website, I found a recipe for Chipotle Chicken Chile, which I figured Nick would LOVE. I made it (proud of myself for sauteeing real chicken, not using the stuff from a can) and it just didn't seem too appetizing - very watery and the stewed tomatoes didn't seem to cook all the way. I love how Nick tried it and said "if I put enough crackers in it it should taste ok." Thanks for trying to make me feel better, buddy. (0 points)

  • From the same website, I pulled off a Creamy Tomato Balsamic Bisque recipe that I figured would be perfect to bring to work for lunch each day. It took 50 minutes to cook the basic mixture at 500 degrees in the oven only to have to then pour it into the blender to mix (note to other new cooks out there: despite having the lid on the blender and holding it down with your hand - steaming hot, red liquid will STILL spray out, burning your hand and staining one of your favorite tanks...) Then it asked to put the mixture in a sieve to sift out the big pieces....well if you forget to put the bowl under the sieve the soup will go down the drain....seriously I'm a lost cause. (0 points)
All in I give my attempt 1.5 points out of 4 total. Definitely not great, but I'm not giving up. You will see more of my conquests posted here as I encounter them. Wish me luck!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Don't Judge Me

One thing you cannot do to a pregnant woman (or maybe it's just me...) is tempt me at lunch time...when I'm starving. I was going to bring my lunch to work today, but didn't and figured I would get something to tide me over in the employee dining room (EDR). Every day our employees can get a salad, sandwich or soup for free in our EDR. I don't use this amenity as often as I should because to be honest it's not as scrumptious as it sounds and the quality is what I'd call subpar. Today I wasn't expecting anything different BUT when I went in there, what did I find....

Yep, a warm pretzel, tortilla chips AND warm nacho cheese. Can you say YUM?  So naturally I did what anyone in my position would do - I skipped right past the salad and soup and made a beeline for the cheese. I'm not going to lie, I may have knocked over a cocktail server in my dive for the last pretzel, but it was well worth it. I figure I'm knocking out two of the food groups with my choice: dairy and grain. Plus I have a banana and some pickles I brought for a snack later that will round out everything but protein. All in I think I did pretty good. A well balanced and delicious lunch...(yes, I am using that excuse to justify eating this meal and I'm ok with it).

Angels Among Us

Angels Among Us
Quite often every day tasks get me stressed and busy and I'm not able to focus on the things that matter. It takes a day like yesterday when I was working on Angels Among Us tasks to bring me out of my bubble and help me realize that things could be much worse or difficult to handle. I've been on the Angels Among Us board of directors since 2008 and it has truly been a rewarding experience. Everything we do in this orgnization is geared toward raising money to help families who have a child battling cancer.

When I was more involved in the family advocacy part of this program, I was able to work with the families more directly and to hear some of their stories was absolutely heartbreaking. Most of these parents had to quit their jobs in order to make it to doctor's appointments and treatments with their children in hopes they could find a cure to make them better. They were stressed about paying every day bills while out of work, but were trying to balance that stress with maintaining a positive demeanor for their child. That's why Angels is so special - we are able to work with these families and pay some of their monthly bills so they can focus on their child during this difficult time.

One of the families we helped in the past had triplet girls and one of their triplets had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Recently she went into remission which is such an amazing thing for that family. Earlier this week, they contacted us and gave us heartbreaking news, one of their other triplets has been diagnosed with ALL and they asked if they could go back on the Angels program. It's hard for me to imagine how this family can go through so much not only with one of their children, but now to have to go through the same thing with another child is devastating. That is the most difficult thing about being involved with Angels, hearing what these families are having to go through with their young kids. No child or family should ever have to experience this disease.

I am very fortunate to have gotten involved in this organization and while I have different types of stresses in my life, I realize that what I am going through doesn't even compare to that of these families - so taking hours out of my week to plan our upcoming events or attend board meetings is simply one small thing I can do to help and I'm lucky to have the opportunity.

Check us out:

A New Ride

Five years ago Nick got a new truck and we loved that truck. It was a diamond white Cadillac Escalade and a perfect fit for him.  Flash forward to now and our beloved truck was giving him problems - randomly it wouldn't start and we could jump it but it wasn't guaranteed to start the next time he tried it. Last week it wasn't consistently starting and after he took it in they said it was the alternator and would cost $400. After they fixed the alternator it still wasn't working and now they needed to replace the fuel pump - another $1,000 to fix. That was it....we decided it was time to trade it in.

After looking around, we found a black Chevy Avalanche - very similar body style tot the Escalade and a really nice truck! It has navigation, DVD player....fully loaded. The day Nick traded was definitely bittersweet, but I think he is going to LOVE driving his new truck. Plus as little man grows up, the DVD player will be perfect for long drives!