Friday, July 29, 2011

Good Summer Eats

Sometimes I think I look at the season of summer like one big meal. There is an abundance of fresh produce that I can almost always count on being delicious. Our garden is growing out of control. That also is in part to the odd amount of rain we have had for this time of year. But, hey, the rain has helped so I'm not complaining for the veggies. Just my tan. Anyway. Thinking of summer as a meal, I love how our meals our so simple. So many different flavors can be grilled. Or tossed. Or sliced and drizzled. I also love the brightness of it all. The colors, smells and especially the flavors.
Seriously, nothing says summer to me like fresh strawberries. I'll take 'em in my salad, on my granola, on my waffle, or I'll just take 'em by the pound puh-lease!

What summer meal isn't complete without a green salad?! The first time I had ever made Hub a salad, quite awhile back, he looked at me like I was crazy. My mom always put everything in her green salads. Like, the usual, tomatoes and lettuce, but also, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, green beans, mushrooms, celery, green onions, radishes--basically whatever veggie was in the fridge would end up in our salad. The other reason Hub looked at me funny is because everything was chopped up into smaller than bite sized pieces. I guess that  was another thing I learned from my mom. So quite a few years later, I have learned to leave the salad ingredients just a little chunkier for the Hub but I usually still love to get them all in there.

Last night for dinner, I had some pork that was cut off our ribs from the weekend out for dinner. I figured we could just grill it. I had a pepper and an onion in the fridge and a zucchini from the garden. I skewered the veggies and cooked some rice. When Hub got home we grilled the meat and veggies, sliced a tomato, added some Asian sauces and came up with a really good summer dinner.

A few more of the many reasons I love summer in addition to this post. I'm sure we will have a few more scrumptious grilled meals thanks to the weather kicking into summer high gear.

What are your favorite summer foods? Do you love to grill as much as we do? Have you ever grilled any fruit?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

20 and 21 Weeks

Of course, leave it to me the World's Best Blogger to not post on my 20 week update. I mean 20 weeks of pregnancy is kind of a big deal. Halfway there. Ca-razy!

Last week I began to get more and more heartburn. Like everyday, multiple times a day. However on the upside, I am feeling the little bambino moving around more. On an up upside, Hub felt her move the other night. I had felt her on the outside a couple of times but he hadn't and was getting frustrated. He came home from work one evening and I was feeling her so I told him to come over. We both sat on the couch motionless and at the exact same time we looked at each other because we felt her! It was amazing and I could tell he was so excited. Now if only it would happen more, little girl, quit being stubborn like your parents!

We had our 20 week appointment yesterday even though we are at 21 now. Everything was normal. My blood pressure was a little bit up from last time which is good because it was so low before. It was so crazy to hear how much louder her heartbeat gets every time we get to hear it and it's so clear now. I have gained 7 pounds total which the midwife seemed fine with however I do feel like I am growing more now and I have a bigger appetite. Which is kind a bummer with the heartburn.

We have been working on our registries and actually received our first gift from Hub's parents yesterday. Our car seat. We can officially bring our baby home with us. It's been so nice having Hub be the decisive one because I can look at things for hours and hours and find a million things I like and never know how to decide on anything. He is logical and reads reviews and compares prices and takes me to the store to see and touch and then we can decide easily. I knew there was a reason I married him. His decisiveness.

So basically that's what's going on in that area of our lives. Being excited. Getting things ready. Making progress on the room, carpet is coming next Monday. And daily talk of what actually having a baby will be like. Nothing short of amazing I'm sure.

Monday, July 25, 2011

An Actual Sunny Weekend

Well, I guess my dreary post the other day worked because this weekend was beautiful. My dad just recently got a new job and Friday was his last day at his old one. My mom, Hub and I went and met my dad when he was done to take him out for a little celebration. We went to a little town not far from here and had some drinks and appetizers. We sat outside at one place which was really nice because it was so sunny. We then decided the party would not stop there so we headed back to my parents for a BBQ. We had hamburgers and BBQed prawns. Yum.

Saturday, Hub and I had company coming but there were a few things we wanted to get done before they arrived so we were up early loading up the back of the pickup we borrowed from my parents and heading to the dump. We ordered carpet last week for the office and baby room so we decided instead of paying them to remove and dump the carpet for us that we would do it ourselves. Definitely worth it. It was really easy to rip the carpet out once Hub got one corner up it all just pulled out.

We came back from the dump, at which point I was starving, so I whipped us up a late breakfast and then Hub mowed the lawn. I did a few preparation things for our dinner later and just as we were finishing everything up and getting showered, our company arrived. Perfect timing. They have a Boston Terrier whom they brought and the last time we tried to let him swim he nearly drown. This time, they brought him a life jacket. We took the dogs down to the lake and it was pretty funny watching him take on the waves in his flotation device. We just relaxed all day playing yard games, smoking some ribs, snacking and visiting. We enjoyed a nice summer dinner of ribs, green salad and shrimp salad and then they headed home.

Sunday we had a leisurely morning since we had hopped right up the previous morning and read in bed for awhile and then made waffles with fresh strawberries for breakfast. Yummy. I have been having trouble reading my recent book, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, because I always read it before bed and can only manage a few pages before my lids slam shut. Hub wanted to wash all the moss off our roof so while he did that I read. And read. And read. It was really nice and relaxing. He finished his job, we enjoyed some lunch, watched a couple episodes of True Blood, which I can't say that I am loving lately, and then fixed a dinner of fresh Alaska salmon and salad.

It was such a great summer weekend and just what I needed to pick me up out of last week's "funk." However, the rain is back today. Hopefully the sun decides to shine again soon. Sorry for the lack of pictures from this weekend, I didn't take any. I don't know why I am so forgetful on that front all the time. I will definitely need to get better once the bambino makes her appearance!

How was your weekend? What fun summer activities did you partake in?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Rain, Rain Go Away

Oh my gosh. I cannot take this weather we are having anymore. I know that around they country they are being blasted with a heat wave, but here we look at gray and rain everyday. I know, I know, we live in Washington, it rains all the time, blah, blah, blah. However, it is summer. And we usually do get some sunshine and nice weather.

This weather definitely affects my mood. I never really thought it did. I've lived here my whole life and this is just how it is. Except I think this year is worse. Worse than I have seen. As I sit here, I wish I could be outside in the yard. Going for a walk. Reading outside. There is some cleaning I can do in the house which I will do here in a few minutes. We are waiting on our carpet order so organization in the office and baby room are on hold right now while our garage looks like the bedrooms threw up in it. Basically I sit online and read blogs and obsess over baby bedding. It's sad really.

I told my co-worker today that I feel like making a pot of soup. It feels that much like fall to me. I feel really bad for how down I have been. Hub has been doing a really good job of being in a good mood so that makes me feel that much worse that he has to come home to his depressing, little pregnant wife.

We are supposed to get some good weather this weekend and I really hope for my sanity, my Hub's enjoyment and our company that's supposed to be coming for a BBQ that is true.

Sorry for the random post but just thought I'd jot some thoughts down. Nothing to meaningful but this is what's going on so this is what I decided to put out there.

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Favorite Store

Probably since I was about 5 years old, my favorite store has been Nordstrom. I may be exaggerating on this age but probably only a little. I don't feel like I am a pretentious person or that clothes, accessories, shoes and handbags are the most important things in my life but I have always liked nice things. I am a person who would rather spend a little more on something to know it's going to last--not lose shape when I wash it, lose a button right away, have a zipper break, etc. It is also nice to know that a store has such a great return policy. I know Hub can attest that I have improved immensely on my shopping since we have gained more responsibility. You know like a mortgage and such. I know that I cannot be shoppin' all the time which is why when I do, I like to make it count.

In past years I have been a crazy, mad woman shopper who likes to get to the store before it opens on this first day of the anniversary sale.
A couple of years ago, I did go to the sale early and bought a beautiful pair of Frye boots. However, this also happened to be the summer that we were about to get married, I was about to go on my bachelorette weekend, spend money on things such as nails and hair for the wedding and then travel on a honeymoon. Not such a great time to be splurging on some boots. Even though they were a really good deal! So with my buyer's remorse, I marched back to the store, shed a tear, and returned them. I have regretted it ever since. They were an all-around versatile boot, it was a good deal, and I have never seen them on sale since.

Fast forward to this year's sale. I did not rush in the morning of the beginning of the sale. I was at work. I had some other obligations after work, I was busy over the weekend so I did not make it into the sale until today. It started last Friday. I had my eye on a couple pairs of the Frye boots that I had seen in the preview book. I had birthday gift cards burning a hole in my pocket and I was so proud of myself for saving them for the sale. 

I walk right to the section where the Frye's were displayed and do not see either boot. I immediately know that what I dreaded was true. They sold out. I find a salesman to confirm my suspicion and he does. I was disappointed but not entirely. There were so many other cute pairs. I tried a few on and found a pair I loved. I had planned on spending a little of my own money on the Frye's but with the ones I got I didn't even have to because they were less and I had enough in the gift cards and birthday money.
Vince Camuto 'Bilco' Boot (Nordstrom Exclusive)
Love! I have been wanting knee-highs for a long time. Well, obviously since the summer of '09 when I bought the others! I just hadn't found the right ones. Now I have. I love that they aren't totally flat and have a small heel. I think they are versatile enough for what my "style" is and will go with a lot of outfits.

Another area I like to shop while the sale is on is men's dress attire. Not for me. For Hub. He wears a shirt and slacks to work and there is no better time than the sale to get them. We are slowly working the less expensive and less durable items he has out of his wardrobe and replacing them with nicer and more durable wear. He scored a couple of button up shirts and a polo.

I even splurged on my first baby purchases and got our girl some Nordy's duds. So, so fun. No I will not shop there all the time, I am not crazy, however I figured for the first couple of items I actually bought, a little splurge was okay. And hey, they were on sale!

Moral of the story, I love the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and it will take a lot to talk me out of the fact that spending a little more at once but getting more for my money, outweighs spending more over the course of the year. I don't know if that makes sense, but I think you probably know what I mean. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

19 Weeks

So I decided to ditch the "survey" type posts that I have done for the past few weeks and just talk about how I am feeling and what's going on with the babe.

Oh, we had our ultrasound last night.
Please meet our daughter! It was so amazing to see her moving around in there and just be able to watch her for over an hour. She was a little stubborn at the end and wasn't giving us a good view of her tailbone so we got to sit for a little bit longer. It's just really amazing to think that there is a little person swimming around in there. I think the most mind blowing aspect was that on the screen she looked so big but then looking at the measurements, it was all in centimeters!! Teeny tiny!

As of this week, I have been having a little more heartburn than usual and been feeling some round ligament pain. It feels like period cramps to me but not quite as severe. Not unbearable but not totally pleasant. I have also had the pleasure of feeling some movement. I guess I didn't really know what people meant or what the books meant but "flutters" or "similar to gas" but now I do and I can tell when it's her. I love it.

The ultrasound tech was so nice and really seemed to enjoy her job. I think it helps that she has a 20 month old granddaughter whom she is "smitten with." Her words. She told us that our baby, according to the formula they apply, weighs about 10 ounces. Wow, not even a pound yet. She sure has some growin' to do in the next four to five months!

It was so sweet to see Hub's reaction and his excitement through the whole appointment. His eyes were just glued to the screen and there were definitely some teary eyes for both of us. My parents got to come in after they told us the sex because we wanted it to be just the two of us to hear that. We then spoke to Hub's parents on the computer when we got home and they were so excited as well. Hub has two brothers, as I'm sure I have mentioned, so a girl in the family is a nice change of pace, I think.

All in all, we had a great evening and I think are still running on a high from actually getting to call our baby "her" and "she."

Monday, July 11, 2011

New Beverage

A while back I was at the grocery store with my dad and I spotted coconut water. Well, I had never tried it before so I thought it was time I did. Yuck. I did not like it at all. I don't know if it was because I was expecting a distinct coconut flavor and it didn't have it or that it tasted more like rotten fruit than anything I would want to drink.

So, at my last appointment with the midwife, she noticed my low blood pressure. It has always been low but I think this time it was really low. She said it's nothing to worry about and that I may just feel dizzy {which I do sometimes when I stand up to fast} so she said I need more electrolytes. She said coconut water is a good natural form. Oh great, I thought to myself, that tasty stuff. I looked at a couple of stores and they actually have flavored coconut water now. It is delicious! I have tried a lot of the flavors and my favorite so far is pineapple.

It has more potassium than a banana, is high in sodium and calcium. Just what this girl needs.
O.N.E. Coconut Water Splash Products
This is the brand that I have been favoring and loving because of the flavor choices. I actually drank one after my walk today and it really did this trick of boosting me up. Go ahead and give it a try!

What is your favorite re-hydrating drink? Have you tried coconut water and what do you think?

These are all my own opinions and I was in no way compensated for this post. Came across the product all on my own and thought I'd share my experience!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer Nights


I think I have mentioned before how much I love summer. And sun. With summer days along come summer nights. Which are almost just as good! I love bbqing, eating dinner outside, going for an evening stroll, having a fire; really pretty much anything including being outside late into the night. With having to wake up early, I go to bed pretty early too, but I still try to make the most of our evenings.
The last couple of nights have been so great because I pretty much have dinner ready except for a little grilling to be done and we do that right when Hub gets home. We are in and out of the house while he is grilling and catching up on our day and then we sit down to dinner. We have a concrete patio so it is pretty warm where our outdoor patio furniture is so we have eaten at the dining room table. Not in front of the TV. It has been really nice to not have TV as a distraction and just visit, soaking up the breeze coming through the open window.
After dinner, we clean up the kitchen together and head out to the yard with our books and relax a little more. This is also normally a time we would just veg out in front of the TV until we are ready for bed. It has been really refreshing to not spend so much time in front of the TV and that is another thing I love about summer. Less TV.

Our routine, unfortunately, will be a little different tonight since we have rain today. However, I think it may be a common one in the upcoming months. It is nice to slow down, take in the smells, sights and sounds of sweet, sweet summer time.

What are your summertime favorite activities? Do you have a routine on summer nights to make the most of your time? What are you grilling these days?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

18 Weeks

How Far Along: 18 weeks
Size of baby: around 7 ounces and 5 1/2 inches long
Total Weight Gain: 3ish pounds?
Maternity Clothes: No maternity clothes yet but I am definitely favoring the stretchy parts of my wardrobe.
Gender: We will hopefully find out in our ultrasound next week!
Movement: Still waiting!
Sleep: Sleep is okay. I have figured out I am more comfortable when I put a pillow behind my back while on my side or between my legs.
What I miss: Nothing right now. 
Cravings: Nothing in particular but if I think of something I have to have it. I am also really liking spicy food!
Symptoms: Not so great memory still and a little clumsy lately. Hormones going crazy maybe?
What I’m looking forward to:
Seeing our baby on the ultrasound next week, picking out new carpet and co-hosting a baby shower for my friend this weekend. It is always fun to have pregnant friends!
**Sidenote: I have had two people in the last two days ask if I was pregnant. I was surprised they would ask because I feel like people are usually a little nervous to ask that question but they are people I see fairly often and obviously they felt comfortable enough to ask so I was totally fine with it and even more excited that people are starting to notice!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Recent Reads

I have been reading quite a bit lately. It has been really nice. I love summer for that reason because the nice weather coaxes me out into the yard with a book instead of making me want to get under a blanket and watch the boob tube. Why, you ask can I not get under a blanket and read too? I don't have that answer.

Before we left for vacation, I was reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
Don't get me wrong, I really love this book and it has taught me a lot, however I thought for vacation I could use something carefree, trendy, quick, lighthearted, etc. Something in those categories. So my awesome parents gifted me a Kindle for my birthday and the first book I got on it was The Help.
The Help
I know, I am probably a little behind the bandwagon on this book but I read it and it was good. The writing was pretty simple so it made for a quick read but the content was also really riveting so it kept me interesting. I really liked how the maid's chapters of the book were written how they would talk and their perspective. I also thought it was interesting that the author had actual experience with having "help" when she was growing up. I thought it was a very interesting take on the division of labor during that time period. I would definitely recommend this book.

Moving onto the next "trendy" read was The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games
When I told my friend that I was reading this book her reply was, "Isn't that book for teenagers?" Well, yes, technically, but sometimes it's fun to have a quick, easy, entertaining read. That is just what this book was. When people had described it to me I didn't really understand what it was about and it didn't really sound like something I would like. Boy, was I wrong. I don't want to give much away but it keeps you hooked from the beginning. I recommend this book as well. I recommended it to Hub and he now has his little paws on the Kindle so I will have to wait a bit before moving onto the second book of the trilogy.

That's okay with me thought because I am now back on Ina May and reading about all the wonders of natural childbirth. To some that may not sound so interesting but to me it's fascinating! 

What are your favorite summer reads so far? Any good recommendations based off these reads I've listed?