Aug 29, 2011

Pregnancy 2, Belly Pic 1

Though it took some of you a while, I think most everyone has figured it out by now - Drew and I are expecting Baby #2!  We are thrilled, though it wasn't in our immediate plans, it was in God's and that is WAY cooler than my plans! 

This pregnancy is SO much different already than my first.  I have had tons of energy, and I have been nesting like crazy.  I almost have a compulsion to clean!  I think some of it has to do with taking care of Isabel - we have had work done in our house over the past week and Isabel's allergies have been awful because of it, but a lot of it has to do with the nesting instinct.

I have also been much more of a Mama Bear - very protective of Isabel (hence the cleaning), and pretty emotional.  I am just now starting to feel a few tinges of nausea, and I am praying that it isn't as bad as my pregnancy with Isabel.  I don't know how I could possible teach, take care of Isabel, take care of myself and our home, AND be as sick as I was last time.  There were many times where I would come home from work and go straight to bed because I felt so awful.  And many times where I didn't make it home before I had to lay down (thank God for a couch in the teacher's lounge!).

But thankfully, I don't remember much of that without reading things I wrote back then, and thankfully I will be mostly pregnant during the cooler months! 

About 30 seconds after I found out I was pregnant, I started showing.  It's ridiculous how fast it happened this time!  I am still wearing mostly non-maternity clothes, though my jeans are pretty tight around the waist now.

Here is my first belly picture.  I don't know how many weeks along I am, but I am guessing 6.  I will find out for sure on Thursday at my doctor's appointment.  I think I started showing this big when I was about 12 weeks last time!! 

I chose this picture not because of the awesome look on my face (ha!), but because you could see my feet... remember those ankles, they don't last for long!  Barefoot and pregnant - Love it!

You can also peep the new color of our living room.  Isn't it beautiful!  More pictures of that soon!

Chicken Thighs with Artichokes and Feta

Pinterest has changed my life.

In a good way.

I do spend WAY too much time surfing Pinterest for ideas for Katie's Wedding shower in two weeks, or Isabel's first birthday in 3 months (yes, I am already planning this!).  One thing that I have discovered about Pinterest that I absolutely adore is the food section.  It has completely opened up my culinary world!  I haven't made one of my old go to recipes in weeks because there are so many new and delicious things to try!

Tonight, I made Chicken Thighs with Artichokes and Feta cheese with a little egg pasta on the side.  Oh my gosh, I think this might be one of the top 10 best things I have ever eaten!

Not only was it delicious, it was also insanely easy to make (throw some chicken thighs in a bag with artichokes and juice, let marinate, season and pour on a baking dish and broil). 

And Isabel LOVED it, too!  You know you have a winner when you get "Mmmm" noises from her!

A few other recipes I have found on Pinterest, made and absolutely enjoyed:

Chicken Pesto Calzones - Make extra and stock in the freezer for a night you don't feel like cooking.  They are so good!  Isabel liked these, too.

Creamy Chicken Taquitos - stock your freezer with a batch of these, too.  No need to defrost, just throw right in the oven for a snack or quick dinner!

More in the works for this week.  If I discover anything else awesome, I'll be sure to post for you!

Aug 18, 2011

Photo Challenge, Day One

Day one of the photo challenge is a self portrait. Let's see how long it takes you to find what's interesting about this photo :)

Aug 17, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge

Tomorrow, I plan to embark on the 30 Day Photo Challenge I discovered on Pinterest. Take a look at the details:

Any of my readers want to take part in this challenge with me? I would love to see what you come up with, link your photos to my post, and have some people to keep me going!

Who's in?

Aug 15, 2011

Be Present

Like I've said before, I don't think I am deserving of any Mom of the year award, but I definitely strive to be the best mom I can be. It has struck me pretty hard lately how fast Isabel is growing and changing right before my eyes and I do not want to miss one second of it. So, I had two goals with the project I did this evening - our den was in need of some pizazz, and also, I wanted a visual reminder to be here, in the moment, absorbing every new thing Isabel learns and all those amazing facial expressions she has. Put away the iPad, check my email later, take my eyes off the tv, and really live in the moment.

Be Present.
This is a very simple and inexpensive project. I do not believe that there is such a thing as an uncreative person (hmm, maybe I'll write another post about that sometime), but if you are one of the people that subscribe to that lie, even you can do this project!

You will need:

A frame - mine is 8"x20" and I found it a Michael's on sale for $4.99
Large white piece of thick paper
Exacto knife
A print out of the letters
Pretty paper - I used papers I found on sale for 15 cents a sheet
First, print out the letters you want to use. I had to use two printed pages to get all my letters... Kinda like we did with the banners we printed to use at birthday parties when we were 8.

Tape the pages together if necessary, and then tape these pages to the white paper.

Using the Xacto knife, carefully cut out each letter. For letters such as the Uppercase R, make sure you save the hole in the middle to use later.

Chose what paper you'd like to use and tape it on to the back of each cut out letter (see the picture above). Use either a small piece of tape or a glue stick to adhere the center pieces of the letters with holes on the front of the paper.

Put your creation in the frame and there you have it! Awesome art and a great reminder every time you see it to be present and in the moment.

Aug 14, 2011

Aunt Marcie

This is the story of a beginning. A beautiful, happy, perfect beginning. This story will have no end, only a "to be continued..." because we are witnessing the beginning of Baby Workman.

I have known my best friend forever, Macy, since Kindergarten. We have one of those rare friendships that has stood the test of time, the test of high school, the test of boys and marriage, and college, and even a baby. No matter how long it has been since we've seen each other or talked, we always pick up right where we left off. She is as close to my sister as you can get without actually being related, and what a blessing that God thought I should have her in my life.

Macy and her husband, Chris, are wonderful people. Though we are not Catholic, Drew and I decided that they should be the "godparents" for Isabel - someone that is not a grandparent that can love her as much as we do, and they definitely do. They will make AMAZING parents. Macy has been through some major trials and tribulations in her life, but has overcome them all and always wears a smile on her face. I know they have been mulling over the idea of children for a while now, but due to some health issues Macy faced, it could not be their number one priority. Macy told me about 3 weeks ago that they were going to start trying to have a baby... yes, you read right. THREE WEEKS! When God starts moving, He certainly makes himself known, am I right??

Wednesday, Macy was sick... or so she thought. She had a fever and didn't feel well (I'd like to interject here that I knew at this point she was pregnant, even if she did not yet, haha). Thursday night, she called me - just as I had called her about a year and a half ago - with a pregnancy test with the faintest pink line. If you are a mom, I am sure you can relate to the feeling that Macy felt - "Is this right? What if I am dreaming it. I don't want to get my hopes up! It has only been a month, surely it couldn't have happened that fast!". 47 pregnancy tests later, she was convinced enough to tell her husband, haha. Ok, 47 may be a bit of an exaggeration, but she did the same thing I did - several different brands, several different times. I even took one so that she could see that it was accurate (don't worry, it said negative, haha).

Here is the Mama, still in shock and a bit overwhelmed, but already glowing with that tiny baby growing inside her. Macy, you're going to be a MOM! Can you believe it!!?!?!I honestly do not remember the last time I was excited enough to squeal and jump up and down, but that is what I did when she told me - and again that night after I got home - and again the next morning. I am still SO giddy. I get to be an aunt to the second most amazing creation on the planet (Isabel is first, of course, haha). I am already so in love with this little one. I'm sure Macy is not quite ready for the explosion of planning that is going on in my brain, but I already have ideas for the baby shower, newborn photos, and I have already planned for my mom to watch Isabel when Macy has the baby, haha.

Me and Macy... and our children. The thought still makes me tear up a bit. I am so happy for my sweet friend. We would love for our babies to be best friends just like we were - pink bike shorts and side pony tails and all, but we'll wait and see. Who knows... maybe it will be a boy, and then Macy and I could be in-laws!! Whoo, ok, slow down Aunt Marcie. Let's take this one day at a time, haha.

Aug 13, 2011

10 Things That Make Me Smile

Ten Things That Make Me Smile:

1.  My sweet family playing in bed on lazy mornings.  Daddy Drew and I become the jungle gym to our active little Isabel in between kisses and snuggles.  I love those moments.

2.  Isabel's awesome bed head - it's the craziest bed head I have ever seen, next to my dad's.
3.  My best friends - I am SO very blessed to have several amazing girl friends to grow with, laugh with, craft with, eat with, and experience life with.

4.  Rain!  After 40 consecutive days of temperatures over 100 degrees and no rain, we finally got a small sprinkle this morning.  We could use some more, but it was so sweet to wake up to a wet back yard this morning.

5. Good food - Enchiladas last night, coffee this morning, BBQ to celebrate mom's birthday last week - I love good food.
6.  Being creative.  I have a long list of supplies to get at Michael's this afternoon - so many fun things to make!

7.  God's blessings - there have been some majorly HUGE prayers answered this week - more on that in my next post, but it's definitely been cause for some smiles this week.

8.  My new classroom - There are over 100 cubbies in my new classroom - that may sound silly to you, but to an art teacher, that is cause for celebration!

9.  My husband - he's kind, funny, thoughtful, helpful, smart, strong, and he is making me pasta for lunch right now.  I love that guy.


10.  Baby laughs - there is no sweeter sound in the ENTIRE world.

Aug 12, 2011

First I'll Be a Mother

Some houses try to hide the fact
That children shelter there,
Ours boasts it quiet openly,
The signs are Everywhere.

For smears on the windows,
Little smudges on the doors,
I should apologize I guess,
For toys strewn on the floor.

But I sat down with the children,
And we played and laughed and read,
And if the doorbell doesn’t shine,
Their eyes will shine instead.

For when at times I am forced to choose,
The one job or the other,
I’d like to cook, and clean, and scrub,
But first I’ll be a MOTHER.

Aug 9, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today, we celebrate the birth of an incredible woman - my mom. I am a very lucky girl. My mom is fun, kind, generous, loving, extremely patient, and has always been there for me. We have always been close, but now that I am a mother as well, we are truly friends. She is the youngest of five kids and grew up in church from the time of conception. She always taught me what it meant to be a lady and especially a woman of God. There are so many things she taught me as a teenager that I hated to admit she was right, but now, I am so grateful for her guidance and support. She raised me in a Godly home, but let me make mistakes, and she was always there to listen and dry my tears when my way turned out to be the wrong way, which it so often did.

And in the past 9 months, she has transformed into so much more than my mom... She is now Nana to my daughter, and I wasn't sure if it was possible for her to love anyone more than my sister and I, but her eyes literally twinkle when Isabel is around. Together, they play, they read, they talk, they learn, they take naps, and they have grown such a special bond similar to what I have with my grandmother. It is so special, and I am so thankful that they get this time together.

The photo on the bottom right is my mom with my Papa, her father in law, when she found out she was pregnant with me. I love how happy she looks in this picture. She was young, and I know how many crazy emotions I felt when I found out I was pregnant... But here, she just looks happy.
The picture on the left is Nana with her grand baby the first week we were home from the hospital. I can not tell you what an incredible help my mom was that week. I honestly do not know what I would have done without her!
And finally, the photo on the top right is of my mom with Isabel on the day of her dedication at church. This picture embodies the definition of proud, and makes me tear up a little with gratitude that there is someone (several someone's actually) that love my little girl as much as me.

Happy birthday, mom. Thank you for being an awesome mom, and an even better Nana. I am so thankful for you!

The Curve Ball

Today was a rough day. One of those days where you literally don't stop moving until you go to bed, and even then it takes a good amount of time to quiet your brain. So here I am, speaking to the blogosphere in an attempt to quiet my frazzled brain, though I won't be able to publish this until tomorrow since I do not have wifi at my parent's house... and so begins the story of my long day.

This morning, I rushed to get ready for work - deciding in which shirt would be the most slimming with my grey pants, putting my hair in braids so it was cool and functional, dressing and feeding Isabel and packing her bag for a day at Nana's house, packing my lunch, installing the car seat in my car, and getting my things ready to go. With a backpack on my back, 3 bags on my arm and a baby on my hip, I set the alarm and headed to the front door. I don't know what caused me to look up, but I did, and saw large spots of brown, bubbles and leaking water on the ceiling in our living room.

We have a fantastic house. It was built in 1946 and has all the charm you'd expect with an older house - arched doorways, old, large windows, and a high electricity bill. It seems this house is no match for 30+ days of over 100 degree Texas summers. Through a large and drawn out process that I won't bore you with, we discovered that there is a clog in the drain for the air conditioning unit, and the emergency drain apparently runs right to my living room ceiling. A wonderful idea, don't you think? (Hopefully my sarcasm is coming through loud and clear over the interwebs.)

The only ways to get the dripping to stop is to a) not pour an entire bottle of Drano down the pipe that empties into your living room in hopes of clearing the clog that wasn't there and b) to turn off the AC. In my defense, I just assumed that the pipe would go all the way to the edge of the house like it is supposed to... Guess that's what I get for assuming.

Once we admitted defeat, we began packing our things to go stay at my mom and dad's house (aka Nana and Granddad). I have a pair of pjs, a dress for work tomorrow and my hair drier, but the trunk of my car was filled with a pack n play, food and clothes for Isabel, cat litter, cat food, and the cats rode in the car with Drew. So now, in a house that is used to two adults and a cat, there are 4 adults, 3 cats and a baby. Sound like a sitcom to you?

Why, you might ask, am I still awake after this hellacious day? Well, with all the excitement, my sweet daughter was up until about 11:30, Clark is learning to play the piano Aristocats style, Callie (mom and dad's cat) is hissing everytime one of my cats passes by the door, the door squeaks every time the cats come in and out, Isabel is tossing and turning, Drew's snoring, and there are new and different night time sounds that even our rain noise machine doesn't cover.

But I truly do feel better after having blabbered on to you about my troubles. Thanks for listening, ha.

All this being said, I truly am grateful for a roof over my head and my parents welcoming us into their home. The testing of your faith develops perseverance, right?

** Note: I wrote this last night at around one in the morning. Shortly after I turned off the iPad and headed to bed, Isabel woke up to eat, then threw up twice, we both had to change clothes and I had to sleep on towels the rest of the night, and Clark decided to rearrange all of mom's closets by opening the doors and dumping everything on the floor...

But, thank God, the air is fixed and we are home. I am content in my circumstances and grateful in all things that God provides for our needs and takes care and sustains us when we are weary.

Aug 7, 2011

Homemade Chili

I know that summer time isn't the season you generally think of making a big pot of chili, but it is one of Daddy Drew's favorite meals, and it happens to be the very first recipe I wrote, so I thought I would share it with you. It has a bit of a kick, but you can easily tone it down a bit.

Daddy Drew's Favorite Chili

2 lbs coarse ground beef
1 package of Chili seasoning
1 red onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
2 jalepenos, seeded and diced
1 can of chili beans
1 can of Rotels
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1/2 bottle of beer
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp fajita seasoning
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

In a large pot, brown ground beef with chili seasoning.
Add diced onions, bell peppers and jalepenos and cook until beef and onions are done.

Add beans and Rotels with liquid and crushed tomatoes. Stir well.
Add 1/2 bottle of beer. Stir well. You can add more or less depending on your desired consistency.
Add spices. I recommend sprinkling them in. No need to waste dishes by actually measuring.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for a couple of hours - or until you can't help yourself :)

Serve with corn bread muffins if you wish.


Aug 5, 2011

A Few of my Favorite Things

It's no secret - I love to eat. I mean, I really really love food. I'm a self professed foodie. When I find something that I love, I want to share it with the world!
So, here are a few wonderful things I have discovered lately:

Top Left - Sparkling Cranberry Juice by Ocean Spray.  I love cranberry juice.  It is sweet without being overly sweet, good for you, and an excellent alternative to Diet DP, which is one of my addictions.  When I saw the clever commercial for the sparkling variety, I had to try it.  I LOVE IT!  It's crisp and refreshing and great for these insanely hot Texas summer days we have been having.
Top Right - Speaking of hot summer days, what summer day would be complete without a cold, ice cream treat?  Thankfully there is an incredible Skinny Cow product that satisfies my sweet tooth while helping me to maintain my girlish figure, haha.  They are SO good - you would never know they were diet.  Skinny Cow also makes a candy product that I could probably eat a whole box of in one sitting, it's that good.

Bottom Left - Angie's Kettle Corn.  I discovered this product from a sample at Central Market and I am hooked.  There is something about the combo of sweet and salty that just makes me happy.  

Bottom Right - If you live in Dallas, you should definitely check out Luckie's on Davis in Oak Cliff.  To be honest with you, I am not a huge fan of actually eating in the restaurant, especially when it's hot out.  But their food is awesome.  These are their fried green beans - oh. my. gosh.  Thinking about them makes my mouth water, haha.  Try their pulled pork sandwich and fried green beans.  You can thank me later.

Ok, now all this talk of food has me hungry!  Time to go meet my BFF for some back to school shopping!

Aug 2, 2011

Tips for Traveling with a Baby

Traveling is always an adventure when you are a parent. Little things like a stop at Pizza Inn for lunch can take a turn at a moment's notice. I can not tell you how much attention sweet little Isabel drew - smiling and waving at everyone we saw in all the little towns along the way. She did awesome in the car on the VERY long drive - 10 hours at least - even though she was sick on the way there. Here are a few tricks I learned to help traveling be much more smooth.

Tip #1 - over pack. While i was packing, I thought to myself "there is no way she will wear this many clothes in a 10 day period. Ha! We went through 3 changes of clothes on the drive there, and were planning a laundry load before we even arrived. Our healthy baby girl somehow came down with a stomach virus and the dirty diapers and a projectile "fro up," as my cousins used to say, contributed to a very yucky and difficult trip on the way. Now, when I say "over pack," I do not intend for you to pack the kitchen sink. Think about where you are going, pack accordingly. And if all else fails, every small town has a Walmart, haha.

Tip #2 - Take plenty of distractions. Isabel took some amazing naps in the car, but when she was awake, she understandably did not want to be restrained in her car seat. I had a few toys stashed in the back seat with us and would pull out a new one each time she started getting tired of the last. Which leads me to my next tip...

Tip #3 - make frequent stops. I know. You want to get there. You are tired of being in the car, and vacation is calling your name. But trust me, a few stops along the way go a LONG way for maintaining sanity in the car. On the way to our destination, we found an antique store to walk through, and on the way back, we stopped at a book store for a little while. Simply getting Isabel out of her car seat for a little while and a change of scenery went a long way to helping her be a happier baby.

Tips #4 - Even if it is hot outside, take a light weight blanket, especially if daddy is driving. Isabel sleeps much better when she is warm, and our Aden and Anais blankets were perfect for the occasion.

Tip #5 - if you can have someone sit in the back seat, it is a great help. Daddy Drew did the driving and I sat in the back seat with the girl. I was able to play peak a boo, hand her snacks, and best of all, show her Yo Gabba Gabba when all else failed.

All that being said, Isabel did a great job and it was much better than I expected. We had a lovely time and look forward to seeing Drew's family again at Christmas!