Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Mom's Night Off

On Monday, I checked into a hotel about 15 minutes from my house for a little R&R. I picked up dinner first (hibachi chicken and steak... one of my favorites this pregnancy!) and, after driving to the wrong hotel by the same name first, I pulled up to the correct one. I was pleased to find that it had been newly renovated and felt much more luxurious than the 2.5 stars it was labeled at on Priceline. I spent the evening watching trash tv, coloring in my grown up coloring book, eating junk, and making my feet soft. I slept a full 8 hours with no interruptions in a very dark room and woke up refreshed. I had breakfast (the only bad part of the whole experience- their breakfast was pretty lame) in bed while I watched more trash tv. Then I took a bath while I read a magazine, checked out, and went to get a hair cut. I still got home in time to join Steven and Felicity for story time at the library.

I can't even say how relaxing and enjoyable that 16 hours was! Motherhood has been a lot of amazing things for me, but I have spent the majority of the last 2 years feeling pretty touched out. My love language is physical touch, but it has nothing on my sweet girl's need for constant touch and cuddles! Add to that the fact that she's a huge mama's girl and you've got one touched out Stacy. (Side note: my mom's love language, by my guess, is not physical touch (my guess is words of affirmation) and I was this way as a kid. Sorry, mom!!!) I had been telling Steven I wanted a night away for a month or 2 and, love him, he hadn't really done anything about it. So I decided to take things into my own hands and plan/book it. Well, I got all the way to the point of clicking "confirm" and chickened out. What if I missed her too much? What if I regretted spending the money? What if I didn't have fun? So I was kind of kicking myself but just figured I'd go get a pedicure or something. Thankfully I have a friend who decided to fund the evening and wouldn't take no for an answer. Since she was paying, I couldn't say no. And didn't really want to besides feeling guilty about taking her money! So I booked and I'm so, so glad I did! I told Steven this might need to be a yearly thing. I still feel so much more refreshed, recharged, and more loving towards both my child and husband. After I got home yesterday and Felicity was down for a nap, I cuddled up to Steven on the couch. He immediately noted that was unusual and pleasant. Pre-Felicity, I cuddled up to him any chance I got. Post-Felicity, I'm cuddled out and don't even want the cat touching me when Felicity is asleep. So it was not only good for me, but good for my marriage and my relationship with my daughter. Win, win! I figured an additional win was that it was practice for both Felicity and myself to be away from each other in the hospital. Well, not a total win because Felicity kept insisting to Steven that "mama go have baby" after I left, haha. But she did splendidly, of course, with her daddy and I think will do just as well with her grandparents when the time comes. And I'm feeling pretty officially ready for baby #2 to join us in a few weeks :).

 Trash tv exhibit A 

Trash tv exhibit B 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

All The Feelings

Ready for a super jumbled post?

I'm so, so ready for this baby to come. This pregnancy hasn't been nearly as enjoyable as my last. Though I've been so much more peaceful and less anxious, which is a huge blessing, it's been so much more physically taxing. That along with the knowledge of what life with a newborn is like (vs last time where I was like "ahhhh not ready!!!"), I'm just ready to get this show on the road :). I mean, newborn Felicity was a huge struggle, but once she hit that 6 month mark, and then the 18 month mark, I found SO much enjoyment in her. And I'd rather be up all night with a newborn than... just up all night with the baby belly. I don't mean to complain. I'm so fortunate to be experiencing a pretty healthy pregnancy and to be growing this baby. And I also feel kind of guilty that I'm wishing the pregnancy away because I found it almost magical with Felicity, but I'm more ready this time to have the baby in my arms, see my first baby meet my second baby, and feeling more confident about tackling life with a newborn this time around since I have great mommy friends and experience under my belt. And though the tiredness won't end any time soon, I'm ready to at least be on the path to feeling more normal/energetic during the day. I also don't feel nearly as physically cute as I did last time which plays a big part in my feelings. Last time I felt like I was rocking the bump and loved maternity clothes. This time nothing seems to fit right and I just feel... big and tired.

But since I can't/shouldn't/won't rush this pregnancy, I'm trying to enjoy it the best I can. Though this baby really enjoys burrowing his or her head in my right hip and feet in my left ribs (it feels about as good as you might imagine), the movements are fun! My stomach moves way more than it did with Felicity and I really enjoy the "dance". I can feel actual body parts (back? bottom? not sure) that I don't remember feeling with Felicity. All of a sudden one spot will get really hard and I feel a lot of pressure, then it stops as quickly as it started.

I also have the typical mom emotions of worrying about what life will be like when Felicity isn't my sole focus. Mostly I'm just so excited for her to have a sibling, and she's so in love with babies that I think she will love having one of "her own", but I do worry about my super clingy mama's girl. It will be good for her in the long run, but a tough adjustment for all of us, I'm sure. I keep thinking I should be doing extra fun things with her to savor these last weeks of just her and I but... we already do lots of fun things! I don't really know what to add in there. I've been trying to get down on the floor and play with her more- simple things that will be harder to do when the baby is here. I try to remind myself that, though life will never be the same for her, she won't remember any different and the gift of a sibling is one of the best gifts you can give. We're going to work really hard on her still having special time with us, especially Daddy since I'll be on primary newborn duty for a while. So I'm going to really miss it just being me and my girl, but I can't wait to see my big baby snuggle on my little baby!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Cash Conscious Pot Roast

I'm really not into recipe blogging (though I like reading them), but every once in a while I make something that is different enough from the recipe that inspired me that I know I won't be able to repeat it without writing it down. And, oh my gosh, this was such a delicious and affordable dinner so it is getting written down right away! My inspiration was from this youtube video but I changed it up enough that I won't remember the details. Steven got me a Crofton (Aldi brand) enameled dutch oven for Christmas so I've been trying out new recipes. This, by far, was my favorite. I'm sure you could make it in a crockpot pretty easily, but I can't promise it'll be as amazing.

Cash Conscious Pot Roast

3 lb pork roast
olive oil
salt and pepper to season
1 yellow onion
1 lb bag of carrots
2 medium sized potatoes 
1-2 cloves garlic (I used minced in the glass jar)
beer of your choice (I used a porter)
broth or stock of your choice (I had chicken stock on hand)

Season your pork roast with salt and pepper.

Add enough oil to the bottom of the dutch oven to cover it and heat the oil on medium. 

When it's nice and hot, use tongs to put your roast in and brown all sides. This step probably took me about 10 minutes. Cut up your veggies into large pieces while you're waiting.

Put the pork roast on a plate and put the veggies in to saute. Add the garlic. 

Place the pork roast back in with the veggies and then add the beer and enough stock to cover 2/3 to 3/4 of the meat. 

Put the dutch oven's lid on and cook at 350 for 2.5 hours, turning the pork roast once. At that point, I tasted the sauce and added a bit more salt.

Let the pork roast sit for 15 minutes. Cut and serve, adding veggies and sauce to the plate.

I love how versatile this dish is. I basically combined two different recipes with what I had on hand and it was so delicious that I think it's probably a very forgiving meal based on what you've got available. The original recipe used mushrooms and onions. We don't eat mushrooms so I picked what we like. I am guessing there are quite a few veggies that would work well. The meat was tender, the sauce was delicious, and the veggies were cooked to perfection. I put it all on the plate, drizzled sauce over it, and served it with a fluffy dinner roll. We ended up having enough meat and veggies leftover to have it another night this week, plus I froze enough meat for a post baby meal for 2. Cheap, fairly easy, and a tasty meal! Thankfully Felicity was performing the rare act of entertaining herself while I was doing the chopping and browning, but none of that took very long and, once it was in the oven I had 2.5 hours to do whatever I wanted while supper cooked! When I was done packing up the leftovers, I had enough sauce to fill a mason jar. I'll put that in the freezer and we'll use it for something like cooking rice.... yum. We will definitely be making this again!