8.16.2017

Easiest Summer Night Dinner Idea ::: Grilled Chicken Pitas

This dinner is not revolutionary .... in fact, it's about as simple as they come, but every time we make them, I wonder why I'm not making it more often!

This is actually one of my favorite things to order from a local restaurant here (Tommy's) - and I basically decided to recreate it at home. It seems almost too easy to share, but sometimes those are the best dinners. This would be great served with grilled corn but Joel and I were content with it on its own.

 


The Goods: 
  • 2lbs Chicken Breast (this makes great leftovers so we try to cook a good amount) 
    • I butterfly the breasts for thinner pieces
  • Pitas
  • Romain Lettuce
  • Sliced Beef Tomato
  • Mustard & Mayo
 Directions: 

1. Grill the chicken breast to your liking
2. Serve on top of warm pita with the toppings!

and 

If you don't grill (my picture above is not grilled), I bake it. In a pan I pour chicken broth to about 1/4" deep, place all of the butterflied breasts in that, cover with lemon juice, garlic, and heavy salt, and pepper. I baked the above breasts at 375 for 25 minutes on each side.
And my mocktail is Lime LaCroix, 100% Cranberry juice from trader joe's (which is really tart), and a splash of lime juice. It's amazing.

8.15.2017

Bumpdate Weeks 13-16

Slowly catching up, and if you are following along the bumpdates for baby #2: weeks 5-12

WEEK 13

How Far Along? 13w4d

Gender: GIRL

Weight Gain: 0 (this is pretty much the same as when I was pregnant with Leo)

Maternity Clothes:  No but jeans and shorts are tight (and being mainly avoided).

Nursery: No

Movement: Nothing

Symptoms: Much better week overall. Still working with exhaustion, and about every other day I find myself 100% needing to take a nap. I'm getting hungrier as well, but I would say that my feeling of morning sickness is all but gone. I'm able to eat more than just white foods (even ate salmon this week!), but I'm still loving carbs and desserts.

Having to go to the bathroom like 40 times a day is really annoying. I drink a lot of water, but the constant pressure on my bladder is not fun!

My belly is starting to take some shape. It is still can be concealed well with pants and loose tops but it feels hard in the morning and in the night and in my bathing suit or in a dress looks pretty baby belly like!


Sleep: I do have to get up to pee a lot through the night, especially right when I lay down and feel tons of pressure on my bladder but I'm sleeping solidly from 9:30-6am. 

Joel: Since he was traveling last week he totally indulged me both Saturday and Sunday morning by letting me sleep in, read my book, and brought me coffee and breakfast in bed. It was heavenly.

Workouts: We took a bike ride along the lake this past weekend (6 miles), and hauling Leo in the trailer behind me makes for a pretty solid workout. Plus, we have walked about 5 or 6 days a week from anywhere to 2-4 miles.

Mood: Good but emotional. One night in bed, Joel and I were talking and about a second later I couldn't hold back serious hysteric cries. Joel couldn't stop laughing at me and I was legit crying for like 10 minutes before I could get a hold of myself!

Cravings: bagels with avocados on top, cookies, and aged gouda cheese from Costco (that is literally life changing).

What I Miss: Nothing major this week.

Random Things: Joel and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary this week with a nice dinner out at a restaurant here in CL (1776) and we have our short list of baby names (There are 3 that we are playing with).

Also, we are starting to talk about baby with Leo. When we ask him where the baby is, he will point at my belly and come and lift up my shirt. He knows that it's a "gurrrl" when we ask if it's a boy or a girl, and he's getting great at saying "brudder" and "sister"

Best Moment of the Week: Feeling better, my spoiled weekend mornings, all of Leo's joy making our days happy, and having Joel come home from his business trip.

Looking Forward To:  It's 4th of July this upcoming weekend and we have TONS of friends and family coming into town. We are going to be slammed busy, but it's going to be fun and we are going to just take it day by dad. I'm excited for Joel's brothers to get filled in and share in the excitement with my sister in laws.


WEEK 15

How Far Along? 15w2d - missed week 14! Not to already burden you with second baby life, but, #secondbabylife

Gender: GIRL

Weight Gain: +3.5lbs

Maternity Clothes:  No but I'm really in workout clothes or dresses everyday

Nursery: My cousin has a crib that she has in storage that she told me to just take since Leo is happy in his crib, and I don't want to rock that boat before the baby comes. If he naturally is ready for it closer to his birthday, we'll transition to a big kid bed, but if he is not, it's nice to know I have a back up crib. 

Movement: Nothing and I'm eager to feel it!

Symptoms: I am not loving the heat. It's been high 80's the last few days and I really feel like it takes it out of me. Running errands in the heat, or even a short walk, and I feel totally drained.

The last few mornings, I have noticed that my belly is a little lopsided. It was the same thing with Leo (until about 20ish weeks I believe), but it's pretty funny to see when I look down (while I'm laying flat).

Sleep: Sleep has been great overall. My best nights sleep is with half a unisom, and I really don't like to stay up past 10pm, but otherwise, I'm sleeping well. I'm napping less, but when I can sneak them in, I do.

Joel: He was a big help this past week while we had SO many visitors and activities. He made sure he was picking up the slack wherever he could, and really made life as easy as possible for me. It was great to have him home so much this past week over the 4th of July

Workouts: It has been really weak this past week and a half, and I can feel it (and see it, since the scale jumped this week). We have just had a lot of people and a lot of things but I'm hoping to get two good workouts in this upcoming weekend and kick it into higher gear next week.

Mood: Pretty good with shorter patience - especially if I'm hot!

Cravings: starting to crave a little more healthy foods which is nice (and I have some aggressive aversion to burgers right now).

What I Miss: Cold beers all week long!

Random Things: We celebrated the 4th of July with tons of family, friends, and lots of activities. The 4th of July weekend in Crystal Lake is one of the best weekends of the year, and we pretty much got to enjoy everything we wanted to. Lots of time with cousins, fireworks, Leo went to his first fair and rode on a train, and the weather was perfect all weekend long.

Oh, and we have your name little girl. We needed to talk to some family members to make sure it was an OK name to use, and it looks like we got the all clear :)

Best Moment of the Week: Watching the fireworks with Leo, Joel, and my sisters. It was a perfect night and I can't wait to do it next year as a family of 4 (even though I'll likely stay home with you!).

Looking Forward To: A normal, routine, slow, healthy week.


WEEK 16

How Far Along? 17w

Gender: GIRL

Weight Gain: +4/doc +2

Maternity Clothes:  No but I' wore regular jeans today and on Tuesday and have been so uncomfortable. I'm ok when I'm standing but sitting is a whole other story so the maternity clothes are happening soon!

Nursery: No, but I'm hoping to order window treatments for the window in the nursery in the next week.

Movement: YES! Early this week I felt some movement/pressure and one distinct, couldn't deny it kick. With each passing day I have felt more and more movement!

Symptoms: Overall its been a great week. My skin is not its clearest, but whatever. I have to pee an ungodly amount, but I'm used to that, so there really isn't much to complain about.

Sleep: Sleep has been great overall. My best nights sleep is with half a unisom, and I really don't like to stay up past 10pm, but otherwise, I'm sleeping well and I've been nap free all week. I've also been able to stomach a cup of coffee in the afternoon and that has really, REALLY helped.

Joel: I think he has noticed my belly pop out a lot this week and has been asking to feel it since it's now in that hard belly stage. He is looking forward to feeling and seeing the kicks but probably has a few more weeks for that.

Workouts: I made it back to the gym this week which was nice. I had a sitter on Monday so I spent 45 minutes at the gym and it was really fun actually. Joel and I went out on the paddle boards on Sunday and I've gotten a few one hour walks in as well.

Mood: Pretty good with shorter patience.

Cravings: I like to have something sweet after lunch and dinner and I couldn't walk away from Twizzler nibs today at target.

What I Miss: Not much this week. Happy hours, but I keep telling myself how quickly this time will pass, and that there will be a LOT of happy hours in just 5 short months!

Random Things: We had a great 16 week check up. Baby's heartbeat (143/144 bpm) sounded amazing, and I even filmed it which has been fun to listen to, and everything else was great. We had a blood test for AFP levels and everything came back normal! We scheduled our 20 week anatomy scan for Monday, August 7th.

Best Moment of the Week: Feeling the baby kick, hearing the perfect heartbeat, getting normal test results back, and feeling the gratitude of growing a healthy baby.

Looking Forward To: Lots of fun things this week - but I'm looking forward to more baby kicks and having the 20 week ultrasound completed. I'm anxious for that ultrasound and while it is so much fun to get a look at the baby, I'm eager to hear that everything is looking and developing perfectly.

8.14.2017

Weekend Recap

Friday: 

We didn't have grand plans for Friday, but for whatever reason, I was in the mood to do a little something fun. I decided to cook a fun dinner, so Leo and I spent the morning at Barnes & Noble to play with the train table there (one of our favorite indoor spots to hit up) and then went to The Fresh Market to pick up dinner.

Annie introduced me to this seafood pasta dish, and it does not disappoint. Below is what I used - and honestly, cooking the noodles is the longest step in this dish so it's good and easy.


 I had fun lighting candles, listening to Frank Sinatra Pandora, and just enjoying the dinner making time (vs. during the week when it feels like chaos). 


Joel came home and we all enjoyed the dinner. Leo stayed away from the seafood, but liked his deconstructed salad and the pasta. 


That was about the extent of our activity. Joel gave Leo a bath, we watched a few episodes of Modern Family together, and then I went upstairs to hang and Joel watched a soccer game.


Saturday: 

Joel started his morning at the DMV so that he could register his car and get his new license (he's turning 30 this week!). He didn't anticipate it to be fun, but it REALLY sucked when he had to hand over $1200 in cash. Apparently Illinois collects tax on leased cars differently than California, so that was a not fun hit.
Thankfully, he decided that donuts were the only cure.


I took Leo and Roscoe for a walk and then Joel and his dad took Leo to a Touch a Truck event.


 

Leo was obsessed and has been talking about the helicopter that they watched take off since the event.

At nap time, I drove into the city. I stopped at my cousin Amanda's new apartment to say hi and check in on their home improvement process. 


After a quick visit, I drove into Lincoln Square to celebrate one of my best friends. She had a little bachlorette soiree since she is getting married in Mexico in October (3rd wedding of a dear friend that I'm having to miss because of pregnancy!).


We had a glass of champagne (some had shots), chocolate covered strawberries, and then walked over to the Chopping Block for a private cooking class.

 Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people sitting and indoor

The class was SO much fun. They had set out snacks and had a full bar while we waited for a few other friends to arrive. 


We cooked a "Summer BBQ" menu, learned a few fun cooking tricks, and then enjoyed the dinner together. 

After the class, I drove Jenna's mom and I back to Crystal Lake, and the rest of the group went on to continue the fun.

I didn't get into bed until midnight, and had such a hard time falling asleep, so on....
 

Sunday:
I woke up feeling like crud. Lack of sleep is hard for me! Thankfully a long bike ride did help. We rode around the lake while Joel ran beside us, and even though I really didn't want to go, it really helped me get a little energy.
After the bike ride we met my dad for a little dip in the pool and lunch.


We brought Leo home for a nap, I snuck in a nap, and then my sisters and their boyfriends came in from the city to spend the afternoon and night with us.


We decided to take the boat out for a little happy hour which was so much fun. Leo is obsessed with spotting ducks, seaweed, and jetskis so he could've been out there for hours.


We had a great dinner at the Country Club - thankfully ran into a friend who gave us their bubbles (life saver since dinner took a while) and then called it a night.

---

Schools in our area start going back to school this week and next, and I'm feeling the energy of that anticipation. I'm hoping it helps kick us into a higher gear around here!!

8.11.2017

Five on Friday

 Image result for smidge of this five on friday blog button

::: 1 :::

First of all - thank you so much for all of the sweet emails and comments in regards to our new addition! I think putting our news on social media made it that much more real, and it has been a fun week sharing in the excitement with all of you. 

::: 2 :::

At a local theater here, they have "Summer Wednesday" kids movies where tickets are $1 and they have games and characters before the show. A few new mom friends and I have been talking about getting to the movies for weeks, and finally, when we realized that this past Wednesday was the last option for summer, we went for it. All of our kids are 18months-3years and for the most part, they all lasted 1 hour. As soon as the majority started to break out in wiggles and just couldn't sit still anymore, we packed up a left. A nice perk for a $1 movie!



::: 3 ::: 
This past weekend I had a mini-college reunion (we started living together 10 years ago!). All of my college roomies came in from Chicago, Iowa, and Denver and spent the weekend together. I had to sit out of Friday's activities, but they all came to our house on Saturday and we had the absolute best time.

We started the day with lunch at Duke's, and then we packed a cooler full of drinks and snacks, and made our way to the beach to spend the entire afternoon. Leo was in Heaven, we took the paddle boards out, listened to country music, and just had the best time.


We ordered pizzas, tried to sit at the fire pit before we were attacked by mosquitoes, and then played a game before we went to bed before 11pm. Things sure have changed in the last ten years, but we picked up like nothing had, and honestly had the best time ever.


::: 4 :::
Do you follow House of Harper? I really don't like huge, professional blogs, but I follow this cutie on Instagram and think she is just darling. She has a great sense of style, both in fashion and decor, two darling boys, and did a really cute Instagram Live video that had me hooked (even over RHONY!).

::: 5 ::: 
 I am in desperate need of a new summer read. Any recommendations? I like summer reads to be pretty easy and fun - but please share if you have any goodies!


you're worth it

8.10.2017

Bumpdate Weeks 5-12

This is going to be information overload - so fair warning - but if you have any interest in a week to week look of how things have gone....have at it! 

You'll notice a few different things below if you followed along with my first pregnancy (weeks 5-12 with Leo here). I was much sicker this time around, had some light spotting, have not kept up with weekly pictures and basically felt like a shadow of myself for the entire first trimester.

A lot of relief came with each passing week - but you'll see how it progresses below.

---

 WEEK 5
How Far Along? 5w4d (my week's turn on Thursday's)

Gender: No clue

Weight Gain: The day I took my pregnancy test I weighed 1 pound more than I did the day I got pregnant with Leo....not that anyone really cares, but that's about 3/4 pounds more than I had been weighing the last five or six months. I'll be curious if I lose those 4/5 pound the first few weeks of being pregnant or not. Regardless, I'm hoping to stay right where I gained with Leo which was 25/30 pounds.

Maternity Clothes: No, but I can already tell they will make their appearance sooner than they did the first time around.

Nursery: Nothing for a while.
 
Movement: Nothing for a while 
Symptoms: Prior to finding out that I was officially pregnant, I was crampy and generally moody. Just like last time, I thought for sure my period was just late, especially since this time we were not trying at all.  Since finding out that we are pregnant, I've been exhausted. I'm trying to get into bed around 8pm, and I'll sleep until about 6am. Last weekend I was able to sneak in an hour nap which felt amazing, but overall, I'm just operating in a state of really tired all day long.
One weird symptom I'm having that is new is that my C-section scar is itching like crazy. For the last 19 months, I've honestly not even remembered that I have a scar, so that's been weird.
I'm really hungry, especially in the morning, but overall, feeling really happy and excited.
Sleep: Can't get enough.
Joel: Very excited! He was less shocked than I was when I took the test and told him the news, and it took him no time at all to get used to the idea that we have a little baby growing!

Workouts: Since finding out....I think, 3? Again, I know I will be very glad to have a gym membership while pregnant. Not only is it a nice break since they have childcare, but I need the endorphins from my workouts most when I'm pregnant. For whatever reason, I haven't loved running....I feel heavy and haven't been able to get passed that feeling and just jog, but I'm hoping once the weather is nice it'll be easier to get outside and run.

Mood: Wonderful. When I was pregnant with Leo, I suffered from a lot of anxiety. When Leo was six months old, I found an amazing therapist who literally changed my life. I'm in such a better place emotionally walking into this pregnancy, and that alone is wonderful. My therapist is back in LA, but I can't quit her, so her and I actually have our sessions over the phone now.

Cravings: Bagels and coffee

What I Miss: Nothing yet! I've actually really enjoyed a forced break from drinking - I know I'm only like a week in, so it's nothing all that impressive but I am more enjoying not drinking for right now than I am missing it.

Random Things: I had to tell my mom.....I'm with her everyday, and I know she would have caught on, so I told her but I'm going to try and keep it a secret until we get an ultrasound. It's going to be really tough....I have my birthday this weekend (still not sure how I'm going to pull off the not drinking part), my dad's 60th (same issue), and mother's day (same issue), all before my 8w4day ultrasound. 

I may just have to tell my family with a lot of reserved optimism.

Best Moment This Week: The shock and awe of seeing two pink lines.

Looking Forward To: Seeing a healthy baby forming and hearing that sweet sound of a healthy heart.

WEEK 6