Stand Under My Umbrella

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Have you ever had one of those moments during which you’re just so exhausted, frustrated, crabby, uncomfortable, strained, and overwhelmed that you’re a ticking time bomb just waiting to explode should you come across an unsuspecting person who maybe smiles a bit too cheerily at you?  Yeah, me neither…  Until last night.

But let me start from the beginning.

Most of my friends would probably tell you that one of my strengths is seeing the positive (or humor) in most situations, even if the circumstance may be less than ideal.  But I am human, after all.  And even Superman comes up short – on occasion – when faced with Kryptonite…

So my small circle of very-close friends, God bless them, have been very gracious in letting me share a different side of me, as of late.  I won’t say the ‘real side’ of me, because the ‘glass half full’ side of me is real as well.  But it’s just the really tired, I’ve-been-stretched-a -bit-too-far side of me that has come out to play these last few weeks.

This pregnancy has given me a run for my money.  Although to be completely fair to baby Kaitlyn, the majority of the challenges I’ve faced over these past 9 months haven’t even been pregnancy related.  There’s been a lot of sickness this winter, a broken leg for Brady which resulted in a spica cast for 5 weeks, my husband lost an aunt to cancer, and the physical toll of chasing after a toddler while pregnant (in addition to the anemia) left me feeling depleted physically.

It’s been a physically, and emotionally, exhausting nine months.

And now that I’m nearing the end, things just haven’t let up.  Most recently, there has been concern about my amniotic fluid levels and large baby size.  (I was just diagnosed with Polyhydramnios again, and I need to go for another ultrasound and stress test on Wednesday).

Brady and I are also home sick with colds.  And well, the only thing more frustrating than a bad cold in the spring is to add a sick toddler AND pregnancy to the mix.  Let me tell you, I’d need LOTS of sugar to sweeten the lemonade from these lemons, my friends.  I’m just tired.  And, if I’m to be completely honest, I’m a tad bit cranky too, because I just don’t have time for the rest I need mentally and physically.

So yes, all this brings me to the point of wanting to explode at a bubbly, super-smiley CVS employee.

Last night, Brady woke up with a high fever, and we realized that we were out of children’s Tylenol.  It was one of those moments when you stare at the medicine cabinet, close it, reopen it, then stare again, somehow hoping that a bottle will magically appear.  But no, the medicine cabinet remained empty.

Not having medicine wasn’t an option, because the fever was high and Brady’s breathing (thanks to the chest cold) was too quick.  We needed to get his fever down fast.  So at 3:30am, I was rushing into the car and driving to a 24-7 CVS to restock our medicine cabinet.

Suddenly there I was, standing in front of the super-smiley, bearded cashier while sporting my pajamas, crazy hair, makeupless face, and a jar of Children’s Tylenol.

“Hello!” he exclaimed way too brightly.  “How are we doing this evening?”

I felt like punching him.  How did he think I was doing?!?

Oh, I’m doing GREAT!  I always go for joy rides in my pajamas at 3am to pick up children’s, fever-reducing medicine.  And guess what?   The crazier my hair, the more exciting the night.  So as you can tell by my frizzy, curls-gone-wild, tonight has been absolutely fabulous!  I mean, can’t you tell by the dark circles under my eyes just how wonderful my night has been?  

Instead I replied, “Oh, good, thank you.”  Paid.  Left.  Ran home as quickly as possible.

But I kind of pondered the incident on the drive home, and I realized just how easy it is to put on that “everything is okay” mask.  I know that for me, it’s not easy to be honest when I’m hurting.  Or angry. Or even afraid.  I do try to be strong and joyful, because that’s what a good Christian girl does.  Right?

In reality, God did put us into each other’s lives so that we don’t have to stand alone.  We don’t have to celebrate alone, but we also don’t have to mourn alone.  And although I’m not saying that we need to share our hearts with the bearded CVS employee at 3am (or even to the people following us on Facebook), we can be honest with those we hold close.  With those who truly love us.

Because they want to know the real version of ourselves.  And because sometimes we really do need to share the hard times with others, so that we don’t have to carry it alone.  When we share our hearts with those who hold our trust, we now have a team of encouragement, empathy, and prayer behind us.

The prayer, in particular, is very much needed when the going gets tough!

When it rains it pours sometimes, am I right?  And there are those days that no matter how hard you try to stay positive and upbeat, the constant dumping of water in your face is just enough to make you sputter and maybe even drown a bit.  But I am SO thankful right now for the friends who are holding out their umbrellas to me and reminding me that it really will all be okay!

 

 

 

Bits O’ This and That

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1.  AWWWWWW – You guys, in just two weeks, I’m going to have a newborn!!!!!!  Seriously, two weeks exactly!  Because I didn’t feel well for most of it, this honestly felt like the longest pregnancy ever, and it’s finally almost time for it all to be completely worth it.  I am SO excited!

This obviously calls for a flashback, newborn pic of Brady!

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2.  Hospital Bag – I ‘thought’ that my hospital bag was packed, but then my closet ran out of T-shirts that fit… And the bathroom ran out of toothpaste…  And I sort of craved the snacks that I’d packed for Nate to eat at the hospital…  Oh, and I ran out of hair gel…  So I kind of raided my hospital bag a few times and now it isn’t finished at all.  Ha, ha!  Soooooo, I really need to get on that this week!   Seems that a Target trip is in my near future.

3.  Belly BUMP – At my last doctor’s appointment, my OB was concerned about my weight gain and just how large my stomach had gotten.  (I had a major flashback to my pregnancy with Brady, because this happened then too).  Turns out that – once again – I have too much amniotic fluid and a big baby.  They think that baby Kaitlyn is already measuring 8 pounds, which means she could end up being a 10 pounder just like Brady was.  And the amniotic fluid levels puts me on a slightly higher-risk status, so I’ll be watched more closely from now on.  But even if she seems to be a big girl, Kaitlyn seems to be perfectly happy and healthy!  🙂   What can I say, I grow’em BIG!

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4.  My Mom – My mom is seriously the BEST!  Not only did she watch Brady for the afternoon so that I could enjoy some much-needed down time (which allowed me to write this blog post AND catch up on reading some favorite blogs); but she also baked us a DELICIOUS, homemade Lasagna for dinner.  Yeah, my mom ROCKS!  I sooooo needed the break!

5.  Nursery –   Sooooo I get asked ALL the time about how baby girl’s nursery is coming along…  I’m always a little embarrassed to admit it, but we haven’t worked on it at all.  I’ve been really sick and weak this entire pregnancy, and also money has been a bit tight.  I was super bummed about it at first, but – as you know – I’m not one to stay glum for too long.  😉  I decided that since Kaitlyn will probably sleep in our room for 5-6 months anyway, I’ll give myself a year to finish her nursery.  That way, I can add a bit here and there, which will better fit into our tight budget.

You might remember that we were going to have Kaitlyn share a bedroom with Brady, but we decided to let her have her own room.  (The playroom is going to be moved to the basement, which was finished a few years ago.  Nate is working now on organizing / deep cleaning it, so that we can move the toys down there). We had already painted the playroom a lovely blue color, but we’re in luck since blue walls for a little girl’s room is totally the fad right now!  I’ve decided on an owl theme, and here is some inspiration that I’ve pinned on Pinterest lately.  (I love the picket fence and tree decals, so I’m pretty sure those ideas will be used for sure).

Owl Nursery Decal!! Adorable! Has the link to purchase! --forget putting it in a nursery I want it in my living room!:

LOVE this playroom for a little girl!  Too bad I don't think Blake would appreciate it very much if I exchanged his desire for a superhero play with with a nice white picket fence and flowers along the walls.  Darn!:

Aqua & Pink... darling nursery colors and another great way for the room to "grow up" with the little one.:

Baby Girl Nursery Art Mint Coral Owl Wall Art Kids Wall Art Girls Room You are My Sunshine Love Owl Theme Nursery Set of 4, Art Prints by vtdesigns on Etsy:

6.  Blogging After a Newborn – My goal is to blog once a week once Kaitly arrives (with a couple of weeks taken off for recovery and settling in, obviously).  I really, really, really want to document the newborn stage, despite the amazing craziness that comes with bringing a baby home.  🙂  The memories are so precious and easily forgotten.  But even if I won’t be blogging a ton at first, I do hope to keep Instagram updated.  So if you don’t already follow me, definitely click here, so that you don’t miss out on updates!!  🙂

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7.  Easter!  – I host Easter every year, but I definitely wasn’t up to all that baking / cooking this time around.  So I provided the house (along with the ham, homemade bread, and potatoes), and my mom and sister brought over everything else.  The day was a warm one (80 degrees!), and I just can’t tolerate the heat when I’m pregnant.  So I was relieved to just be able to enjoy time with my family without having to do much work in the kitchen.

may have been a tad bit cranky (as I was SO uncomfortable and nauseous), but I really did still enjoy the day.  🙂

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8.  Team Pink – Has anyone tried the new, Starbucks pink drink?  I have absolutely no idea what it tastes like, but it’s just so pretty that I want to order one…  Hmmmm, maybe there’s a Target AND Starbucks trip in my near future??  😉

(Source)

9.  What have YOU been up to??  🙂  

Mommy’s Baby Boy

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It hit me all at once the other day that Brady will very soon no longer be the baby of the family.  I was sitting in the middle of his bedroom, wrapping his Big Brother present, when I was overcome by a sudden, intense emotion.  I took in the gray, jungle-themed nursery, remembering how I had decorated it with such excitement and anticipation.

And now here we are…  My baby boy is almost 2 1/2 years old, and his whole world is about to change.  He’s about to have a baby sister, and – as a result – he’s suddenly going to be asked to share his parents.  To share his Mama…

The tears and sobs couldn’t be held back.  I just sat there and cried hysterically.

This little boy is my entire world.  I love him with a fierceness that I can’t explain, and his happiness means more to me than anything else.  Honestly, even now, I can’t imagine loving another child as much as I love him.  I know that I will!  But I just can’t comprehend it (just as I couldn’t have understood a mother’s love until I became a mom).

And although I know that having a sibling will be the most precious gift we could give him, I also know that this transition could very well be a difficult one for him.  He’s not going to be the baby of the family anymore…  Mama is going to be pulled in other directions now and won’t always have time to play, cuddle, wrestle, or run.

Honestly, I’ve already been pulled away just a bit.  Okay, a lot.  I have so many more pregnancy aches and pains this time around.  I can’t go out and run like we used to.  I can’t roll around and wrestle on the ground.  Sometimes just a simple walk up the street feels like too much.

And my belly is so big that he hasn’t been able to snuggle on my lap for weeks.

Nate does his best to cover for me and takes Brady to the playground or on walks when he can.  I’m grateful for the help.  But I also ache at having to miss those precious moments.  And I wonder if Brady is already missing time with his Mama… when things are only about to get worse.

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It’s a strange mix of emotions rushing through me these days.  Guilt.  Excitement.  Sadness as I mourn Brady’s loss of ‘only child’ status.  Pure joy at realizing our little family will soon be complete and that Brady will have a sibling to share growing up with.  Unbelievable anticipation at the thought of being so close to meeting our beautiful, baby girl.

I know that having a sister to share holidays, vacations, birthdays, and just the every day simple joys with is going to be incredibly special for him.  I know that, because I grew up with that.  And that’s an incredible experience that I want him to have.  And so I try to focus on the fact that he will be receiving a very special gift.

When I was only weeks away from delivering Brady, I worried about how having a baby would impact my marriage.  And guess what, we’re okay!  Sure, things were more challenging at first, but I’m proud of how we rose to the occasion and kept our relationship first.  Our marriage thrived as we became more accustomed to our new normal.

So I know that everything will be okay this time around too…  But for now, I’m definitely holding my little guy a bit closer and trying to make sure he feels surrounded by love!

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Big changes are coming for everyone.  But if we hold each other close and stand together, the changes will be nothing but good!  Love never fails.  🙂

The Third Trimester Life

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Have you seen those memes that say something to the affect of “When you’re pregnant, shaving your legs is an Olympic Sport”?  I always thought that meme was funny.  Maybe even clever.

But now that I’m three and a half weeks from my due date, I’m not finding it so humorous.  😉  Forget shaving…  I can barely handle putting on my pants.  Between  Kaitlyn practicing future ballet moves and digging her chubby toes into my ribcage, the sciatica that’s sending intense pain down my lower back and legs, the exhaustion and breathlessness of anemia, and the ginormous belly?  I can’t bend or get comfortable or walk.  I’m at the point that I have to sit down to just put on my makeup, because I don’t have the energy to stand.  I have to sit down to prepare dinner.  I have to sit down to put on my shoes.

I even have to sit down to eat chocolate if I want to enjoy it!

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I do have this really awesome, penguin waddle going on though.  It’s totally sexy.  I feel like a confident, watermelon-toting Victoria’s Secret model marching down the runway.  Nate seriously can’t take his eyes off me…  (Although I have my suspicions that he’s sympathetically grimacing in pain while he watches me hobble by.  My belly looks as heavy as it feels these days.  I’ve officially passed the cute stage…  left behind the watermelon smuggler phase…  and now I’m entering blimp territory).   

I don’t even know how it’s possible that the 9 months aren’t up yet.  This third trimester really has been never-ending.

50 Funny Pregnancy Memes That Will Make You Pee Without Even Sneezing:

However, during this time, I’ve also mastered the art of kicking things into the air and catching them, which is quite impressive.  Bending down to pick things up is SO two months ago.  Even Brady is in awe of my mad reflexes.  I’m thinking of submitting a tape of myself and applying for America Ninja Warrior.  (I’ll bet being a mom has prepared me for most of the obstacles.  As for the warped wall, all they need to do is put a cup of iced coffee at the top, and – let me tell you – I’d make it up there in record speed.  Not even sure if my sneakers would need to touch the ground to get me up there…).

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In all seriousness though, this pregnancy has been completely different than my pregnancy with Brady.  I was so energized and active during that third trimester.   Of course, in between the energized activity, I did have time to nap and rest.  That doesn’t happen these days…  This time around, things have been much harder, because I’m constantly chasing after an ever-energetic little tyke.  (I feel like I’m even chasing him during the moments that I’m sitting down to pee.  I don’t know how that’s humanly possible, but – trust me – I do it.  Bathroom breaks are seriously no longer breaks…  It’s like trying to relieve yourself while being locked in a restroom with a wild monkey).  

Thanks to the added exhaustion and physical exertion, my body doesn’t seem to want to cooperate, resulting in more uncomfortable and painful pregnancy symptoms than last time.  And most times, my strong-willed toddler cooperates just as well.  😉   His favorite words right now are “in five minutes, Mama” or “no thanks.”

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The more I reply with “No, Mama, needs you to listen now,” the more he seems to retreat into his little toddler world of Mickey Mouse, icecream, bubbles, and puppies.  Seriously, men get a bad rap for selective hearing, but toddlers have turned that into an art.  They really do live in their own little world!  I say “green beans,” and he hears “icecream”.  I say “time to change your bum,” and he hears “time to dump out all the blocks and play.”  I say “time to put your coat on,” and he hears “let’s dance”.

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It’s a good thing that he’s cute, lovable, absolutely hilarious, and my entire world.  Because he’d be in trouble otherwise.  But, you know, despite the insanity, I just can’t imagine my long, exhausting days without him!  And he really is SUCH a good little boy.  He’s just, well, a toddler.  We’ve all had to go through that stage and drive our mothers a little crazy.  It’s like a requirement for growing up…

But yes, three and a half weeks.  That’s it.  That’s all that’s standing between me and meeting my precious baby girl.  And then, this will ALL be worth it… right down to the hairy legs, swollen feet, and out-of-control hormones.

For now, I’m going to do my best to see the humor.  To focus on our beautiful prize.  To be the best preggo mom that I can possibly be.  And to practice that sexy penguin waddle.  After putting in all this effort to learn it, I don’t want to forget how to do it just because I’m not pregnant anymore!  😉

50 Funny Pregnancy Memes That Will Make You Pee Without Even Sneezing:

Pregnancy is SUCH a blessing…  but it’s also a tough – often uncomfortable – journey.  Do you have a funny pregnancy story to share?

 

 

Cupcakes!

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I usually focus on quality of content when writing my posts (or at least whenever possible); but for a little while, they’re definitely going to be a bit more conversational.  Kind of like we’re sitting down at a cafe and catching up over a decaf latte.  Most will be short and sweet, I think; because this preggo mama is tired…. and soon to be the proud (and exhausted) mama of two.  But at the same time, I don’t want to stop blogging during this busy season.

So hang in there if this kind of content isn’t your fave…  😉

Anyway, let’s talk CUPCAKES!  I’ve missed decorating and eating them, to be honest.  🙂  I have turned down a few paid requests as of late, because I knew that I wouldn’t be up to baking a ton in April.  But when a special family member decided to get married on Saturday during an intimate, family-only ceremony; I just couldn’t say ‘no’ to the last-minute request for some wedding cupcakes.

I only had a day’s notice; so I decided to go with a simple, elegant look.  I went with a tuxedo-affect by baking and frosting cupcakes with chocolate buttercream and lemon buttercream (not pictured).  The lemon cupcakes were also filled with lemon curd, which is always a big hit.  For both colors, I frosted in a rosette pattern and then lightly sprinkled with pearl accents.

Being this pregnant and the mom to a toddler, it definitely was a lot of work.  But it was worth it.  I had a blast, and it meant a lot to be able to contribute to the wedding.  (Plus both Nate and Brady had a blast taste-testing for me.  😉  Brady actually gets excited now when he sees cupcake tins, because he knows that I’m about to make something “dewishush”).

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And then, since I was in cupcake mode (and there were unfrosted cupcakes left), I offered to make the cupcakes for my dad’s birthday party on Sunday.  Again, these were ultra last-minute, so my creativity was restricted by the supplies I had on hand.  I decided on a light sprinkling of fun, rainbow jimmies and opened a box of matchbox cars as toppers.  (After all, what guy can resist cars, even if they’re the matchbox variety)?

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It’ll be months before I have the time and energy to make cupcakes again, so I’m glad I got to practice my hobby over this past weekend.  🙂

Now for a serious question…  What is your FAVORITE cupcake flavor??  I’m pretty sure I always go for chocolate cupcakes, unless pumpkin with cream cheese frosting is available.  

So Close!

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Tonight was one of those nights…  You know, one of those nights that leave you walking on the brink of insanity and defeat.  A night during which you consider the ramifications of just running away for the evening and leaving the chaos and destruction behind for your husband to handle.

I just turned 40 this year. I'm grown. I still do this lol.:

“Have fun, Nate.  I’m going to the spa.”

Don’t worry, I didn’t do that.  But man did I want to!

I have officially stepped over the “awwww, what a cute preggo belly” stage and into the “oh my goodness, I am going to die” stage.  I feel like a beached whale.  I can hardly tie my shoes, the pain in my upper thigh is pretty intense, anemia makes it impossible for me to catch my breath or energy, insomnia cuts into my sleep, and I hurt my right foot so it’s painfully swollen (which means I had to cancel my pampering, maternity pedicure.  SOB!).

On top of all that,  my toddler is going through the terrible two’s.

This third trimester is wayyyyyy harder than my pregnancy with Brady.  I remember telling Nate that I couldn’t understand why so many women complained about the third trimester, because it wasn’t that bad.  This time around?  I’m like, “Ohhhhhh, so that’s why!

Every pregnancy really is different, and it’s just more demanding physically when you’re chasing after a toddler.

Pregnant forever! LOL! #pregnancyhumor #funnypregnancy #pregnancymeme:

I am definitely in survival mode right now.  We’ve had to push off decorating the nursery for now, so that we can focus on the necessities.  (Sometimes finances and free time just don’t cooperate, so you have to go with the flow).  But on a positive note, I have purchased all the supplies I need for Kaitlyn (other than clothes), and I’m just about done packing my hospital bag.

So we’re getting there.  We’re so close to meeting our baby girl.  And I have to say that I’m ready to not be pregnant anymore and to meet my baby Kaitlyn!  🙂

I think that the blogs going forward (until things settle back down) are going to be more ‘day recaps’ than thoughtful articles, because my creative writing abilities are going to be on strike for awhile.  🙂  BUT hopefully I’ll still be recapping… and focusing on the positive.

Even if I do feel like a beached whale.  😉

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Taco Shepherd’s Pie

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I started cooking for Nate well before we were married.  After all, it is said that a man’s stomach is the way to his heart.  If my curly locks and bright smile weren’t already sealing the deal, I might as well add a few hearty, home-cooked meals to the list too.  😉  My mom graciously allowed me full use of her kitchen, and I had such a fun time ‘playing house’ and preparing meals for the guy that I was falling in love with.

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One of the very first meals I made for him was actually an original recipe that I whipped together after reviewing a few similar recipes that I’d found online.  (I love adding my own spin on recipes or making them my own.  Oftentimes, I’ll follow a recipe completely the first time I make it; but if it’s good enough to make again, I’ll change things up a bit if it needs a tiny bit of tweaking).

One of my favorite meals growing up was Shepherd’s Pie, and I decided that I wanted to make my flavor-loving hubby a bolder, more spicy version.

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This is a recipe that has become a staple in our house and is one that I make from memory.   It all starts with a good-quality taco seasoning packet (preferably one that doesn’t contain fillers.  Grab one that only contains spices and seasonings that you recognize and can pronounce).

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It’s comfort food…  It’s quick…  It’s hearty…  It’s ridiculously simple but packs a ton of flavor…  And it’s a bit spicy without going overboard.  (Even my toddler loves it)!

If you try it, I hope it’s a recipe that you enjoy!  🙂

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TACO SHEPHERD’S PIE

1 lb ground beef

Packet taco seasoning

2 cans (15 oz each) corn, drained

4 cups potatoes, mashed plain (preferably fresh and still hot)

2 Tablespoons chopped green chiles (more if you like a lot of heat)

1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

Prepare ground beef and taco seasoning according to the packet’s directions.  (While the meat is cooking, boil, drain, and mash your potatoes).

Pour the prepared taco meat into a 2 quarter casserole dish and top with the two cans of corn.

Stir the green chiles and cheese into the hot mashed potatoes and season – to taste – with salt and pepper.  Spread onto the taco meat and corn.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until hot.  Enjoy!  🙂

Week 31 Recap

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How Far Along – I’m now 32 weeks preggo!  How is this going by SO fast?!?

Baby Name:   Kaitlyn Marie

First and Second Pregnancy, Comparison Pics:  

THEN –  (2014)

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NOW (2017) –

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I’m Craving / Disliking:   The same as all along.  Nothing specific, although I’m loving carbs and the occasional sweet treat.  Still not a huge fan of chicken.

Exercise:  Ugh, it got really cold again, and we ended up with about a foot of snow.  So structured exercise hasn’t been that great, although I’m still counting life with a toddler as a daily workout.

Awkward Moment:   I bent down really fast and tore a hole in my pajama pants.  (I’m talking a top to bottom, right along the crotch area, type hole).  Granted, I was home with just Nate and Brady at the time, so it could have been much worse.  But still, it was a little awkward.  There’s nothing like ripping your pants in front of your husband to get the mood going, if you know what I mean.  😉  (That’ll teach me to wear non-maternity pajama pants for this long).

A Moment I Don’t Want to Forget:  This isn’t a moment that I don’t want to forget as much as it’s a moment that I won’t forget…  I thought, for sure, that I was going into early labor during the snowstorm.  It completely freaked me out and made for a long day.  It looks as though I lost my mucus plug (TMI?), and I mistook it as my water breaking.  (And on top of that, I had some pretty bad cramps and some serious nausea).   Sooooo, it was a long afternoon of waiting, as getting to the hospital would have been quite the trip.  In the end, I just rested for a day or two, and I ended up feeling much better.  Phew!

Something I Miss:  Last week I said that I couldn’t drink decaf coffee anymore, because it was giving me heartburn.  Thankfully that doesn’t seem to be the case, as I’ve been able to drink it now.  I do miss having the energy to be the upbeat, fun mom that I want to be!   Thankfully toddlers are flexible and just learn to go with the flow.

Sleep:  Insomnia has returned…  I had about two hours of quality sleep last night, and I’m feeling it today.

To-Do List Completions:  I deep-cleaned half of the cabinets in my kitchen and hope to finish the project over the next day or so.  (To help me watch Brady while I cleaned, I ‘borrowed’ a nine year old from my church.  She did a great job, and I got a ton of cleaning done).  I also started my hospital bag!  🙂

Purchases:  No new purchases this week.  I’ve come to the determination that if needed, I can decorate the nursery over the summer (since Kaitlyn will be sleeping in me and Nate’s room for several months).  I’m trying to stretch my budget as much as possible right now.  Ha, ha.

Symptoms:  Insomnia, occasional heartburn, back pain, shortness of breath, exhaustion…  and just overall starting to feel as though I’m ready to be done with the pregnancy and to be able to hold my baby girl.  Typical Third Trimester complaints.  🙂

Final thought:    Only 7 weeks until my C-section!!!  🙂

Hacked? — NOPE!

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Hey Guys,

My account may have been hacked…  I just noticed that I commented on my own blog post yesterday (which I totally didn’t do.  I was out with a friend at the time).   I’ve changed my password and settings, and I’m hoping that takes care of it.  But if you notice unusual activity on this account, then it obviously didn’t work.  I’ll be keeping an eye on things, and hopefully I won’t have to create an entirely new blog.  (SOB)!

Well, we’re all snuggled warm and safe right now, riding out the March snowstorm.  🙂  Stay safe if your in Storm Stella’s path!!

Nicole


UPDATE –

Sooooooo I had given a family member my old laptop awhile back, and I was apparently still logged into WordPress.  So they commented on my blog, but it showed up as me.  HA!  Oh my goodness, I was freaking out this morning, and it turns out that it was just a nice comment from a family member.

I can breathe now!  My account is okay!!  🙂

We Had a Pickity Day!

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I’ve always appreciated eating out with friends and enjoying good food in a nice atmosphere, but – as a mom – I now treasure it.  Sitting down and eating a meal without having to wipe fingers, faces, floors, and walls?  Enjoying a delicious dinner that I didn’t prepare (and that I don’t have to clean up for)?  Holding a conversation that doesn’t revolve around Curious George, poop, or “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”?

I’m in!

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So when I realized that both my sister and I were interested in making reservations at Pickity Place for a mom and daughter’s afternoon out, I jumped right in and made those reservations.  I NEEDED a mom’s afternoon out…  And quite frankly, I never need an excuse to go out with these two ladies.

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I also don’t need an excuse to eat at the Pickity Place.

It’s more than a restaurant.  It’s an experience.

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Located in Mason, New Hampshire, the quaint cottage was inspiration for Elizabeth Orton Jones’ illustrations that appeared in the The Little Red Riding Hood book.  Dinner guests can buy copies of the Little Golden Books at the restaurant bookshop; and there is also a replica of Grandma’s bedroom, complete with the wolf taking a nap in Grandma’s bed.

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During the spring, summer, and fall months, the grounds are absolutely beautiful, filled with flowers, a greenhouse, drying herbs, and birdhouses.  (Although everything was coated in white – and it was an extremely cold day – for this visit, the wooded area was still beautiful.  The location is definitely in the middle of nowhere, which makes for a peaceful escape).

It’s a bit like stepping back in time…

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Behind the restaurant, there is also a whimsical gift shop, filled with little treasures that include tea cups, tea pots, spices, candy, delicious dip packets, soup packets, pasta, jewelry, and fun plaques.  It’s such a treat to explore, and it always smells so amazing.  (There were samples of a bacon and cheddar dip that was out-of-this-world delicious).

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Oh, yes, and then there’s the restaurant…  🙂

The  luncheon is $21.95  (plus tax), but it’s five courses (and beverages are included).  Everything is from scratch and incorporates herbs that were grown on site.  I’ve been three times now, and – quite frankly – I always leave saying that it was one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten.  The freshness and exceptional flavor just can’t be beat.

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There is a new, set meal plan every month (although you can pick between two entrees), and there are three meal times offered (11:30, 12:45, and 2:00).  There are three, smallish dining rooms with intimate tables.  It feels rather like having a tea party (although there are always some men eating there as well, because the food is just so good.  I really need to bring Nate with me some time, because he definitely would appreciate the quality of food served)!

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For my beverage, I chose the lavender lemonade, which was absolutely delicious!  It was refreshing with the perfect hint of sweetness.

Lavender Lemonade

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The dip of the month was Spicy Jalapeno, and I honestly wasn’t expecting to like it.  But oh my goodness, you guys, it was AMAZING!  It was sooooo creamy with just a hint of spiciness.  Sooooooo delicious!!

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March’s soup of the month was Tortilla, which was spicier than the dip (but not too spicy).  It was fresh, very flavorful, and perfect for a cold day!

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The salad of the day was a Matchstick Potato Salad with bacon, and it was served with  warm slices of whole wheat bread.  Absolutely indulgent and incredible!

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For the entree, we could choose between Maple Dijon Glazed Brisket or a Spring Vegetable Ravioli.  I decided on the brisket, which was served with glazed carrots atop a slice of corn bread.  The brisket was sooooo tender and full of flavor.  Oh-my-goodness, SO good!

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And our dessert was Expresso Cheesecake, which was perfection.  That’s all I can say…  Perfection.  Amazing, smooth, sweet, incredible perfection!  (I washed it down with a  decaf mocha coffee).

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It was a beautiful afternoon out with my mom and sister, and Pickity Place outdid itself as always!

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What a delicious day!  🙂