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!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

My Sweet Girl

I'm sitting here planning Felicity's 2nd birthday, and getting all weepy and wistful! It's such a cliche to talk about how fast time goes, but it really does and it's shocking even if it shouldn't be. It seems like both yesterday and forever ago that we brought home this tiny little baby girl of our dreams, and now next month she will be 2! And in a little over 2 months, she will be a big sister. How is she big enough to be a big sister??? I'm trying to focus more on one-on-one quality time with her and, especially since she recently stopped coming to our bed around 4am, increase our cuddles during the day. My love language is physical touch, but it's got NOTHING on this girl. She could be touching me all day long and it still wouldn't be enough. Sometimes I think I might crawl right out of my skin, but suddenly her constant cuddles and requests for "huggie!" are sweeter because I know I will be sharing my time with someone else soon. 

I know everyone thinks their kid is a genius, and I didn't want to be one of those parents, but here I am. I also am well aware that smart children often "even out" around school age, but I'm really enjoying watching her learn, and she blows me away daily with what she knows and understands. This is definitely a favorite age of mine and I don't want to lose these memories (if I haven't mentioned before, I have a pretty bad memory for important things, which is part of why I blog!). Felicity is currently very into her ABC's. She can recognize about 90% of them and sing about 50% of the song. She can count to 11 and recognize those numbers. She knows her basic colors (purple, red, green, blue, yellow, orange) and some shapes (star, rectangle, square, circle, heart). We went on a walk yesterday and she yelled "triangle!". I looked down and there was a perfect triangle made by a slab of sidewalk. Toddler brains are so amazing! She's enjoying learning names right now and has fun naming who is a daddy or mommy to which one of her friends. Some of her favorite things are "airplayins" (airplanes), kitties (real ones and her stuffed ones- Pepper and Snowflake who both have to sleep with her), babies, blankets, pretending to be a 'tiny baby'- what she calls Jellybean, coloring, playing with a tupperware of water on the kitchen floor, everything Daniel Tiger, listening to books, and helping me do just about anything. 

Felicity is such a busy girl! Though my child is so advanced in many ways, she still struggles to play independently. It's just not her cup of tea (by the way, she got a tea set for Christmas and loves tea parties :) ). All day we hear "mama play? dada play?" and we are still trying to find a good balance between playing with our sweet girl and encouraging her to play by herself some. Felicity might play alone in 5-10 minutes chunks, but that's about it. She is very, VERY into books though and spends a lot of the day snuggled beside me on the couch "reading" to herself and then asking me to read. When I get up to do chores, she is much better about playing by herself, so I usually spend her nap time relaxing or napping myself, and save chores for when she's awake. When I vacuum, she pushes her ball popper around the house behind me. When I do laundry, she likes to put things in the dryer for me. And when I cook, she either likes to watch or "cook" in her own kitchen. 

My girl is an early bird, just like I was when I was little. She goes to bed at 6:30 and is up between 5:45 and 6:15 usually. I'm kind of hoping Jellybean is an early bird, too, because Felicity slept until 8am for the first 6 months of her life, and it would be torture to have my newborn sleep in but still have to get up at the crack of dawn for my toddler! Maybe I'll regret saying that, though ;). I wish she would got to bed later so she could see Steven more often (he is usually not home from work by then and leaves before she wakes up in the morning), but any time we've tried a later bed time, even by a little bit, it's been a complete disaster. What can I say? Felicity knows what she wants. She spent 12m-18m only napping about 45 minutes a day, which was very hard on mommy! But thankfully now she naps at 11 for about 2 hours. Just enough time for me to nap and eat my lunch in peace. 

Felicity is such a joy. She's a ton of work and I am still working on my patience level and more fully appreciating my vocation as her mother, but I get such an immense amount of pleasure from conversations with her and watching her brain work. One of my favorite things is to hear her talking to herself and realize she's repeating a song/story she's heard, or see her "reading" a book and realize she's summarizing each page. I feel so fortunate to be her mom and understand her language because I know other people don't grasp half the words, let alone what she's actually doing. I love experiencing things through her eyes and having a toddler is a beautiful lesson in enjoying the little things. She helps me to slow down and enjoy life more. Being with her all day is the hardest thing and best thing I've ever done. I can't wait to see her be a big sister!

At the airport observation park to watch airplayins. This girl was IN LOVE! 

Friday, January 1, 2016

29 Week Bumpdate

Happy New Year! Just like last time, all I can think is "it's the year we're going to have our baby!!!!!". Wow.... times flies. I meant to do these every 4 or so weeks and here it's been 11!!! In 11 more weeks I will have a baby in my arms. Ahhh! So exciting and overwhelming and crazy! 

How far along: 29 weeks 

Baby Size: 14.5 inches and, according to a probably inaccurate ultrasound yesterday, 3 lbs!!!

Weight gain: It's slowed down a lot, which is good since I gained sort of quickly in the beginning. I think I'm up about 15 lbs. 

Maternity clothes: Unlike last time, I can't wear any pre-pregnancy shirts at this point, unless I wear a maternity tank top underneath for the length. 

Stretch marks: No new ones yet. 
Sleep: Still pretty rough. Some nights I go to bed at 8:30 and some nights I'm wishing for sleep at 11. Most nights I'm awake between about 3 and 4 or 4 and 5. Then my sweet toddler starts to wake up around 5:30 so, even though she doesn't actually get up until closer to 6:30, I'm usually up for the day pretty early. Luckily I can nap when she naps, so that helps. And I nap more/longer when Steven is home. 

Gender: It will be a surprise again!

Movement: Allllllllll the time! I could feel Jellybean flip to breech a few days ago, then a day after that s/he turned back. I have lots of movement/pressure on my right lower side which was confirmed by the ultrasound today when the tech was trying to jiggle the baby to get him/her to move out of that "corner" so she could get measurements. I also get swift kicks to the ribs. 

Best moment this week: Seeing my stomach DANCE. It's moved a little but this week the baby is kicking and moving hard enough that my stomach is very visibly moving. It's so fun to watch! 

Looking forward to: Being at the point on my Amazon registry where they let me have the 10% discount so I can start getting a couple things we need and organize the baby's changing table in our room. 
  Anything making you queasy or sick: Nothing in particular. I tend to get nauseous one or two times a week. 
Labor Signs: No, thank God.
What I miss: Sleeping more soundly. 
Symptoms: Heartburn, insomnia, sporadic nausea, and of course the fun stuff like kicking :)
Nursery: Yeah.... just the changing table in our room lol. We'll set up the cosleeper when we get closer to March and I just need baskets and the countour pad/cover for the table. Steven is very glad we aren't painting tons of furniture this time! 
Belly Button in or out? In.

Wedding rings on or off? On.

Mood: Decent :). I'm a little less zombie like these past few weeks, so that has helped! 

I really, really hope my baby looks less like Olmec (Legends of the Hidden Temple) in real life....