Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hello Morning Sickness

Sometimes I wonder how much empathy I would have for my husband if men were able to have babies and our roles were reversed. I am not one that handles other peoples illnesses very well (with the exception of Jeremiah). I get totally grossed out by vomit- like really grossed out, and I am not so inclined to do things such as mop it up, hold back hair or fetch water. The only times that I have seen Louis throw up are after he has had too much to drink- so, my lack of sympathy and empathy for him is probably well understood, because I don't like either him or I drinking to the point of throwing up. He has had to clean everything up. I have more empathy for him if he is truly sick with a fever or cold, but my patience with him isn't as great as his is with me.

This morning I had my first bout of morning sickness for this pregnancy. And, just like when I was pregnant with Jeremiah and vomiting nearly every morning for two months, my sweet husband followed me into the restroom, held my hair back, kissed my cheek and fetched me a bottle of water. I love him. God bless my husband. With Jeremiah, once I threw up I was fine for the rest of the day- today, however, my stomach ache lingered for a few extra hours- then I began craving Lays potato chips, something I normally don't like to eat (too much grease). Luckily we had some in the house =) And I can't wait for us to bbq some hot dogs tonight!

I have my first doctor's appointment on Thursday. I can't wait! And tomorrow I have my first day with my new Mother's Helper- my best friend's 17 year old sister, Diana =) You have no clue how excited I am about having two free hours twice a week while someone else plays with Jeremiah. I have so many plans for things I want to get done around the house and books to read, but I know I have to use at least part of that time to take a nap. I'm worn out.

Friday, June 26, 2009

I guess I'm having a boy....

I'm not one to believe old wives tales, Chinese calendars or anything like that, but when I want a little daughter as badly as I do (especially considering how much Louis does not want more than two kids), all of these old fables that tell me that I"m having a boy start messing with my head! My friend Michelle is a firm believer in the Chinese calendar for predicting genders, and her trusted one says that I'm having a boy. Then last night, my Uncle Ken told me that I'm having a boy because Jeremiah's cowlick is in the middle of his head. Apparently, according to my grandma Arlene, the position of the older siblings' cowlick determines what the gender of the following baby will be- center means boy, off to the side means girl. It worked for all of my dad's siblings- My dad and uncle Tom each have it in the center of their head and wound up with little brothers; my uncle Ken has it to the side and he has a little sister. Plus there's lots of speculation about me not throwing up yet- more barf apparently means a girl. But... I'm only 6 1/2 weeks along, and I didn't start throwing up with Jeremiah until I was 8 or 9 weeks along. I've definitely come very close to throwing up in the last week but nothing has happened yet. My cousin Tiffany has been throwing up all day for the last few weeks, and so we're convinced she's having a girl. Lucky duck...

Yesterday I bought the cutest little dress at Target that was on clearance for $4. Call me crazy, not officially knowing the gender or anything but I just could not pass it up!! If I do indeed get the announcement that "it's a boy!" when I go for my ultrasound in a few months, then I will gladly give the dress away to some other lucky duck mommy. But for now I like seeing it hang up in the baby's closet =)

Don't get me wrong; I would LOVE for Jeremiah to have a little brother. Little boys are a ton of fun, and from what I hear, less drama-filled =) But if we really are only having two children I would love to have one of each... I need some more estrogen in this house! I know that either way I will be perfectly happy with the blessing that God is giving me, but please- cross your fingers for a precious little girl!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Those two handsome guys pictured to the left (and the baby in my tummy!) are the most important people in my life. Today we are celebrating how that precious little boy, Jeremiah, made my amazingly sweet and handsome hubby the best father in the whole world (well, tied with my dad of course!). So far the day has been perfect- Jeremiah slept in til nearly 7:30 (a big feat for him!), and Jeremiah and I played while we let Daddy sleep in. However... Daddy was SUCH a trooper! I was intending on letting him sleep til 9:00 or 9:30, but after making Jeremiah's breakfast (oatmeal mixed with a stage 2 bananas) one whiff of the bananas made me so close to hurling- oh, pregnancy! Louis very graciously got up an hour before he needed to to feed Jeremiah and even stayed up afterwards to play with him so I could shower! What a sweet husband. Then it was present time- Jeremiah and I filled in some missing volumes of Louis's "Family Guy" anthology collection. We can't wait for Jer to go to sleep tonight so we can start watching it! I love Bryan. After Jeremiah's bath and nap, the three of us went to "Cielito Lindo," this Mexican restraunt that has a brunch buffet and live mariachi show- something that Louis LOVES, and I tolerate on his behalf =) Actually, this kind of show is more my style- 45 minutes long, quick up beat songs, and plenty of yummy food in front of me =) Jeremiah also loves listening to the live music- but is starting to wail like a banshee whenever the clapping at the end happens. I think it scares him... poor guy!

We came home, I fed Jeremiah (since he pretty much lived on Goldfish and punch at the buffet), he and Louis watched some Discovery Channel show, then I put Jer down for his nap. Louis is asleep on the couch. I could really use a nap too, but I hate napping when Jer is. First of all, I hate waking up from my naps. Secondly, I always am scared that I'm not going to hear him (which is darn near impossible because he makes it VERY well known that he's awake!) When Louis wakes up we are going to dinner with his dad and sister. I feel like I"ve eaten all day. Which isn't good- I'm almost 6 weeks pregnant and ALREADY outgrowing some of my shirts, and my pants are feeling tighter. ALREADY!! This didn't happen until towards the END of my first trimester with Jeremiah, not at the very beginning! No, I"m not ready for maternity wear, but it certainly would be nice to fit into my clothes for just a bit longer.......

I really wish I could give my dad a hug right now. As I type this, he and my mother are driving a moving van somewhere through Missouri, coming back from a convention their business participated in in Illinois last week. My mom's birthday was Friday... so I missed not only that but Father's day as well! =( We are going to celebrate next weekend when they get back (they should be home by Tuesday). They've been gone for over a week now and I miss them!

Happy Fathers Day to all the daddies out there!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Pure exhaustion

When I got the good news that I was pregnant with Jeremiah, it was on Easter Sunday. I had an entire week and a half of spring break from teaching and I spent most of it in bed, sleeping or watching TV. This time around... well Mommies don't exactly get a spring break, do they! I am not AS tired as I was last time (then again I found out about this pregnancy around 3 weeks earlier than with Jer so I know it's coming) yet by 5:00 I am pooped. And all those fun pregnancy symptoms are starting to kick in- upset stomach (no barfing... yet)... heightened sense of smell, food cravings (sour cream with fresh black pepper, grape tomatoes, smoothies- pretty much my pregnancy cravings from last time around) and food aversions- anything greasy (no pizza last night), or "fast food," ranch dressing and LETTUCE. Well, nasty iceburg lettuce. I think I can stomach some crisp romaine or spinach. And then there's the issue of me needing to pee on the hour, every hour. Jeremiah thinks it's hilarious when I go "potty." He will stop what he's doing and run at break-neck speed to the restroom when he hears me mention the word "potty" or hear me open the door, and will stand in front of me, grinning his head off until I flush the toilet- then he wants to play w/ the nasty potty water. I'm now locking the door when I go and he's not too happy about that.

I thought last Tuesday was my last day w/ Sydney but it turns out this Thursday is (it's my only day this week). I already miss my little gal. Now that she's crawling and is much more independent and way less needy, we have some great times together and my days go by sooooo fast. Just when it starts to get easy it has to end. Boo.

On Thursday a contractor is coming over to give us a quote for our kitchen remodel. I'm sooooo thrilled about this- I've been dying for a new kitchen since before we moved into our house- ours is ANCIENT. And there's hardly any cabinet space- and the entire opposite side of the kitchen is just bare wall, dying for some more counters and cabinets. And a dishwasher. I'm praying that come the end of summer my title as head dishwasher gets turned over to Maytag.

I'm also in the market for a Mother's Helper to come in and play with Jeremiah for two hours a day, twice a week so that I can clean or nap. If anyone knows a high school or college aged girl that wants some extra cash this summer (or if YOU want some extra cash this summer!) just let me know! Hours and days are flexible.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Great Big Positive!!!

Yes it's true.... baby #2 is on his or her way, due sometime around Valentines Day!! I found out on Wednesday evening and Louis and I couldn't be happier. I have my first doctor's appt. on July 2 with a new doctor (since we have insurance this time around) and I'm crossing my fingers that I get one that I like. So far I'm feeling great but exhausted. The morning sickness hasn't kicked in yet- I'm only around 4- 4 1/2 weeks along so I'm sure it's not long before it happens; however I have been feeling a little more queasy than I'd like to. I think we're going to be "normal" people and find out the gender this time around, but we'll see how we feel when we get our ultrasound =) Just wanted to share our good news and ask for prayers that we actually get to meet this bundle of joy this time around!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Beefy Mac and Cheese!

Tonight's dinner is Beefy Mac and Cheese in the crock pot from this cookbook:
Louis and I both love Sandra Lee! Louis loves how yummy her recipes always turn out to be; I love how fast and easy they are because a lot of the ingredients you can purchase pre-made! Like the beef stroganoff I made on Friday (which turned out FANTASTIC, by the way- and I wound up throwing in a can of cream of mushroom soup as well), this recipe is also being altered to compensate for my husband's pickiness. In case you're interested, here's the recipe!

12 oz dried elbow macaronni

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef

1 packet (1.5 oz) beef stew seasoning mix

2 cups shredded four cheese blend (I'm just making my own with cheddar since I think the packaged shredded cheeses are a ripoff)

1 can (10.75 oz) condensed cheddar cheese soup

1 cup frozen chopped onion (I'm using fresh though and adding them in to my portion only at the very end since Louis hates them. I might sautee them for a few min. in butter to eliminate the raw onion taste)

1/2 cup reduced sodium beef broth

choppedf fresh tomato (optional- I'm using)

chopped parsley (optional- not using since I forgot to purchase it)

1. In a pot of salted, boiling water, cook macaronni for 5-6 min or until almost al dente. drain and transfer to 5 qt slow cooker

2. In a large skllet, cook and stir ground beef and beef stew seasoning mix until beef is brown, breaking up clumps. Drain off fat. Stir remaining ingredients (minus tomato and parsley) into slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 2-4 hours. Serve with chopped tomato and parsley if desired.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Has anyone ever traveled to....

... Monterey or Santa Cruz, CA? Louis and I are thinking of going there for our anniversary trip. We are bouncing back and forth between lots of ideas right now... including the following:

*San Diego/Coronado (but the rooms are insanely expensive for July weekends)
*3 day Carnival Cruise- makes one stop in Ensenada and one day at sea. We would not be getting off the ship because of Louis's fear of the swine flu and other crap going on in Mexico right now, but we LOVE cruising, and the prices are so cheap that its less expensive to go on the cruise, all meals included *plus $100 ship credit with a deal going on for incidentals like beverages and photographs!* than the hotel stay alone in Coronado or SD
*Santa Barbara
*And Monterey and Santa Cruz. Louis has been to Santa Cruz and liked it; I"ve always wanted to go to Monterey so we would do both during our trip (depending on how close together they are. We think they are near each other?) We would fly up there and rent a car. I would also want to do a day stop in San Francisco... but again I haven't even checked a map to see how close these places are to each other. And Louis is scared of going to SF because of that huge quake that took place there like... almost 100 years ago?! He watches too much of the History Channel

Anyway, if you have been to either Monterey or Santa Cruz, did you like it? What was there to do? It would be fun to go someplace new!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I survived...

... FOUR birthday parties this weekend- three of them being yesterday!

I'm exhausted.

Tuesday is my last day of babysitting Sydney! I'm going to miss my little girl... and so will Jeremiah. She's his new favorite playmate. I won't miss waking up at 5:30 every morning, however!

I'm off to bed. The alarm is going to go off way too soon

Friday, June 5, 2009

And tonight's dinner is...

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff!

I am on such a cooking kick lately. I purchased 6 cookbooks with my Barnes and Nobles gift card from Mothers Day, and I wish I had the time (and financing!) to make all the recipes I want to. The cookbooks I'm the most excited about are :

and The Complete Cookbook: Asian. Tasty Recipes for Every Day. (I couldn't find a good picture of the cover on the internet). Louis is also really excited for my Semi-homemade by Sandra Lee cookbook that hasn't arrived yet. The recipe I'm making tonight didn't come from my slow cooker cook book but from the back of the Lipton soup box. I swear, Jeremiah better hurry up and stop his baby food preference SOON and start eating more normal food because I can't wait for him to finally enjoy my food rather than just push it away!

In other news, this month is chock full of birthdays. This weekend we have three parties to go to- Jeremiah's cousin Adrian's 2nd birthday tomorrow (Louis's cousin Victor is Adrian's daddy), my aunt Sophie (Grandma's sister)'s 85th birthday party, and Sunday my cousin Chase (my cousin Kelly's son)s' 4th birthday. Every other weekend between now and the beginning of July is filled with at least one other birthday party. Busy- and expensive! That's why I love shopping at Target!!

Anyway, here's the recipe for the beef stroganoff in case you're interested. I've never made a beef stroganoff before so I'm really excited to see how it turns out! Tune in for more great recipes as I make them!

2 lb boneless chuck steak, cut into 1 inch pieces

1/4 cup all purpose flour

10 oz sliced mushrooms (we're substituting for crinkle cut carrots since Louis hates mushrooms)

1 envelope Lipton Secret Recipe Beefy Onion Soup Mix

1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves, crushed

1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes

8 oz sour cream

1. In your slow cooker, toss beef with flour. Stir in remaining ingredients except sour cream. Cook covered on LOW 8-10 hrs or on HIGH 4-6 hrs until meat is tender

2. Stir in sour cream. Serve, if desired, over hot cooked egg noodles

Monday, June 1, 2009

Best Vegas Trip Ever!

***I have NO CLUE why the prior post was in all characters!!!***

Louis and I arrived home last night after three glorious nights in Las Vegas. I have to say that of all the trips there we have been on together (and seperately!) aside from our honeymoon, hands down this was the best one. By the time my mother in law picked up Jeremiah, we finished our last minute trip preparations, and we picked up my grandmother at my mom's house, we didn't get on the road until shortly after 8:00 p.m. on Thursday night. We were walking to our rooms at the Motel 6 at around 1:00 a.m. only to find a hooker (well we THINK she was a hooker! She certainly looked like one!) being arrested in the parking lot outside of our room. Only in Vegas...

Louis had to work on Friday, so my grandma and I hung out by the pool playing cards until it was time for us to check out and head over to the Luxor, where Louis and I were staying that night and Saturday night. My grandma was staying at the Excalibur but couldn't check in until my aunt Bette arrived, who was paying for the room. I LOVE THE LUXOR! We stayed in the pyramid. I like the slanted walls and windows, the atmosphere, and the lack of enthusiasm to gamble there. The casinos weren't overly crowded, and the higher limits at the tables kept me from wanting to play (which was great because we had a very TINY amount of $$ set aside for gambling,a nd we were saving it for a trip to the small O'Shea's casino, a favorite of ours). After we checked in, Grandma and I got in our suits and spent the afternoon at the pool, swimming, drinking, reading and napping. I brought the fixings for margaritas with us from Cali plus some mango Smirnoff ices and plenty of chips, so we were all set for a party. And it cost a tiny fraction of the rediculous $10 per drink at the pool! The sponsors for Malibu rum were giving away free shots of Malibu and coke so we got some of those as well =)

Friday night was the first family gathering of the weekend (we went for a wedding- my aunt Bette's daughter, Ellen, was getting remarried. Bette was my grandma's cousin-in-law, so her daughter Ellen is like my 3rd or 4th cousin?) The party that night was at Mandalay bay where they were staying- in the PENTHOUSE. Which is where the picture above was taken. OH my goodness talk about luxury- especially the panoramic view of the strip outside the windows. They had Panera Bread cater with sandwiches and goodies, and a full service bar. Needless to say Louis and I had a lot to drink that weekend... and had a great time with my family, most of whom I don't see very often because most of them in attendance live in New York. And Louis's favorite part of the evening was watching the Lakers clinch the playoffs. Thank goodness we weren't the youngest ones there- Ellen's daughters who are my age were there as well. It was my first time meeting them- even though her daughter Debbie was my pen pal way back when we were kids!

After the party, we decided to go to the LAX club in the Luxor. Neither of us had ever been to a club in Vegas before so we decided to go, especially hearing all the great things about it from Debbie- and having free admission for staying in the resort. It was a great club- but let me tell you, we waited over an hour in line only to stay half an hour, tops. Louis and I felt very out of place, being that we were probably the only married people in attendance, and most definitely the only parents. I think clubbing is something that people do when they are single and looking to meet someone (and get wasted, which we were not going to do). Perhaps if we were still dating each other it would have been more fun?

Saturday: Louis and I slept in- or rather, he slept in because I"m still on "Jeremiah" time. I woke up at his usual 6:15 and then fell back asleep til 8:30, which is the time I get up when Louis lets me "Sleep in." We went to the buffet for breakfast (champagne brunch, way yummy), and then Louis went back to our room to prepare the music for the wedding reception. He was playing DJ at the dinner that night and needed to make his playlist and practice his songs that he would be singing. That took pretty much the entire day. I went to the pool for a little bit, then back upstairs to read "Gone with the Wind" and take a few good naps.

The wedding at Mandalay Bay was really nice! Neither of us had been to a Vegas wedding, either, and it was QUICK. Like 10 minutes. Even in a fancy resort like that they want you in and out. The reception was in a small room at Aereole, this 5 star gourmet restraunt inside of Mandalay Bay. Tons of hour deourves and small dishes for dinner were served- along with the BEST open bar I had ever been to. At the suggestion of Debbie's friend I got a strawberry mojito- the best drink I have ever tasted ever. Everyone was saying how good m y drink looked and lots of my relatives ordered it as well- so much in fact that they ran out of the mix after my second mojito! So I had to settle for two more pomegranite martinis =) (I told you I drank a lot this weekend...) Louis's music and his singing were amazing. I love my husband. I love it when he sings. And I love the reason why he sang at this wedding- the bride's father, my Uncle Louie, was also a Frank Sinatra buff like Louis and they would always sing kareoke together when he would come to visit. Louis knew that my aunt Bette would be so touched for him to sing at Ellen's wedding since Uncle Louie is no longer with us. So we went to a wedding with distant relatives- a few we knew well (including my grandma) but most we didn't know at all. And we had the GREATEST time. I can't emphasize that enough. It doesn't matter how "distantly" you are related, or how many times you have met. Family is family. And I love everyone in ours.

Sunday- after checking out of our hotel, we picked up at my grandma at the Excalibur and went to the champagne brunch at Harrahs. This has become a Vegas tradition of ours since our honeymoon. My grandma is so sweet- we fully intended on treating her but, as always, she beat us to the check and wouldn't take a cent. Then we gambled for an hour at O'Sheas. Louis won back everything I lost at the black jack table with some VERY lucky plays on Roulette and we actually came out ahead roughly $40. Not too shabby... then we went home and picked up my precious son! Oh how I missed him dearly! Vacations away from the kiddos are always a blast- a great time to reconnect with your spouse, eat great food, sleep in, have a few drinks- but there is nothing like coming home to two arms wide open and a huge grin from your precious child!!!