Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Slade is here!

Slade Robert
December 6, 2014
7 pounds, 3 ounces & 19 3/4 inches

Friday, December 5, 2014

Five on Friday!

Hello lovelies! Happy Friday! I don't know about y'all, but I'm pretty happy to see the weekend and kind of reaaaally hoping this is my last pregnant one. At 38 weeks, 4 days, I sort of feel like a ticking time bomb, and let me tell you, I'm READY.
Annnnyway, I'm linking up with the girls behind  Five on Friday for a little fun today!
 {one} Our town had its annual Christmas Parade earlier in the week, so of course, we had to take Jaqs! It was pretty chilly, but she loved it and we had so much fun :) I love that she's at a fun age for this sort of thing right now...simple pleasures! 
{two} This girl has been giving me a run for my money with napping lately...little stinker! Since dropping the paci, she hasn't napped once at Mother's Day Out, and every time I put her down at home she tells me, "I can't take a nap! It's light outside!" Well, she's right, but she has black-out curtains in her room, so it's definitely dark in there. I'm praying this isn't the beginning of the end because goodness knows I'm going to neeeeed that nap-time with Mister Slade coming any day now! Oh well, we're sticking with it & enjoying the 6:30/7:00 p.m. bedtime on the non-nap days.
{three} I finally hopped on the (faux) fur vest train and picked one up at Target for 40% off on Black Friday. I've worn it once already, and I kind of love it even though I look like an actual animal with this gigantic bump right now ;) I'm loving these looks I found on Pinterest & can't wait to copy them post-baby when my normal clothes fit again.
{four} We normally always do family pictures for Christmas cards sometime around Thanksgiving, but this year we've decided to just do newborns/family pictures and send out a "Happy New Year & Here's Our New Kid!" card so wouldn't have to double up on card costs & postage. Plus, I can't really imagine sending out a Christmas card with our newest member not on it. All that to say, I'm really looking forward to getting some updated family pictures (and hoping that I'm not a swollen blimp ;)). Also hoping that we can get some sweet shots like this one of our babies:
I'm certainly not above bribing my toddler, so I'm sure there will be ample marshmallows and M&Ms on hand to get her to be sweet to her little brother. Ha! Any other tips, mommas??

{five} Rob and I are going to do our best to make this last weekend really special for Jaqs. Her little world is about to be rocked, but I just pray that she'll love Slade and know that mommy and daddy still love her to the moon even if we're not quite as available all the time.
I've heard about pets becoming clingy with baby's due date getting closer, but does that apply to toddlers as well?? Jaqs has been especially lovey-dovey lately & I'm eating it up. It's so hard for me to believe how big she is and what a little girl she has turned in to. Bittersweet watching these babies grow!

That's all I've got for today...hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Freezer Meals

In my efforts to get prepared and make my life easier post-baby, I decided to stock our freezer with meals and other convenience items. Being the gluten free gal that I am, I can't just pop a Stouffer's lasagna in the oven & call it good, so I needed to do some prep and planning. I posted a picture of our freezer on Instagram, and several of you were curious about the meals I did, so I thought I'd share a list of those! Of course, when I was making my plan, I went straight to Pinterest for inspiration, but I also threw in some of my own tried & trues for the freezer because as you likely know, not all things taste that great coming out of the freezer.
So, here's what I made...

Slow Cooker Meals

Beef Stew (x2)
For beef stew, I cube up a roast (cost effective!), then for each bag, dump a large can of tomato sauce, one can of corn (no salt added), one can of cut green beans (no salt added), some cut up carrots, beef stock, and a variety of seasonings/herbs (you can use anything you like!). The night before we're set to eat this meal, I'll put it in the fridge to thaw, place it in the crock-pot on low for 10-12 hours the morning of, and add cubed, peeled russet potatoes when there are about 4 hours of cook time left. I don't add potatoes ahead of time because they don't freeze well.

Pot Roast with Mushrooms, Onions & Carrots (x2)
Pot Roast is another "made up" recipe. I just chunked up a roast then poured in a cup or two of beef stock, a few healthy shakes of worcestershire & GF soy sauces, seasoned salt, pepper & some other random herbs then filled the rest of the bag with cut carrots, sliced mushrooms & onions. I'll take this one out the night before & place in the fridge to thaw, then I'll put it in the slow cooker the morning of & cook for 10-12 hours on low. About 20 minutes before serving, I usually make a slurry of a couple tablespoons of corn starch & cold water then stir it into the juices to make a gravy & serve it all over either rice or mashed potatoes. Put a salad on the side if it makes you feel better ;)

Oven Meals

This isn't the recipe I use because I just make mine up as I go, but this sounds good! I used the same method of using dried GF noodles so they wouldn't be mush when it came time to bake.

Beef Enchiladas (x2)
I keep it so incredibly simple when it comes to enchiladas. I just rolled up seasoned taco meat & mexican blend cheese in warmed corn tortillas, then topped it with our favorite enchilada sauce & more cheese. Couldn't be easier!

Perini Ranch Hominy (side item)
If you've never had hominy, MAKE THIS NOW!! This is the recipe from a local steakhouse, and it is literally one of the yummiest sides ever. It pairs well with both steaks & mexican food.

To make this GF, I used plain wild rice rather than a box & I used Progresso's version of creamy mushroom soup.


Browed Taco Meat (4 lbs, divided into 4 bags)
This is something I always like to have on hand in our freezer. I use it for quick taco nights, add it to taco soup, make nachos, and other quick recipes.

Chicken Tenders (raw)
We like homemade chicken tenders around here, but prepping the chicken can take awhile, so I went ahead and got several bags of tenders in the freezer so they're ready to go.

Cubed Chicken Breast (raw)
I also like to have cubed chicken on hand for recipes like our favorite Skinny Orange Chicken or a quick veggie stir fry.

Cooked, Shredded Chicken
Another convenience item I keep on hand for chicken salads, soups, or chicken fried rice.

Individual Portions of Seafood
I keep frozen, individual salmon & tilapia filets on hand for quick dinners. So easy to saute & whip up a quick sauce for & pair with a baked sweet potato or salad. Our favorite salmon sauce: 3 tablespoons honey + 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard + a shake of worcestershire sauce...pour over & let caramelize at the very end of the cooking process.

Easy Breakfasts for Your Other Children
Don't forget to be prepared for any other kiddos! We've got frozen waffles & pancakes on hand for breakfast, and I may make some of our favorite muffins to add to the stash before the big day.

--I doubled every recipe I made for two reasons: I bought all my meat in bulk at Sam's then divided it up, and because it's just as easy to make two bags/casseroles as it is to make one.
--Use gallon FREEZER bags & double up for soups/stews. You don't want to risk those spilling while they freeze and later, thaw.
--It's not the greenest thing in the world, but I used foil pans for all my casseroles so all of my dishes weren't tied up and because they're great for portioning purposes. We're much more likely to finish a small, 10x10 lasagna versus a huge, 16x20 one.
--Cover your foil pans with foil then place the lid on over that to ward of freezer burn.
--Lay soups & other bagged recipes flat to freeze to save space.
--Don't forget to label!! And write any instructions right on the bag or lid so you're not having to go back and search your recipes to figure out what to do with it that day.

Hope you've found this to be helpful! Freezer meals are a beautiful thing, my friends ;)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

38 weeks!

How far along: 38 weeks!!

Size of baby: about 6-7 lbs. The size of a melon! 

Total weight gain: +30 lbs. And I am so ready to work out again.

Movement: Oh yes...still lots of movement, but he has definitely slowed down! He seems to be the most active in the evenings/at bedtime (naturally ;))

Sleep: The same. I'm just uncomfortable & waking up every couple hours to pee.

What I miss: Running around with my girl, easily climbing in bed with her for bedtime books, and feeling comfortable in general :) Not much longer though!!

Cravings: Anything & everything; I feel like I graze ALL day long!

Labor Signs: Lots of contractions throughout the day. I told Rob I'm worried I won't know when I'm actually in active labor this time because I never take contractions seriously anymore. I never had this with Jaqs until it was the real deal, so this is new to me. Hopefully daddy won't be delivering Slade at home. Hehe.

Maternity clothes: Most certainly. Large & in charge over here! 

Best moments this week: Getting a positive report at the doctor yesterday. I'm 3 cm & 75% effaced, so Dr. T went ahead & swept my membranes to potentially help move things along. I'm just glad all those contractions are doing some good! I'm feeling pretty antsy at this point...just ready to know when he'll be here & get this show on the road! With that being said, I can be patient and enjoy a few more days with just my girl & my hubby, too ;)

Everything is basically ready for Slade's arrival! The nursery is done, bags are all packed, the freezer is stocked with meals, and the grandparents are on stand-by. Now I just need my toddler tornado to quit destroying our house on the daily so it'll actually stay clean. Nesting is difficult with a 2 year old around! #momprobs

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Slade's Shower

At the beginning of the month, my precious friends threw Slade the sweetest shower! It was so much fun, and I truly enjoyed every single second of it. I wanted to be sure to share some pictures of the morning before he made his debut ;)
hostesses: Lauren, Linda, Melissa, & Julie
my momma & me, Mollie & Marissa, Nanny & Nana, my future SIL & me
coach's wife friends :)
Julie & me, Cougar Wives, fun friends (we all have littles the same age), Kaila & me
a few of the blessings we received for our boy
hostess gifts
lots of goodies awaiting organization
I am so thankful to everyone that came to celebrate our baby boy. It's so comforting to know how loved our little man already is! We are truly blessed with wonderful friends & family.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

36 weeks!

What better time to do a pregnancy update than when you're just about full-term?! I wanted to get something down for memory's sake before Slade makes his debut, so here we go!

This pregnancy has been both very similar and very different from my first. I was tired with Jaqs the first trimester, but I feel like I've been tired the WHOLE time with Slade, with the exception of a month or two there in the middle. I had some queasiness here and there this time, but nothing to complain about as long as I kept my tummy full. Even though I've gained about the same, I've felt like a whale this time around! Could have something to do with the fact that I'm chasing a 2 year old around though ;) Overall, I've had a pretty easy pregnancy and shouldn't gripe about much!
How far along: 36 weeks!!
Size of baby: about 6 lbs. & around 18 in. long--or the size of a head of romaine lettuce, according to Baby Center. Dr. T thinks he won't be much (if any) bigger than sister & she weighed in at 6 lbs 13 oz at birth, so I sure hope he's right! I like little babies ;)
Total weight gain: womp, womp.... +30 lbs.
Movement: Alllll the time. This boy has been a mover and a shaker (just like J) from 18 weeks on. I'm to the point where I can distinguish body parts sticking out now, haha. And I can tell he's dropped some because his feet aren't in my ribs anymore!
Sleep: Eh, it's okay. I'm waking up every 2-3 hours to pee or change positions. It's hard to stay comfortable now. Also, leg cramps!! Hate those things.
What I miss: Being able to play & pick up Jaqs easily & without worrying about my belly getting in the way. And sleeping soundly, but of course, that won't be changing anytime soon! Oh, and wine. Just being honest ;)
Cravings: ALL THE FOOD. Seriously. I eat constantly, I feel like. Salty, sweet, savory, I don't care, just feed me :) And tell me I'm skinny.

Labor Signs: I've been having contractions for about 3 months now & they've definitely picked up recently. I have them throughout the day & they usually pick up at night. Nothing "real" yet, but I sure hope they're doing me some good in the dilation department!

Maternity clothes: Oh yeah, and I'm ready to pack those things away again!

Best moments this week: I go to the doctor today for my first check. Anxious to see where we are and hopefully get a better idea of Slade's birthday! Also, Jaqs asks me all the time, "brother's out??" I'm not sure that she realizes how it's going to rock her world, but she seems to be excited about him for the time being. We'll see how she feels about sharing mommy ;)

Friday, November 14, 2014

5 on Friday!

I think I've missed these posts the most in my blogging absence, so I'm excited to be joining in for 5 on Friday once again! Head over & link up with these lovely ladies!
{one) Y'all, toddlers are crazy. If you have one, you know. If you don't, you may be rolling your eyes & thinking something like, "my child will NEVER!" But s/he will. Because that's what they do...they embarrass their parents ;)
Last Sunday, we were out running a couple errands with GG, and we decided to stop at Wendy's for a little snack. Jaqs had chicken nuggets, and at some point during her meal, she decided that she simply could not risk getting a drop of ketchup on her shirt, so SHE TOOK IT OFF. And refused to put it back on until she was done. LOL. I couldn't even discipline her because I could not stop laughing. Thankfully, there weren't many people there, and this sweet little old lady made her way to our table, and said, "I need to know what y'all are laughing at so I can laugh, too!" Then she saw Jaqs, and reassured me that you just never know what the day will bring when you have a two year old :) Bless her for making me smile rather than being ugly about it!

{two} In other toddler news, I'm happy to report that we ditched the paci this week! Most people don't even realize that Jaqs still had a paci because she has only used it for sleep since she was a year old, but a friend of mine ditched her son's last week & gave me the courage to try it out. Jaqs adjusted SO well. She really shocked me, and has slept just fine without it! My big girl. She was promised a toy of her choice after throwing them away, and she was thrilled with her pick!
I gave them all to her with the tips cut off; she put one in her mouth, and declared, "I don't want these broken pacis!!" After I told her I couldn't fix them, she decided to throw them in the trash herself! Ha.
{three} Have y'all started your Christmas shopping? Since baby boy is due December 15th, I got a jump start, and I'm about 95% done. Jaqs is getting this Ikea kitchen as her big gift, and she is going to love it! I've been looking for ways to spruce it up and found this ADORABLE hack, but I'm not sure if I can pull it off in time. I absolutely love it though, so it may be worth a shot!
{four} Our awesome coaching family surprised us with a little "sprinkle" for our boy last weekend, and we were so thankful! I think we have everything we need to welcome him into this world now! Well, after Rob drags the car-seat and other gear out of the attic this weekend, that is ;)
{five} Have you heard of Younique yet? Or tried the 3D Fiber Lash Mascara?? Let me tell you, it is AMAZING. I purchased some from a friend back in May and loved it so much that I signed up to be a presenter! Selling anything is totally not my style, but I'm obsessed with this product, and I happen to love all the other cosmetics I've tried from Younique as well! The mascara is so easy to apply (and remove!), and I just don't think there's any way I could ever go back to regular...my lashes feel bare without my fibers now!
top: bare lashes
middle: regular mascara
bottom: 3D fiber lash mascara
Anyway, all this to say, I think to celebrate being back at blogging, I'll be giving away one mascara kit beginning next week! So be on the lookout for details on that! :)

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Baby Galu #2--His Name

When it came to naming our little man, it proved to be a little more difficult than naming our girl. I knew I wanted a strong, one syllable name, and Rob pretty much shot down 80% of my choices immediately ;) Slade was one that Rob mentioned really early on, and we just kept going back to it. I don't know any Slade's in "real life," and it just felt right to us after considering it for a couple months before officially making the announcement that it would be our son's name! His middle name will be Robert...after his daddy, of course.
Seeing these shirts that Leah made for our littles brought on one of those HOLY CRAP!! moments that I've been having lately. It seems like everyone says the transition from 1 to 2 kids is the most difficult, so I really have no idea what to expect. I know that we'll adjust and find our new normal, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little scared ;) Thankfully, the timing of this baby could not be better. Thanks, God! Rob's Christmas break will be around the corner, so we may be on our own (with GG & Pop help though!) for a week or two, but then daddy will be home with us for 2 full weeks. I'm so excited about that!

Slade, we are SO READY to meet you and kiss your sweet face!!!

Monday, November 10, 2014


Y'all. I have missed this blog & all of you (are there any of you left?? ;)) SO MUCH!
We have been without internet in our home since moving in in March, but I'm happy to say that the internet gods finally got their act together & spread lines in our neighborhood which means I CAN FINALLY BLOG AGAIN! Woohoo!! It's been a long 7 months!

There's no way I could ever make up everything that I've missed, so I'll hit the high points and go from there...

On April 18th we got a HUGE surprise and found out that our family would be growing!
 You may remember that we had trouble conceiving the first time around, and I think I'm still in a little shock that this "just happened" on its own. God is so good, and I think He knew that I wasn't quite sure when the "right" time would be, so He just went ahead and let me know that it was time!

 We found out this summer that baby #2 was a BOY!! And a healthy one at that :)
 I'm 35 weeks as of today, and our little man is expected to arrive around December 15th. Hopefully I can share more on this pregnancy really soon! I hate that I don't have the same documentation this time around, but I'm sure that baby boy will forgive his dear ol' mom.
Jaqs was a flower girl for the first time in a friend's wedding in June, and oh was it precious! She sprinted down the aisle then danced the night away. She had a BALL! And she'll get to do it again in February for her Uncle Will's wedding, so let's hope history repeats itself with her flower girl duties.
We had an awesome summer spent with old friends...
 And new friends...
 Then another football season began...
 It's been a bit of a roller coaster, but our Coogs got a share of the district title & will play their first round of play-offs this Friday!! GO COUGARS!!
 Jaqs also started Mother's Day Out twice a week this fall, and she is LOVING IT! I was unsure of how long it'd take her to adjust and enjoy it, but she jumped right in (without a tear) and has made me so proud. My sweet big girl. I need to do an update of my TWO & A HALF year old before she becomes a big sister!
I think that's about all I can muster for my first post-hiatus-post ;) I hope to be back SOON!
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